Business Leaders - Tuesday

7:30AM: Breakfast


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8:40AM: Day Two Welcome with CMO, James Norwood

Day Two Welcome with CMO, James Norwood

8:45AM: Keynote:Shawn Achor, NYTimes bestselling author of the Happiness Advantage and positive psychology researcher

Shawn Achor is an American happiness researcher, author, and speaker known for his advocacy of positive psychology. He is the New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Advantage and founded GoodThink. After spending 12 years at Harvard University, Shawn Achor has become one of the world's leading experts on the connection between happiness and success and has now lectured in more than 50 countries.

10:15AM: Powering Toppers Pizza's Growth with Episerver

Rightpoint and Toppers Pizza are merging physical and digital worlds by building a world-class customer experience that showcases Toppers' unique brand proposition to "never settle" on providing a better pizza offering. This customer experience, featuring a custom Point of Sale (POS) and a new site built on the Episerver Digital Experience Cloud, will drive customer loyalty, online sales, and cross-selling opportunities while streamlining corporate and franchise store operations and reducing overhead. This solution is the cornerstone of Toppers Pizza's future strategic initiatives and key to achieving its growth goals. 

Key objectives for the new commerce experience are to:

  • Increase the average order size through personalization and better merchandising
  • Increase customer engagement and order frequency
  • Deliver highly relevant merchandising offers and promotions via cross-sell and upsell
  • Allow local stores to create their own store content, pricing and promotions
  • Integrate deeply with the POS system to provide a single view of the customer regardless of where they buy
  • Reduce technical debt and cost through the use of an extensive set of features available out of the box, including real-time A/B Testing
  • Provide the foundation for an extended experience via mobile apps and loyalty programs

10:15AM: Building a Stickier Site through UGC, Marketing Automation and Social

High bounce rate? Low session durations? Join Mike Seminara, Marketing Manager at Janome, and learn how the brand has made their site a place for visitors to stop, take a look around, and most importantly, return.

11:15AM: Digitizing DNA: A Live Look at How Episerver is Altering the Genetic Makeup of ACCO Brands

More than enabling direct sales, Episerver is fundamentally changing ACCO Brands' approach to its digital business. Join The C2 Group and ACCO Brands as they go behind the scenes of an active commerce implementation involving the unification and ongoing digital transformation of more than 30 leading brands. We'll discuss strategies for engaging users throughout the customer journey, effectively managing digital change, and delivering experience-driven commerce at scale with Episerver. 


11:15AM: How to Navigate the GDPR Minefield: Your Essential Guide to the Future of Business in the Global Marketplace

Come and hear from Episerver's CIO & CISO about what GDPR means to your business. If you're operating on an international basis then you need to be ready by May 2018. In this session, you will learn about proven approaches to achieving GDPR compliance, and what happens to companies who are not. 

11:15AM: From Ektron to Episerver: A Real World Return on Investment

After a successful six-year deployment on Ektron, Walmart moved their socially focused extranet to the unified Episerver Digital Experience Cloud. Join us to learn how this platform delivers real-world value to the associates in the US, UK and China, and how a small and dedicated team makes it happen every day. 

12:00PM: Lunch


1:05PM: What's New in Azure Serverless

Serverless is a great computing abstraction. When combined with great tools, developers can be more productive than ever.  Developers are looking to leverage the new paradigm of serverless architecture: a scalable and reliable event-based compute experience for code and workflows, which accelerate the development of applications while eliminating the need to manage infrastructure, providing fast auto-scale and micro-billing.  In this session, we will explore the use of Azure Functions, Event Grid, and Logic Apps for building powerful serverless applications. We will learn how to build, deploy, manage, and monitor those solutions. This session will quickly cover the basics, and finish with a look at the newest features in the Azure Serverless platform.

2:15PM: Episerver Campaign: Omnichannel campaign management made easy

(Product Overview) With Episerver Campaign, you can easily manage smarter, more effective campaigns across web, mobile, email and text message. Join this session for a product review of Episerver Campaign and learn how you can connect with customers wherever they are, with messages based on real-time behavior. We'll also walk you through a demo and provide examples of how Episerver customers are already seeing success with Campaign. 

2:15PM: Building a Better Guest Experience with Buffalo Wild Wings

Buffalo Wild Wings recently unveiled a new website that makes it easier for wing lovers to see, find, and order their favorite menu items. In this session, we'll talk about the effort to combine a separate brand and ecommerce site into a single integrated platform, including the move to Episerver Digital Experience Cloud. We'll share real world examples of how the team creates visually dynamic content, maintains and tests localized promotions, and handles the enormity of online ordering during sporting events. 

3:00PM: Delivering Maximum Business Benefit with the Full Episerver Stack

In ecommerce, the online books sector is one of the most mature and competitive there is. For retailers, the seasonal holiday stretch from Black Friday to January sales is their most fundamental period of the entire year.  

