Jun 6, 2017

Sitecore, a leader in experience management software that specializes in web content management (WCM), enables marketers to engage their audience by delivering brand experiences based on each user’s unique behavior. Well, things are getting better now that they’re partnering with Microsoft Azure to help digital marketers deliver websites, marketing campaigns, landing pages, and other projects, all within minutes.

Sitecore and Microsoft: a Love Story

Let’s start from the beginning, which would be last year when they announced their upcoming partnership with Microsoft Azure, ensuring:

Scalability, simplicity, and stability
Time and money saving during deployment of a solution to a new server
Faster and relatively cheaper geographically distributed load balancing
Reduced redundancy between geographies for performance, as well as disaster preparedness
Automation of most of the process of migrating a website to Microsoft Azure

This was last year, and now Sitecore announced that they’ll be delivering next-generation platform-as-a-service (PaaS) native support for the entire Sitecore solution, not only for the Sitecore Experience Manager, which is what the previous announcement entailed. As such, users will be able to leverage the speed of Microsoft Azure’s PaaS development and deployment environment to quickly execute digital initiatives.

Sitecore and Microsoft’s Expansion

Straight from Sitecore’s most recent announcement detailing their continued partnership with Microsoft, “Sitecore Speeds Digital Experience Time-to-Market for Customers; Delivers PaaS Agility, Scale, and Cost Benefits for Entire Sitecore Solution; and Launches Managed Cloud Options for Deployment Flexibility.”

We’ll go over specifics soon, but this essentially means that the entire Sitecore Cloud platform is now offered on Microsoft Azure, meaning that users will be able to enjoy native Azure support for the Sitecore Experience Manager (XM), Experience Platform (XP), and Sitecore Commerce.
Okay, so why is this happening? As Ryan Donovan, SVP of Product Management at Sitecore, said, “Azure provides exceptional speed, scale, and reliability all the while saving costs associated with last-generation infrastructure-as-a-service and on-premises infrastructures...Sitecore and Azure is a winning combination that enables digital marketers and IT teams to get up and out in market fast, without the traditional long wait times associated with digital marketing technologies.”

Adding more, Jason Zander, Corporate VP at Microsoft Azure, said,  “Sitecore has architected its platform to natively support Microsoft technology from the beginning. Now it brings its digital marketing cloud to Microsoft Azure. The powerful combination will deliver customers a competitive edge through faster time to market.”

Some Specifics with Benefits

                                                                   Image Source: techaspect.com

The Sitecore / Azure combination allows businesses to get a leg up over their competition through faster time to market, the ability to scale with demand, and control over total cost of ownership (TCO). Expanding a bit more, Sitecore Cloud on Azure delivers everything from websites and landing pages to full-scale integrated campaigns, Internet of Things (IoT), and augmented reality (AR) / virtual reality (VR) digital experiences.

Furthermore, the winning combination entails faster time to market for digital marketing, familiarity, speed and scale for IT, and deliverable results for business.
Faster time to market for digital marketing allows users to get the best of the Sitecore Experience Platform on Azure and:

Track every individual customer interaction over time, across every channel
Instantly support the dynamic world of content marketing by instantly employing sites and campaigns in minutes

Familiarity, speed and scale for IT give marketing teams:

Speed: Users can simply point-and-click a Sitecore XM or XP deployment in minutes through the Azure Marketplace, or deliver more customized Sitecore environments utilizing the Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates
Flexibility: While Sitecore offers a fully managed cloud for all of its customers, both Sitecore customers and partners also have the freedom and choice to manage the cloud deployments on their own
Scalability: Users have the ability to scale up and scale out as campaigns and programs evolve, with pay-as-you-go metering for cost control

And finally, deliverable results for business:

Integrates with your existing back-end systems and marketing investments with connectivity to Microsoft Dynamics, Marketo and Salesforce
●  Meets all enterprise compliance and security requirements
Reduces costs associated with on-premise infrastructure; Azure optimizes budget with pay-as-you-go metering

As for deployment, you can deploy Sitecore Cloud on Azure in under 30 minutes using Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates, or for more speed and simplicity, you can use WYSIWYG-like templates in the Azure Marketplace:

Wrapping Up

Wrapping up, this recent update turns Sitecore into a fully managed cloud that lets customers choose basic mobile and web content management and then expand to add other integrated solutions, such as email automation, commerce, and other Omni-channel options.
A final word from Olivier Deneef, Client Service Director of The Reference NYC, as to why Sitecore and Azure work well together, “Azure and Sitecore is a great marriage. We have to worry less about managing the infrastructure, and instead we can focus on what we do best—creating innovative digital solutions that clearly contribute to our clients’ business.”


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