We just launched a new bundled solution for Sitecore’s KickStart program designed to make it easier for mid-size companies to budget for, implement, and manage a Sitecore website. It’s based on one of the most common questions we get around Sitecore implementations, “How much is this going to cost?”.
We took a long hard look at where most of the development work goes for a typical design and build, and decided to leverage our knowledge of building commercial software for Sitecore developers (Team Development for Sitecore). Our solution provides a centrally-managed set of components with a pre-architected site (more on that below) which removes a lot of the uncertainty in a normal implementation. We included our Managed Services for infrastructure support and a wide range of other services to get the site up and running.
In order to keep the pricing reasonable, we had to solve two problems: initial build and ongoing maintenance. Solving for the initial build is normally easy – you can build one site and just clone it. But this introduces a significant cost over the long term for maintenance, since upgrades typically cause regression issues and ongoing needs force the initial build to drift away from the standard over time. Normally this is handled as part of maintenance and the occasional upgrade, but it’s not easy to keep the cost down in a defined bundle like Hedgehog Sherpa™ for Sitecore.
After a number of MVP prototypes, we settled on a solution built on SXA, which allows us to leverage all of the great capabilities of SXA while maintaining complete control of upgrades and maintenance. Part of the Hedgehog secret sauce is how we handle the site architecture, since SXA can’t simply be used out of the box. Many decisions need to be made and a lot more implementation completed before content editors can go in and start standing up a site. Part of the Hedgehog solution is to address this in an elegant, scalable, and supportable way.
Lastly - what’s a Sherpa? Sherpas are technically a Nepalese ethnic group, but the term is widely used for guides and climbing supporters in the Himalayas, particularly those working on Mount Everest. They are the ones carrying the heavy packs up the mountain while other climbers (i.e. tourists) focus on just getting to the top. So, it seemed the right way to describe what Hedgehog does – we do all the heavy lifting while you focus on your objective.