A great content and/or ecommerce software platform is now tablestakes for any businesses to be successful. With important KPIs on the line, mid market and enterprise software systems can be onerous and expensive to implement well. Despite the extensive research about the pros and cons of each software platform, along with the extensive and arduous interview selection process of software implementation partners, surprises and disappointments are frustratingly common.
At BlueBolt, our values include trust, collaboration, innovation and experience. Because we are an industry veteran with an outstanding reputation for both our technical chops and dependability, many companies seek our guidance in selecting the right software platform that will best meet their needs. Today, I’d like to share several reasons why we strongly recommend Optimizely.
The Most Inclusive Digital Experience Platform on the Market
Optimizely is the #1 ranked .NET digital experience platform on the market according to Forrester and Gartner. Once thought to be a mid-market CMS product, Optimizely has made big strides with product development and acquisitions. Through this, Optimizely has created a very comprehensive Digital Experience Platform (DXP). In the 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Experience Platforms, Sitecore was the lowest ranked leader, falling considerably from previous reports. In the industry, it’s well known that Sitecore will be moving away from their Digital Experience Platform, Sitecore XP, to their CMS platform, Sitecore XM, favoring a more composable model. The translation for clients is that this will force purchases of additional licenses to create a Sitecore solution that fits their allinclusive business needs. Perhaps it’s time to review the capabilities that Optimizely has to offer given it’s very favorable ranking by both Gartner and Forrester.
Optimizely Runs on ASP.NET Core, but Sitecore Doesn’t
For technologists, building a website on top of the most prominent Web Development Framework, ASP.NET Core, is vital to their project for multiple performant reasons. Optimizely is a part of an elite group of Microsoft Global ISVs managed within the One Commercial Partner team, working closely with Microsoft sales, marketing and engineering teams. Their close partnership with the Microsoft product teams enables innovation and extension of Optimizely’s offerings. How does this help clients? First .NET Core opens the floodgates on possibilities as many applicates have the same shared code base. Second, in containerized environments, .NET performs better overall. The Entity Framework Core 5.0’s improvements include generating better queries and working in more situations with SQL query generation. Regarding language updates, there are a few changes in the languages that are supported by .NET Core. A couple of these include new features in C# make immutable data structures easier to work with and make code more concise overall, and with F# 5, Jupyter notebooks will have even more interaction and analysis options. It’s quite surprising that Sitecore abandoned building their platform on .Net Core.
Optimizely Offers a Modern PaaS and Headless Solution
These days, it’s not so much a software purchase, but rather entering into an ongoing relationship with a vendor to build and install your project onto their platform. Optimizely’s Digital Experience Platform’s model called “PaaS,” or Platform as a Service, takes full advantage of cloud computing resulting in ease of use, reduced complexity and cost effective technology consumption. Optimizely uses cloud based services to gather customer data and apply AI, personalizing each interaction – something that has never been as important as it is now. With a PaaS platform like Optimizely, it’s still your project, like it would be if it were On Prem, but without hassle and expense of IT infrastructure. You and your systems implementation partner are still able to do custom integration and coding, building the unique, one of a kind site that brings your business to life online. Bonus? Optimizely also gives clients free access to upgrades. Yes, developers still need to implement it, but gone are the costly days of being at a software provider’s mercy whenever they decided to launch their latest and greatest releases. Comparatively, Sitecore is still working on unveiling a SaaS model, which was originally promised to be coming to market back in October 2019.
The Absolute Best in Security and Scalability
Performance is key to any web experience, but you don’t get consistent performance without scalability, availability and redundancy. This is where Optimizely’s Digital Experience Platform (DXP) “outlasts the Energizer Bunny.” Because Optimizely’s PaaS platform is cloud based with regional CDN structure, the platform doesn’t miss a beat, whether traffic is coming during the big game or Black Friday. When a client’s website has a spike in traffic, it’s handled seamlessly because Optimizely’s platfrom can automatically add additional environments. This can also be done ahead of time manually if a spike is expected, such as back when the Avengers Endgame movie tickets went on sale and broke most cinema companies websites.
A Superior B2C and B2B Commerce platform
Optimizely’s composable Commerce Cloud has all the modular aspects a client needs to build out a world class ecommerce solution that powers online commerce worldwide. Whether you’re looking for a D2C website like SRAM, a leading bike manufacturer, or a multi-site B2C ecommerce site like the Rather Outdoors, Optimizely is able to deliver all the complex nuances required in a leading ecommerce solution. PCI compliant check out, modern payment methods, multiple languages, geo-regional websites in native languages, customer portals and custom customer catalogs are all included in Optimizely Commerce Cloud, making it the leading enterprise software for your ecommerce needs. In addition to not having a robust B2B ecommerce offering, Sitecore’s ecommerce admin user experience is decidedly more difficult to use as well.
The Ultimate Carrot: Transparent pricing and lower True Cost of Ownership
If there is one resounding complaint among clients about Sitecore, it is absolutely the lack of transparent and concise pricing. Open and honest communication is essential to a thriving business and customer relationships. Both Optimizely and BlueBolt base their working relationship on trust. Therefore, Optimizely has developed clear, transparent and modular pricing, which in most cases is less expensive than Sitecore. Often a full replatform to Optimizely can be less than the cost of a Sitecore upgrade. BlueBolt, an Optimizely Gold partner, has also developed an accelerator, helping decrease your time to market and overall project cost.
In summary, with the great strides Optimizely has done the last few years, they have become a leader in enterprise digital experience platfrom, ecommerce (especially B2B) and optimization. If you would like more information on Optimizely vs. Sitecore, we have an statistical infographic that can help make a case for your team to consider Optimizely. Additionally, we are always happy to help answer questions. One of our services is also doing a deep discovery with clients to help recommend the best software platform for their business needs. Please reach out and let us know if we can be of help.