The biggest date in Sitecore’s year is undoubtedly Sitecore Symposium, the annual conference held each fall that heralds new product announcements, an indication of the upcoming strategy and roadmap and a range of highly useful sessions from Sitecore itself, Sitecore partners and leading brands who are successfully leveraging the platform.
Of course, it’s also an opportunity for the global Sitecore community to come together and network — both developers and marketers — catching up with old friends and making new ones.
What's in Store for 2022 Symposium?
This year’s Symposium is being held in Chicago from Oct. 17-20. It’s the first in-person conference since the pandemic, and that makes it special. Personally, I’ve missed the face-to-face interaction you gain from a real-world conference; online events have been great, but they only get you so far, and I’m really looking forward to what is going to be a great few days. One good thing this year is that if you’re unable to attend the event, you can actually get a free pass to watch the keynotes virtually.
What's going on in the conference this year?
This year’s conference is split into four tracks:
- Shaping your digital strategy
- Maximizing your DX solutions
- Delivering technical excellence
- Connecting your composable future
There are a range of keynotes, including the inevitable celebrity guest speaker. This year’s guest keynote comes from Mindy Kaling, an Emmy-nominated writer, producer and actor.
Related Article: Why Sitecore XM Cloud Is a Landmark in Sitecore's History
What's on the Sitecore News Radar?
We can expect several themes to be covered at the conference.
What’s Next for Sitecore?
Over the past two years, Sitecore’s strategy and marketing has been dominated by its journey to becoming a fully cloud-native SaaS-based platform that supports a composable architecture. This involved incorporating at least four SaaS-based products gained through acquisitions in 2021, and also working on making the rest of the existing platform available on a SaaS basis.
In my view, Sitecore reached a bit of a milestone with the release of Sitecore Experience Manager XM Cloud, meaning that the whole of the platform is now available via SaaS. It feels like the end of a particular chapter. The question then is what’s next and how we build on what’s been delivered over the past two years.
Being the First Mover to Building New Experiences
Sitecore has always positioned itself as a platform that helps brands operate in a fast-moving, multi-channel world. Arguably the composable DXP model also supports a greater agility to bring projects to market more quickly across different channels and gain the competitive advantage of being more responsive to opportunities and customer needs.
Being the first mover to building new experiences is likely to be a topic that will resonate in a number of the sessions, particularly in reference to using composable architecture. For example, Sitecore CMO Paige O’Neill is leading a panel featuring digital and marketing leaders from major brands that looks at the new technologies that will evolve to create new opportunities for brands to interact with customers. Meanwhile, another session featuring Azeem Azhar from Exponential View looks at the impact that accelerating technology is having on the bigger picture, including business and society.
In terms of new channels, more people are starting to talk about the Metaverse, and the opportunities (or not) it may bring. There is even a session about how building social channels using Sitecore’s headless capability can be the first bridge to a presence in the Metaverse.
Making the Most Out of Composable Architecture
The changes to Sitecore over the past two years have been considerable, and many customers are still seeking to understand how a composable architecture can help them. To be honest, we find there’s still some knowledge gaps around composability, headless publishing and how a composable DXP works in practice.
A clear theme of the conference is the value a composable DXP can bring to marketing teams and also specifically how to make it work. This is the theme of one of the four tracks, as well as keynotes such as a session from Sitecore Chief Product Office Dave O'Flanagan on “how Sitecore’s end-to-end composable DXP gives brands the agility, speed and flexibility to meet every moment.”
Other sessions directly address those unsure about the composable DXP. For example, a session about “Moving on up the cloud” is aimed at anyone whose “current DXP solution make you feel like a dinosaur compared to those hip kids with MACH-aligned composable stacks.” Another session talks about the steps to get from a monolithic to a composable DXP. It will also be good to hear some case studies of how composable architecture has actually been deployed.
Related Article: What Is Composable DXP?
Deeper Dive into the Power of Individual SaaS Offerings
Outside covering the whole of the Sitecore platform, there’s also going to be a few deeper-dives into the power of individual SaaS offerings that sit within the platform, including Sitecore CDP, Content Hub, OrderCloud, XM Cloud and more. There are also new services discussed, such as Sitecore Search, which is derived from the technology in Sitecore Discover.
In many ways the overall Sitecore platform is richer and more flexible than it has ever been, so I’m looking forward to learning more about some of the new offerings which have also had some additional capabilities developed, such as a new editing experience within Sitecore Experience Manager XM Cloud.
See You in Chicago?
We are really looking forward to Sitecore Symposium, and our return to the face-to-face conference. We’re expecting to learn a lot about Sitecore’s new composable features and what we can expect in the near future.
Perhaps we’ll see you there?