12 months on, how is Sitefinity performing under new ownership? Part One


In the first of two blog posts we look at the evolution of the Sitefinity CMS under the ownership of Progress in 2015

Sold for $262.5M!

As a Platinum partner, Quba has a long standing relationship with Sitefinity going back 9 years. So when software giant Progress finalised a deal to purchase Telerik/Sitefinity for $262.5M in December 2014 we were intrigued to see how this new arrangement would affect the evolution of the CMS platform.

As part of the deal, Progress got Telerik’s whole portfolio of products which includes a .net toolbox, a mobile development platform and Sitefinity CMS, as well as access to a developer community of over 1.4M people, which has since grown in past twelve months to 1.7M people

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So let’s take a closer look at the updates to the CMS platform that have been released under the new ownership.

Sitefinity CMS Version Updates in the past 12 months

7.3 Released on December 16, 2014

What was released?

Maturing the product to use Azure is important, this area is growing where more of the clients we are talking to are wanting their site to be hosted in the cloud. Starting to use MVC is an important future proof feature. Within the industry only a niche amount of agencies/developers are adopting using the MVC framework at this moment but this will grow considerably over time.

The introduction of the Connector for SharePoint Online confirms the Enterprise path Sitefinity has undertaken and the need for an easy and smooth integration with popular third-party systems. This was a smart move given that Sharepoint announced last year that they were ending support for Sharepoint websites. By creating a connector that can talk to the document management and intranet features of Sharepoint, Sitefinity is well positioned to pick up enquiries from organisations looking for new website technologies.

Lead Scoring is another important feature, targeting marketers and the business audience as a whole. This ties into the existing Web Personalisation feature set giving back end users visibility of individual user engagement. ‘Hot leads’ are passed to sales teams for follow up. This is very much in keeping with the wider trends in the Web CMS marketplace where a CMS is no longer perceived as a way to create and manage content, but also becomes strategic for the execution of successful digital marketing strategies. 

8.0 Released on March 17, 2015

What was released?

Maturing the platform with additional features to MVC and more flexibility for multi-site is a big step forward. These upgrades are what Enterprise level platforms are offering and great to see Sitefinity taken these features on board.

We are also equally impressed with the Sitefinity Digital Experience Cloud (DEC), which acts as a digital marketing command center, enabling marketing teams to orchestrate a guided customer journey across devices and digital channels. The Sitefinity DEC product combines tracking, analytics, reporting, predictive and prescriptive functionality thus making it an innovative solution.

The introduction of the Sitefinity Digital Experience Cloud is a major milestone for Telerik/Progress and confirms the inventive path they’ve taken towards the Sitefinity platform.

With the combined offering of Telerik Sitefinity CMS and Telerik Sitefinity DEC, Progress is providing a central repository of individual customer interactions, which draws information from all systems holding key customer data across channels and devices. Digital marketers now have a strong understanding of the customers’ best next step, enabling swift decision making and execution via the CMS, personalizing engagement across channels. For the anonymous site visitor or long-standing customer alike, the solution tracks and measures each stage of the customer journey, and provides recommendations to optimize conversions.

8.1 ​Released on July 15, 2015

What was released?

Improving the stability of the product is only a good thing with this update. Having the data import from third parties gives the CMS so much more flexibility for business to extract more features out of the Sitefinity platform.

8.2 Released on October 26th,2015

What was released?

  • Personalization per Widget for Pages and Templates
  • Personalization Analytics and Attribution
  • Engagement "Card' Widget
  • Custom Contact Fields and Segmentation
  • MVC-based Online Forms
  • Performance Optimization Dashboard
  • Improved Cloud Support, Deployment and Scalability
  • Improved Website Upgrades

The personalisation additions have brought the platform more in-line with competitors. Again, more stability and more maturity for MVC. We were very impressed and pleased to see what this update had in store for us and our clients.

What do we think?

There have been some major improvements made to the Sitefinity platform since the Progress takeover.

More integration with 3rd parties such as data import from Salesforce.com, Microsoft Dynamics and Oracle Eloqua for the Sitefinity DEC. 

A significant step in the maturity of the personalisation engine. This allows much more flexibility for personalisation on a more granular widget level, rather than just page by page. This brings the Sitefinity product in-line with other platforms such as Kentico and Sitecore. 


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For the future, there are some really high level plans at present. Hopefully more detail will be needed, also will year two be as eventful as year one? We are also looking forward to Sitefinity V9.0 and the Beta release has just been announced. 

What do Telerik Sitefinity say themselves about the past 12 months

Mike Fuller, Senior Manager of Partner Marketing for Sitefinity Partners says: “In the past 12 months we’ve seen a continued investment in the Sitefinity platform, which has led to the introduction of innovative, enterprise-grade features which can only confirm the fact that the Sitefinity platform is a central product in the Progress portfolio. There’s bright future for Sitefinity and with the backup and resources of Progress, Sitefinity will go a long way in 2016, hopefully reaching new levels of success which would also translate in an even more favorable positioning in the Gartner Magic Quadrant. ”

Wrapping Up

That’s it for Part 1. You’ve now got a handle on how the Sitefinity product has evolved in the past 12 months. Next time, we’ll look at the vision for Sitefinity going forward and consider how the product should be further improved. 

 

27 Jan

2016
Chris Bainbridge
Estimated read time:
 words,  minutes

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