In this session, Steven Cassin and Janaka Fernando explore how Belfast, Dublin and London Agency, Made to Engage, ensured the Irish book retailer Eason were able to fully capitalize on the Christmas 2017 sales window, delivering a sales boosting Episerver implementation. 

This session will explore the project delivery of a full suite of Episerver products, delivering a unified Commerce experience through integration to Microsoft Dynamics AX Retail, accelerated by Avensia Storefront. 

3:15PM: Complex ecommerce business requirements? See how Creative Co-Op simplifies it

Learn how B2B gift and home wholesaler Creative Co-op used Episerver to re-design their website and integrate brand specific shopping capabilities for a streamlined buyer experience. The new user-friendly website allows customers to shop multiple brands under the Creative Co-op umbrella by showing brand specific incentives and promotions, tracking loyalty and membership levels across all brands, and splitting shopping cart by brand. In this session, Creative Co-op and digital agency Whereoware will review how they built multi-brand features into the website with minimal coding and share tips for simplifying your ecommerce website with Episerver Digital Experience Cloud.

3:15PM: Embrace Your Complexity and Deliver a Connected and Coherent Digital Commerce Experience

There is a reason why we haven't all just thrown up our hands and externalized digital commerce to Amazon or Shopify. Our customers and products are unique, our technology ecosystems are entabgled, and the very depth of our business rules have a profound impact on how we profitably distinguish ourselves from the competition. In short, our businesses are individually complex, and that's a good thing.

In this session, members of the team at Luminos Labs will unpack our approach to understanding your organization. We'll then share a few tactics you can use today to embrace complexity and win with your digital commerce strategy.

Key takeaways:

During this session, audience members will be introduced to a handful of strategies used by Luminos Labs to design, implement, and deliver complex digital commerce platforms for global B2C, B2B, and B2B2C clients on the Episerver platform. These include:

  • Digital commerce discovery approach
  • Mapping the Customer Journey
  • Creating a technology ecosystem topology

4:00PM: Break


4:30PM: Minimize Distractions for a Customer-first Approach

During a comprehensive procurement process, Pepper money envisaged a new way of thinking about Digital. Join this session to learn how Pepper Money's Joanne Thrift, Chief Marketing Officer, and Gary Boyd, Head of Digital, went from managing multiple vendors, partners and infrastructure with a heavy reliance on development for business as usual, to driving value from the Episerver Digital Experience Cloud platform and a delivery focused on improved acquisition and customer experience. 

4:30PM: Modern Digital Marketing: Top 3 Opportunities for the Savvy Marketer in 2018

The best opportunities are usually those that nobody talks about. In this session, we go beyond buzzwords and general trends and look at the real digital marketing landscape in 2018. We will show you where some of the biggest opportunities are and review step-by-step what you can do to get ahead of the crowd. We will cover the latest developments within SEO and social marketing, as well as give you a 3-step process for supercharging your on-site conversion rates. 

4:30PM: The Future of Brand Engagement

All brands have the same two objectives: acquisition and retention. We will examine how digital influences these objectives today and how this influence will evolve in the future. In a digital world, the way in which brands engage with consumers is rapidly changing. We'll show you how, and what to prepare for. 

4:30PM: How to not screw up your Episerver migration

Regardless of what platform you are migrating to Episerver from, it can be a daunting task. This session will cover all the important aspects of a migration project including functional blueprinting, content migration, URL redirection, and more. 

5:30PM: Increase B2B Sales by Understanding Digital Buying Intent

Traditional B2B sales organizations are geared towards cold calling and person-to-person sales. Yet the future of B2B sales is digital. Already half of B2B buyers are millennials, whose preference for digital interactions is quickly reshaping the customer journey. Companies now need a more digitized approach to understand how potential customers research and evaluate a business before they ever make contact. This session will show how the most sophisticated B2B organizations are reshaping the marketing game to figure out when someone has buying intent. They are simplifying the buying journey and significantly increasing profits compared to companies with less developed digital capabilities.

5:30PM: Delivering on the Promise of Personalization with Episerver Campaign

See how deploying Episerver Campaign as your native marketing automation tool enables rich personalization built on implicit, multi-touch, multi-device customer insights.

Verndale's Episerver experts Michael Craig, Technical Lead, and Kevin Schofield , Lead Digital Marketing Consultant, present a "live" demo of Campaign, exploring the features, benefits and implementation requirements from both a marketing and technology perspective. 

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7:00PM: Final Night Party: Episerver Rising

As the sun sets and the night begins at the close of the second day of Ascend, there’s only one place to go to be seen. We’re taking over the legendary Las Vegas Marquee Night Club to create a movement of our own.

Business Leader Agenda