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.
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.
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 Index – DEI, 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.
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
Is the content served to your customers sources from across your organization or is it too narrowly centralized?
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?
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?
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.
“There’s no way that company exists in a year.” ~ Tom Siebel, Founder of Siebel CRM Systems, speaking about Salesforce.com
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Choosing an improper AMS Level of Service
Adobe Managed Services currently comes in two flavors
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.
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.
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…
May 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.
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:
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.
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?
So your friendly marketing executive calls to say he needs a Vanity URL for a page on your AEM hosted site. And you cringe. How do you get this done right without getting penalized by Search Engines? Should you do this at the Load Balancer level? Within AEM Dispatcher configurations? within AEM Publish instance? What about horizontal replication of these configurations? And oh, who’s going to maintain this? It’s not like your Dev Ops team is necessarily twiddling their thumbs waiting for work.
This post will address a few different ways to accomplish Vanity URLs within an Adobe AEM implementation and discuss some pros and cons.
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.