July 15, 2024
Details and Insights into Day one of Sitecore SUGCON India 2023. Here are the notes about the various sessions that I attended during the day.

Dear All,

In August of 2023, we had Sitecore UserGroup Conference (SUGCON) India event, in Delhi.

Before I begin the post in detail, I would like to express my gratitude to all the organizers. The planning and execution of Sitecore SUGCON 2023 in India was seamless, making it a resounding success.

It is evident that a significant amount of dedication and hard work went into planning and executing the event. The return of SUGCON to India was after 4 Years! It undoubtedly was a momentous occasion, providing a platform for the Sitecore community members to come together.

I have been a part of past Sitecore Community events, Symposiums in the US and SUGCON in India. In the last SUGCON in India in 2019 I got an opportunity to speak on Sitecore + SalesForce!

The lineup of sessions was great! It was evident that a thorough action plan was required to be able to gather the knowledge from them.

At Horizontal, we had a team of more than 40 technical team members, travelling from our various locations around the world to Delhi, to connect with the Sitecore Community and gain & share knowledge.

The journey started on a super high note of Successful Landing of Chandrayaan 3 on the Moon.

A HUGE Team that left the Vadodara Airport for SUGCON 2023, in Delhi.

We reached The Grand, New Delhi late at night, met our co-workers, friends and colleagues from different office locations.

Well, the day started with Registrations, Training and Sitecore Certification at around 8 AM. We could see the enthusiasm in the eyes of every Sitecore Community member who was present at the event. The Speaker and Participant registrations went on till 12 PM in parallel, and post 9 AM. There were 150+ people in the lobby, networking, some who knew each other from past engagements and so many new faces! Wow! Sitecore Community in India has grown so huge! Lucky to be a part of it.

Horizontal Digital’s was the only booth at the event. It was buzzing with people from the community and other partners, inquiring about various offerings.

Along with it, we had a 360 Degree Setup as well, were many of us were trying it out..

Here is me showing my acting skills 😉

Post the Networking and Lunch Session, commenced the SUGCON Sessions, sharing loads of knowledge with the community members.

Here are the sessions which I attended and notes which hopefully might help you.

  • Digital Experience is a Team Sport – Pieter Brinkman

Great insights, on why the world is moving towards Composable, and how technology is undergoing a paradigm shift.

I felt, it boiled down to one thing and one thing only, a Mindset, to be precise a Composable Mindset. Being more Agile, being more Adaptable.

As much important it is for Developers to learn new things and new ways on working, with Composable products coming into the ecosystem, more important it is to unlearn some of our old ways of doing things and achieving a successful implementations.

The presentation shared awareness of how different roles of a Business now can play a vital role, in the overall implementation of the Sitecore’s Composable stack.

  • Implementing Sitecore Search – Rob Earlam

A rockstar that this guy is, Rob’s Keynote presentation was super interesting and knowledgeable.

Rob delivered a comprehensive overview of Sitecore’s search functionality, exploring its various applications and showcasing seamless configuration for enhancing website content search efficiency. The implementation of Sitecore Search in the Sitecore Developer Portal, and our day to day use, where we are seeing it in action, absolutely boosted the confidence in the minds of developers who were a part of the SUGCON 2023 in India.

Sitecore Search might not be a Global leader in Search industry today, but based on the conversations during the session, around challenges and future implementation ideas along with other interactions with the team in the hallway, it definitely feels it is going towards the right way, and maturing to become a fierce contender in Search Space. The best part, it is a Sitecore Product, so integrating it with other Sitecore products is going to be seamless.

Well, there is just one thing which I am more of a fan than his presentation, and that is his beard! 🙂

  • Pure lightweight Headless CMS – Sitecore Content Hub One with GenAI – Marvin Glenn Lacuna

My goal for next year is delving into Content Hub ONE, so I was not going to miss this session. And Marvin truly delivered! The session consisted of great insights into the cloud-native SAAS platform, and also included a roadmap – a product backlog – that the development team at Sitecore is working on during their upcoming releases. Incredible!

I always love live demos, and his session included one!

  • Weddings in the Cloud with Sitecore Connect! – Sandeep Bhatia & Ankit Joshi

The Session covered a detailed introduction into Sitecore Connect and how it can be become the nervous system of your Composable architecture, moving/sharing data across various systems. The demo showed a seamless integration of Sitecore XM Cloud and Sitecore Connect, utilizing webhooks to facilitate item creation in Content Hub One.

  • Beyond Buzzwords: Composable Tech and Generative AI for Real – George Smith & Sheetal Jain

Well, this was the best session of SUGCON 2023. Great presenters, taking you through real world examples from a business and technology standpoint, and to validate, opening the stage for a LIVE Demo, what more can you ask for! George the Story Teller and Sheetal the Consultant; these guys raised the bar so high, it is hardly possible for anyone to reach there. If missed it, well, their presentation, was of the level of Scott Hanselman giving presentations and live demos!

The session was interactive, right from the beginning, where the speakers connected with the audience for various things, like say the timeline of a Sitecore project delivery amongst others.

The demo showcased the power of Sitecore Composable Architecture on the whole – a Store creator app hosted on Vercel which can be used to spin up your own T-shirt store in a matter of minutes using Sitecore OrderCloud, Content Hub DAM to store the images, Content Hub Operations and the AI power from DALL-E. Everyone in the audience was mesmerized and tried their hand on, creating their custom T-shirts, simply searching for keywords and finding images, selecting them on the T-shirt and Voila!

One of the most important messages from the session for the technologists out there, was the change required in the Mindset of a Developer, a Technologist and a Consultant, is to think about solutions to Customer problems and make technology follow it, rather than the way around. It is also evident from Sheetal’s journey from a Developer to a CTO, about the mindset that he has had all these years, into thinking for solutions to his customer problems.

If you ask me, which is the one video recording of a session I should watch out for, from SUGCON India 2023, I would say it is this one.

  • Women in contemplating Darwin’s Theory – To Break the Conventional Wheel – Varalakshmi M D & Raveena Mathur

This was not a technical session. But I believe very important, to understand the problems and issues that women face in technology space in general. With various stats, both Varalakshmi and Raveena also suggested solutions to some of the problems.

  • MVP Program and the Community Mentorship by Nicole Montero + MVP Award Ceremony

Nicole gave good details into how Sitecore Community Mentorship program is in place, to help people who are enthusiasts for becoming MVP, but do not know the path.

This was followed by the Sitecore MVPs called upon to the stage to receive their momentos.

Post the award ceremony, conversations continued – it was already past 9:30, and we all were more than 14 hours into the day, standing, attending sessions or discussing, and yet the enthusiasm was at its all time high!

Some conversations continued post the event, in the main hallway as well as the restaurant and other areas of the hotel.

That was about it for the day, see you in the post about Day 2 of Sitecore SUGCON India 2023.

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