There are many CMS and DXPs on the market, and every year new software vendors add more integrations, services, and features (like headless). This increase represents an opportunity for businesses looking to stay current in the ever-changing tech ecosystem, making DXPs like Sitecore a reliable option for a centralized hub to drive your content operations.
Sitecore has plenty of advantages for both content editors and developers, making it an ideal choice for businesses of all kinds, with or without a dedicated IT team. However, implementing Sitecore on your own can be a daunting task that can end up consuming more time that could be used elsewhere.
The thing is, Sitecore partners come in all shapes and sizes, which can make it difficult to differentiate the pros from the amateurs. In this article, we give you some pointers on what to expect from a partner, as well as a checklist of questions to ask when deciding on your next Sitecore partner.
When Do You Need a Sitecore Partner?
Unless you have adequate development expertise in-house, it’s not practical for a business to build and maintain a CMS implementation on their own. Plus, if you’re thinking about implementing Sitecore as your traditional or headless CMS of choice, you need a partner to make sure you’re reaping 100% of the benefits Sitecore has to offer.
If any of the following situations are happening to you, you need a Sitecore Partner:
- Your site is slow to load: This is the most immediately obvious problem of an iffy Sitecore implementation. If your vendor or partner has done all it can to fix the problem and it persists, it’s better to try with a certified Sitecore partner.
- Your deployments have bugs: If you implemented Sitecore on your own or hired a subpar partner, your deployment may have bugs, especially if it wasn’t fully tested.
- Your team isn’t trained to use your site: If you haven’t fully communicated how your website works or what it does, chances are your team won’t be able to fully leverage its capabilities.
- You have issues when personalizing components: It can be incredibly helpful to talk to an implementation partner that can help you configure your personalization rules and all the associated content.
- You can’t build or update the website on your own: If you have problems making changes to content or functionality, you won’t be able to deliver the right content for your customers. A partner can help make it easier to manage content on your own or to support you with new features.
- You don’t have the expertise to conduct A/B testing: With Sitecore, you can conduct A/B testing, but there is a learning curve. A Sitecore partner will train you and show you how to run tests.
- You feel frustrated when trying to publish and edit content: It’s more than possible that you’re taking more time than usual when editing content. If that happens, it’s better to call a partner to help you.
- Your site was created without a Sitecore Architecture Document: This document is fundamental because it spells out every detail about your Sitecore implementation. How content will look and how it will be structured.
- You can’t manage content using the Sitecore Experience Editor interface: The experience editor lets you edit your content as you browse through the site. But sometimes partners either don’t integrate the Experience Editor or don’t teach users how to use it.
What to Expect from a Sitecore Partner
Not all Sitecore tech partners are created equal; each have their own specialities. Here are five things that a professional partner should offer you.
Experience With The Platform
A partner is a company that’s been recognized by Sitecore as one of the best implementation agencies and can help you navigate the waters of CMS implementation. Be careful about choosing an agency based only on an impressive portfolio. An experienced agency will also have your business’s needs in mind and guide you to the best outcomes.
A Clear Plan of Action
Proper implementation needs a plan behind it. An experienced Sitecore partner will begin the process with a technical audit and a deep discovery process that serves to understand your goals and your business’ weak and strong points when it comes to technology. During this stage, you and your prospective partner will agree on the design, the process, and the workflow.
A professional Sitecore partner will make sure that your development and deployment processes are clearly delineated and agreed upon. A Sitecore partner will work diligently to catch bugs, clean the code, test the UX and the UI, and implement client and user feedback.
Training and Coherent Documentation
When it comes to implementing Sitecore, it can’t be done following a cookie-cutter approach. A proper Sitecore implementation means that you’ve received training and documentation from your partner, and they have developed a plan that’s specific to your current situation and your business’ future needs.
Confidence About The Next Steps
If your Sitecore partner has followed the best practices, you will gain new confidence in what your implementation is capable of accomplishing. You will be able to edit your content and create digital experiences that convert and will have gained a clear picture of what will happen with your business in the future.
10 Questions to Ask Before Partnering With An Agency
- How much work do you currently outsource?
- Do you have any Sitecore certified employees?
- Do you have Sitecore MVPs in your company?
- How long have you been a Sitecore Partner?
- How many Sitecore projects have you completed?
- How active is your team in the Sitecore community?
- What is your level of certification and what does it entail?
- Besides Sitecore, which other technologies do you work with?
- Do you have Sitecore libraries or templates that could speed up the work?
- How do you make sure your clients stay current on Sitecore best practices?
Oshyn: An Experienced Sitecore Partner
Sitecore is a DXP created to elevate your operations and empower your teams. It has plenty of features that can improve your business outcomes and enable you to create omnichannel digital experiences. However, when poorly implemented, it does more harm than good.
That’s when calling a Sitecore partner like Oshyn can help. Oshyn is a certified Sitecore Partner. Our implementation process starts with a comprehensive technical audit to gain a full understanding of your business and create personalized recommendations for the next steps.
The best Sitecore partner will start the journey with you by listening to what you have to say, and make recommendations about your particular use case. Then a complete assessment of your site’s status to uncover hidden issues and determine the best course of action to help you meet your goals.
Are you ready to kickstart your Sitecore implementation? Contact us, and let’s get started.