Adobe kicks off its EMEA Digital Marketing Summit today with some updates to its online customer experience platform and some new cloud capabilities that go that extra mile to support marketers.

There's no time to slow down when you are in the customer experience management business. With the pace of change happening so fast, solutions need to be able to adapt quickly to provide the right tools for marketers.

Today, Adobe announces a few things that expand on its own online customer experience platform, including:

CQ e-Commerce

The Adobe CQ eCommerce solution was actually announced previously, but now it is officially available to everyone. Based on a partnership with e-commerce provider hybris (Adobe was smart enough not to take on the building of its own e-commerce solution), it is built into the Adobe WEM platform -- pick it up at the Adobe CQ marketplace PackageShare.

If you don't want to use the hybris platform, Adobe does offer the flexibility to integrate a different e-commerce solution via a standard API.

We want to say that with the e-commerce addition to the WEM platform, the Digital Marketing Suite is now end to end complete, but I suspect there's always something more you can add to make a marketer's life that much easier.

CQ Social Communities

Social Communities are a critical part of any CXM strategy and Adobe has had a good story on this front for a while. Now it enhances that functionality with new capabilities that help personalize experiences based on external social network context.

This pulls together internally owned digital properties and external social networks. Organizations can enable log in to its own properties via a Facebook or Twitter login and then use the profile information from those social networks to personalize the experience.

In addition there are new social plugins that enable these digital properties to leverage the Facebook 'like' and activity streams, allowing customer to share their experiences and content across their social networks.

This integration between owned communities and social networks makes a lot of sense. If a customer is easily able to share information across these different communities, it's more likely they will frequent the owned social communities.

Marketing Gets Up and Running Much Quicker

How many times has a marketer wanted to work on a new campaign website but had to impatiently wait for someone from IT to help them get an environment set up so they can work? Adobe may have the answer to that problem with its new CQ Cloud Manager.

Learning Opportunities

The CQ Cloud Manager was briefly mentioned earlier this year at the US Digital Marketing Summit. Now generally available, marketers are able to easily spin up a new campaign site using a SaaS-based set of web experience services.


Adobe CQ Cloud Manager

All you need is license to a cloud service (in this case Amazon is available now, with Rackspace and Bluelock coming soon), a license for Adobe CQ WEM and if you want additional capabilities, a license for Adobe DMS (Test&Target, SiteCatalyst, Search& Promote -- note only SiteCatalyst is currently available).


Adobe CQ Cloud Manager

The idea with CQ Cloud Manager is that marketers can quickly design and develop a landing page, campaign, full website, mobile or social experience, hosted in the cloud. This is not a "to production" service. It goes as far as the staging phase at which point IT would step in and help move the final product to production.

Speaking of production. That final hosted platform could be one hosted by Adobe itself. Adobe's new CQ Cloud is a hosted/managed offering via Adobe (on the Amazon cloud) or a partner. This isn't a SaaS offering, it's a dedicated environment, but it removes from the organization the need to manage the environment.

Adobe in the News

It feels like it was only yesterday that Adobe acquired Day Software (CQ WEM) and Omniture. Then it was a vendor known for some services and applications to support the enterprise, but mostly for its Creative Suite and PDF software. The last couple of years have seen Adobe grow into one of the most well known players in the online customer experience space and that market presence is growing every day.

It helps that analysts place Adobe capabilities in leadership positions, recently for digital asset management and interactive attribution software. With products like Adobe Muse for quick website creation and cloud-based subscriptions to products like Creative Suite, it's clear that Adobe wants to continue to play a key role in this market.

Adobe has a good handle on the digital marketer's needs. What's not completely clear is if that understanding goes back into the backend services and internal applications that also support a business (like enterprise content management) or if Adobe even wants to be there.

For now though, lots to check out.