What you missed at SUGCON 2019 in London

There are only a few yearly events that are able to provide an interesting as well as varied line-up. Combine this approach with a great location, excellent speakers and a fast evolving customer experience platform and you get the Sitecore User Group Conference!

Year by year this event draws in more and more developers, marketers and Sitecore partners to help streamline implementations, share insights and product developments and exchange information.

In line with our approach to have all things Sitecore top of mind, The Reference sent out its experts to attend this 2-days conference in the heart of the London business center.

Read below to see what we learned and experienced!



The Sitecore User Group is a yearly conference organized by the fantastic Sitecore community and heavily supported through Sitecore themselves. The focus of the event revolves around the use of and the features contained in Sitecore.

Split across two days, the event spans a varied number of topics, ranging from Personalization, Scalability, Architecture, deep-dives into Product Features, Hosting as well as Data Science.

Featuring both speakers from the Sitecore teams as well as the community (partners, agencies, Sitecore MVP’s and other technical profiles), this approach provides the option to go into more depth for a large amount of sessions.

As the SUGCON event is more technical in nature, the opening speech focused on innovation and progress on your deployment processes with DevOps. The goal is to figure out what is a hindering you to bring more value to your customers faster! Some great ideas were presented as well as examples of on what scale Sitecore can be deployed and how smooth this has been made to run.

A special honorable mention goes out to the sessions on Sitecore’s message queuing by Pete Nevarra which was very interactive as well as insightful, providing a history and an overview of the different types that exist within Message queuing and Sitecore’s integration of the Rebus solution.

As there were so many diverse and interesting topics, it is a challenge to handle all of these in a single blogpost. However, we would like to list the main topics that we saw in this year’s SUGCON:

Commerce - It was good to see that many sessions handled Sitecore’s capabilities within the Commerce solution and the various implementations and solutions that are being provided in that segment of the market.

Cortex - Quite some work is being done on further integrating a full-fledged ‘Contextual Intelligence’-engine. Cortex will allow you to drive marketing outcomes based on the data stored inside the xDB (experience Database) through visitor interactions or any other connected data.

Headless - Many of the sessions focused on the capabilities of Sitecore to combine standard headless CMS features with the full suite of content management tools offered by Sitecore. The JSS team and their solution is providing a very flexible and viable solution to provide a headless approach to a strong content management system.

Sitecore Host – Evolving more and more into a cluster of micro-services inside a service based architecture around .NET core, Sitecore Host is helping the platform to undergo a substantial number of architectural changes in the future, ultimately enabling the platform to become full SaaS enabled.

SXA - Sitecore’s Experience Accelerator is becoming more and more adopted in the Sitecore community. This solution will also make its way into the newly developed headless capabilities as well as the Horizon editing interface that is … on the horizon.

StyleLabs – The acquisition has been realized and the first integration was presented through additional possibilities to use content from StyleLabs inside the Experience Editor. We are sure that these first steps will soon be further developed, as the two platforms will become further integrated.

Publishing service - Features and integration that have come to full maturity, such as the publishing service were mind baffling to see. As they showed the potential to provide enormous performance gain while performing otherwise tedious publishing tasks. 

SUGCON finished off by providing some sneak peek information on the 9.2 version that will be released by the end of April 2019:

  • More JSS capabilities, enabling the combined use of SXA and JSS and an integration with Sitecore Forms
  • Further improvements within Sitecore Host including latest .NET core as well as architectural changes
  • Sitecore SIA – Sitecore Install Assistance, bringing back a UI to installing Sitecore
  • Helix optimizations, further working on the principles, guidelines and more importantly the VS project structure
  • Serialization changes – the known and adopted Sitecore serialization format will be adapted to the Rainbow library, making item data YAML formatted.
  • Robot detection – A better approach to identify malicious bots, rules on bots and filters in analytics
  • Personalization reports – The long-awaited feature is finally making its first baby steps. This functionality allows for an overview of personalization rules across pages and components.
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