Adobe Consolidates Several Marketing Functions into 'Experience Cloud'

Company has combined a flotilla of cloud-based marketing functions into what it calls the Adobe Experience Cloud, debuting it March 21 at its Digital Marketing Summit.

Adobe.Summit

LAS VEGAS--Like so many other things in the IT world that are converging--meaning cramming more and more computing, networking and storage functionality into servers and mobile devices--Adobe as a software and services provider is finding itself on a similar track.

The San Jose, Calif.-based creative-content and marketing product and service provider has combined a flotilla of cloud-based marketing functions into what it calls the Adobe Experience Cloud, debuting it March 21 at its Digital Marketing Summit here at the Venetian.

Adobe, which had developed a large but disparate number of content-creation, digital marketing, advertising and campaign-building services, has brought all of them together onto a centrally managed cloud platform. In this way, content creators can use one suite of tools to design documents for various types of deployments (web advertising, email, broadcast, video), create marketing campaigns across those channels, turn dials on all the controls, then collect analytics data on everything that happens in order to determine the level of success it renders.

While Adobe's Analytics Cloud has been the go-to place for collecting and processing data for the various clouds, Adobe also uses its in-house artificial intelligence package, Sensei, to facilitate data sharing across the new all-encompassing platform.

Sensei is based upon Omniture, the web analytics company Adobe bought in 2009 to develop the analytics engine it now uses throughout its product line. Sensei has scaled nicely as Adobe has turned up the production for its users (see listing of company statistics at the end of this article).

One might think that Adobe, in moving all its software to the cloud and figuring prominently in the digital creative and marketing world, would be setting itself up to be a direct competitor with Salesforce.com. But Adobe doesn't have the CRM (customer relationship management) and sales tools to be much of a threat in that particular market; it is much more competitive to other companies in the marketing, advertising and creative content business sectors.

Adobe Running Services on Microsoft Azure

Adobe also announced at the conference that it is continuing to develop a partnership it began last fall with Microsoft by integrating some of its sales and marketing software for use on the Azure cloud.

Adobe and Microsoft said they will develop a shared data language to be used in Microsoft Dynamics 365 sales software and in Adobe's marketing software to simplify the process for customers as they make use of large amounts of information as it comes in from various sources. Adobe and Microsoft said at the conference that the as-yet-unnamed data format will be created within a circle of partners that also include Zendesk, AppDynamics and  Qualtrics.

Adobe Analytics also will be baked into Microsoft Power BI, a tool that enables customers to analyze data and create visualizations.

Adobe, like a growing number of companies, is heavily focused on providing its customers with the tools to enable the ultimate "customer experience" when users are in buying mode online. Adobe's Experience Manager Sites Managed Service, a marketing service that makes sure that customers come away satisfied after a purchase, has been installed on Azure, the companies said March 21.

"This is not only about the content itself, but the experience that you're seeing," Elliot Sedagah, group manager for the Experience Manager team, told eWEEK. "We have nine of the top 10 auto manufacturers running on our platform, and when their customers come to their websites with many different form-factor devices and many different languages. It's a very complicated use case to handle 30 languages and all the types of content that is created, and handle them well throughout the experience."

The "experience" takes into account everything about the interaction, including the speed and efficiency of the web session itself. The Experience Manager enables IT to optimize this to the Nth degree if necessary.

How Garmin Is Using the Adobe Cloud

Amanda Cichon, an internet applications manager at Garmin--which not only makes personal navigational devices for cars but also for outdoor, aviation, marine and sports/recreation purposes--must make sure her company's digital experiences are satisfying to a variety of audiences. Adobe's cloud enables her to manage those expectations, she said.

"A marine customer, for example, tends to be very technically advanced," Cichon told eWEEK, "which is vastly different from how we communicate with a soccer mom who just wants to get more steps and live a healthier lifestyle. We have those challenges, and those are two simple ones, but we deal with them every day."

Adobe hit the mark there in terms of flexibility and its capability to support all of Garmin's requirements, Cichon said, "but we pretty much saw them as a strategic partner. They have a very clear vision as to where they are going ... their marketing cloud can not only support our immediate needs, but grow with us over time."

Adobe, by the Numbers

Here are some Adobe enterprise metrics:

--Adobe was a leader in 17 digital marketing analyst reports in 2016, more than any other company in the market;

--Adobe processes 100 trillion data transactions per year (Google manages around 2 trillion searches a year);

--Over half (55 percent) of Adobe Analytics transactions now come from mobile;

--Adobe manages $3.5 billion in digital ad spend per year;

--Adobe receives more than 700 million API calls per day;

--Customers are adopting more than 1,000 new integrations in its Marketing Cloud per quarter;

--Adobe has more than 3,800 partners, including 10 of the world's largest agencies and 8 of the 12 largest system integrators; and

--Adobe Summit attracted 12,000-plus attendees and 1,500 partners this year.  Executives from National Geographic, T-Mobile, NBA, Facebook, Microsoft and others joined Adobe executives on mainstage.

The Adobe Summit 2017 continues through March 23.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he has...