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Digital Transformation

Sitecore Rebrands CEP and Partners with MongoDB for Analytics

This past week Sitecore made some announcements regarding their CXM platform.  First up, Sitecore is changing the name of the product from Customer Engagement Platform (CEP) to Sitecore Experience Platform.  I sat through a partner briefing about this and still don’t have a clear picture of why the name change.  But maybe this new name allows Sitecore to be viewed as more than just a customer focused tool and can be used in a variety of scenarios.

A bigger part of the announcement is that Sitecore is partnering with MongoDB to provide a new Experience Database for the Sitecore platform. In previous versions, Sitecore stored all of it analytics data in SQL Server databases.  This caused issues when the volume of data captured exceeded certain limits.  But a bigger issue was being able to support worldwide deployments. Collecting all this data centrally caused slowdowns and trying to create a distributed database environment was daunting.

So with the new MongoDB-based Experience Database, Sitecore can capture gobs of data about user interactions and also distribute data collection closer to the content delivery servers around the world.  Sitecore says that they will track every interaction with every user on the system:

For the first time, you no longer need to worry about what data you need to gather, or what content you need to tag from each experience channel in case you need it later for personalization or targeting. Sitecore tracks every interaction your customers have with you, in the Sitecore Experience Database. Every piece of content, across every device, in real time.

What stands out for me in that sentence is you don’t need to tag content any longer.  Tagging has always been a complicated process for content authors and often leads to dissatisfaction with personalization and reporting.

As part of the next release coming this summer, Sitecore is planning to deliver new analytics reporting tools Sitecore Customer 360 Reportbased on the new Experience Database.  Since Sitecore integrates marketing activities right into the platform (campaigns, etc) these new reports get you closer to the elusive 360 view of the customer. Its not clear yet if you can augment the Experience Database with other customer data from other channels.  The image at the right shows an example of a new report for a particular customer.

Experience Database can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud.  Sitecore says you can deploy the new database in seconds using the Sitecore AppCenter.

Sitecore is offering an Azure-based version of the Experience Database as well.  In our partner call, pricing of the Azure-based database will be based on the number of customer profiles maintained, not the total number of records collected.

By the way, Sitecore is not abandoning MS SQL Server either.  SQL Server is still a core piece of the overall Sitecore platform.  Only the Experience Database is moving to MongoDB.

Sitecore Experience Database is available to existing Sitecore customers in a managed early access program.  Our Sitecore team at Perficient will be happy to work with you to implement the new Experience Database.

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Mark Polly

Mark Polly is Perficient's Chief Strategist for Customer Experience Platforms. He works to create great customer, partner, and employee experiences. Mark specializes in web content management, portal, search, CRM, marketing automation, customer service, collaboration, social networks, and more.

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