LAS VEGAS — Three Arke marketing technology consultants have already earned Sitecore Version 9 certification.

All three — Sitecore Practice Director Andy Uzick, Solutions Architect Martin English, and Senior Consultant Patrick Perrone — are Sitecore MVPs. They were certified here today at Sitecore’s annual user conference at The Mirage Las Vegas.

Sitecore Version 9 Releases

Andy Uzick

Andy Uzick

The conference, Sitecore Symposium, connects Sitecore experts, marketers, developers, partners, and customers from around the world for education, networking and knowledge sharing. The four-day event kicked off Monday with pre-conference training and developer seminars.

On Tuesday, Sitecore CEO Mark Frost announced a major update to the company’s flagship product, Sitecore Experience Platform, as well as Sitecore Experience Manager, its web content management system.

The version 9 releases incorporate significant machine learning and cognitive computing technology “to automate and improve results,” he said.

Sitecore xConnect & Sitecore Cortex

Martin English

Martin English

The updates introduce two innovative features.

The first, Sitecore xConnect, is a framework of APIs and services that enable users to integrate customer interaction data collected by Sitecore with customer data from a wide range of third-party data providers or channels. Sitecore has developed connectors for Salesforce.com and Microsoft Dynamics 365 based on the Sitecore xConnect framework.

The second, Sitecore Cortex, is a machine learning engine designed to deliver real-time insights across both native and third-party customer data. It enables customer behaviors, decisions, interactions, and outcomes to be continuously processed and optimized. Marketers gain a holistic customer view, as well as deeper insights to generate personalized omnichannel experiences, Frost explained.

Frost said Sitecore plans to harness the power of xConnect and Cortex to “take commerce to a new level with a modern architecture to optimize shopping experiences.” Combined, xConnect and Cortex promise to give brands more comprehensive insights into customer journeys across multiple channels.

Patrick Perrone

Patrick Perrone

Version 9 also includes:

  • Headless (or decoupled) capabilities for developers who want to deliver digital experiences on IoT, wearables, and other mobile devices
  • Newly designed web forms, scalable e-mail marketing, and rich automation for marketers
  • Greater security and control with Federated Authentication and encryption support for personally identifiable information (PII) to help customers with compliance obligations
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“I cannot wait to use Sitecore Commerce and headless CMS via JavaScript Sitecore Services,” Perrone said.

Getting the Most from Sitecore Version 9

Sitecore Version 9 aims to elevate brand experience through deeper personalization fueled by data insights. It aims to help companies better know their customers. And knowing how customers engage with your brand, especially in real time, is a key competitive differentiator, Frost said.

So is working with a digital experience service provider like Arke. “We have the expertise to maximize all of the features of a platform like Sitecore Version 9,” said Arke Chief Marketing Technology Officer Chris Spears.

Within hours of the Version 9 release, three of our Sitecore MVPs were trained and certified. Combined with Arke’s unparalleled strategy, design and build services, we have the foundation for exceptional brand experiences,” Uzick said.

The Value of Sitecore Certification

Sitecore’s certification exams validate the skills and knowledge of developers, marketers and business users. Test takers who pass the certification exams have formal validation of their knowledge and distinction as Sitecore Certified Professionals.

“Sitecore certification sets a high bar for understanding the most nuanced applications of the platform,” Spears said. “Earning certification is a sign of expertise, of course. But it is also a sign of someone eager to go the extra mile to pass a very rigorous exam. We take pride in validating our knowledge and capabilities for our clients.”

Noreen Seebacher is the content evangelist at Arke, where she researches, writes and continues her long career in news reporting as a brand journalist. Noreen lives in Beaufort, South Carolina with her husband, her dog and four formerly homeless cats.