Back in Person @ Adobe Summit 2023 – With masks in the past!

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The Adobe Summit is next week!, and our team of technical consulting professionals is gearing up to attend this exciting digital conference. We can hardly wait to meet customers, catch up with old friends at Adobe, and learn about the latest innovations in the CDP space, AEM, Workfront, and Assets. Here’s a breakdown of what we’re most looking forward to:

First and foremost, we can’t wait to connect with our customers. It’s always great to meet face-to-face and talk about how we can help them achieve their business goals. Plus, we get to hear about all the cool projects they’re working on and the challenges they’re facing. It’s always inspiring to hear their success stories and learn from their experiences.

Of course, we’re also excited to learn about the latest innovations in the industry. From new features in AEM to advancements in Workfront and Assets, we’re eager to see what Adobe has in store for us this year. We’re hoping to gain some insights into how we can help our clients leverage these new tools and technologies to stay ahead of the curve.

That being said, we’re not expecting everything coming out of the Summit to be smooth sailing. As we all know, the tech landscape is constantly changing, and sometimes even the best innovations can fall short due to unforeseen circumstances. We’re still reeling from the loss of 3rd party cookies, which was a game-changer in the digital marketing space. But we’re looking forward to seeing how Adobe is adapting to these changes and what they’re doing to help their customers navigate the new landscape.

One thing we’re a bit disappointed about is the lack of sessions related to innovations in the design space using Figma. As you may know, Adobe recently purchased Figma for a whopping $20 billion, and we were hoping to see some exciting new features and integrations announced at the Summit. Unfortunately, it looks like the SEC is currently reviewing the purchase, which may explain why Adobe is keeping mum on the topic for now. 

We were also expecting to see more sessions on how Generative AI is going to impact the Content Management space in the future, but perhaps this topic will be weaved into existing topics – especially considering that major innovations were only announced by OpenAI, Microsoft and Google as recently as last week.

All in all, we’re thrilled to be attending the Adobe Summit and can’t wait to see what’s in store for us this year. We’re expecting to learn a lot, meet some great people, and maybe even have a little fun along the way (who says tech conferences have to be boring?). Stay tuned for our post-conference recap where we’ll share all the highlights and insights from the event.

7 Secrets about AEM as a Cloud Service

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Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) is a powerful content management system (CMS) that is widely used by organizations of all sizes to create and manage digital experiences. One of the key differentiators of AEM is that it is available as a cloud service, which provides a number of benefits over traditional on-premises solutions. In this blog post, we will reveal 7 secrets about AEM as a cloud service that you may not know.

  1. Automated updates: One of the best-kept secrets of AEM as a cloud service is that it automatically updates to the latest version, ensuring that your digital experiences are always running on the most recent, stable version. This eliminates the need for manual updates and ensures that your digital experiences are always up-to-date.
  2. Advanced analytics: Another secret about AEM as a cloud service is that it provides advanced analytics that allow you to track user engagement, behavior and other key metrics. This information can be used to optimize the user experience and improve conversion rates.
  3. Scalability: AEM as a cloud service is highly scalable, which means that it can easily accommodate changes in traffic and usage patterns. This is particularly important for organizations that experience spikes in traffic, such as during seasonal promotions or product launches.
  4. Multi-language support: AEM as a cloud service supports multiple languages, making it easy to create and manage digital experiences in different languages. This is especially useful for organizations that operate in multiple countries or have a global customer base.
  5. Integration with other Adobe solutions: AEM as a cloud service is seamlessly integrated with other Adobe solutions such as Adobe Target, Adobe Analytics and Adobe Campaign, allowing you to leverage the full power of the Adobe Experience Cloud to create and manage digital experiences.
  6. Cloud Manager: AEM as a cloud service includes a feature called Cloud Manager, which is a powerful tool for managing and automating the deployment of AEM in the cloud. Cloud Manager allows you to create and manage multiple environments, such as development, staging, and production, and easily deploy code changes across them. This can greatly speed up the development process and reduce the risk of errors. Additionally, Cloud Manager also offers features such as continuous integration and delivery, which can further streamline the development process and improve the quality of your digital experiences.
  7. Advanced personalization: Due to it’s easy integration with Adobe Target, AEM as a cloud service offers advanced personalization capabilities, allowing you to create personalized digital experiences for individual users. This can increase engagement, boost conversion rates, and improve customer satisfaction.

