Driving away from Sitecore Symposium with wins and inspiration

  • Posted on October 22, 2018
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes

This article was originally written by Avanade alum Dan Larkin.

In case you had not heard, Sitecore Symposium was a real whirlwind of unforgettable moments this year. After experiencing it all on-site in Orlando, I am excited to share some of the main takeaways from the annual conference.

Sitecore continues to look forward

We are strategic partners with Sitecore because the technology enables us to create personalized, rich, omnichannel experiences at scale. Some of Sitecore’s own announcements included:

  • The release of Sitecore 9.1, including Cortex and Javascript Services
  • A preview of its new UX for personalization called “Horizon”, which should take some of the guesswork out of personalization for marketers and other non-technical users
  • The intent to acquire Stylelabs, which helps Sitecore own more of the martech stack and should make it easier for marketers to manage and publish content

Avanade clients stole the show

No, it’s not an overstatement.

Our award-winning client, Volvo Cars, not only spoke with Sitecore’s CMO Paige O’Neill during her opening keynote about how the brand is thinking differently to win more in an established market, but also joined us for a packed marketing strategy session and delivered a sleek Volvo S60 to accompany the Avanade booth in the Partner Pavilion expo space.

To add an extra element of suspense and excitement to the conference, Avanade announced that one (extremely) lucky Symposium attendee won our Volvo S60 promotion for 24 months of Care by Volvo. This is definitely one Symposium experience he will never forget!

Our team was also thrilled to speak on-stage with our award-winning client, Merck Manuals, who shared how to transform customer experience to drive business results in life sciences.

To cap it all off, Avanade and Accenture clients won 3 out of 4 Ultimate Experience Awards, announced live on-stage in front of a packed house. Out of the hundreds of amazing experience entrants who submitted entries, these winners represent the premiere league of game-changing global brands who deliver exceptional customer experiences that drive top and bottom line business growth. The descriptions below and more can be found on Sitecore’s press release which honors the award winners:

EMEA: Driving digital-first for a luxury experience – Volvo Cars’ digital-first transformation aims to deliver 20% of sales from online channels and further position the respected automaker as a global luxury brand. Volvo partnered with Avanade to deliver an agile, innovative, and consistent buyer’s journey across 93 countries, offering the ability for customers to browse, configure, and purchase online. As a result, the company’s total web traffic in 2017 increased by 31%, consumers using the online car configurator tool increased by 48%, and sales increased 7%. In addition, Volvo’s mobile site was named “best-in-class” in the L2 2018 Automotive Digital IQ Index report.

Australia & New Zealand: Streamlining student access to leading universities – 
Open Universities Australia (OUA) is a marketplace where anyone, regardless of prior academic achievement, can access more than 1400 courses and 170 degrees from 13 leading universities across the country. Through a Sitecore platform delivered by Avanade, OUA delivered more efficient onboarding tools for university partners; a portal where students can monitor and update their application, enrollment, payment, registration, and study progress; and integrations with Salesforce and other systems to provide a 360-degree view of the student base with real-time insight into the sales funnel. As of May 2018, OUA’s efforts have increased website leads by 249% and student enrollments by 66% compared to the prior year. 

Greater Asia: Ensuring responsive customer experience from booking to baggage claim – As part of an effort to drive quality improvement across the company, 
Philippine Airlines (PAL) worked to reduce time to market for new products and services, build personalized marketing campaigns and customer-facing website content, and deliver localized websites for Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and China. PAL’s websites, delivered by Accenture/Avanade, have seen significant growth in traffic over the previous year, with pageviews increasing 132%, sessions increasing 93%, and users increasing 80%. Web conversions and sales have also grown dramatically, more than doubling in several digital channels. In addition, PAL was named one of the world's 10 most improved airlines in 2017 and 2018 and earned its 4 Star Airline rating in 2018. 

We’re positioned to do more great things with Sitecore technology

Between our 10 track sessions and booth demos, Avanade’s global team of technology and experience experts seized the opportunity to share our perspectives on building great customer experiences. We covered topics like content strategy, commerce, digital voice assistants, personalization, headless CMS, marketing and IT collaboration, and modern engineering approaches to show how a blend of strategy, design, and technical skills can yield really significant results. Plus, we teamed up with Coveo and MongoDB to connect with clients and others in the Sitecore community who are looking to get more value from their digital experience platform.

So what happens next? We’re taking the new knowledge we gained at Symposium and plan to apply it as we help brands achieve major business results – and maybe even more award wins – through compelling customer experiences and innovation. Connect with our team to learn more.

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