Sitecore 8 promises to be a big step forward for all of us in the Sitecore community. Our MVPs share what they are most looking forward to checking out when the platform is released at Christmas.

Now that we've all had a chance to recover from impressive knowledge blast (and great party!) that was the Sitecore Symposium, we wanted to take a look at some of the most exciting features we're looking forward to in Sitecore 8. Michael Seifret's keynote gave the Sitecore community a great introduction to the latest version of the platform, with a concentrated focus on testing everything, everywhere, but that was only the beginning. Let's take a look at what our six nonlinear Sitecore MVPs are excited to get their hands on:

Extensibility for the xDB

The infrastructure capabilities for scaling out are impressive, and the cloud hosted option gives us an easy way to configure for clients who want to transition to xDB. Additionally, the xDB platform supports many customization points so that developers can aggregate data in different ways and extend the xFile profiles.

                                                                                                       -Jason St-Cyr, Solution Architect

New focus on analytics

Enabling your Marketing team to rely on data-driven, as opposed to delusion-driven decision making was a key tenant of this year's Symposium. From the ability to store unstructured data in the analytics collection database, to continuous testing and pushing analytics data to the cloud via the xDB cloud edition, it's obvious that Sitecore has heard the cries of marketers and analytics experts alike.

                  - Nick Allen, Solution Architect

Perfecting personalization 

The combination of improved analytics, stronger testing capabilities and automated optimization make Sitecore 8 a marketer's paradise. Having the opportunity to present content that is even more closely in tune with your customers will make all the difference when it comes to conversions and engagement.

       - Randy Woods, nonlinear President & Digital Strategist 

Optimizing with the Customer Experience Database

The new Customer Experience Database will change the way marketers communicate with their audiences- the insights it will bring across systems, across visit, across channels, and the ability to optimize that experience is unmatched. And most importantly, these insights are going to be accessible so that marketers are able to react to opportunities in real-time at both a macro and individual visitor level. 

                                                                           - Amanda Shiga, nonlinear digital Vice President 

New interface based on SPEAK UI framework

One might argue that Sitecore's new interface, which is based on the SPEAK UI framework, is the standout from Symposium. Your content authors will likely agree once they have take a look: dashboards, dialogues, reports and even the default launch pad has been redesigned to create a super slick looking platform.

         - Eduardo Moraes, Senior Sitecore consultant

Project Skynet

Last, but certainly not least, is what's being referred to as Project Skynet, the machine learning project powered by Microsoft's Azure that will eventually drive predictive analytics in Sitecore. It works by allowing Sitecore 8 to look at the test data its collected and make personalization rule decisions based on the analytics data of your site users. This is one to look out for. 

                                                    - Glen McInnis, nonlinear creations Technology Vice President

Tell us! What peaked your curiosity at this year's Sitecore Symposium?

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