DX Café - Love Your DXP with Dennis Augustine

Konabos Inc. - Konabos

3 Oct 2022

Note: The following is the transcription of the video produced by an automated transcription system.

welcome everyone to the first ever dx cafe event i have matthew mcqueeny from konaboz the dx cafe community will seek to bring together marketers and technologists through digital and real life events much like this one social engagement community spotlights and ongoing conversation we want to be educational entertaining interesting and we will seek to act as a translator between marketing technology and of course finance joining me today is dennis augustine partner at conan a boasts cx architect and six times psycho mvp i will be out of breath if i have to say a few more things but he's a good guy anyone in this industry has either heard a lot about or has started to hear about headless jam stack and composable dxp in this conversation denis and i will focus on the subject of the dxp and we hope to convince you that there is a world where you can actually love your dxp so let's get right to the beginning of it here dennis first principles can you explain to us what a dxp is yeah i love that we start by breaking down the acronyms because we're in a space that's full of so many and i get into a habit of just rattling them off and folks eyes glaze over so yeah let's get let's get right into what is a dxp it stands for digital experience platform so we chopped off the e because it's not so cool i wanted to use the x so digital experience platform and it's a super set of what gartner used to call the wcms or web content management system space gartner d you know decommissioned the wcms part of their magic quadrant in 2019 but the digital experience platform is what wcms was plus some other sort of marketing like features for marketing automation analytics personalization and those sorts of things great now we're going to see here the back to the future trilogy are some of my favorite movies ever and that even includes number three i will go to bat for that one i will never give up a chance to use it in a discussion but dennis how does the movie back to the future tell us a bit about where we are with the current state of the dxp yeah that's uh it's an interesting thing to bring up and i love that movie no matter what mike mike was shaking his head he doesn't doesn't agree with you you're you but you know we all know mike has terrible taste in pop culture so that's all okay um no that back to the future relates to um to this so the static web is great again um in in in many ways the whole composable and jam stack space made the static web um cool again we started out with with the static web in you know the late 80s so folks like ken and i who are old enough to remember when html and um you know the world wide web uh was just birthed that was the static web it was static html it was images you know some javascript files and and style sheets a little bit later on but it was pretty much fixed then later on we started in i guess around you know 93 or so we had cgi or the common gateway interface and more dynamic sorts of web pages so by dynamic it means it's created on the server right so the web server somewhere else grabs some code and it puts some data together and with some that code and it generates that html and all that stuff that was dynamic web or web 2.0 then we evolved to a place where we wanted to be able to do that using systems and the web content management systems of the late 90s you know the epi servers documentum interwoven those sorts of things came into the enterprise space and then steve jobs went and invented the iphone right and um the whole mobile revolution and the mobile first sort of paradigm sort of broke out we have this web 3.0 time we have a interactive dynamic web and we start to see the rise of some of the first headless content platforms why because with the mobile first sort of thinking or just mobile thinking and mobile apps becoming more important we realized we needed to do content across different sorts of channels and it wasn't just about the web channel anymore and so it was really um i think it was the the iphone that broke the old wcms model and started to have this then move towards headless omni channel that means many different channels sort of strategies in marketing and that gave rise to to where we are today and i had to add to that one of the latest advents to that going along with this composable way of thinking has also been jam stacks so that is javascript apis and markups which is going along with this headless philosophy and that is really what then generates in a lot of cases people use jam stack techniques to generate static web pages um out of that dynamic background so that's how we get static web back again and the web of course the static web is was something that was characterized by being super fast because they're just static files and things got bloated and now we're bringing back that static web that's why i guess you've used this back to the future reference but that's what it's all about in a long-winded sort of way and i think when we look at the next screen here this is going to start to speak a little bit to that maybe period between where we where we were which is where we kind of are there was this idea of the monolith the all-in-one what i like to say for those in the united states particularly almost like the triple play of of cable internet and phone and then there's the composable um so when we hear these terms monolith and composable what do they mean and how do they come into play in this discussion right so a monolithic