You knew another big acquisition deal was going to happen. Did you bet on Adobe? To be honest, we're not totally surprised, these days it seems you need the whole package to survive. Here's what the US$600 million Adobe/Neolane deal is about.

It's About the Cross Channel Customer Experience

Adobe has a pretty slick customer experience package: social marketing, analytics, web content management/experience, but it did lack in some digital marketing capabilities and that is what Paris, France based Neolane brings to the table.

According to Adobe, Neolane brings the full marketing automation package that Adobe needs: "sophisticated automation and execution of campaigns across the Web, email, social, mobile, call center, direct mail and point of sale (POS)." 

A Piece of the Marketing Cloud

Neolane joins the Adobe Marketing Cloud. It is the sixth solution in the platform joining Experience Manager, Analytics, Target, Social and Media Optimizer. Until now, Adobe leveraged the capabilities of ExactTarget for some marketing automation. Adobe also partners with hybris for e-commerce capabilities. 

Neolane sits alongside Adobe in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Campaign Management as a visionary. It's possible that together these two companies could propel Adobe into the leaders quadrant next year.

Learning Opportunities

The deal is expected to close in July and each company will continue to operate separately until it's all signed on the dotted line. Adobe is not expecting the deal to materially affect its forecasted revenue for 2013.

Is It All or Nothing?

So here's the thing. Acquisitions are happening right and left in this customer experience space. The marketing automation vendors are getting acquired fast (Salesforce's acquisition of ExactTarget is only the latest). We see Marketo as one of the last big MA providers, but there are a few others who would make good investments for CXM vendors.

We ask this: What's the deal with OpenText and SDL? Both these big CXM vendors don't have marketing automation in house, and it must be affecting the bottom line for them. Will one of these guys make the next big acquisition? And if yes, who's the right fit for them?

We'll get you more details on the Adobe deal shortly. Until then, let's play the guessing game....who's up first?