Well for one, each release since Sitecore 6.0 has built greater capabilities to support marketing – and Version 9 doesn’t disappoint. Sitecore® Experience Platform (XP), Version 9 provides an ongoing, 360-degree, real-time view of the customer on one platform. Customers are more demanding than ever and have high expectations of their digital content. With Sitecore 9, you can get in front of the curve and create the unique, relevant, real-time digital experiences customers expect.
Here is a look at some of the best features of Sitecore 9
Sitecore xConnect allows bi-directional data interchange between Sitecore and external applications like CRM systems (Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics), PIM, ERP, etc. Sitecore data from campaigns and actions can also be exchanged with the CRM so that both channels know exactly what the customer or prospect has been doing — a major step to creating a 360-degree view of the customer in real time.
- Integrate Email and Forms as part of marketing automation
- Purpose-built for marketers
- Drag-and-drop UI
- Automation has been built for:
Email marketing at scale
EMAIL EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT(EXM)
EXM empowers marketers to use everything they know about how the customer has engaged via all channels – web, email, social and commerce activities – and use this information to precisely tailor every email interaction at scale. As a bonus, marketers are able to re-use content assets that are already created!
Sitecore has redesigned Forms functionality and replaced WFFM. The new Forms enables Marketers to easily drag and drop fields onto the canvas for ease of design. Forms are reusable and re-skinnable so they can be made available across sites and devices. Data collected via Sitecore Forms can be captured and managed in xDB in real time, providing marketers with richer data that enables greater personalization and in-context marketing.
SITECORE HEADLESS AND JSS
FEDERATED AUTHENTICATION, ENCRYPTION AND PII SUPPORT
Flexibility to use other systems for authentication and website logins, including Active Directory, without relying on IIS.
Sitecore 9 includes increased security and privacy for customer data including support for encryption of data-at-rest and in-motion and for personally identifiable information (PII) compliance.
SITECORE EXPERIENCE ACCELERATOR (SxA)
SxA reduces time-to-market by allowing content teams to design, assemble and deploy web content across channels without the need to rely on development resources. Key features include dynamic wireframes, export and import visual designs, many pre-built components, templates and mobile first responsive and adaptive layouts. SxA comes free for cloud-based customers.
MIGRATION TOOL + ONVERSION TOOLS
Sitecore now has migration and conversion tools that make it easy and efficient to upgrade to the latest version of 9. Express Migration 3.0 supports upgrades from 6.6, 7.2, 7.5, 8.0 and 9.0 GA. It also supports WFFM. Conversion Tool supports xDB migration to xConnect and migration of MongoDB to SQL.
STILL NOT CONVINCED? CONSIDER THE TCO
If all of these awesome features aren’t enough to make you jump towards Sitecore 9, think of the total cost of ownership. If you’re on Sitecore just for content management but your ecommerce, email marketing, and analytics are all separate applications, consider how much you spend on each marketing technology you have – from purchase/subscription, maintenance, training, integrations and supporting your business users.
Then think about how all the data collected from each of these applications is separate and siloed. What is the cost to bring all of that customer data together to give you a 360 view of your customer? Does the data match up? How much time do you spend performing activities to get the data unified and provide reporting for your marketing users? The costs of technology and resources is one thing – but also think about the amount of time and effort it takes to support marketing users. With Sitecore 9, you can easily empower your marketing users to do what they need to do in order to deliver the digital experiences that customers expect and demand.
Okay, ready to upgrade now? Let Alpha Solutions help make it easy as pie.