platform is one where all of the pieces are tightly coupled with each other all right so that was kind of at the heart of gartner's definition of dxp back in the day they talked about them as a well integrated and cohesive set of technologies so that monolith was where things were very tightly coupled and one piece of the platform was very closely tied to the other and the appeal of that was that the integration was supposed to just work right so you didn't have to go and do all of the some assembly yourself um it was supposed to just all work together so that was the monolithic sort of philosophy and over time as we got more sophisticated with our marketing we stacked more and more capability on top of that monolith um so it got bigger and bigger and more and more bloated now now that we're talking about we removed the headless the the content platform from that monolith when we started talking about headless omni-channel platforms we started to when that happened it pretty much broke the monolith it started to decompose the monolith and in many ways that kind of pulling out of that one component from that whole it emphasized the modular nature of this approach or the potential for a modular sort of approach to how we put together a digital experience platform perhaps it didn't have to be all so tightly coupled perhaps we could as well just have things with more single areas of responsibility as we do in solid kind of architecture principles and have more of a modular approach to the overall platform so it's a philosophical shift where we're trying to take a little bit of a more loosely coupled rather than tightly and well integrated and more just loosely coupled connected approach towards building the platform and we've also had that kind of be synonymous as well most lately with lighter weight sas based approach or software as service approaches as well where the whole of these whole components can live on you know on the web as a service when we talk about the decoupling aspect of the of the monolith why don't we get into a little bit of what some of those elements of the stack of the tech stack are like what comprises a digital experience platform well uh first of all as i mentioned before the digital experience platform is a super set of web content management systems so the stuff that was part of wcms is a necessary part of the core function of a dxp so content authoring is going to be core content delivery will be core to that so getting the content authoring it delivering it to the customer that certainly is the core part of wcms but when does it become an experienced platform is when we start to talk about the customer experience parts of that so customer experience is really a conversation it's a two-way dialogue so it's no longer i just put this content out here it has to be able to speak and interact with the with the customer and any good conversation is about listening as well as speaking so um we want to be able to listen in the platform so there then we add things like customer experience analytics we start to track the things that the customer is doing we get analytics about how the content is being consumed and the platform should respond by personalizing the experience for the customer the content that the customer will see at the web channels at the endpoint of the web channel and this is well the last thing though is the p platform it is a platform so at its core it's also got to be extensible um as well so that those are the core things i think the authoring delivery analytics and personalization and the extensibility is really what's core to it making it a dxp and just as a quick follow-up dennis when we're when we're thinking about why the monolith why the all-in-one broke up it's partially because on the market a google analytics might outpace an analytics being created by a company that specializes in something else an email experience platform might not be able to stand up against a specialized mailchimp or a constant contact and in some ways is that the marketplace helping this composable shift as well absolutely there's a lot of innovative people who have dedicated their lives to building companies that do nothing but email and analytics and folks who are really specialized you've heard the phrase you know jack of all trades master of none um that's the danger of trying to build a um a monolithic dxp you'll try to do everything and you can't possibly do everything you know extr very well you know extremely well it tests take um you know you might build your company out and have very large units but ultimately you need leadership that thinks differently in different areas and makes different sorts of decisions to get the innovation that you need to have really best of breed on those platform components so it's hard for uh every aspect of a monolithic dxp to stand up in the marketplace against um some other more specialized rivals and options for sure great so now that we have talked about the technology let's talk about the business organization we are probably all familiar with the acronyms we see here but to level set our conversation dennis can you explain cmo cto and cfo and what their general roles are within their organizations yep sure they're part of what we're typically called the c-suite it's going to include another acronym the ceo who's the the chief executive officer who's running the whole organization in charge of strategy and everything else and and i'll say as an aside as a digital strategist i don't see the c-suite often enough so it's really um somebody who we'd love to see more around the table when we're talking about digital