By Koen Roos & Maaike Geys, 30 March 2022

The Composable DXP – digital experiences of the future? An interview with Roger Connolly, Sitecore’s VP of product management

A composable digital experience platform (DXP) is a platform that is entirely composable, where each component can function independently and communicate with others, through APIs. Now, there’s been a lot of talk about composable DXPs: are they the digital experiences of the future?

Who better to ask than Roger Connolly, Vice President of product management at Sitecore

Hi Roger, thank you for making the time to chat with us today. Let’s dive right in: Sitecore is transitioning to a Composable DXP offering. Technology is one thing, but why would a marketer want to have a composable Digital Experience Platform? What's in it for them?

What composability offers a marketer is primarily one of choice.  Gone are the days where your entire marketing stack can and should be provided by a single vendor.  At the end of the day, the marketer is the business user that must manage and run their organizations, and we’d like to provide the option for them to continue to use the best tools for the job at hand, and seamlessly offer ways for Sitecore to plug-in to that ecosystem.  

Make no mistake, we will continue to focus on being best in class across categories, but we acknowledge the realities of the modern marketing stack.

How do you see Sitecore's CMS evolving? What's the vision of Sitecore's WCMS in transition to a headless CMS?

Since JSS was launched in 2018, Sitecore XM has offered our customers capabilities to deliver headless experiences, and each release has only added richer features such as Experience Edge. 

However, we recognize that what the market is looking for is a true standalone SaaS native headless CMS and we will bring a new product to market this year to fill this need.  This will offer a Sitecore customer a full gamut of SaaS solutions depending on their needs, from quick departmental and campaign sites via low code / no code solutions to Enterprise grade multi-site and multi-lingual experience management with advanced customization options.  

That sounds exciting! Talking about headless experiences… why should a marketer choose a headless CMS?

We believe in a no-compromise approach to headless for the marketer - which is why we feel very strongly that the future of headless must provide best in class composition tools.

This way, the marketer can use WYSIWG tools to design their experiences alongside a powerful headless CMS expertly crafted with the developer in mind. 

Most of our clients have a Sitecore XP platform. If they are envisioning a personalization roadmap, what would be the best and future proof approach: use Sitecore XP Personalization features or implement Sitecore Personalize? 

Sitecore Personalize is a level up in terms of the breadth and depth of omni-channel personalization capabilities it provides, combined with a modern API first SaaS architecture. 

Existing customers using XP can easily enable Personalize by adding a JavaScript tag to their websites. We are exploring ways to further offer existing XP personalization customers a path to use Sitecore Personalization engine. 

While we’re talking about the Personalization engine – could you explain the difference between Sitecore Personalize and Sitecore CDP?

Sure! Simply put: Sitecore Personalize is a standalone product that offers personalization and experimentation capability without the need for the full implementation of a CDP.   

CDP is best for customers that want to activate offline data (via batch or interactive) ingestion alongside real-time behavioral data. CDP offers advanced segmentation and analytics capability against the resulting customer profiles.

Will all the products like Sitecore Send, Sitecore CDP, Sitecore Content Hub, Sitecore XM Cloud, will be integrated natively?

We are pursuing a multi-pronged strategy for integration across the product portfolio.  This will be combination of bespoke point to point integrations where it delivers value (Ability to create personalization segments from within XM Cloud), to consistency in APIs, to a common services backbone to exchange data across the products. All of this will be further accessible via a common customer portal. 

And finally: what is your favorite feature on the Sitecore roadmap?

Sitecore will launch 4 new products in Content alone in the next 12 months, so we are thinking way beyond features at this stage. The most exciting ‘feature’ for me is ‘Project Symphony’.  Project Symphony will completely change the way our customers use Sitecore products to build their digital experiences and will deliver world class composability from both within Sitecore portfolio and beyond. 

Four new products... that sounds interesting. Thank you so much to Roger for your insights! 

Inspired by the possibilities of Sitecore? Let's talk! We have been creating digital experiences with Sitecore since 2012.

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