Sitecore is the experience management software that empowers marketers to engage with their customers in real time – before, during, and after sales. Sitecore has embraced contextual marketing over the years and it has become a leader, eight years in a row according to Gartner.
Now Sitecore has come out with its latest version 9. The best part about Sitecore 9 is that it allows data interchange between Sitecore and CRM systems (Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics). It also supports data exchange with other external apps such as PIM and ERP software.
If you are on Sitecore 6, 7 or 8 and interested to upgrade to Sitecore 9 then this blog post is a must-read.
The case for upgrading from Sitecore 6
If you are on Sitecore 6, you made the early investment in web experience and now it may be time to upgrade to the new Sitecore 9. Here are some important benefits that will definitely provide you with a better understanding of upgrading:
- Support: You are not receiving any mainstream support for Sitecore 6, as it has ended by now. Therefore, you are missing out on any free support for errors, unexpected behavior during development, compatibility fixes for supported platforms or hot-fixes, and patches for product defects.
- Ease of use: If you are on Sitecore 6, it is the platform for the basic content management system. This is why Sitecore 6 was meant to be used by the IT team, while Sitecore 9 can also be used by marketers.
- Connected data silos: In Sitecore 6, you are missing a 360-degree view of your customers. You are still depending on the analytics team to put data together from various sources and run the reports such as how the website is performing etc. The new Sitecore 9 feature, xConnect, enables easy data interchange with the systems that matter, so you can transfer data in real-time.
- All-new marketing capability: Your Sitecore 6 is not capable of providing multichannel marketing applications that your business users are looking for. Upgrade to Sitecore 9 and get ahead of the curve.
- Visitor data accuracy: Sitecore 6 is not ideal if you are expecting huge visitor data accuracy. For instance, if you promote your website on bigger channels you will need a proper platform for reporting the web traffic. Upgrading to Sitecore 9 gives you detailed web traffic analytics, which in turn lets you plan your campaigns for the relevant audience.
The case for upgrading from Sitecore 7
Being a user of Sitecore 7 you have experienced websites and mobile applications being used with other channels. Now let us see what benefits you will get when you upgrade to Sitecore 9.
- Get a consistent user interface: With the Sitecore Experience Platform in Sitecore 9, you will experience a new and consistent user experience that will reduce supporting and training costs.
- Empower the business: Your marketing department can test different content strategies and experiences without depending on the IT team to analyze its engagement value.
- Deliver a cross-channel experience: Sitecore 9 will give you the increased capability to manage all your digital assets to seamlessly share content, customer data, and analytics on both Sitecore and non-Sitecore properties.
- Know every customer: Sitecore 9 will give you the ability to view the activity of each customer through customer experience data. Using this data your marketing team can segment, personalize and deliver relevant content to every customer.
- Test automatically: Testing is always a necessary part for each customer for every experience. Sitecore 9 will test every change you make automatically and will not require you to change the authoring experience. This will keep your data updated.
- Optimize automatically: In your current Sitecore 7, you are likely to analyze and calculate new segments on your own. Sitecore 9 comes with Sitecore Cortex, which is the company’s machine learning software that automatically identifies the common attributes of the visitor’s behavior and suggests personalization criteria for them. It is as simple as just “accepting” or “skipping” on them.
- Embedded device detection: Sitecore Detection Services are also embedded in Sitecore 9, and will allow you to track IP geolocation and the device your visitor is using.
- Dispatch: With Sitecore 9, you will experience high-quality performance because of ‘Email Experience Manager’ that uses xDB which is integrated with marketing automation to provide triggered emails. You will also use the new tools such as List Manager and Campaign Creator that are helpful in your marketing campaigns.
Integrating Sitecore Enterprise Content Management to Manage Multiple Sites
Altra Industrial Motion had several websites under various categories like corporate, market, brand, product, and platform. The company wanted to implement Sitecore CMS for all their sites. The main goal behind implementing Sitecore CMS was to manage backend activities with a single interface.
The case for upgrading from Sitecore 8
By now you will have known that Sitecore 8 supports business and marketing users along with advanced cloud deployment models, and you may wonder why you should upgrade to Sitecore 9.
There is a simple reason – customer data. The new Sitecore 9 will enable you to collect and connect from anywhere and use machine learning (ML) capabilities to analyze the data.
- True Omni-channel data collection scalability: Sitecore 9 has introduced xConnect as the API framework which uses OData RESTful services and extends the capability to optimize xDB while collecting and connecting data from websites, call centers, in-store visits, beacons, IoT devices and more.
- More choice of database technology: In Sitecore 8 you are probably limited to MongoDB as your xDB database. Sitecore 9 will give you a choice between few servers such as Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft SQL Azure, or Cosmos DB. Your database of choice can be deployed and integrated with Advanced RISC Machines (ARM) and Azure Marketplace setup.
- Marketing automation and federated automation: Collection of data from forms and automatic nurture has become easier. You can also use single sign-on for Sitecore or use social logins for your Sitecore site. Sitecore 9 also provides content access to external apps.
Are you ready to upgrade from your Sitecore version?
Allow us to help you get a fast and painless transition to Sitecore 9. Softweb Solutions is a Certified Solution Partner for Sitecore. We will provide you with rapid scalability, and enterprise support and resources.
Get in touch with our Sitecore experts and learn more on how to upgrade.