To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade to Sitecore 9.1?

Sitecore 9.1 was released in October 2018 and came with several new features. If you haven’t upgraded to Sitecore 9.1 yet, let’s talk about what you’re missing out on.

Machine Learning
While implementing a machine learning strategy on your own might sound like an impossible undertaking,Sitecore Cortex™ can help you start taking advantage of your data with two new 9.1 features: 

Personalization Suggestions and Content Tagging. 

Personalization suggestion requires A LOT of content test data – which if you’re constantly testing, you’re off to a great start. If you’re not, you should begin now! Sitecore Cortex™ will identify segments of users that did better with your “loser” tests (a variant that didn’t perform as well as the winner variant, chosen based on the configured variables) and provide personalization suggestions to help you cater to those segments with personalized content once your tests are over. 

Content tagging is available as an integration with Open Calais. Once you’ve registered with Open Calais and configured your API keys, your content can be automatically tagged (yay automation)!

If you already use a machine learning platform, Sitecore Cortex™ provides an integration point that lets you connect your Sitecore data to the machine learning server web endpoint. 

There has been a lot of buzz around JSS. After being in Tech Preview for so long, it finally released in Sitecore 9.1. JSS allows you to build headless solutions using Sitecore and Javascript UI libraries and frameworks. If you’re gnawing at the bit about this, Sitecore put together a quick start guide

Universal Tracker
In this day and age, there are many ways to interact with a brand. The introduction of Universal Tracker allows you to collect visitor data from different devices and channels, both online and offline, and process the data when the interaction is complete. You can configure how Universal Tracker maps data to xConnect and how it processes the interactions. Need a little help with the configuration? Sitecore has excellent documentation on how to do it. 

Sitecore Identity
With the introduction of Sitecore Identity, you can now have Single Sign-On across XM, XP, and XC, using either standard ASP.NET Membership or external membership providers. Authentication is handled by the Identity Server .Net Core application. 

Sitecore Forms
A few important enhancements to Sitecore Forms came with 9.1. One of them is the ability to pre-fill form fields based on data you may already have on the visitor.  You can implement your own form data value providers based on where your visitor data is coming from.

Another anticipated feature is Form Field Conditions. You can set form-specific conditions and apply behavior rules to any form element. The rules allow you to respond to user input by showing, hiding, disabling, or enabling specific sections of the form based on values in specific fields. We look forward to future versions of this feature as it improves. 

Lastly, do you need the ability to organize and restrict access to your forms? In 9.1, you can sort your forms into folders natively and utilize access rights management to configure different permissions for different folders. 

Email Experience
Sitecore 9.1 comes with a brand new Marketing Category Preference Center. This allows contacts to opt in/out based on marketing preferences and allows you to segment contact lists based on those preferences. 

Additionally, you can configure contact sending limits; because the last thing you want  is to get blacklisted. In 9.1, you can control how many emails a contact may receive daily, weekly, and/or monthly based on your campaign needs. 

Well, there you have it!  Ready to upgrade to 9.1? Contact us!


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