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Friday, May 21, 2021

Sitecore Bolsters Its Offerings With Three Exciting Acquisitions

By Mark Ursino — Sr. Director, Technology

Back in January, Sitecore rang in 2021 poised for what might be its biggest year yet. The company announced an enormous $1.2B growth plan—the largest capital investment ever in Martech—which included funds to fuel their product innovation.

Thought: Sitecore Bolsters Its Offerings With Three Exciting Acquisitions
Sitecore Bolsters Its Offerings With Three Exciting AcquisitionsSr. Director, Technology — Mark Ursino
Thought: Sitecore Bolsters Its Offerings With Three Exciting Acquisitions

Over the past several months, we've been seeing this plan come to life with numerous acquisitions that bolster Sitecore's existing products. In aggregate, these acquisitions may seem like a bunch of unrelated platforms and tools, but when you unpack the value of each acquisition, you can identify the path Sitecore is taking.

Sitecore has been on a journey to a truly SaaS Digital Experience Platform (DXP) for a few years now. Back in 2020, when Steve Tzikakis joined as new CEO, he made it clear that he would charge forward by growing the business with, “innovation of more market-leading cloud and SaaS solutions.” And Sitecore is doing just that.

Let's dig into Sitecore’s double-down investment on product innovation and what it means for your company: Sitecore started their purchasing spree by announcing their intent to acquire the Boxever Digital Optimization Platform and the Four51 B2B commerce engine. Boxever provides CDP and decision engine capabilities which, upon first glance, seem to overlap with Sitecore's existing Experience Database (xDB) and rules engine; however, if we look deeper, we see there is much more capability around Boxever's SaaS platform, unlike Sitecore's xDB, which is a hosted PaaS product.

Why does this matter as a differentiating attribute? A CDP is all about gathering as much data as you can about your users, whether they be anonymous website visitors on a marketing website or logged in customers of a commerce store. The CDP is the gel that connects their known data (logged-in user data, explicit preferences on a profile) paired with their browsing and behavioral habits (types of content they browse, website persona matches). The CDP's goal is to gather as much data about a customer as possible to better inform a better one-to-one experience with them, such as providing more personalized offers, or more relevant content they should be consuming.

Boxever's CDP is a SaaS product, which takes care of the behind-the-scenes infrastructure to ensure enough power is there to support the speed and volume of customer data. This allows businesses and their IT team to focus on running their company and managing the experiences they have with customers (via websites, mobile apps, etc). This represents another pivot of Sitecore from the realm of IaaS and PaaS to a SaaS platform. Rather than provide the product IP and require their customers to host it and scale, Sitecore will handle all of that with the SaaS platform.

Another acquisition adding functionality that initially seems like an overlap is Four51, which provides a B2B-oriented commerce engine with API-based development via their headless offering, or pre-built UI components to get up to speed faster to pre-implemented capabilities. This might sound like yet another commerce capability that Sitecore already has in their Experience Commerce (CX) offering, but the Four51 acquisition positions Sitecore in a new way.

For one thing, Four51 operates as an API-first (you may know this simply as "headless") B2B commerce engine provided as a SaaS offering. This provides several benefits by entering Sitecore's product line. First, it is API-first / headless, so you can build any experience you want in any type of application you want, because the engineering team is only constrained by the capabilities of the APIs, not any UI-specific components. Because the product is built API-first, all functionality was purpose-built with the intent to be exposed via APIs. This means APIs for integration were not an afterthought of core functions, but rather the only reason they were produced. Next, the APIs themselves are provided to engineering teams as a SaaS product, so those team can focus on building and composing commerce experiences in their own apps, rather than focusing on hosting, scaling and managing the APIs.

Lastly, to round out Sitecore’s journey here, they just announced their intent to acquire Moosend, a SaaS-based marketing automation and email campaign management platform. Moosend provides a swath of email marketing capabilities, including drag and drop templates, A/B testing, automation recipes, personalization, and subscription forms. The Moosend acquisition likely intends to bolster Sitecore’s existing capabilities with Email Experience Manager (EXM) with a new SaaS-based platform that you can get up and running with quickly.

As you can see, Sitecore is delivering on their commitment to invest heavily in product innovation by building out their cloud and SaaS capabilities. Their suite of offerings is always evolving, and at Rightpoint we have a demonstrated ability to not only recognize the shifts, but find the right opportunities for our clients to leverage the best tools for the job, be it a marketing website, and customer portal or a commerce store. Contact Rightpoint today to understand where you fit into Sitecore’s evolution.