In conclusion, AEM as a cloud service is a powerful and flexible content management system that provides a number of benefits over traditional on-premises solutions. From automated updates to advanced personalization, it offers a range of features that can help organizations create and manage highly effective digital experiences. With the integration with other Adobe solutions, organizations can take advantage of the full power of the Adobe Experience Cloud to create and manage digital experiences.

2022’s biggest Adobe stories – in a minute!

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2022 has been full of twists and turns. A war that showed no abating to an inflation induced anxiety that left marketers to make tough decisions. It’s all the more important for digital marketers to keep abreast of technology updates.

If you haven’t kept up with the latest, here are the top 7 stories for marketers using the Adobe Marketing Platforms.

Looking for a partner in success?

Let’s chat, and scale your digital marketing technology!

Is COVID-19 sending us back to basics – Customer, Content and Context? *edited

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social distance

* This post was originally published in Dec 2020 and updated Jan 2022

Covid-19 has brought about a sea change in human behavior. The way we work, travel, eat, shop and play has suddenly changed. Some of the changes in behavior are temporary while others could be more permanent. A lot of it remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure – this once in a generation pandemic has made us take a hard look at the basics of life.

Consumer behavior and preferences have always followed significant historical events. What we once considered nice-to-have conveniences a few weeks ago are now considered mainstream because of the pandemic. Digital services, driven by real content are now powering the new rules of human interaction. Drone delivery is no longer just fancy but considered almost essential for some businesses. UberEats, GrubHub, Doordash, Instacart have quickly enabled brick and mortar restaurants to prevent total closure and survive.

New rules for the new economy:

Goldman Sachs predicts a 15% unemployment rate and a contraction in GDP through the rest of 2020. With tightening consumer budgets it is natural to expect your users to expect more from their digital services. And that means, every brand – not just the big brands, including the mom and pop shops, will need to show-case their products more prominently with more relevant content, in a more contextual way. A powerful digital management ecosystem is needed to keep up with the new challenges. For example, on March 31, 2020 Adobe released an insightful tool called Adobe Digital Engagement IndexDEI, that allows multi-national companies to analyze user trends. This allows organizations to analyze user trends and behavior as it happens, and appropriately adjust their supply chains, marketing and other efforts.

Update, Jan 2022: It’s two years since we wrote the above comments. The US unemployment is at historic low levels, below 5%. At the same time, more people have also quit the US Workforce. With the pandemic causing pent-up demand for products, coupled with the global supply-chain issues, the problem for American organizations – big brands and government alike has been exasperated. The question for all is – how do we do more for our customers with less? In that vein, the above comments about having a powerful digital presence is more relevant than ever before.

Adobe DEI Dashboard

Insight is great, but it’s not everything a brand needs to succeed. These economically difficult times call for a deep look at the end to end eco system, or what we call the supply-chain of content. And in this article we will talk about all the other essential tools you will need in this new world we are in.

