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Key takeaways from Episerver Ascend London

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Technical roadmap and product strategy

David Knipe, Director of Solution Architects at Episerver, gave an insight into the roadmap for Episerver products, covering some of the exciting upcoming features in the CMS and Commerce, as well as enhancements to various add-ons such as Episerver Campaign, Advance and Episerver Forms.

Episerver Forms

The new features in development will introduce more control over the presentation and user journey for the form. Conditional form fields are a welcomed feature, which will mean more control over the users’ flow, greatly enhancing the capabilities for creating multi-step dynamic forms.

Episerver Advance

Episerver Advance was a big talking point throughout the day with a lot of focus not just on the new product offering, but the upcoming features in the roadmap also.

Advance introduces new personalisation features driven from Episerver’s “Smart Content” feature, which is a machine learning algorithm that decides both commerce and content recommendations based on a visitor’s past behaviour, and the behaviour of visitors similar to them. The roadmap looks strong with upcoming features to make it even more developer friendly than it already is, and introduce new configuration options (such as projections to determine personalisation rules).

Changes to the Episerver Digital Experience Cloud™ deployment process

The rollout of partner and customer control over preproduction deployments was exciting news, as this means we will no longer need to involve the Episerver infrastructure team when deploying to the preproduction environment – an overhead that can sometimes make deployments difficult, particularly when time is of criticality.

In addition, plans announced to introduce full control over deployments to the production environment were also very welcomed.

Episerver Insight

Episerver Insight has profiling features to track a website users’ activity. Using the developer friendly API, this can be plugged directly into the Episerver Visitor Groups functionality to create some advanced personalisation features. 

The demo was a proof of concept which showed the capabilities of Episerver Insight when hooked into Episerver Campaign; it was a personalised content page based on the status of a campaign email. If the email was sent to the user, there was an indication for the user to check their email inbox and click the call to action that was present in the email message body. If the user had done this, then a different message was displayed thanking the user.

All of these features were easy to develop and configure by plugging into the Visitor Groups functionality - which is particularly exciting.

Improving the content editing experience with On Page Edit Mode

On Page Edit Mode can sometimes be a tricky area for developers. The purpose of the feature is to provide content editors with the capability to make real time changes to content, whilst seeing the immediate results without publishing the page.

However, the tricky part is when a page consists of client side scripts to make up dynamic content.

John-Philip Johansson, team leader of the Episerver CMS UI team, provided some great tips for improving the on page edit experience when working with particular client side scripts such as Angular and React. With a few neat tricks, it is possible to create a seamless integration with these client side scripting libraries – see John-Philip’s blog post which covers the more technical details here.

AI-Driven Customer Experience Solutions on Episerver

As sponsors of the conference, Mando had an 'Expert Table' to delve into the topic of AI...

With customer experience continuing to be a strategic priority, organisations have to get to grips with AI and its potential to transform the customer experience. Applications like natural language understanding, facial recognition and real-time translation, have opened up a new set of opportunities to deliver enhanced experiences across web, chat and voice channels. As such, Mando ran a taster session of its AI-Driven Customer Experience Workshop to help attendees understand the role that cloud-based AI services can play in enhancing customer experience and reducing costs, in the context of their business. If you didn’t manage to get a seat but are keen to know more, get in touch.

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Time to party!

Following an eventful day, the networking event continued late into the evening, providing opportunities to socialise with like-minded Episerver folk, and have a balloon artist turn you into a scuba diver…

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