what is Sitecore? : A Comprehensive Guide | Everything You Need to Know
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what is Sitecore? : A Comprehensive Guide | Everything You Need to Know

Last updated on 30th Dec 2021, Blog, General

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Sundar (Senior Software Engineer-SItecore )

Sundar is a Sr Software Engineer and his passion lies in writing articles on the most popular IT platforms including prometheus, HIPAA, SaaS DXP, Machine learning, DevOps, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, RPA, Deep Learning, and so on. You can stay up to date on all these technologies.

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Sitecore is one of the leading enterprise-level content management systems built on ASP.NET, enabling web content editors and marketers to have full control over all aspects of their website from social integration and blog posts to advanced personalisation, ecommerce and more.

    • What is Sitecore?
    • How Sitecore Benefits Your Digital Business
    • The Technological Pillars of Sitecore
    • A Development Framework to Keep Pace with Business Necessities
    • Sitecore Experience Manager
    • Sitecore Experience Platform
    • Sitecore Experience Commerce
    • What is Sitecore to your business?
    • What is Sitecore to your content and marketing teams?
    • Conclusion

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      What is Sitecore?

      Sitecore’s journey began in Denmark in the 1990s: a group of enthusiasts created processes that streamlined website development and management. This innovation paved the way for content management solutions, and by 2001 it had evolved into the Sitecore Content Management System (CMS). Today, it is one of the world’s most notable digital experience platforms (DXP), leading the way across the market. So what does Sitecore Experience Cloud have in store?


      Today’s Sitecore platform is a comprehensive, flexible cloud that fuses the following products:

      Sitecore Experience Manager (XM) – a tried-and-true content management system that powers omnichannel content delivery.

      Sitecore Experience Platform (XP) – A Marketing Automation Solution That Creates Personalised Customer Experiences.

      Sitecore Experience Commerce (XC) – An e-commerce platform that leverages marketing automation to create a shopping experience.

      The platform brings together three different products and each of them performs a different function – managing content, creating unique brand experiences.

      Conducting commercial operations – but they all share a central idea: individual users. experience. It enables companies to manage their digital assets, drive their marketing activities and work on sales efficiency, while also ensuring that they do it to the right customer persons and in the right way.


    • Each of these products provides incredible value when used independently of the others, but their combined action enables true synergy and creates a broader ecosystem.
    • The Sitecore Content Hub is a single data repository that holds all company data, performs all cycles of its management and supplies it to the vendor’s products.
    • Sitecore DXP’s clients include retail, real estate, healthcare, manufacturing, educational, non-profit and other companies. These include big names like Nestle, Suzuki, Subway, Procter & Gamble, US Royal Navy and others.

      How Sitecore Benefits Your Digital Business:

    • Recently, the platform has taken a huge leap from CMS to state-of-the-art digital experience platform. How does this change benefit the businesses that use it? Let’s take a look at the benefits that the platform now offers to companies.

    • A holistic ecosystem for end-to-end management of digital experiences. Companies do not need to coordinate silent solutions: all components are integrated into a comprehensive cloud, working in sync and complementing each other. Using centralised content repositories, seamless data management algorithms, and a unified delivery model, the ecosystem provides a consistent experience across the customer journey.

    • Best-in-class content personalization for seamless customer experiences. The personalization capabilities are limitless: the platform delivers unparalleled value by tailoring content to the individual user’s specifications.

    • Omnichannel content delivery for a consistent user experience across all touchpoints. An advanced headless CMS enables the production of content and its distribution across different channels to be scaled up simultaneously.

    • AI-powered marketing automation for quick and flexible adjustments to customer specifications. Advanced tools allow companies to provide engaging contextual information to their visitors and modify it later when needed.

    • Unique content management to make the best use of corporate data within the entire ecosystem. The solution allows companies to manage their content – produced, edited, published and distributed – to create customer experiences that are in line with their goals.

    • Insight-driven online storefront for higher conversion rates. E-commerce works in conjunction with user data, which enables engaging, user-specific shopping experiences.

    • A comprehensive cloud for autonomy, flexibility and ease of management. The platform is now all about the cloud and Azure. The vendor offers its services in the form of IaaS and Sitecore Azure PaaS with 24/7 support – Sitecore Managed Cloud. Sitecore SaaS will also be available soon.

    • Single-platform management for consistency, flexibility and accountability. Companies can use a central platform to administer their content, which includes content created in multiple languages ​​and targeted at different markets with local specifications.

    • Supportive community and customer support for more efficient project implementation. There is 24/7 customer service, and the Sitecore developer network is also ready to help, contributing to quick and efficient problem-solving.

      The Technological Pillars of Sitecore:

      The unmatched personalization and centralization that the platform provides to businesses stems from its well-thought-out architecture and capabilities. Let’s find out how it works!.

      Technical Compatibility as a Cornerstone:

      At the core of the system lies technical coherence that contributes to enhanced Sitecore integration and flawless interoperability of products.

