This content is part of the Buyer's Guide: How the right WCM system can propel your business to web success

Is the Sitecore Experience Platform right for your WCM needs?

The Sitecore Experience Platform is web content management software that provides organizations with a variety of tools for creating and managing digital content and experiences.

Sitecore is focused on leading the connection between customers, web content and commerce. The Sitecore Experience Platform is a web content management platform that enables marketing teams to move beyond customer attraction and conversion. Specifically, the Sitecore Experience Platform delivers a greater ability to blend insights and decisions into execution and action.

How does the platform support WCM tasks?

The Sitecore Experience Platform provides authors and editors with a variety of options for updating their web content, primarily through its Experience Editor tool, which is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get editing environment. Another Sitecore web content authoring tool is the Content Editor, which is a forms-based editor. Sitecore also offers users the Sitecore Process Enablement & Accelerator Kit (SPEAK) development environment, which provides users with a programming framework that allows them to quickly develop applications with a consistent interface. SPEAK comes with a predefined set of page layouts, components and user experience guidelines for application development.

Sitecore Experience Platform also has a rule editor that lets users configure personalization options for text, rich media, forms, social media widgets, promotions, recommendations and other types of web content to the level of an individual website visitor. The platform's personalization options are based on rules and workflows that users define, and these rules can even be assigned based upon a visitor's device or location.

These rules in Sitecore Experience Platform have two components: conditions and actions. Conditions include things like the visitor's profile and history, the page the visitor is viewing, the site the visitor is viewing, the current date and time, and the visitor's location. Actions include things like whether to show or hide content rendering and where the rendering should look for the data it displays.

These personalization profiles and rule sets can be applied to multitouch marketing campaigns by integrating Sitecore Experience Platform with other Sitecore experience channels -- including email, mobile, social, commerce and print.

The platform also features a tool called Experience Explorer. This tool allows authors and editors to preview websites using simulated visitors. Experience Explorer allows users to specify a profile and to change the profile on demand. This is critical in order to build and test highly personalized sites.

The Sitecore Experience Platform automatically tracks visitor activity on users' sites and turns that data into actionable insights. Users can assign values to their content for profile scoring, trigger marketing, or sales activities based on goals or thresholds, and they can target future content based on predictive patterns. Drill-down reports and dashboard overviews help users learn from every interaction and optimize every experience. They provide better insights into revenue attribution and more detailed customer intelligence data.

For those wishing to integrate Sitecore with enterprise customer relationship management and commerce systems, Sitecore offers RESTful web services connectors and social media channels that provide the ability to map data between Sitecore and these systems. Sitecore can also publish content as RSS, XML or any other format that an enterprise application may require.

Who benefits from using the platform?

Sitecore Experience Platform is used to primarily address the needs of marketing leadership, marketing technologists and marketing operations and agencies, as well as implementation partners in larger and upper midtier organizations.

Although Sitecore Experience Platform is broad in its support of most industry verticals, the following industries are particularly well-represented in its customer base: financial services, government, healthcare, retail, consumer packaged goods, education and entertainment.

How is the software licensed and priced?

Sitecore has several different pricing options for its WCM platform. There is an installation price, in which the platform is priced by the number of installations, based on a perpetual license basis. The bring-your-own-cloud pricing structure is done on a variable basis according to the volume of visits to the Sitecore-powered site. Finally, there's the Sitecore xCloud hosting price, in which the platform has a select range of hosting options available, and pricing is based on volume of site visits. In general, Sitecore software pricing typically ranges between $175,000 and $200,000. Prices may vary regionally due to local conditions and costs.

Sitecore provides implementation and professional services through its Sitecore Solution Partner network. It also features the Sitecore Business Optimization Services, which focus on establishing the digital maturity of a customer organization and developing practical plans that have been learned from hundreds of implementations to make sure customers achieve their business objectives.

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