experience but this the ceo um leads up the c-suite and the chief marketing officer or cmo that's what that stands for is in charge of course of the marketing operations for the organization the strategy for its customer experience making sure people know who you are and why they should be interacting with you with your organization the cto is going to look after the technological best interests of the company as it comes to well the infrastructure its security its scalability their ability to recover from disaster all of those sorts of things and oftentimes application development comes under the purview of the cto as well um it can happen under with with marketing but typically for for under the cto would run application development and uh cfo of course for the financial interests of the company there he's going to make sure he or she is going to make sure that the company is fiscally responsible um they are going to make sure you watch their money and you make all the right decisions to keep you stable all right now let's look into now that we've had those definitions um and we we will look forward as well in our chat to see if if these ring true with the audience or if we see other applications for these but let's look into how these people him her they um interact with a digital experience platform so dennis can you talk a little bit about the cmo and the dxp what the main concerns and pain points for that team and department sure the cmo and their team is going to really be wondering you know do the tools that we have have the ability to execute the strategy that we're envisioning so that's really going to be their cheap concern can my people use these tools effectively when it comes to comparing you know we talked about monoliths versus the composed new composable direction there are a lot of tools out there that their team may want to use and and might already be accounted for in the monolithic system so there can be duplication and you might feel like you know we can't go and you know invest in this other analytical tool analytics already built into my platform so there's a lot of overlap of tools that they might be looking at when we're talking about a the monolithic system and they might not again have the best of breed tools when we're talking about a composable approach for the for the cmo um you know one of their challenges might be well where's my wizzy wig going to go because i've just heard dennis talk about headless for example and there is a lot of good news out there for the cmo on on that front too and a lot of these headless approaches including those by some of the partners on this call as well take care of things like page composition so they're you're not going to necessarily lose that when you go those other sorts of approaches but these are things that the cmo is going to be interested in when it comes with their dxp one thing i will say about the composable approach and the cmo is just like we talked about the components of the platform being best of breed uh one when i challenged you with the you know where's my wizzy wig thing it was because oftentimes we find content managers who are going who have to also be ux experts and compose pages and uh write content and do the analytics and it really means that you start to have to as a cmo to hire some unicorns who know a little bit of everything as opposed to taking a different sort of approach where we'll let ux experts deal with ux and content writers just with content and analytics people just with con with analytics so it enables you to have more specialized nimble focused teams so it does require a change in your thinking as a cmo with how you'll interact with your team but i think it's one that leads to greater agility for sure great and let's look towards the cto the chief technology officer what is keeping her up at night well for the cto and uh it's it's really going to be about the complexity which is going to wonder about the complexity of the infrastructure the cost of the infrastructure that'll be involved with the dxp and the technical resources how easy is it to come by the expertise that we need to be able to execute the dreams that marketing just put in front of me so for the cto those are the things that are going to be foremost in her mind uh monoliths uh certainly the monolithic approach is going to pose is going to be not attractive in the sense that it's one product but certainly tends to have greater infrastructure costs and that sort of a thing if we're talking about the typical on-prem models for composable again um there are a lot of advantages typically associated with sas offerings and having the ability then to pick things that are a little bit more secure sometimes when we're talking about static web delivery so secure scalable delivery at the edge those are things are going to be really at top of mind for that cto and lastly and debatably the most important because it's where the money is but how does the cfo intersect with a digital experience platform well plainly yeah plainly paying for it and wondering is there value in the thing that we are paying for one thing that i will note is also they're going to be more and more interested in um what's the ongoing commitment mike on the call pointed out a few days ago an article in cio wire where it was that organizations certainly after the pandemic have been shifting more towards operational expenditures or opex rather than capex expenditures and that's interesting in this composable versus monolith or sas discussion as well uh in that sas is typically something you're going to pay with your opex you know you're going