At the Adobe Summit 2019 conference, Adobe announced that it has extended the reach of the Adobe Experience Cloud by adding capabilities developed by both Adobe as well as strategic partners such as ServiceNow and Microsoft.
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Now generally available, Adobe Experience Platform is a Big Data platform developed by Adobe that includes an Experience Data Model that is employed to create customer profiles that can be applied to a specific customer or a class of customers. On top of that foundation running on the Microsoft Azure cloud, Adobe has layered workflow applications, analytics, marketing tools and the e-commerce platform based on a platform originally developed by Magento. Adobe acquired Magento last year.
Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen says Big Data and analytics technologies have matured to the point where it’s now simpler for many organizations to consume marketing and sales applications as a subscription service rather than continuing to build and deploy these applications on a custom Big Data platform.
“Our job is to democratize access,” says Narayen.
In effect, Adobe is making the case for relying on a Big Data platform managed by Adobe versus relying on a platform that would have to be built, maintained and supported by an internal IT team. As a result, the amount of money being invested in IT infrastructure should decline in favor of consuming more application services.
Adobe also announced that is making available in beta on the Adobe Experience Cloud the Adobe Sensei artificial intelligence (AI) engine and other machine learning algorithms to further advance marketing and sales automation. Adobe also reiterated it is committed to infusing Adobe Sensei across its entire portfolio and revealed it is investing in speech interfaces to, for example, query Adobe Experience Cloud using voice commands. Adobe also previewed augmented reality applications to create more immersive customer experiences.
At the conference, Adobe also announced Adobe Audience Manager, a module within Adobe Analytics Cloud that when combined with Adobe Experience Platform enables organizations to create a real-time customer data platform that combines anonymized data with existing known customer behavior to drive cross-channel customer engagements in real time. Meanwhile, a Journey IQ module in Adobe Analytics enables organizations to better manage when offers are surfaced to the right customer at the right time. Adobe Analytics has also incorporated commerce dashboards from Adobe Commerce Cloud.
Meanwhile, Adobe revealed that Adobe Marketing Cloud has incorporated the Marketo Engage marketing automation platform. Like Magento, Adobe also acquired Marketo last year. Other Adobe Marketing Cloud capabilities added include integrations with other Adobe tools to enable personalized content delivery using automated, personalized push notification capabilities enabled by Adobe Campaign.
Finally, Adobe announced that Adobe Experience Platform has now been integrated with the ServiceNow platform to extend the reach of its customer experience platform into the realm of customer service, and that it has extended its alliance with Microsoft to create account-based experiences (ABX) through data integrations and new marketing and sales capabilities that leverage the LinkedIn social media platform.
Adobe is clearly making a case for moving beyond focusing primarily on customer relationship management (CRM) applications to manage customer relationships. That’s not necessarily to say CRM applications don’t have a role to play in managing customer experience. But CRM applications may turn out to be only one component of a larger portfolio of marketing, e-commerce and sales applications required to provide a much richer digital customer experience.