No one, says Forrester.

In its first Forrester Wave for Digital Experience Delivery Platforms, released today, analysts said no vendor offers a truly "end-to-end solution."

"Overall completeness and adoption" in this space is "middling," according to analysts.

Unified platforms are "more myth than reality," they wrote in the Wave.

Despite no leader, Forrester did cite Adobe and hybris (SAP) as "pioneers" that offer the most complete options while IBM and Sitecore "aren't far behind."

Vendor Speaks Truth

What makes a "digital experience delivery provider" these days?

Forrester has 29 criteria, and it picked the 13 most "significant" software vendors for this Wave. Only these vendors could get into the report to begin with: Acquia, Adobe, Demandware, Digital River, HP Autonomy, SAP's hybris, IBM, Intershop, OpenText, Oracle,, SDL and Sitecore.

Even the vendors themselves, Forrester analysts say, agree they lack end-to-end solutions.

"Our end goal is a common user interface for everything end-to-end," one software company product manager told Forrester researchers. "Currently we only have that for the first third of the journey."

(No one at the 13 companies owned that commentary as of CMSWire press time).

Strong Performers, Contenders

So here's how Forrester sees the industry shaping up: 

  • Leaders: No one
  • Strong performers: Adobe, hybris (SAP), Sitecore, IBM
  • Contenders: Acquia, Demandware, Digital River, HP Autonomy, Intershop, OpenText, Oracle, Salesforce, SDL

Forrester's Top Four

Why does Forrester think Adobe, hybris, Sitecore and IBM rise above the rest?

Here are some highlights from its Wave:

Adobe, based in San Jose, Calif., scored key functionality with its acquisitions of Day Software and Omniture. It has WCM, DAM, targeting and social embedded in its marketing cloud that also includes analytics, media optimization and campaign management.

Learning Opportunities

Forrester analysts cited its lack of commerce offering as its biggest gap.

SAP's hybris, based in Munich, Germany, is "dominant" in the e-commerce space. WCM, product information management, analytics, testing and optimization complement this offering. 

It lacks in areas like social depth and DAM.

Sitecore, based in Copenhagen, Denmark, sells WCM and digital marketing as a single solution. Sitecore also has email campaign management, personalization, testing/optimization and social capabilities, all of which are fully integrated. It has yet to integrate

Forrester analysts suggested Sitecore needs to embrace third-party data more.

Armonk, NY-based IBM enhanced its digital portfolio with acquisitions like Coremetrics, Sterling Commerce and Unica. It offers portal, product management information, analytics and other marketing tools.

Areas to improve on, Forrester analysts noted, include unified business user interfaces across its tool sets, content and presentation deployment, and personalized delivery and optimization across solutions.

Last Time Around ...

Though this is the first Wave of its kind, Forrester released a similar Wave in April of 2013 -- the Forrester Wave for Web Content Management For Digital Customer Experience, Q2 2013 -- in which Adobe led the way with breath and momentum, but both Sitecore and SDL were ardently working on digital experience strategies, Forrester reported.

Forrester cited that OpenText, Oracle and HP offer competitive options for their own install bases. IBM had then made some nice improvements to its WCM platform, and Ektron, Microsoft and Acquia are on their way, according to the report.

Title image by Wilson Araujo (Shutterstock).