      Some facts about the techniques used:


      • Language: C#
      • Framework: Microsoft .NET
      • Platform: .NET Core
      • Data Storage: Microsoft SQL Server
      • Server Deployment: Internet Information Services on Windows
      • Development: Visual Studio
      • Deployment: PowerShell, Node.js
      • Code: Closed Source

      The microservices-based architecture enables a variety of modules to be connected that are based on different technologies and facilitate integration between vendor products. Since all Sitecore products are built on the .NET framework and written in C#, .NET expertise is all that is needed for successful project implementation.


      Machine Learning and AI for Unparalleled Personalization:

    • The vendor makes the most of machine learning and AI to handle data intelligently. To highlight their ability to make smart decisions, the company introduced one-of-a-kind Sitecore Cortex and Sitecore AI.

    • They analyse vast amounts of customer data and create personalised digital experiences to provide each user with relevant, personally crafted content. These capabilities allow companies to know their customers, define their needs and provide them with relevant digital experiences.

    • In addition, AI and Cortex enable powerful content optimization: they use embedded A/B/N and multivariate test results to recommend the best personalization strategy a company can implement.

    • Unlimited, Omnichannel Customer Access with Headless CMS:

    • With the increasing number of touchpoints, it is becoming increasingly difficult to reach users. Sitecore Omni – a hybrid headless CMS – helps a company scale the delivery of user-specific content through any channel used by its customers.

    • Different channels don’t require unique pieces of content or need to be switched between systems that don’t align. A company can create content once and for all channels: websites, mobile apps, augmented- and virtual-reality technologies, IoT systems, and many others.

    • Sitecore JavaScript Services (JSS) allows companies to develop applications that deliver content across all corporate channels – mobile devices,IoT-connected devices, and websites. In some cases, these applications may provide rendering from a separate server to improve performance and content search engine optimization. In addition, the Sitecore JavaScript SDK enables the use of modern front-end frameworks and libraries, such as React, Vue, Angular, and others.

    • One content hub to rule them all:

    • Everything in the system is focused on the customer experience, which is why content is one of Sitecore’s priorities. The stand-alone solution Sitecore Content Hub is responsible for all content-related tasks.
    • It provides a holistic picture of corporate content and helps with all stages of its lifecycle: production, editing, personalization and distribution. Using Hub, the platform uses the most relevant content version available at the time.
    • The Sitecore Experience Database (xDB) is the central data repository that brings together data from all channels and provides companies with a comprehensive, step-by-step depiction of the customer journey.

      A Development Framework to Keep Pace with Business Necessities:

    • Like all software development projects, Sitecore development time is unpredictable as it depends on various factors. Sitecore offers the use of accelerators to reduce this time and help end customers get their solutions faster. Native solutions — the Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA) — and third-party accelerators help companies streamline project kickoff.
    • Accelerators typically include templates and pre-built website components, drag-and-drop functionality, and WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editing capability. Even with SXA, companies still have a lot to do, but they will save time and a lot of effort.

    • Comprehensive user profiles must be on the same page with customers:

      All data that is relevant to a specific customer and aggregated throughout company-customer interaction history is stored in the personal data-rich Sitecore xProfiles. These profiles hold each user’s lifetime information, such as conversation history, preferences and more, which the platform can use to more efficiently personalise the customer journey.


      Advanced Analytics for Intelligent Decision Making:

      Sitecore xConnect is used to make the most of the data that the Platform collects during the customer journey and to make intelligent decisions based on this data. It is an API that exists on top of the company’s raw data and synchronises the platform with the marketing system and customer touchpoints – to get analytical results from all the data and send the results where needed.

      Sitecore: What’s Under the Umbrella?:

      As mentioned, the platform meets all the needs of a digital enterprise: efficient management of corporate content, spot-on marketing activities and seamless commercial operations. Read on to discover the solution under the Sitecore umbrella!


      Sitecore Experience Manager:

      Although the Sitecore platform is a widespread cloud today, many people associate it with the CMS that was its foundation. So, what is a Sitecore CMS like today? Over the years, Sitecore’s simple CMS has evolved into a unique content management system – Sitecore Experience Manager (XM). It is a powerful, interconnected, versatile and technology-intensive solution that helps businesses manage their content.


      The power of Sitecore XM lies in the following capabilities:

    • Single-platform content management across multiple websites, portals and systems.
    • Seamless management of multi-site and multilingual content.
    • Easy-to-scale content production and publication.
    • Content customization according to users’ preferred communication channels.
    • Drag and drop page editing with WYSIWYG content preview.
    • Since Sitecore 9.3, Experience Manager has undergone significant expansion: Sitecore introduces the next generation Horizon module for content writers. Horizon brings together the best of Sitecore’s editing capabilities to create a one-of-a-kind content-editing experience for end users.