to pay monthly for over a long period of time and the sorts of approaches to towards digital experience that i find to be more most appealing i think lend itself well to that as well so the cfo is going to be wondering about paying for it whether it's going to be a large upfront capital expenditure or if it's going to be something a little bit more consistent that i can stretch out over time and to me the composable mindset and evolutionary thinking lends itself well to that great so we've speaking we've spoken about these three roles um and then perhaps when we bring in the c-suite that you spoke of in general how how should they interact and make decisions uh i've heard you talk a lot about the five ps can you explain those and do those come into play here sure absolutely like i said it's the c swedish are folks i would love to have around the table when we're talking digital experience a lot more and the five ps that you mentioned are used as a kind of a rallying point when we get those decision makers around that table so we can get some alignment about where we're going to go they are purpose what's the purpose of your organization what are you trying to achieve what is your mission what's the problem that you're trying to solve certainly these two things are really i mean driven by a lot of the executive decisions and they should be present and owning them then what are who are the people involved so it is purpose problem the people the process is and then the platform and you'll notice that i put platform as the last thing so we do consider all of these um these more important things before we start picking platform tools and that's how you start to build these cross-functional discussions uh with the team what is our our mission who's the audience we're trying to reach what sort of discussions do we want to have with them uh what sort of data points are there how is my team going to work with that and only then do we start to pick the building blocks that we're going to use to to build our uh our digital experience platform great so we spoke about the dxp and we've kind of spoken about the love part but let's really maintain the la to maintain this love how often does an organization need to check in on their processes on their software choices the elements of the composable stack and do those reviews need to include all of these parties do the reviews need to include all of these parties absolutely certainly not on every you're not going to get the c-suite on every meeting and you shouldn't try to but i think the sweet suite without i love the idea of a center of excellence for an organization's digital experience because ultimately digital experience touches on almost every aspect of a large enterprise today so to have all of the key decision makers around the table at least quarterly i think makes a lot of sense certainly initially in this kind of five piece discussion that we talked about then quarterly to revisit those and to make you know important gated yes no decisions that we should have talked about in those initial meetings but the center of excellence as well monthly i think monthly you want to be guided it's again it's a conversation with the customer right so um conversations change it's not just you know the top exchange and if you're still saying the same thing with your digital experience while the customer has moved on you will be left behind and so yeah it is a constant review process i think there's needs to be ongoing attention paid to the analytics on an ongoing basis by the marketing team in particular but uh certainly the center of excellence should get together monthly to kind of review where it'll be going and quarterly to make some important pivots and involve your technology partners at that time because you know your heads down with your customers and you need to know what is new on the marketplace that can help us have uh keep exploring the possibilities that are open to us great dennis lastly one of the key selling points of composable dxp is that you are not locked into a vendor and switching costs are minimal that is a great benefit but as a large organization even easy change can be hard how do you assess when it is actually time to change to pivot as you said well i think uh first of all if it's not broken don't fix it pay attention to what you have and use and involve what you have to adapt to the conversation so i think that's the first thing we should not think that massive change is is good for any organization and yeah so we'll want to make sure that we we make change slowly uh but certainly uh when there is pain that's a good indication that there should be some change you know if you're you're a cmo and you're wondering why everything is taking so long or a cto and everything is too complex and unsecure or cfo and it's way too expensive and that's causing you pain that's a good sign it might be time for a little bit of change but certainly make a lot of those uh decisions carefully and in a considered way well yeah along your decisions and get together and talk to each other certainly perfect thanks dennis um so let's just kind of distill some of the elements here that we've uh we've we've covered so we talked about dxp standing for digital experience platform it's history that we're actually back where maybe we started with an interregnum of a monolith we talked about some of the core functions namely content management personalization email analytics and and cdp or content delivery we talked about the monolith versus composable i always like the triple play versus just get the internet have netflix have youtube tv compose