Sitecore User Group Conference India 2019

Last month we hosted the very successful Sitecore User Group Conference 2019 (SUGCON) in India, this was our second SUGCON India. The event has been very successful in many ways and I want to share my view on the event.

First the number; I’m very happy to share that we had nearly 300 attendees during SUGCON India. During the days we had more than 35 sessions presented.  We had over the 100 attendees across our three workshops; Commerce, SxA and JSS- during the pre-conference workshop day.  We also managed to host a Sitecore certification opportunity for more than 70 developers.

The morning before SUGCON Sitecore hosted a business event Elevate the Experience. I had the honor to start this event, during the opening I talked about problems that marketers are facing today; The content lifecycle problem, the data insights problem and the communication cycle problem.

Right after Elevate the Experiences it was time for SUGCON to start. Everything was set, the venue looked great and the stage and screen was amazing. During the SUGCON keynote I focused on the three strategic pillars of Sitecore; Innovation, Time-to-Market and Enhancements and how this affect the day-to-day job of developers. I’ll make sure to share my deck in the upcoming days.

Mostly I enjoyed connecting with everyone, It’s great to connect with smart, passionate and friendly people.

A video says more than words (and pictures), here is a short impression of SUGCON India 2019.

My view on the India market

Hosting a developer event in India is key to uplift the knowledge and create product awareness, this will lead to better implementation which will lead to customer delight. I see a big shift where India is moving away from just outsourcing ‘simple’ development and maintenance to become the knowledge hub for EU and NA based agencies and bigger customers.

More and more complex implementation will be handled by full teams in India, driving more demand for training and knowledge events.  A great example of this was the high demand for the workshops and the high level of questions received during the workshops and sessions.

It was great to be in India again and I look forward to next year!

7 tips for a successful home automation

For the last eight years I’ve been busy improving with home automations, also called domotica. The time that I invest divers strongly per period, sometimes I don’t do anything for months, and then I find a new technology and I go all in with my spare time. In these years a lot of I’ve used a lot of different technologies, brands and platforms for my smart home.

I’m pretty happy with my current home automation setup and I got asked a lot by people that visited my house “How do I get started with home automation?”.

Let’s start with sharing my 7 rules for home-automations.

My requirements for a successful smart home

1. Keep it simple

Main requirement, people should not notice that you have home automation in place. Everything should work as is normal for your guests. The next two tips are about that. I would call this rule; think about the babysitter.

The main rule for home automation –> think about the babysitter

Your babysitter will not have your home automation app installed or interest to visit the mobile website. Also she wouldn’t be able to use your voice assistant as she doesn’t know the names of the lights. Make sure that every light is controllable by everyone that visits your house.

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My home automation setup

Let’s start with the first post about home automation.  I’m pretty happy with my current home automation setup.  In this post I would like to share my current setup as on June 2019. This will be a endless work in progress posts, updated with links to more in depth articles.

Before we start with home automation I want to make you aware of following statement.

You will get no compliments or praises for your Home Automation, the best recognition you will get are the complaints when it is not working.

My home automation history

For the last eight years I’ve been busy improving with home automations, also called domotica. The time that I invest divers strongly per period, sometimes I don’t do anything for months, and then I find a new technology and I go all in with my spare time. In these years a lot of I’ve used a lot of different technologies, brands and platforms for my smart home.

I recently switched from Domoticz to OpenHab as my main home automation platform. Domoticz has always worked perfect for me, the reason for me to change was mainly to try something new. I really like working with OpenHab, but the learning curve is steep and it a more technical oriented solution. So if you don’t have a technical background or you’re new to home automation I would advise you to start with Domoticz or Homey (no personal experience with Homey).

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Sharing is caring

During my professional career I’ve always been an advocate of sharing knowledge. Share what you’ve learned so others can learn from it, this way at the end we all get to a better end-results. However, I noticed that in my private live I have passions that I haven’t shared my learnings about.

Next to my wife, kids, family and friends I like to spend time on windsurfing and home automation. My goal is to start sharing my insights on these topics -family, kids and friends excluded :)- and perhaps help others making their choices or getting started.

Again this is a goal, so let’s reflect on how I did in a year… Life is all about setting the priorities, we’ll see if I can make this work :).

Full headless experiences with Sitecore Omni™

In the keynote during Sitecore Symposium 2018 in Orlando we introduced Sitecore Omni™, a range of products that support headless scenarios for the different business needs in digital marketing.

Sitecore Omni™ supports all headless scenarios including all author and marketer functionality that the Sitecore Experience Cloud offers, including inline editing, analytics, personalization, multivariate testing and Sitecore Cortex machine learning.

Headless is often positioned and offered as the solution for your digital marketing challenges; digital marketing challenges that are becoming more and more critical to solve.

Customers are expecting seamless experiences on every channel, both online and offline. Because of the exponential growth of the channels the digital marketing channel is are getting more complex.  There is no silver bullet headless approach, there is no single headless solution that fits all.
In the real world there are different customers, with different digital marketing challenges and business cases. These challenges often need a different (headless) approaches.

A headless approach can be the used from solutions where the CMS is only the content hub for a static Progressive Web App, it can be used to track offline customer interaction with IoT or build a full powered native mobile app with tracking and personalization. For all these business cases is the headless approach the correct one, but you can understand that the technical requirements and implementation are completely different.

With Sitecore Omni we introduce a range of products that supports the different headless scenarios.

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What’s new in Sitecore 9.1: Experience Platform

This post is part of the What’s new in Sitecore 9.1 series, Sitecore 9.1 has a lot of exciting innovation and value that will help our customers get to market faster, and ongoing refinements and enhancements to existing functionality.

In previous posted we focused on the What’s new in Sitecore 9.1 Content Management. In this post we will look at all the marketing innovations, features and enhancements within the Experience Platform. Before we dive in I want to provide context around Sitecore, this will help to understand the unique opportunity we have with Sitecore.

Starting with some history, as we all know Sitecore originally was a Content Management System. Being well known of the central hub for serving all the managed and integrated content. Over the years Sitecore evolved from web and to additional channels; including email, mobile and any other marketing channel.

The main driver was the introduction the Online Marketing Suite back in 2009. One of the first Experience Marketing solutions in the industry. Now Sitecore is a full Experience Marketing platform and the Sitecore Experience Cloud allows customers to personalize both online and offline experiences while capturing all the data; including all interactions, conversions, test results, patterns and basically any user information online and offline.

Now the great thing about Sitecore is that it’s all one native platform, both CMS and the Experience Platforms are closely tight together, it’s a truly unified platform.

Sitecore’s unified platform is one of the reasons why Sitecore is loved by developers and marketers.

The true power of Sitecore is in combining the analytics data with the content.  The platform provides you with the opportunity to create relevant personalized experiences in real-time.

Sitecore Content and Analytics

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What’s new in Sitecore 9.1: Content Management

During Sitecore Symposium I presented the Overview of 9.1 together with Mark Groves, Senior Director Product Management. This blogpost will cover the highlights of Sitecore 9.1 Experience Management (XM).

As addressed in the first blogpost of the What’s new in Sitecore 9.1 series, Sitecore 9.1 has a lot of exciting innovation and value that will help our customers get to market faster, and ongoing refinements and enhancements to existing functionality.

The most important headlines for Sitecore 9.1 Content management are; Headless, Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SxA), platform enhancements and the new UI – Horizon.

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