      Sitecore Experience Platform:

    • As mentioned on the Sitecore website, a powerful content management system is just the beginning. To get the most out of content, a company needs excellent marketing tools to help its customers meet where they are and how they expect it – and all of this can be found in the Sitecore Experience Platform (XP).
    • This customer experience solution is based on Experience Manager and enriched with powerful personalization, marketing-automation and analytical capabilities – essential to creating a unique customer journey.

    • Sitecore-xp-abstract-image:

    • >Working in perfect harmony with the corporate marketing strategy, Sitecore XP provides customers what they need and what resonates with them at all stages of their journey and through all the channels they use .
    • Using Sitecore Cortex, Sitecore AI and built-in marketing automation tools, the Experience Platform instantly reacts to user behaviour and delivers relevant content based on analytical results.

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      The following features enable the Experience Platform’s unmatched personalization capabilities:

    • Omnichannel delivery of multilingual personal information from a single platform.
    • Collection of user interaction data from all touchpoints and channels, and its consolidation into a single repository.
    • Embedded analytics of user data based on machine learning and A/B testing.
    • Real-time content personalization powered by AI and machine learning.
    • Streamlined content changes based on analytical results.
    • Flexible creation of different marketing scenarios and automation of marketing efforts.

      Sitecore Experience Commerce:

    • To help companies drive conversions and sales, Sitecore expands its XP with a personalization-driven solution for omnichannel B2B and B2C retail – Sitecore Experience Commerce (XC).

    • Using buyer persona as the utmost consideration, Sitecore XC allows companies to adjust their digital storefronts to customer specifications and provide customers with the most relevant and effective terms of sales, pricing and promotions.

    • In the Sitecore e-commerce solution, excellent content management and personalization are enriched with the following capabilities for online commerce:

    • Inventory and product management that provides customers with a clear understanding of a company’s products and services and a 360-degree, real-time overview of its products and inventory.Order and Customer Management which provides an overall picture of the company’s orders, their status, description and customers.

    • Sitecore Content Hub:

      Sitecore has built Content Hub and placed it at the heart of the Experience Cloud. It is a content management tool that integrates seamlessly with other vendor solutions and helps companies manage their digital assets throughout their lifecycle and across all channels. Using Hub, a company will keep all its data on a single platform, get an overall overview of this data, and manage it according to the marketing strategy of the company.


      What is Sitecore to your business?

      Sitecore has many business benefits. Developers, editors, marketers and website visitors can experience Sitecore’s powerful tools that can help increase conversions and grow your business.

      Suite of Marketing Tools: From email marketing, personalization, campaigns and goals to personality, testing and marketing automation, Sitecore XP has everything you need to deliver your marketing strategy.


      Powerful Analytics: The Experience Database (xDB) stores all visitor activity. This can be seen in the impressive interface like Experience Analytics and Profiles, and Path Analyzer, which tracks the paths your visitors take through your website.


      Integration Capabilities: Seamless integration capabilities with third party technologies such as Commerce platforms, payment gateways, Enterprise Resource Management (ERM) and many more, will streamline your business.


      Headless: Sitecore has always been a headless platform i.e. separating presentation (content) from design. It allows personalization across all customer touch-points such as tablet, IoT, mobile delivered at scale using a single template


      What is Sitecore to your content and marketing teams?

      Harnessing the power of the platform enables your content and marketing team to deliver your content marketing strategy using powerful tools that cover every aspect of the marketing cycle.

    • Content Optimization
    • Content outline
    • language version
    • AB and MV test
    • Event, campaign and goal tracking
    • marketing automation
    • AI Personalization and Tracking
    • email marketing
    • Profile and Personality
    • Analytics
    • Form Management and Tracking
    • Other Sitecore Products

    • The platform is not just limited to content management and marketing. There are other assistive technologies available in Sitecore as well, which are designed to meet specific needs:

      Managed Cloud: Hosts, monitors, manages and maintains the installation of XM, XM and XC.

      Experience Edge: Part of Sitecore’s Software as a Service (SaaS) platform, it is a flexible and intelligent content delivery service.

      Experience Accelerator (XA): SXA is a great way for developers to build Sitecore websites quickly. SXA uses out-of-the-box templates that allow development teams to bring websites to market very quickly.


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      Conclusion:

    • Sitecore is a robust digital marketing system that combines a content management system with contextual intelligence and omnichannel automation technology. It provides marketing automation tools that allow you to manage your website, or multiple sites, and reach your customers when and where it matters.

    • Sitecore’s contextual intelligence features keep track of customers’ locations, interactions, and behaviour patterns in an experience database (xDB) for real-time and historical analysis. Combined with the automation of various marketing channels (web, mobile, social, e-mail, commerce and print), this allows you to personalise each and every customer interaction at every stage of the customer lifecycle.

    • Sitecore effectively puts you in control of your branding and customer experiences so that you and your customers can “own the experience.”

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