SUGCON Europe 2024 – Highlights and Recap

Author: Christian Fahrner | Freitag, 26. April 2024
Category: Technology

SUGCON Europe 2024 – Highlights and Recap.

The Sitecore Community Meets in Dublin.

The annually held SUGCON (Sitecore Usergroup Conference) Europe is a pivotal event for the Sitecore community, bringing together a diverse group of Sitecore enthusiasts, developers, marketers, clients, and partners. It fosters valuable networking, delivers cutting-edge industry insights, and facilitates the exchange of knowledge. Anke Kiener and I had the pleasure of participating as part of SUG Germany.

After we had a splendid time at last year’s SUGCON Europe 2023 in Malaga, we were eagerly anticipating this year's plans by the fantastic organisation team of SUGCON Europe. This year’s venue: the beautiful Irish capital, Dublin.

On the 11th and 12th of April 2024, the community gathered at the impressive Croke Park Stadium in Dublin. Currently the fourth-largest stadium in Europe, it has a capacity of over 80,000 spectators: ample space for extensive exchanges between the Sitecore team, community members, and partners from around the world.

Mitglieder der deutschen Sitecore-Usergroup auf der SUGCON Europe 2024

Our SUGCON Europe 2024 Highlights

1. Opening Keynote by Dave O'Flanagan

As was the case at SUGCON Europe 2023, this year's event was opened by Dave O'Flanagan — this time, for the first time in his new role as Sitecore CEO, and also in his hometown, Dublin. Last year, he was still the Sitecore Chief Product Officer.

Dave began the event with a commitment to Sitecore XM/XP. While Sitecore XM Cloud will definitely be the future for many brands, Dave, in his role as Sitecore's CEO, stressed that Sitecore XM/XP would not disappear and there are currently no plans to discontinue support for it.

This commitment was underscored with the announcement of Sitecore XM/XP in version 10.4. Initial plans for Sitecore 10.5 are already underway.

Additionally, features that are already available on Sitecore XM Cloud will gradually make their way into Sitecore XM/XP. However, the exact scope of the planned features is not yet finalised.

2. Elevating Digital Experiences with XM Cloud in the DXP Landscape by Pieter Brinkman

Pieter Brinkman, Vice President of Product Marketing & Developer Relations at Sitecore, captivated us with his presentation "Elevating Digital Experiences with XM Cloud in the DXP Landscape." He showcased the latest features of XM Cloud through a compelling live demo and demonstrated how Sitecore's flagship product, XM Cloud, is reshaping the Digital Experience Platform (DXP) industry.

We gained valuable insight into how minimal developer effort can significantly support marketing teams. In the practical demonstration, Pieter constructed a landing page and a form with XM Cloud, processed data via Sitecore Connect, used OpenAI for validation, stored information on, and managed subscribers in Sitecore Send. This illustrated the ease with which marketing strategies can be enriched using a composable approach and low-code options.

To keep the participants' attention, Pieter integrated a prize draw in the style of a "Wheel of Fortune," which was incorporated into the demo. Although not everyone went home with a prize, the demonstration itself was a win, showing how efficiently and easily Sitecore's XM Cloud can be deployed.

3. Unveiling the future of Platform DXP and Managed Cloud

Colin te Kempel, Principal Product Manager at Sitecore, and Peter Kapsopoulos, Senior Director of Product Management - Platform DXP at Sitecore, presented the future of Sitecore's Platform DXP and Managed Cloud, expressing Sitecore's long-term commitment and the promise to support the products until 2032 and beyond.

The roadmap mentioned the modernisation of the codebase and significant SXA improvements, including configuring headless sites with Tailwind, finer access control, enhanced workflow actions, multilingual sitemap extensions, and multilingual error pages. Other important points of the roadmap for XP 10.x were also addressed, focusing on AI content generation, UI improvements in the editor, seamless user transitions between XM/XP and SaaS features, and various integrations and optimisations to enhance the overall Sitecore experience.

4. Building for Resiliency

"Building for Resiliency" was the title and content of the next lecture by Andy Cohen, Principal Architect at Sitecore.

He outlined how Sitecore XM Cloud Deploy was developed to ensure high fail-safety. Andy pulled back the curtains and provided valuable insights into the entire development process, from the initial idea through the proof of concept to general availability.

Attendees were given insight into the meticulous planning of each phase – a prerequisite for creating a robust and resilient platform.

5. A Game of Publishing: Sitecore's Publishing Vision

Ivan Lieckens, Product Manager at Sitecore, used a narrative style reminiscent of "Game of Thrones" to illustrate the evolution of the content publishing process over recent years. Ivan highlighted how central content workflows are to the publishing process we agree and introduced the challenges that arose with the introduction of Sitecore XM Cloud and the first version of the XM(C) Edge Publisher.

He announced a new version of the XM(C) Edge Publisher that will be available for testing immediately after SUGCON 2024 and will address existing challenges through optimisations.

Ivan also provided an exciting outlook on the future publishing capabilities within Sitecore XM Cloud, including the presentation of initial drafts of a publication overview. The future of Sitecore publishing looks promising and raises great expectations.

6. Headless SXA vs XM Cloud Component Builder – a Rock Off

In the ring:

  • Christian Hahn, representing the tried and tested, versatile Headless SXA

  • Sebastian Winter, representing the new, innovative challenger, XM Cloud Component Builder.

Both presented the advantages and disadvantages of their respective solutions in a highly entertaining way, questioning whether the innovative features of the XM Cloud Component Builder were sufficient to prevail in this intense rock duel against Headless SXA.

Who was named "Champion of Headless Sitecore Components"?

The outcome demonstrated that a either-or decision is unnecessary and that both products rightfully have their place. The individual requirements must determine which solutions are deployed.

7. How we migrated 7 sites in 6 weeks to XM Cloud and Netlify

Emanuel Popescu (Platform Lead, Zurich) and Katharina Luger (Sitecore Solution Architect) showcased an impressive practical example of how they successfully migrated seven websites to XM Cloud and Netlify within six weeks.

They provided interesting insights into the decision-making process based on previous dissatisfaction among editors, strategic planning, the challenges during the migration, and the lessons learned.

This presentation not only demonstrated the efficiency and effectiveness of the migration process but also highlighted the seamless integration and robust capabilities of XM Cloud in a real-world scenario.