A couple of years ago, I wrote a post highlighting Sitecore as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content for the fourth year running, which at the time was very impressive. To read the latest report from Gartner and see that Sitecore has moved even higher in its ability to execute against its vision is absolutely outstanding.
For anyone that doesn’t know, Magic Quadrants are a visual process to compare and rate objects against each other. The higher and further to the right the object gets in in the results, the better.
Gartner defines Web content management (WCM) as:
the process of controlling the content to be consumed over multiple digital channels through the use of specific management tools based on a core repository. These may be procured as commercial products, open-source tools, or hosted service offerings.
Product functions go beyond simply publishing web content, to include:
- Content creation functions such as templating, workflow, and change management
- WCM repositories that organize and provide metadata about the content
- Library services such as check-in/check-out, version control, and security
- Content deployment functions that deliver pre-packaged or on-demand content to Web servers
- A high degree of interoperability with adjacent technologies, such as CRM, marketing resource management, digital asset management (DAM), and Web analytics
- Real-time adaptation to visitor interaction
- Good integration with delivery tiers such as e-commerce, social media, and portal software
After a complete face-lift, the latest incarnation (Sitecore 8.x) has a much-enhanced, user-friendly interface. This version is smoother, faster, and has a touch-interface feel to it, with larger CTA buttons, clear messaging, and straightforward menus and navigation. A lot has been done to utilise the SPEAK UI system, helping end-users get used to working with more streamlined interfaces, and get developers to feel more comfortable and familiar with it, and begin using it to write applications.
SPEAK is a replacement for Sheer UI and is built upon standard technologies like Html5, CSS3, jQuery, Backbone, Knockout, Require, Twitter Bootstrap, and more.
Sitecore 8.x has also increased the quality of its reporting interface – something that many customers and platform administrators have been crying out for. This means you can now review the massive amount of data that Sitecore stores in a familiar GA-style interface, dragging graphs, changing date ranges, and getting more detail on how the platform is performing. One of my favourites remains the new Path Analyser application that shows customer journeys onsite in Sitecore’s much-loved spider diagram style.
The testing engine in the latest version has also had a number of improvements, the biggest of which is that you can now enable the platform to test EVERY change by the content administrators. This boosted functionality, coupled with the ability to ‘weight’ the traffic that various tests are shown (e.g. only give x% your test version) and link it to your onsite goals, means that you can now clearly measure and run multi-variant tests (MVT).
Needless to say, Branded3 is pleased that Sitecore continues to gain industry recognition as the leading WCM, and looks forward to the next implementation that the team delivers. Here’s to another great year for Sitecore and Customer Experience, and I’m really hoping that next year the platform will be able to push even further and lead on all angles.
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