Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dreamcore Day 1 Musings

A very full first day at Dreamcore.  The day began with a keynote overview by CEO Michael Seifert on how OMS, content personalization, and CRM integration form a complete circle of customer engagement.   I was struck at how OMS is being woven into the Sitecore product.  For example, the page editor now provides a  interface for tagging content by marketing persona using a nifty feature called Persona Cards, and there is now a very intuitive automation designer that handles building personalization workflows.  Alexey Rusakov showed off more of what the page editor can do in 6.5, such as generating item clones and spinning off personalization rules.  Empower the content author!

Lars Nielsen showed us what Sitecore Rocks can do, including SQL syntax to read and update(!!) the content tree--no more one-off ASPX pages to update content.  Rocks is a truly impressive tool, with a rich and intuitive exposure of Sitecore's content through Visual Studio 2010.

John West gave us a tour of the new OMS, now called DMS, which has been rebuilt to improve stability and data capture.  It now sports separate databases for data capture and reporting, does bulk inserts of tracking data, has an OLAP cube and some nice Silverlight dashboards.

The aha moment for me was during Eric Stoll's  walk through of integrating Sitecore's OMS, Email Marketing Suite, and Microsoft's Dynamic CRM.  In his demo, he used the CRM as the membership provider, instead of .NET, which allows the CRM to directly drive website personalization, through role assignment triggered by workflow actions.   It's completely logical to drive web authentication from the CRM system, which has the broadest view of the customer, and this opens rich possibilities for personalizing content.  

Finally, there were impressive display by Sitecore's technical partners--Hedgehog TDS is looking like an impressive dance partner for Rocks--it makes the Sitecore content tree a Visual Studio project, which dovetails nicely with how Rocks presents content through VS edit controls.  Hedgehog also just came out with some intriguing software to drive twitter campaigns (and soon Facebook posts) straight from Sitecore.  Coveo showed nice faceted search functionality, including click-able dashboards for end users, and Kapow (great name, btw) has impressive website migration software, with a very appealing graphical interface.

Oh, and the reception rocked.  

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