Episerver Ascend 2018

Mar 22, 2018

As part of a large in-house developer team here at Genuine, attending Episerver’s Ascend Conference - one of the ever-present leaders in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant - is the equivalent to racing down the stairs on Christmas morning and beating out your siblings to the sea of presents. We all clamor for the chance to go and a few of us scored the golden ticket. There are a slew of specific learnings we’ll be leveraging for clients, but to keep this post on the simple side, here are two top line takeaways.

GDPR is real, and it’s coming real soon.

Over the course of 3 days, every talk we attended seemed to land at GDPR at some point, if not during the talk then definitely during the Q and A session afterwards. So much so, I’m surprised I didn’t see it on a t-shirt. From the opening keynote to the various labs and panels, adhering to the new rule of law was over-emphasized, and with good reason.

If you’re not yet adapting your data collection initiatives with GDPR in mind, you need to be. Here’s a comprehensive GDPR 101 write up from our SVP of Technology, Mike Norman.

Personalization + Machine Learning IS the future

Episerver, like most of its competitors, is prioritizing Personalization (table stakes at this point) but a few of their newest products are using artificial intelligence to get the job done. Each is licensed separately from the main platform (and each other) just like Episerver Find, so you can pick the tools that are right for your business. The list includes:

Advance: This is a biggie. As defined by Episerver, “Advance rounds out their Personalization suite drawing on cognitive artificial intelligence to support unprecedented content personalization at scale.” The tech automatically individualizes pages based on visitor behavior. Future releases will include content suggestions for editors from AI.

Profile Store: The “Profile Store” is the new term for where all visitor behavioral data lives.

Insight: This tool compiles visitor data into profiles, journeys, personas and segments. The data fuels a recommendations engine for the platform.

Perform: Perform works with Insight; it’s Episerver’s product recommendation engine.

Reach: This is the tool for personalized email campaigns; messages are triggered by visitor behavior.

Personalized Find: “Personalized Find” is Episerver extension to its search tool; it provides relevant search results based on visitor behavior.

It’s not news that personalization and GDPR data collection are top priorities, but as more companies use AI, and more users expect and depend upon it, we’ll see increased AI integrations among the Gartner Magic Quadrant set.

Want to learn more about this year's Episerver Ascend or have questions about what the platform can do for you? Don’t hesitate to reach out.

- Matt Schroer