your own television watching experience we spoke about how the chief marketing officer chief technology officer chief financial officer interact with a dxp and how they interact with each other in relation to the dxp and we discuss the importance of road mapping review and change management especially in such an agile and really changing marketplace great so one quote here that just came out about two weeks ago today it was in cms wire and it was by irina guseva of gartner and it really hits home on some of the topics that we will be discussing as we move forward so we kind of talk about today as being the the dxp 101 for those in school right but we're gonna start to talk about how you can decouple from an all-in-one and that it's an evolution not revolution and this quote was really uh great so moving from monolithic to composable is a journey it starts with composable business and composable thinking before the industry can move on to composable dxp did you want to just hit on that quick dennis absolutely i want to be in irena's amen corner on that one because it's it's just so it's so wise it goes along with what i you know said um just earlier before we wrapped up uh matt that you know you do need to make these changes in a considered way um taking into account your people and processes and then gradually evolve and change the mindset you know digital experience is not something you do every three years when you're forced to re-platform it is something that should be an operational evolution and rather than a revolution we know that revolutions have martyrs and you don't want your you don't want your team your organization your job to be on the on the chopping block of anybody's uh revolution you would rather just want to evolve over time so i i'm in irene's corner on this one and we're going to look forward to talking with people about how they can slowly start that that sort of evolution of their platforms great so just with a little bit of a community bulletin board before we have a little coffee and chat here uh just to let you know about some of the upcoming events we have uh next week a week from today at 12 p.m we're gonna have predicting the future of composability with dean barker from optimizely he's the director of content management there and he's a i love his love his brain he's a great teacher and uh and and loves a good metaphor uh the next day we're going to have our inaugural dx cafe toastmasters club meeting i might just have dennis say a quick word about that because it's kind of his his baby oh yeah toastmasters is a great organization one of the the world's leading organization for public speaking and leadership skills i'm a toastmaster myself for many years and it's probably one of the the best dollars you can spend to for a professional doll professional development dollars that you can spend individually or as an organization so i'm hoping that people in our dx cafe community will will join the club and begin that journey of learning for all of us great and then we actually have an in-person networking event at the end of the month may 26 5 p.m at amsterdam brewhouse right on the lakefront there in toronto so if anybody is around or has any interest in coming by it's going to be a great event right now we have i think content ultra commerce and search stacks on board to host with us so we're really looking forward to that uh and lastly two ongoing things uh if you would like to present or discuss have a conversation with us uh we're with yourselves because this is a community uh on these uh on these kind of noon time wednesday events if you would uh we recall have a call for papers and topics just to submit and those can be for these or really the dx toastmasters club could be really useful for that as well to help with some of the grammar and things like that lastly community spotlight we really want to spotlight the members of the community and the professionals doing things the right way working with community so um we would like if you would nominate your favorite pros so kind of the submissions are for your thing community spotlight is to nominate uh pay it forward to others um and we will we weren't able to get our qr code on here in time but you know as we move to our next screen i might show a qr code if if the opening presents itself so thank you everybody and what are we drinking [Laughter] for coffee coffee coffee i swear it's coffee in here right yes so i'm a water guy so i'm cheers to cheers cheers [Music] nice to see um i see mark here the the marks mr lamont and surveys which i haven't seen in in quite a while well actually i've never met mr surveys it's just been part of the virtual community i'm sure others have i like the um denis and matt first of all thanks that was really great info as always and you know the more i hear about this composable stuff i think it makes total sense i mean if you're you're you're moving in the direction of breaking up the monolith but you know when you start getting into specialties right where we're now you know have the ux guy do the ux thing have that content person focus solely on content so that they get the best content out there for the the customer's best experience so i i like i like where that's going and that was a revelation or uh something i took away today was that yeah it just makes sense that you want your best of your best doing what's really what they're gifted at really yeah i mean it's quite a it's a difference in thinking though because i know that most of um you know the monolithic space i mean a lot of for example we work with sitecore quite a bit a lot of folks in the