Tech Leaders - Monday

7:30AM: Breakfast


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8:45AM: Welcome to Ascend with President and CEO, Mark Duffell

​Join us in general session as Episerver President and CEO Mark Duffell kicks off proceedings. Hear his assessment of our business over the last year and our goals and plan for the year ahead, and learn how to get the best out of this year's Ascend conference.

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8:55AM: Keynote: Episerver Product Strategy and Roadmap with EVP Strategy and CMO, James Norwood

Join Episerver Executive Vice President of Strategy and CMO James Norwood to get right up-to-date on Episerver’s vision and product strategy for 2017 and beyond. You'll understand what Episerver's product roadmap for digital content, commerce, and marketing means to you and how it translates into significant investments we’ve made in areas such as cross-channel campaign management, artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous personalization, all designed to empower you to achieve continuous one-to-one engagement with your customers through truly immersive experiences.


9:40AM: Welcome to the Passing Zone

Jon Wee and Owen Morse are The Passing Zone, one of the most inventive, successful, and funny duos working today, and they juggle. Juggling? Seriously? Yes, juggling. Most people don't think of it as a classy form of entertainment, but once you see these guys, you'll change your thinking. They re-define the art form and take it to new heights. So prepare to be amazed as you get to know Jon and Owen and the things they do. It's not magic. It's juggling. But you won't believe your eyes!

10:25AM: Break


10:45AM: Ektron and Episerver side-by-side

Despite the obvious similarities, there's a whole lot of difference between the Ektron product and the Episerver platform - and we think you'll like the difference. Ektron CMS customers make the decision to move up to the Episerver Digital Experience Cloud every month, so if you're considering a move this is a must attend session. We will walk you through the details, and help you decide if now is the time for your organization to move up.

10:45AM: A Crawl, Walk, Run Approach to Mapping the Digital Experience

Transforming your marketing program starts and ends with the right experience at the right time. Many times, we try to do too much too soon and alienate the people we want to connect with most! Join us for this session as Verndale's Chief Experience Officer Keith LaFerriere walks you through the process of how to employ a crawl, walk, run approach to mapping transformational digital experiences. 

11:30AM: Recent Ektron Releases

Not yet ready for Episerver Digital Experience Cloud? Many thousands of Ektron users are still planning to make the move, while continuing to rely on the Ektron CMS to power their digital experiences. Episerver will continue to support you in that and has released a number of updates and new releases over the last year to help. 

Come join us in this important session and see what updates have been added to Ektron in recent months, how they help you, and gain understanding of the road ahead. 

11:30AM: CMS Roadmap

With a continuous delivery cycle, there are many updates that have occured and have been planned. Learn about the direction we are going with CMS and how it will positively impact your business.

11:30AM: Commerce Roadmap

Learn about the future direction of Commerce, the key roadmap themes and how they will positively impact your business. With many new enhancements delivered through our continuous release cycle, see an overview of additional capabilities introduced.

12:00PM: Lunch


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1:00PM: Keynote: Scott Hanselman - JavaScript, The Cloud, and the Rise of the New Virtual Machine

One day we woke up and things were different. Maybe it happened overnight, maybe it took many years. Suddenly we are scripting against thousands of Virtual Machines from the command line while creating things today with JavaScript in the browser that were impossible yesterday. LiveScript becomes JavaScript becomes ES6 and now we're compiling C++ to JavaScript and deploying web apps to an infinite cloud. Join Scott Hanselman in this upbeat and edutaining keynote as he explores the relationship between the Cloud and the Browser, many Languages and one Language, how it might all fit together and what might come next.

2:00PM: Break


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2:15PM: The B2B2C Omnichannel Model and Episerver: Why, What & How?

Join Episerver Premium Channel Partner Luminos Labs as they review the value, methodology and the pitfalls of B2B2C omnichannel Episerver implementations.

2:15PM: Modularity - Embrace Change to Drive Digital Transformation

Empowering key stakeholders to support the internal transformation of their business is key to achieving long term success. Attend this session to gain understanding into how software modularity, with Episerver as the runtime container, embraces business change. 

2:15PM: The Long and Winding Road

The decision to migrate from Ektron to Episerver is not a light one - from deciding if and how it fixes business problems, to re-education of developers and administrators, to re-training of editors, to migration of content to re-engineering of applications. Dave Kragenbrink, Solutions Administrator at Waukesha County, will take you on a journey of action, suspense, highs and lows in the hopes that sharing his adventure will result in a smoother, straighter path for everyone else. As with any road trip there are always surprises, you never know what's around the bend!

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3:00PM: Integration and Content Optimization: One Image, Multiple Variants

In a world driven by content and mobile-first design, image management is becoming increasingly important. Beyond the standard and traditional CMS capabilities to manage media, the need for advanced image responsiveness and optimization is growing as users interact with content across multiple platforms and devices in a single day. Better media management is now possible, and we are changing the way we power content imagery for captivating audiences. This means that the days of multiple image uploads into a CMS platform are behind us. Through technological advancements and tighter CMS integration, it is now possible to upload an image that is adaptive through your CMS. 

