Indivirtual at Hippo.Connect 2016 in Amsterdam

The Indivirtual stand at Hippo.Connect 2016.

The Indivirtual stand at Hippo.Connect 2016.

Last week Indivirtual was present as a platinum sponsor at Hippo.Connect 2016, held in the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam. Hippo.Connect is an annual event organised by Hippo to bring clients, partners and developers together, to talk and learn from each other. In order to achieve this, the event contained a full program of parallel sessions on a business and a tech track.

The day started off with the registration and building up our stand, since this would be our home base on the conference floor for the whole day. When we were ready, the opening of the conference was about to start! After a warm welcome by Jeroen Verberg, CEO and Founder of Hippo, the big news of Hippo joining Bloomreach was explained in more detail by Raj de Datta, CEO of Bloomreach. To clarify; Bloomreach is the company behind the leading commerce personalisation platform. Furthermore, Raj explained how the Hippo CMS and the Bloomreach machine learning engine together could create a platform in which the right content could be delivered at the right moment. Until today this was usual in commerce websites and now this could also be applied on content, to create an all new digital experience.

Business track

During the day several sessions were held by clients of Hippo, in which they explained the digital transformation of their websites using the Hippo CMS.

In one of these sessions our colleague Frank van de Velde, principal consultant at Indivirtual, gave a presentation of the digital transformation of one of our own clients, the Consumentenbond (Dutch consumer organisation). First of all he explained the case of the Consumentenbond, then he described how they teamed up with Indivirtual as partners for the migration of their website to the Hippo CMS and a large scale content update for an all new website concept. Furthermore, this presentation gave the conference audience an insight in the challenges, complexity and lessons learned of one of the most impressive migrations in Hippo history, such as the planning and maintenance of (temporary) cross references between the old and the new CMS/website.

Our colleague Frank van de Velde together with Yariv Gringold.

Our colleague Frank van de Velde together with Yariv Gringold.

Later in the afternoon Owen Tribe, Digital Transformation Project Lead at Met Office (weather and climate forecaster), gave the audience an insight in the way his company had reduced the time, from idea to production, from three months to three minutes! In this digital transformation journey the most important goal was to bring business and IT together by removing the divisions inside the company and, of course, to automate all IT processes.

During the business track sessions we discovered a common thread running through them. Which contained the conditions that business and IT must always work together in an Agile process and that the business must always work with partners, instead of suppliers. As a result, these conditions will bring the highest possible business value to your organisation, within the available resources.

Tech track

In the tech track sessions the audience got their hands muddy, dived deep and got technical with the Hippo engineers and partners. It started off with Arjé Cahn, CTO at Hippo, who gave an insight of the BloomReach DXP Roadmap. Topics as Visual Editing, Workflow, On Demand SaaS/PaaS, extending Hippo with BloomReach (and vice versa), Content Performance Analytics and the Content Performance Score are all there!

After this promising session Adrian Collier, Product Manager at Hippo, continued with describing the benefits of Hippo OnDemand. This service, running on Amazon Web Services, allows developers to just focus on their web application rather than managing the platform it is running on and let the Hippo engineers worry about the rest.

In the afternoon Ard Schrijvers, Lead Developer at Hippo, told how relevance is done the right way: do it server-side instead of client-side. Because client-side solutions can’t do this (properly) as of render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content. He explained that you only have a few seconds to capture someone’s attention, therefore your page should always show relevant content within that time.

The last session on the tech track gave the audience some tips on how to successfully upgrade to Hippo 11. Upgrading your web application from version 10 to 11 is relatively easy, but from an older version this becomes a quite complex process. Therefore he advised to analyse your web app carefully and to test, test and test the whole upgrade process on all environments before going to production.

Inspiring day

Between all the inspiring sessions there was plenty of time for a cup of coffee and conversations with clients, business professionals and former colleagues. Finally, after an intensive day the event was closed with a networking party, with drinks and bites! Rather than telling everything, we’ll just share a few of the pictures our photographer took, to give a better impression of the whole day.