Read Time: 7 Minutes
So, you think you need a new Sitecore partner.
Maybe your current partner implemented for you, and things are working fine, but something feels off. Ever since they finished the build, they’ve been standoffish, only begrudgingly providing you with support when you really pester them about it. When it comes to maintaining your solution for prime performance, it doesn’t quite feel like their hearts are in it and they don’t have a “can do” attitude.
Or, worse, maybe one of the following describes your situation:
Your site technically “works,” but things load painfully slow, and your deployments are riddled with surprise bugs, downtime, and unhappy side effects.
Your Content Editors can’t build out new sections of your site on their own. If you want to make any changes, you have to get developers involved..
Generally, working within Sitecore doesn’t feel as easy as you thought it would be, and you feel frustrated about what you paid for.
If any of the above sounds familiar, let us assure you—you definitely need a new Sitecore partner, and sooner versus later. Those are all major red flags that your partner is no longer serving your needs, nor are they interested in doing so. The truth is they’ve moved on, and they’ve got bigger fish to fry.
Sometimes Sitecore partners specialize in implementations… but the maintenance, support, and upgrades required to keep those implementations operating optimally? Not so much.
But, there’s hope! You just need a Sitecore support partner you can trust. Here’s what you should be looking for.
What you should expect from a Sitecore support partner
First and foremost, you should expect a Sitecore audit. Any Sitecore support partner worth their salt will want to become deeply familiar with your existing Sitecore implementation, including all the hidden bugs and lack of best practices that led you to needing a new partner.
They’ll also want to understand your goals, and to what extent you feel your current implementation is meeting those goals. The most efficient way for them to learn these things is with a comprehensive Sitecore audit.
From our experience, the Sitecore audit lays the foundation for a successful support relationship. It gives us the data we need so we can fix what went wrong, and optimize what could be better—all guided by your current priorities and marketing initiatives.
At Engagency, we architect and build complex, powerful, and intuitive Sitecore implementations. We also specialize in supporting, upgrading, and enhancing those to meet the ongoing needs of our clients.
Here’s an inside look at our process.
1. Schedule a discovery call
Before we actually dive into the audit, we schedule a discovery session with you and your team. This initial conversation is essential to a successful, tailored audit.
In this conversation, we’ll discuss the big picture. In a perfect world, what are your aspirations for your Sitecore website? What functionality do you want to be using? What are your biggest pain points that prevent you from doing your job today? What's not working properly with your current implementation?
A Sitecore audit—or at least a good one—should follow a standard protocol. But this discovery conversation separates the good Sitecore audits from the outstanding ones that clients feel great about.
Based on this discovery conversation, we can truly tailor the audit to your needs, issues, and goals. We’ll understand the unique pain points of your Content Editors, so we can be sure to dig deeper to find the issues behind those problems—and propose a solution that integrates with your current workflow and environment.
2. Perform the audit
Next up, we actually perform the audit. A Sitecore audit is a comprehensive technical assessment of your current Sitecore implementation, conducted by experts well-versed in Sitecore. By that, we mean a team of Sitecore Certified Developers, Architects, and Support Engineers who each have over a decade of experience in Sitecore.
At Engagency, our Sitecore Audit follows a 180+ point process tackling and auditing things like:
Whether or not Sitecore best practices were followed in building your environment
Whether your Sitecore solution was architected with modularity and reusability in mind, allowing a streamlined editing, review, and publishing process for your Content Editors
Whether the server configuration, databases, and hosting are optimized for performance and minimal downtime according to your traffic needs
Whether the Media Library and other site assets have been optimized for fast loading
The overall health and stability of your Sitecore environment
3. Discuss our findings
Once the audit is complete, we have another conversation with you where we present our findings. Here, we’ll reveal everything we found, and how it’s impacting your marketers’ ability to use Sitecore, your visitors’ satisfaction with your site, and your tech team’s ability to keep things operating optimally.
This discussion isn’t merely a report of what’s healthy and what isn’t. We also present our solutions for fixing the bad, improving the good, and making the best even better.
By the end of this discussion, you’ll have a thorough understanding of the current status of your Sitecore website, and what, precisely, caused any frustration you were feeling.
4. Create an action plan
After the findings discussion, it’s time to look forward. We’ve spent enough time in the past. Now, it’s time to visualize how we’re going to transform your Sitecore solution into a well-oiled, revenue-generating asset for your business—rather than a technical liability.
First we’ll present our prioritized list of remediation tasks. These are the tasks we feel will drive the biggest performance gains the fastest—based on our understanding of the technical foundation of your environment, as well as the current obstacles it’s creating for you and your team.
We’ll also reconnect with you on your wishlist. It’s common for priorities to change, so we want to ensure that the remediation tasks we propose still align with your needs as a business. For example, Black Friday may be your biggest time of the year. So, we may prioritize updating your server configuration before tackling some of the bugs that are creating inefficiencies for your Content Editors.
Typically, our remediation plan focuses on restabilizing your Sitecore environment above all else, since an unstable environment is what leads to more bugs, more inefficiencies, and revenue-sucking downtime. (In other words, some of the tasks we propose, however boring, will be essential if you ever want to see your wishlist happen.)
By the end of that conversation, we’ll have settled on a game plan that’s merged our remediation plan with your wishlist. You’ll have a prioritized list of tasks for us to complete, organized by impact and cost-efficiency. You’ll also have an idea of the scope for each of those tasks. Best of all, you’ll be able to envision what working in Sitecore will look like after each task gets completed.
5. Ready, set… support!
It’s go time! Using the game plan as a guide, we can size the monthly bucket of hours you need to address everything on the list at the pace you desire.
Our Sitecore Managed Services plans are simple. You pick a bucket of hours you can use however you’d like, whether that’s fixing issues, building new features, or a little bit of both.
Choose Engagency as Your New Sitecore Partner
As a decision maker, it’s your responsibility to know the health of your Sitecore environment, as that dictates future planning and implementation. If you’re unaware of its status, you can’t foresee the unfortunate ways it could stall—or completely block—future marketing initiatives.
With Engagency as your Sitecore support partner, we’ll share that responsibility with you. After we fix the damage wrought by your previous partner, we’ll manage your solution moving forward, ensuring you don’t have to live through that kind of nightmare again. Instead, you can enjoy Sitecore the way it was meant to be enjoyed: easy to use, easy to personalize, and easy to maintain.