By using Cloudinary, a digital asset management tool, and integrating it with Episerver, we are able to deliver a more seamless digital experience. The result is simplified media management, and adaptive imagery optimized for all digital platforms within a single CMS upload. Attendees will learn how to optimize digital content and improve media management processes through tighter CMS integration, to deliver a better experience for their target audience(s). 

After this session, you will:

  • Understand the challenges regarding media management and your CMS
  • Have the ability to effectively address and mitigate the media management challenges plaguing most organizations today
  • Know how to best utilize and implement the new technology that is driving content optimization
  • Be ready to deliver a seamless digital experience across all platforms for your end-user target audiences

3:00PM: Too late to start again with digital?

Big Data. The single customer view. Personalization. If they're not already part of your digital landscape it's easy to feel as though you've missed your jumping-on point. But it's not too late. 

Join James Sharpe, Strategic Alliances Director at Amaze, and Erik Hartman, Director of Applications and Online Services at American Nurses Association, as they share how Amaze helped ANA use Episerver to integrate the best - and start again with the rest - of its data, channels and content to create a digital service that's personal, international, and has changed the face of the business.

3:00PM: Commerce: It Takes a Village. How Technology and Marketing Need to Work Together for Great Customer Experience

Join representatives from inRiver and multi-brand retailer Varner Group to learn how integrating your Episerver solution with a PIM (product information management) solution from inRiver can improve Commerce and CMS customer experience for increased revenue and reduced cost. Learn best practices for implementing these integrated systems from those who have been through the process. 

3:45PM: Break


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4:15PM: The Digital Hub: Harnessing the New Power of Digital with Amaze

Many businesses know the possibilities offered by the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence. Yet many more are not in a position to harness the true power digital advancements can bring - primarily because their current digital estates cannot deliver in this brave new world. Now more than ever, businesses need to consolidate their digital technical strategy. A unified digital hub - a control center for your entire digital estate - can bring together and manage all of your digital assets, finally allowing your businesses to achieve the holy grail of placing the customer at the center of the digital ecosystem.

In this session, Matt Clarke, CTO of Amaze, will explore new opportunities to harness the true power of your digital estate by building a hub that can:

  • Satisfy consumers who increasingly expect a personalized experience across all touchpoints
  • Store, share and act on Big Data so that it feeds into all areas of the digital estate
  • Place the customer at the center of a digital ecosystem
  • Build an estate that reaches across all assets, both physical and digital, learns from each interaction to improve the next, and personalizes experiences

4:15PM: Your Step-by-Step Guide to B2B Website Personalization

Retailers increasingly expect a personalized brand experience - it's how they decide whether a brand "gets them" or cares about their business. In order to translate their deep understanding of their retailers to their online business, Sullivans teamed with digital agency Whereoware to redesign their website using this retailer data - to place the right product in front of the right customer at the right time. The new site is mobile-friendly and easy to update to reflect targeted promotions and merchandising. Product imagery and promotions are personalized based on core product categories and whether the visitor is a registered retailer. Sullivans even extended this personalized experience to their email campaigns. Combining website and email personalization grew website visits 212%, mobile traffic 94%, and visits from email 106%. See step-by-step how Sullivans personalized the customer experience to make shopping easy and intuitive for retailers (and how you can, too!).

4:15PM: Using Episerver Find in an Agnostic Fashion to Meet Complex Search Requirements

Everyone knows that Episerver Find provides an excellent out-of-the-box search solution for Episerver Digital Experience Cloud implementations, but the power and flexibility of Find can be used to do much more - helping you to tackle even your most demanding Search requirements. 

In this session, we examine SRAM Connect (a B2B web application for bike builders) as a case study for using Episerver Find in advanced fashion. SRAM Connect makes use of the lower-level .NET Find API to provide a powerful custom search implementation. During this session, you will learn how to build a custom indexer, custom search, and how to leverage a custom index data model to extrapolate data in a way that makes searching more tailored and efficient. This approach can also be used to take advantage of Episerver Find in existing Ektron implementations, even before a re-platform to Episerver.

4:15PM: Sowing Seeds of Innovation

See how LEVO Digital leveraged Episerver Digital Experience Cloud to transform one of Australia's oldest institutions and create one central cloud-based platform to fuel innovation and power a 14-day, city meets country event attracting close to 800,000 people.

5:00PM: Monday Night Mixer

As the 1st day at Episerver Ascend comes to a close, it’s time to step out of the sessions and labs, and into our Monday Night Mixer, featuring good conversation and even better libations. It’s a chance to discuss the day’s content while getting to know our sponsors much better in the Partner Village.

Tech Leader Agenda