Even before the Adobe Summit, that took place in March 9th to 13th, 2015 in Salt Lake City, UT, Forrester had this to say “Adobe was a runaway winner across a broader digital experience delivery portfolio”.
Adobe put a great show (including a concert by Imagine Dragons!) and displayed a wide range of digital marketing products and integrations. It was fun. It was Radioactive!
“Marketing” for marketing aside, there was a lot of ‘meat’ in the conference as well. So, without much ado, here are our 6 takeaways from Adobe Summit 2015.
- Adobe Marketing Cloud now has two new stars, if you get the pun – Adobe Audience Manager and Adobe Primetime. Audience Manager is just another name for what the industry calls ‘customer segmentation’. The difference here is that it provides a central data platform to aggregate all your customer profiles from various data sources and group them into ‘audiences’. These audience profiles can then be used to target your marketing across channels and devices. Primetime integrates with Adobe’s analytics platform and also Audience Manager and is most helpful, as you may have guessed, to organizations that generate revenue based on advertising. For example, using Primetime you may target an ad to XBox users meeting certain criteria. You can read more about Primetime here.
- As with prior Adobe Summit conferences, Analytics played a big role in Adobe’s messaging. This is not surprising from the fact that historically, the Salt Lake City, UT conference was an Omniture/ SiteCatalyst (now called Adobe Analytics) conference. Adobe announced new features to advance the analytics platform including Contribution Analysis and Customer Attributes.Contribution Analysis: If you have ever tried to read a web (or other) analytics report, you will know there are always outliers and anomalies that skew the data. With Contribution Analysis, you can now navigate to the anomalies section and get a concise understanding of these anomalies without necessarily having to do all the hard work ofsieving through the data. In short, integrating with Analytics, it helps with the following:
- Analyzes immense amount of data in seconds, rather than consuming weeks of data scientist time
- Provides automated advanced analytics usable by non-quant analysts
- Offers a rich, intuitive, interactive user experience tied to segment creation
- Analyzes customer attributes including offline ones imported from your CRM solution
- Customer Attributes: Customer attributes is useful if you need to tag your customer after logging in, and surface/tag the customer across the experience. This is similar, yet different from classification and provides a powerful way to track your customer behavior end-to-end. The caveat, is that implementing a useful customer attributes solution can be complex.
- Adobe Experience Manager also received several updates. AEM (previously called CQ5 or Day Communique) has matured significantly over the last couple of years and it was no surprise that there was a lot of activity in the form of hands-on labs, customer stories and new announcements. Notably,
AEM version 6.1 will be available in Q2, 2015.
As of this writing (March, 2015), the latest AEM version available is 6.0 Service Pack 2. One Adobe Engineering manager I talked to encouraged us to be part of the beta program for 6.1 – which we recommend to our clients as well, if they have development cycles and sand-box environments to spare.There has been a major overhaul of the underlying content repository from version 5.6, which uses CRX2 to 6.x which uses Apache Jackrabbit OAK as the storage repository. There are some things to consider when you upgrade and since Apache Jackrabbit OAK is at version 1.0.xxx, there are some gotcha’s that customers need to be aware of. Talk to us if you are in the process of an AEM upgrade and we can help you navigate through some pitfalls.
- From an overall solutions perspective, the ElasticPath commerce integration with AEM is noteworthy. ElasticPath, a commerce product vendor, announced it’s upgraded Cortex API, that integrates with AEM 6.x versions. Unlike other integrations we have seen, this solution provides an easy to integrate, Java OSGi based Component model. There was a client session, where Adobe, ElasticPath and McGraw Hill Education (client) discussed their solution. This was a great example of multiple parties coming together to put together a solution that other organizations could benefit from.
- Adobe announced new development tools for AEM which was well received by the technical community at the Summit. Sightly, the new front-end development tool is gaining popularity with AEM 6.0 customers. Sightly version 1.1 is to be announced in Q2, 2015. As with most ‘easy’ to use development tools, Sightly comes with some performance considerations. Adobe engineers told us that with version 1.1, Sightly is just as performant as using JSP within your Components. As with most performance metrics, one needs to be careful how it is used. Autowoven can help make the right choice, so talk to us if you are considering switching to Sightly as your front-end development language.
- Adobe announced AEM ScreensAEM Screens was demonstrated during the key note sessions and it wow’ed the audience. During the demo, using a few clicks within AEM, a content author was able to “slide” a new promotion from their system to .. and this needs a pause.. to .. the Times Square billboard! A new, personalized Coke promotion was pushed to the giant Times Square billboard in Manhattan in just a few clicks and swipes. Social media reaction to this announcement was.. priceless!
Did you attend the Summit? Let us know your comments. Interested in scheduling a time to talk with autowoven’s Adobe Certified experts? Contact Us for a free discovery session.