A natural fit

Sitecore’s leaders saw AI as a great way to get even better at delivering tailored digital experiences for customers. Marcos Perreau Guimaraes, VP and Chief Data Scientist, Sitecore, says, “we’ve been interested in AI for a long time. There are a lot of natural uses for AI in our space, from websites to other online experiences.” AI’s capacity to use data to deliver new levels of personalization, as well as automate much of that effort was of particular interest.

Sitecore is no stranger to building personalization solutions—they’ve been doing so for quite some time. Normally, personalization is built by using deterministic rules. For example, if a user buys a service, rules can determine they don’t need to see another advertisement for the service they now own. But personalization that requires large amounts of data, and draws on a variety of factors, such as people, or behaviors, can strain the rule-based model. “At Sitecore, we don’t want to break the rules, but want to add the capacity for machine learning to learn and adapt through data,” Marcos notes.

Sitecore started to put its AI team together in the spring of 2018. They quickly brought together a diverse set of skills in machine learning (ML) that spanned most modern frameworks. The company’s goal was to not only develop new AI and ML algorithms but also plan for how to productize their learnings.

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From pilot to reality

As the pilot progresses, test results indicate visitors are already benefiting from improved personalization, driving higher engagement from target audiences who are receiving higher value, and more relevant content. The initial success is only the beginning.

The Microsoft OCP team is already looking ahead at what’s next, working with Sitecore on planning additional AI-powered functionality, such as chat boxes that could help speed up how partners connect with information. In turn, the Sitecore team is building on their AI learnings to bring a whole new level of digital experiences to its wider customer base.

Read more about how AI simplified the personalization process