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Eric Deschambault
Nov 13, 2023
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My Opticon 2023 highlights

Opticon 2023, held under the radiant San Diego sun, has concluded, and as we bid farewell to this remarkable event, I wanted to take the time to reflect on the moments I've experienced during the conferences and keynote sessions. This year's gathering was really exciting, as it was evident that Optimizely's investments in digital tools have reached a level of seamless integration that empowers marketing and digital teams to take full ownership of their digital assets, fostering an environment where involvement, learning, and experimentation thrive in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

One standout revelation was the introduction of Optimizely One—a promising addition to the toolkit that equips marketers to tackle the challenges of this dynamic digital realm head-on. Furthermore, the unveiling of the next-generation CMS and Commerce roadmaps left me truly exhilarated. These roadmaps promise an integration of experimentation, personalization, and AI like never before, offering a glimpse into an exciting future for digital innovation.

Optimizely One : The Marketing Operating System

In the keynote, Alexander Atzberger, the CEO of Optimizely, unveiled the first major announcement of this edition: Optimizely one - the marketing operating system. With this offering, Optimizely is finally bringing all their product and tools under one unified system, that will allow marketing teams to work within the Optimizely ecosystem at every stage of content creation, from ideation, planning and publishing, to experimentation and personalization. It is clear that Optimizely continues to aim to simplify marketing work by allowing collaboration and iterations within a unified set of tools. Over are the days where the marketing team had to work with so many disjoint products that complexities the content creation and publishing process. With a flexible stack and composable architecture, Optimizely fully embraces a digital and modern approach to marketing.

To tie all of that together, Optimizely also introduced their own AI agent - Opal - embedded in the different tools, right when you need it, and available to help accelerate multiple tasks, such as providing insights, reviewing and creating new content.

­­> Read the press release here:

SaaS Core CMS

Another major announcement was the introduction of SaaS Core CMS. While CMS has always been a PaaS-based solution, it is now available as a SaaS solution as well. The goal of Optimizely is to provide flexibility with their tools and to allow their customers to compose an architecture that makes sense with their business needs and ecosystem. For CMS, customers will now have the option to use a SaaS Core-based architecture - a headless solution by design - meaning that content is stored as pure data, abstract from the presentation layer. It is obviously version-less by default, and it automatically upgrades. It also means that it supports multiple integration options, such as pure headless, headless with head awareness, headless with presentation control, aggregated (external sources) and so on.

Optimizely CMS PaaS vs. SaaS

Talking about the future of CMS, Optimizely also unveiled their all-new visual builder, much more "slick" and elegant, giving more power into the hands of the content creation team, allowing them to easily compose their page layouts. Optimizely also added an Experimentation tab right in the CMS - bringing both tools even closer, allowing the content creator to experiment, easier than ever, on different versions of their content, in order to choose the version that truly delivers results.

Optimizely CMS Visual Editor preview

Next Gen Personalized Commerce

As I spent a lot of time helping our clients with their e-commerce implementation, I was truly excited to learn more about the roadmap of Optimizely Commerce products.

New Promotion Engine

One of the area, in my own opinion, where Optimizely Commerce is a bit behind is the Promotion engine and the administration screens for marketers and merchandisers to create new promotions. Well, it looks like Optimizely was aware, as they presented at Opticon the new Promotion engine. With much more flexibility, marketing teams will be able to create completely new promotions by using a rule (query) builder, eliminating the need to work with a developer every time a new type of promotion is required. There are also multiple new filters when navigating the list of promotions and campaigns. Sweet!


Google Partnerships

Optimizely presented multiple new partnerships with Google throughout the Opticon sessions. For commerce, they are working on a new set of algorithms with Google to provide better Product Recommendations, as well as new AI-driven search engine for Optimizely Configured Commerce. Finally, they have also partnered with Google to provide many new translations for their Optimizely backend products.

­> More details regarding this partnership here:

Promotion Recommendations

I have a feeling that this announcement didn't generate as much excitement as it should have, even though it might come a bit later in the future roadmap of the Commerce products. Optimizely unveiled new AI promotion recommendations, which is truly exciting and another great use of AI / MLS algorithms. Imagine, for retailers having tens or hundreds of promotions running at the same time on the site, or having complex promotions with hundreds of products applicable, we will be able to create a web experience where the best promotions, or the best products within the promotions, can be automatically recommended to the customer!

See you in 2024...

Opticon is a great event to learn about the evolution of Optimizely products, the roadmaps, and the offering and positioning of the company's products. It's also a great opportunity to meet the community of practitioners, the clients, the partners and the employees, share ideas, learn and get some inspiration. As we were wrapping up the Opticon 2023 in San Diego, Optimizely announced that the 2024 Opticon will be held in... San Antonio, Texas!

See you next year!

Nov 13, 2023


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