Essential Content Management tools for the post Covid-19 economy

The tools can be summarized by this Content Funnel picture

autowoven content management funnel
  • Content sources:
    • Is the content served to your customers sources from across your organization or is it too narrowly centralized?
  • Digital Managers
    • Are your digital managers or content authors appropriately empowered both organizationally as well as technologically? How long does it take for them to curate and author content within your content management system(s)?
  • Content Categorization/ Taxonomy
    • Do you have a platform to create and manage a rich taxonomy for your content? If you are dealing with SKUs and product lines, is your content management system appropriately integrated with your PIM (Product Information Management) and/or e-commerce systems?
  • Organizational content search
    • How easy is it for your digital managers to search through large volumes of content within your CMS system(s)?
    • Is this internal search fast and does it provide relevant results?
  • Content governance
    • Does your platform have the maturity for content approvals and scheduling? Is your workflow sophisticated to handle employee time-offs and attritions without disrupting your content “supply chain”?
  • Content re-use across channels
    • Separating content from presentation is key to re-use. Does your system provide capabilities to author once and reuse multiple times?
  • User Segmentation & Targeting
    • One size does not fit all, and that is even more true in a tough market. Your CMS needs to have the capabilities for segmenting your audiences, creating profile groups and also leverage your vast content to properly target your user audiences. Is your Customer Targeting strategy meeting industry standards?
  • Analytics across channels
    • Almost every marketer today is familiar with web and mobile analytics. However, unifying data across analytis channels – for example web channel, mobile apps, facebook dashboard, etc., is a whole different ball game. Aggregating profile data from across analytics platforms requires a Data Management Platform like Adobe Audience Manager. We talked about this in our article related on Single Customer View here. Do you have the tools and the talent?
  • Content Syndication
    • Do you have the “Easy” button that can simultaneously publish time sensitive content across all your channels like websites, mobile apps, social media and Content Delivery Networks like Akamai?

Is your content marketing team ready for this new world?

Autowoven has transformed digital systems in the Finance, HealthCare, Insurance, Education and Media industries among others. Autowoven is an Adobe Solutions partner and provides digital transformation services using Adobe tools of Adobe Marketing Cloud – AEM, Analytics and Target. Talk to us today on how we can partner to provide a compelling digital experience for your customer – an experience that does not leave you behind?

More importantly, stay safe and see you on the other side of the pandemic.

10 ways AEM Forms is better than Google Forms – Part 2

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Continued from Part 1

6. Email Notifications

Email notifications at any step of the form intake process – not just after final submission, is a very powerful feature for any Forms Automation solution. AEM Adaptive Forms uses AEM Sling based SMTP mail integration to send notifications. Email recipients could be either explicit email fields within the form, programmatically extracted from form fields or pre-determined by the Form creator.

Google Forms provides some basic email notification features but at this time does not have as advanced features as AEM Adaptive Forms.

7. Advanced form routing & Workflows

Consider a HR Onboarding process which tracks an applicant from the interview process, background checks, employee onboarding, benefits registration and so on. In a typical organization, there are several players and departments involved as the applicant/ employee makes the onboarding journey. If you consider the amount of information that needs to be carried from one step to another – scaling this across an organization is a nightmare without having some sort of automation at work.

AEM Adaptive Forms, with it’s powerful workflow and user-authentication features in place is a game changer in this respect. Forms can be routed between parties securely via AEM Workflows. On top of that, the workflow steps can be put together by non-technical folks using simple drag and drop tasks, all from within the browser.

Continue reading 10 ways AEM Forms is better than Google Forms – Part 2

360-degree Customer View w/ Adobe

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Also called Customer Centricity or Single Customer View (SCV), a 360-degree view of your customers is probably the single most important aspect of Enterprise Marketing.

Adobe Single Customer View

The Business need for SCV

Today’s enterprise organizations have a need to understand their customers at a personal, individual level to keep up with customer expectations. Traditional mass-market approaches are proven to be less effective for several reasons:

  • Today’s customers have access to multiple media and market channels and unless organizations market in all such channels, they will be at a disadvantage.
  • Customers have more choices today and expect more personalized and consistent experiences
  • Brands cannot compete on price alone because of low margins, so organizations must compete on experience and better service.

How should Organizations adapt?

To stay ahead of their competitions, organizations need to adapt to meet the business challenge. To become a customer-centric and experience-focussed brands require a new approach to marketing. This involves:

  • Stop organizing around product lines and break down organizational silos. Personalized, consistent experiences have to follow the customer’s experience end to end, and an organization structured in silos cannot achieve such expectations.
  • Let Information flow across the organization by breaking down Information Silos.
  • Get granular in how customer traits are analyzed and segmented
  • Use real-time and historical context to engage in interactive marketing.
  • Use Technology tools such as Adobe Audience Manager, Adobe Target, Adobe Analytics, Adobe Campaign and AEM to analyze, segment and target your customers.

An Adobe reference model for achieving SCV

So, how can enterprise organizations implement Adobe tools to achieve the customer-centric marketing approach?