cycle xp space are all are used to using the page editor there so there there actually have content authors who are you doing using the page editor and laying off the pages and sometimes doing html and they need to be able to use the analytics in first so you have like one person in a lot of these organizations who's trying to do a lot of different things now that might just come down to not having you know the money to have the head count to have people specialized in areas right so perhaps perhaps you do need so i'm not we're not going to be saying that all-in-one is just for nobody right there are organizations who who are going to be who need a wordpress or a wix that makes the most sense for them and they can it's a little bit more agile for them because they have one person who used to do everything and so it goes but if you're trying to build a really more agile enterprise like an enterprise is a large complex system and everybody who knows things about large complex systems whether their system's made of people or machine parts they'll know that it's better to have areas of responsibility for the system that you can understand and control and have things specialized so that modular thinking is the only way to reliably build a large complex enterprise right so you have to start shape change the way you think if you're going to be doing digital marketing at the enterprise level um where's my wysiwyg is not really a prob uh question that shows an understanding of that fact but it's not the person's fault i think we need to do a better job explaining that to um to our customers yeah and i think the end goal there too is just to make sure that those big organizations are agile right and flexible and can pivot and adjust as matthew mentioned earlier to the ever-changing marketplace and and the customer expectations absolutely not agile though i mean maybe i'll just i'd love to hear with folks about the same um experience as i but sometimes when i say agile in a business sort of meeting it's like a dirty word i mean i think a lot of developers and engineers with underscores solution architects and so forth will understand you know that's a lot of the benefits of agile but i talk to an enterprise project manager um sometimes they think it just means well there's no end to the budget or i never know when it's going to be done um no structure no planning no structure no plan that's what agile means and uh you know when you when you grow up and learn to put together a proper plan give me a call um but i you know i that's that's the sense that i get i don't know how much has anybody else kind of gotten that that kind of shade for using the word if i can call out i don't know jmill jason miller are you are you available to say anything i just would love him to introduce himself because he actually works in the enterprise so i don't know if you want to just introduce yourself to the community jason i'm putting you on the spot but you're my friend so i feel like i can that's what friends do yeah he might yeah okay so we lose jay's gone to the washroom yeah no well there's there's one point i know we've i feel like we've name-checked mike a bunch of times because his video is on and uh but i i like the the metaphor that you've made in the past in relation to this that the enterprise has specialization whereas building a wordpress site wix squarespace for a small and medium business which is more than enough for them it's not to say it's a bad thing but you have the metaphor about um kind of the busker right who can play all of the instruments they got the guitar they got the harmonica they have the drum with their feet and that's unbelievably amazing but then kind of the enterprise composable is more like the symphony right there's all the specialists and it's a very high level it has the conductor and the full orchestra so i thought not to speak about because buskers are amazing right but um there's a there's a time and place i i've liked that that metaphor yeah it's a great metaphor actually all right well what is does anyone want to say what their favorite i'll tell my little coffee story i have a great great place in town called cloveberry and my wife picked up my coffee today and the owner said i'm giving matt a special bold one to kind of qa test it to see how it is and it was pretty tremendous can you drink water though right dennis you like nespresso i think i am i'm an espresso junkie yeah so we got way too much and we're definitely going to take it take it with us uh yeah i go through a lot of that stuff sure yeah i like my tennessee whiskey though i can't i can't lie there well it's a little little early for tennessee whiskey exactly what much nudge yeah yeah are the uh i don't know yeah all right well that was good i think we're up on our we're close to our time but that was i really appreciate everyone i think it was a hopefully a good start set the stage get some on demand action on it yeah i wanna thanks thank you for everybody who's come out and uh please do share with your your networks well when we do the next ones and if you have things to present yourselves uh we would love to have you and please join us for the toastmasters club stuff that's coming up i'm gonna get some uh the sign up sheets for that posted on linkedin and twitter um for the kona both people here we got you covered for the other people you know you can pay for yourselves or you can get your boss to cover you that would be really good all right thanks everyone good job thanks everybody thanks take care thanks everyone thank you oh thanks matt

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