Performance & Feature improvements for Industry Super Fund after Sitecore 9.3 upgrade.

This fund is a leading Australian Superannuation Fund based in Brisbane, Australia. It is one of Australia’s biggest and fastest-growing profit-for-members super funds, with 1.3 million members and $58 billion in funds under management. Their purpose is to ‘inspire and empower Australian’s to fulfil their retirement dreams’.

Keeping their MarTech up to date

As with all marketing technologies, maintaining the latest version means having access to the most updated features and benefits of the platform. More often than not, these features are the reason for the MarTech investment in the first case.

In 2018, the fund approached Triggerfish to upgrade their Sitecore platform, giving them the ability to acquire and nurture new and existing customers through the website, while also consolidating a number of other marketing investments onto the common platform. Triggerfish completed the Sitecore 8 to 9.0.2 upgrade in just 60 days.

Ready for Sitecore 9.3

Unless organisations are using MarTech Software-as-a-Service, the platform owners are tasked with continuous development and optimisation of the platform. MarTech running on PaaS or IaaS (ie. not managed by a dedicated performance & optimisation team), will naturally experience contributions from multiple developers, parallel programs, significant data collection, and fluctuating traffic. All these activities are very normal, but also contribute to gradual performance degradation of the platform over time.

Now in 2020, and with a number of Sitecore version releases since 2018, the team was ready to upgrade their platform again and take advantage of the updated features in version 9.3.

The business was looking to address some of the above concerns within their existing platform. The team wanted to specifically look at the performance and optimisation of the:

  • Content management server & content delivery response time
  • Analytics & reporting
  • xDB Analytics growth
  • Scaling
  • Content indexing
  • xConnect & xDB load handling

 

In Numbers

86%

response time improvement

64%

decrease in errors

6-min

reduction in deployment time

800

platform bug fixes

The Tech

Sitecore 9.3

Microsoft Azure PaaS

Azure Service Bus

Azure Search

A big thank you to the Triggerfish team on another successful Sitecore upgrade. It couldn’t have gone better and highlighted why we enjoy partnering with Triggerfish.

Performance & Feature improvements

In just over 2 months during the peak of COVID-19, Triggerfish worked with the fund to upgrade their Sitecore environment to the latest version.

Specifically, the Experience Database underwent performance improvements, optimisations and maintenance rules were applied. Glass Mapper was also upgraded to the latest version, and the implementation was reviewed to utilise best practice - which also resulted in a significant performance improvement. The Sitecore 9.3 upgrade itself features a redesign of the mechanism for page tracking for the user session, and how that data is submitted to xConnect when the session ends which added to overall performance. Finally, the platform caches underwent a tuning exercise by Triggerfish to optimise performance under high load.

Since the upgrade, the business has seen the average homepage server response time reduce from 1.8 seconds to 0.25 seconds – boasting an 86% improvement in response time. They have  seen a 64% decrease in errors being reported by utilising the data provided to us by Microsoft Application Insights, and production release deployment times have been reduced from 19 minutes to 13 minutes in Azure DevOps.

Data insights informing optimisation

Over the last two years of partnership with the fund, Triggerfish have been collecting valuable data on the performance of the infrastructure. Using this data, Triggerfish were able to optimise the platform to improve performance, stability, uptime, cost predictability, and capability of handling high load periods – in line with the needs of the technical infrastructure. Specifically, in April 2020 during the Australian Tax Office’s Early Access to Super scheme that cause an increase in general market activity around superannuation, the fund saw 450% above normal users on the site.

New and improved Sitecore features

On top of these huge performance improvements, the fund now has the opportunity to utilise new and improved features of Sitecore, including Forms, Advanced Marketing Automation and Personalisation Dashboard - features that they didn’t have before. Sitecore Experience Forms gives new fields types, better validation, browser support and improved bot detection. Sitecore Forms also has a major data performance improvement in version 9.3. To top it off, there was approximately 800 Sitecore platform bug fixes as part of the upgrade.

Throughout these platform updates, the fund maintained their APRA and data privacy compliance to Australian standards.

With Triggerfish as a partner, the business can be confident that their Sitecore platform will remain up to date, meeting their performance requirements, as the need for Superannuation services changes over time.

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