Continue reading 360-degree Customer View w/ Adobe

10 ways AEM Forms is better than Google Forms – Part 1

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AEM Adaptive Form

COVID-19 has proven that going digital, especially with your Forms, is a must-have. Whether it is a simple COVID-19 declaration form from your employees or more complex forms such as new employee onboarding forms, plain old printed forms are not going to cut it. In fact, printed forms are also arcane. Fillable PDF forms have been around for a while and Adobe Acrobat DC from Adobe’s Document Cloud solution helps to a certain degree. But organizations that truly want to embrace a post covid, modern, digital forms automation solution need to take it a step further.

In this blog we discuss how Adobe Forms, also known as AEM Forms takes on light-weights like Google Forms and does it better. We will discuss 10 features that AEM Adaptive Forms offer and how it helps organizations truly live up to a modern, digitized environment that customers and employees alike appreciate.

1. Simplicity

Simplicity in creating forms and making them available easily for your users is an essential feature for a forms builder application. In that sense, Google Forms makes it super-easy, with standar fields. But so does AEM Adaptive Forms. And like Google Forms, AEM Adaptive Forms provides easy drag-drop features to add various field types and adjust the layout. But what if your form layout needs to change based on screen size – like on a mobile device vs a large desktop? And what if you have dozens of forms that need to re-use form fields (like say, the address field)? AEM Adaptive Forms makes it simple to create simple as well as not-so-simplistic forms.

With Adobe’s Adaptive Forms, you can build forms that simultaneously suit your desktop user and a mobile user. You can drag-drop simple fields, groups of fields, rich-text fields, signature fields, image and document upload fields and much more with ease. Can Google Forms do that? Google lets you get started real quick, but you hit road-blocks once you start adding features.

Continue reading 10 ways AEM Forms is better than Google Forms – Part 1

7 Mistakes to avoid when moving to Adobe Managed Services (AMS)

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“There’s no way that company exists in a year.” ~ Tom Siebel, Founder of Siebel CRM Systems, speaking about


We all know where Siebel is now vs Salesforce. And it is inevitable where the future of computing is. Technology and services are migrating to the Cloud. Predictions otherwise have proven to be dead wrong.

Customers of Adobe’s Marketing Cloud products – now rebranded as Adobe Experience Cloud (rightfully in our opinion), have stayed with the trend. Adobe’s customers using Experience Cloud products such as AEM and Adobe Campaign – which were traditionally on-premise systems are increasingly upgrading to Adobe’s Cloud hosted services.

There are several advantages to migrating to Adobe’s Cloud hosted solution. The primary advantage is the ability for customers to create a comprehensive, omni-channel digital presence that is contextually aware- regardless of the customer’s journey. The customer can now be on their mobile phone, desktop, a kiosk or a retail center, etc., and brands have the expertise to interact intelligently. The advantages of a cohesive customer interaction cannot be over stated, but these are covered in other articles, and not the current topic for this post.

Adobe Managed Services (AMS) is an Azure or AWS Cloud hosted environment, with Adobe’s technical staff managing the servers on behalf of their customers.  This reduces the burden for managing, upgrading and maintaining the core servers while giving customers to focus on application level features.

In that light,  Upgrading to Adobe Managed Service (AMS) – which is a Cloud based service unlike traditional on-premise application, makes a lot of sense. However it takes some care before moving in this direction. So here are the 7 common mistakes that are often made by enterprise organizations when moving to AMS, that you should avoid!

  1. Not simplifying your DevOps lifecycle prior to AMS / Cloud Manager Upgrade


    If you are like most on-premise Adobe Experience Cloud customer, you are likely using some form of Git repository – GitHub, BitBucket, etc., along with a customized Continuous Integration Systems such as Jenkins.

    As your applications grow in both numbers and complexity there is often a need to create custom jobs and processes using these CI-CD tools. While some enhancements to your deployments are well thought of, there could always be add-ons, plugins and fast-forward approaches taken to perhaps, meet some deadlines. Well, this is the time to re-think your deployment processes – lack of which will result in some very expensive project failures.

