As you can imag­ine, cus­tomer and com­mu­nity response about Site­Cat­a­lyst 15 has been tremen­dously pos­i­tive. Every­one is eager to upgrade as soon as pos­si­ble; and well…they should be. Did you notice that the num­ber of your Idea Exchange ideas we’ve imple­mented went from 42 to 101 with last week’s release? So, back to the ques­tion, what do you need to do before you upgrade? Read on.

Many of the new Site­Cat­a­lyst 15 fea­tures are pos­si­ble because of improve­ments to the way data is processed. On your upgrade date, your data is processed dif­fer­ently from that date for­ward. As a result, seg­men­ta­tion, Unique Vis­i­tor counts for arbi­trary time peri­ods, undu­pli­cated met­rics in clas­si­fi­ca­tions, and full sub­re­la­tions on all con­ver­sion reports (to name a few) will be avail­able from your upgrade date for­ward. If you run a report from before your upgrade date, you’ll see some­thing like this.

Message indicating some features are not available

With that back­drop, let’s talk about how to upgrade. Here are the steps.

1. Get more infor­ma­tion on v15. We’ve pro­vided an out­stand­ing (if I may say so myself) guide to walk you through the upgrade process. The Upgrade Guide is avail­able in Site­Cat­a­lyst under Help > What’s New > Site­Cat­a­lyst 15 Upgrade Guide. If you do noth­ing else today, read this (I mean the PDF, not this screen shot).

Page from the upgrade guide

2. Check with stake­hold­ers. Because we’ve improved the cal­cu­la­tion of cer­tain met­rics, those met­rics will change slightly as of your upgrade date. Check with a few key Site­Cat­a­lyst data con­sumers in your orga­ni­za­tion to iden­tify the best sea­son or month to take on those changes.

3. Notify your Account Man­ager. After you’ve read the doc­u­men­ta­tion and are ready to upgrade, let us know. Your AM can pro­vide an ini­tial assess­ment of whether you’re likely to upgrade in the next few months. Dur­ing the first few phases of upgrades, we’re look­ing for spe­cific types of cus­tomers, cus­tomers that we can ensure will have an excel­lent upgrade expe­ri­ence, and that will help us learn how to accel­er­ate the upgrade rate. If you’re not cur­rently a can­di­date, let your AM know that you’d like to upgrade as soon as an oppor­tu­nity arises. He or she will keep you on the upgrade list and notify you when a slot opens up. (You won’t need to check back reg­u­larly, as indi­cated in the orig­i­nal ver­sion of this post.)

We’re work­ing very care­fully to ensure that the upgrade to Site­Cat­a­lyst 15 is an excel­lent expe­ri­ence for every­one. We’ve had a very thor­ough beta, and now we’re keep­ing track of the first wave of cus­tomers to learn what can make the process bet­ter for other cus­tomers upgrad­ing. We’ll sand out any rough spots and grad­u­ally accel­er­ate the num­ber of cus­tomers who upgrade each month.

If you have any ques­tions, feel free to post them here or check with your AM.

5 comments
microsoft crm
microsoft crm

The calculation is my biggest concern as well. I can't wait for the new features. I'm sure that it will make life easier.

microsoft crm
microsoft crm

I love the new SiteCatalyst 15. I have nothing but positive things to say about it. I was so thrilled when I was able to finally upgrade. I really appreciate that you took our Idea Exchange ideas. You have done a great job with figuring out a new way for the data to be processed. I am definitely impressed.

Tim Elleston
Tim Elleston

Hey Bret, Thanks for the post on this. To be honest, many customers are surely frustrated by this process, especially your Beta testers and CAB members, who, in many cases cannot upgrade for a variety of reasons (not only from a business standpoint, but from an integration standpoint). We're ready to upgrade, were part of the beta, sit on the CABs and yet we've been told we now have to wait between 6-12 months because we use SearchCenter. Surely it should be your customers decision to upgrade or not, not a limitation of the system. We're extremely enthusiastic about the new features, but we can't use them...for quite a while. Jason Egan summed it well in his comment on my frustration post on my blog (http://bit.ly/sitecat15)..."it'll be interesting what happens to CAB members who can no longer contribute because they're not on v15, and Summit next year will be testing because many won't have met the upgrade criteria." Thanks Tim

Lucy G.
Lucy G.

Bret, can the new calculation of the visits metric be retroactive? That is my biggest concern. If the new calculation of visits changes so that it now includes the non-persistent cookie users this will affect our ability to compare to previous date ranges.

Bret Gundersen
Bret Gundersen

Lucy, Great question. I'm glad you brought it up. The new calculation of visits only applies from the upgrade date forward, so you'll need to prepare your users for the increase in visits. There are a couple common workarounds, including using ReportBuilder or ExcelClient to apply a percent increase to historical numbers so you can publish a trend or year-over-year comparison. Additionally, you could apply the "Visits with Visitor ID Cookie" segment to a report to see what the visits metric would have been under the old calculation. Customers that have already upgraded are telling me that just informing their 200+ consumers of the expected change was sufficient.