New AI, Analytics Head Global Release of Adobe Experience Platform

NEW-PRODUCT NEWS: Adobe has released Adobe Experience Platform, billed as the industry’s first real-time platform for customer experience management (CXM). The system activates content based on customer profiles to deliver personalized content in real time.


LAS VEGAS--Adobe announced a series of product updates and partnerships March 26 at its annual Adobe Summit. Headlining the announcements is the global release of Adobe Experience Platform (an update to what was earlier called Adobe Cloud Platform).

Partnerships with Microsoft, LinkedIn and ServiceNow were also announced that are all aimed at improving the personalization and effectiveness of Adobe Experience Platform to marketers and other enterprise users.

The Adobe Experience Platform is the umbrella term and underlying technology that ties together four Adobe services: Advertising Cloud, Analytics Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Commerce Cloud.

Among other features, Experience Platform is designed to help companies stitch together data spanning the entire customer journey–including marketing, revenue, creative and commerce–into real-time customer profiles. With real-time profiles, Adobe said companies will be able to offer customers products and services more effectively based on their online activities, purchase history and other criteria.

Sensei Brings Analytics

Adobe’s offering includes a layer of artificial intelligence, called Sensei, to help with the personalization.

“The idea is give customers the right offer at the right time,” Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen (pictured) said during the opening keynote.

He shared details of Adobe’s own story of digital transformation, going from a company that primarily sold packaged software, such as Photoshop and Illustrator, that was updated every 12 to 18 months to an online subscription model with frequent feature updates.

“Customer engagement, particularly in the subscription business, is about driving lifetime value,” said Narayen. “At Adobe we like to say (customer) retention is growth.”

Improved Analytics with Journey IQ

Adobe announced a significant update to its Analytics Cloud headed by Journey IQ, a set of Sensei (AI)-powered analysis features for analysts, marketers and other enterprise users to get deeper insights into what actions led to purchase decisions as well as what didn’t work.

John Bates, Adobe’s director of product management for Analytics Cloud, said the new features are crucial in the new world of mobile app use where pageviews and web visits can’t be measured the same way they were in the desktop era.

He said early customers, including some in the airline industry, are already leveraging Journey IQ. For example, some are tracking customers’ online behavior leading up to booking and boarding a flight–as well as post-flight–to get insights as to what led to booking the flight, a particular seat and other choices and whether the experience was positive or negative.

Another use case is giving retailers the ability to accurately track which brand engagements drove a consumer to purchase more clothing during, say, a Black Friday sale, compared to others who didn’t convert.

“Digital transformation is about seeing the customer holistically,” Bates told eWeek.

The Power of Partnerships

Adobe also announced an extension of its partnership with Microsoft and a new integration with LinkedIn (owned by Microsoft). Adobe and Microsoft are now aligning key data sources, including Adobe Marketo Engage and Microsoft’s Dynamics 365, to populate account-based profiles in Adobe Experience Cloud. The idea is to make it easier for B2B marketers and sellers to identify and engage B2B customer buying teams.

The other big partnership announcement is between Adobe and ServiceNow, which now offers integration between Adobe Experience Platform and the ServiceNow Platform to give marketers and sellers a more comprehensive view of customers across their digital journey.

Getting Closer to Azure Cloud

Narayen is scheduled to be “in conversation” with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on stage here on March 27. During a press briefing the day before, Narayen teased that one of the things they will discuss is a deeper integration of Adobe’s services with Microsoft’s Azure Cloud.

“We’ve done the heavy lifting to make sure we run on Azure Cloud,” said Narayen.

Adobe Summit runs from March 26-28. Adobe said it expects its biggest turnout ever with over 17,000 attendees. While welcoming attendees, Steve Lucas, Adobe Marketo senior vice president of the Digital Experience Business, joked: “This is like the Woodstock of marketing–without drugs.”

David Needle

David Needle

Based in Silicon Valley, veteran technology reporter David Needle covers mobile, bi g data, and social media among other topics. He was formerly News Editor at Infoworld, Editor of Computer Currents...