    When moving to Adobe Managed Services, not only do you host your AEM (and maybe Adobe Campaign) servers on the Cloud, but are you also required to migrate your CI-CD processes to Adobe’s CloudManager. As powerful as it is, CloudManager is built with pre-defined pipelines in mind. It is certainly possible to customize the various tasks within a CloudManager pipeline, but it does not necessarily provide the same flexibility as your on-premise Jenkins implementation.

    So, one of the first few steps towards a successful AMS migration is to simplify your CI-CD Pipeline.

  2. Not architecting around a  multi-tenancy platform


    It is not uncommon for a large organization to have multiple web properties and web applications within the same Adobe Experience Manager eco-system. Perhaps multiple web applications within AEM that are integrated to both up-stream (like retail POS, CRM) and down-stream systems (like Adobe Target).  It is also not uncommon for each of these applications to be de-coupled systems with their own integrations, internal implementation architectures. Well, to gain efficiencies you need to consider moving to common platforms, services and authoring systems such as a common Component library.

    Upgrading to AMS and taking advantage of the entire Adobe Experience Cloud eco-system that can track your customer journey end-to-end, requires consolidating siloed systems into a common platform. Sort-of like multiple tenants within an apartment complex. Just like a real estate apartment complex provides common rules and services within which tenants need to work – to reduce costs and gain efficiency, considering applications to be tenants within a platform provides the same advantages.
    When upgrading to AMS, re-aligning to  a multi-tenant architecture goes a long way in your organization’s ability to map your customer’s journey and take meaningful actions. Multi-tenancy is the mantra for being nimble and manage your customer journey.

  3. Underestimating a Cloud Migration upgrade


    I don’t think there is anyone out there who believes that migrating from on-premise to any type of Cloud service is a breeze. That said, AEM, Analytics, Demdex (Audience Manager) and Neolane (Campaign )applications have their own differences between their on-prem and cloud versions. For example, AEM on AMS cannot be an old version of AEM. As of this writing your web application on AEM needs to be compatible with AEM 6.4 SP2 before migrating to AEM on AMS.

  4. Not utilizing best practices of a Cloud platform upgrade

    As an organization if you are currently working with a solutions partner with prior experience with  AMS, take their advice. If you haven’t, well, it makes sense to work with one who has. Working with an experienced partner with experience makes all the difference between success and failure!

    For example –

    • Choosing between AWS vs Azure for the underlying cloud platform
    • Factor in the right tag management framework – Adobe Launch vs Adobe DTM
    • Choosing between Adobe Campaign Standard vs Classic and integration model with AEM
    • Should you get Adobe Assets or if you should use out of box Digital Asset Management system (DAM) of AEM
    • What’s a better approach – Lift-and-shift or Re-platform?
    • Is this upgrade an opportunity to also implement Adobe Audience Manager?

    These are all important questions not to be neglected during a AMS migration.

  5. Choosing an improper AMS Level of Service

    Adobe Managed Services currently comes in two flavors

    • Basic and
    • Enterprise

    We have seen customers buy more than they need and thereby spending unnecessary dollars that could have been used in other marketing efforts. On the flip side, we have also seen customers who have not purchased the right level of service that satisfies their experience roadman. Depending on the maturity of your technical staff, complexity of your application, your roadmap, etc., it is imperative that the right level of service be chosen.

  6. Not re-aligning resources for a Cloud Platform

    Migrating to AMS is not just a shift in where your technology is hosted, but also a shift in what  technology frameworks to use. A shift in technology or in process, needless to say, requires retraining of your resources.

    For example –

    • Upgrading AEM requires a different skillset than supporting an existing AEM application
    • Customizing Jenkins as a Continuous Integration platform requires a different skillset than managing Adobe’s CloudManager
    • Administering Google Tag Manager is quite different from managing Adobe Tag Manager or Adobe Launch
    • Each Data Management Platform (DMP) Platform, including Adobe’s Audience Manager, has it’s own challenges and technical skill requirements

    All these factors require a shift in your resource skill set – either by providing additional training or hiring new staff.

  7. Neglecting to include AMS Support within your end-to-end support model

    If you are like any mature organization, your application development staff is not the same as your support team. And support teams work across applications and teams. While your core Adobe related applications move to the Cloud and you have support from Adobe Managed Services, your support staff need to work with Adobe’s staff and processes to make sure you have meaningful support across your own application ecosystem. It is therefore necessary to re-align your processes and application support touch points between your various systems to ensure there is a continuous hand-off during troubleshooting.

    And this is just the start. There is more to be aware of!  Give us a shout to learn more…

Adobe Marketing Cloud and Magento Commerce – is this marriage right for you?

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adobe magentoMay 21, 2018 is a big day for Adobe. It announced it’s purchase of Magento Commerce for 1$1.6B, and the stock market responded with enthusiasm. Shopify – Magento’s competitor, saw it’s shares sink and Adobe’s valuation go up. An indication that investors see this as the right move. Is a good investment strategy for Adobe, also a good investment for Adobe’s existing customer base? Should customers using Adobe’s Experience Cloud also choose Magento as their Commerce Solution? Is there a synergy between the products now that they are both under the same umbrella? These are some of the questions that customers should be asking and evaluate their choices carefully.

No doubt, with this acquisition, Adobe adds a significant product line to it’s Experience Cloud platform -and fills a long overdue gap in it’s portfolio of offerings. We have seen customers integrate Experience Cloud products – especially AEM and Analytics with SAP Hybris, Elastic Path and also Magento (prior to the acquisition news). Technically, all these eCommerce integrations involve setting up OSGi properties within AEM and deploying the appropriate AEM bundles. However, most realistic, production ready Digital Engagement + Commerce systems require a lot more strategy and implementation effort beyond just connecting the two systems together. The integrations involve two loosely coupled systems with very little context-awareness between the systems. Add to that these integrations cost a lot with prolonged development lifecycles.

With this acquisition, it appears that Adobe is also addressing a key frustration that is inherent to customers implementing a Digital Engagement+ Commerce solution. If Adobe provides a seamless integration between it’s Marketing Cloud products and Magento Commerce – perhaps by expanding Adobe I/O Commerce integration platform specifically for Magento’s own eco-system, it will be a great step in the right direction for both Adobe Customers and Partners alike! However, if the technical integration is very peripheral (like it is currently) and the future integration with Experience Cloud has long implementation cycles, customers are bound to be frustrated. Only time will tell how successful this marriage will turn out!

To evaluate if Adobe Marketing Cloud + Magento Commerce is the right solution for you, just drop us a line and we will bring our experience to your strategy.


Adobe Summit 2018: It’s all about that (customer) base.

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Pardon our saucy title, but Adobe’s 2018 Summit was all about increasing a brand’s customer base. Whether it’s enhancing your customer’s digital experience, seamlessly tracking customer/visitor behavior or converting anonymous users to loyal customers, there was a session to cover it. Which is what makes this annual conference a very rich experience in itself for marketers around the globe.

With 332 sessions – ranging from sessions on digital strategy to tactically tying together Audience Manager, Analytics and Campaign into a single solution, there was a session for the techies and business folks alike.

No single person can attend all the sessions. Luckily for Adobe Solutions Partners like Autowoven – the Partner Day provided a huge opportunity to review the product roadmap and vision ahead of time. Many attendees we met had come in groups – with team members attending different tracks and sessions simultaneously – very smart!

Among all the sessions, labs and strategy sessions, there were a few key takeaways:

  • Adobe continues to emphasize that the (customer) Experience economy, driven by Adobe Experience Manager is the future of digital experience transformation.
  • A new Experience Cloud ID Service (aka People Service) that can connect real-time analytics, segments and experiences with legacy customer touch points. This is the key for unifying today’s multi-channel, multi-device customer profiles.
  • Hello Watson, meet Adobe Sensei – Adobe’s AI technology! Adobe predicts Sensei will drive automated experience curation among other tasks.
  • Migrating to Adobe’s Cloud hosted platforms while taking care of security and privacy, will take the pain away from on-premise hosting.


Let’s talk about how Adobe approached each of the above hot topics:

Continue reading Adobe Summit 2018: It’s all about that (customer) base.