You commit to a new software platform for your business. You migrate your content. Youcustomize solutions to support it. And then the vendor makes some big changes.
Today, users of the Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) got a glimpse into howthat happens from Adobe group product manager Cédric Hüsler, who shared thecompany's investment rules for software development.
Here's how that works. The rules recognize that customers make threeinvestments: buying the software, moving content and customizing apps. "Wecan break any of those, but never more than one," said Hüsler.
The Price of Progress
"If you don't break any of the three rules, you lose and yourcustomers lose," he said. "There has to be a balance between, yes, weneed to make changes and we want to take everyone along for the ride."
With that, Hüsler provided an update on what Adobe changed in AEM 6.0, whichwas released in May, and what will be available before the next full upgrade inthe spring.
Version 6.0 was a major upgrade, he said, but for the most part it allowedusers to choose between existing features and new ones. The biggest change wasshifting the user interface from the classic design to a touch-optimized versionthat Adobe plans to adopt across all six of its marketing cloud segments.
"The challenge is we're in this transition now where people say, 'Well Iliked the old one,'" he said. But he added that users can decide when toswitch UIs "on your own terms, on your own time. We know this is a bigchange."
Other changes were more technical and some barely noticeable. For example,Adobe replaced its 13-year-old CRX 2 repository with a new one called Oak 2. Italso changed its community component, page tagging and Java developmentenvironment.
Soon, it will release an update to client-side personalization. The current version,Client Context, predates Adobe's $240 million acquisition of Day Software in2010, will be replaced by ContextHub, Hüsler said
Another change is a step in integration of Campaign, the email system Adobeacquired through last year's $600million purchase of Neolane. Previously, AEM users needed to copy contentover, but they can now reference it from within AEM.
He said a bigger change towards full integration of Campaign is on the way."This is where you can see us not just doing bandages between applications,but actually bringing solutions together," he said.
Attendees, some of whom voicedconcern about the pace of integration beforehand, seemed pleased with Hüsler'supdate. "I thought it was great to hear the thoughts that go into how tomanage the migration at Adobe. Also, seeing how they're bringing thingstogether in the marketing cloud is really exciting," said Kate Goodwin, amanager at United Healthcarewho attended the conference with her development team.
Tony White, founder and CEO of web experience consultant Ars Logica, saidthat Adobe had a reputation in the past of having "little aptitude" inproducing or integrating enterprise software.
"The acquisition of Day Software signaled to some that this could possibly change, but the pace at which Adobe is bring together the pieces of a critically important part of its enterprise software offerings brings back oldmemories," he said. "Adobe has been great at communicating its vision for the marketing cloud, but it's now high time for execution."
In his presentation, Hüsler assured his audience that the best is yet tocome. "I personally think we're just getting started," he said.
That comment echoed comments last night in a panel discussion on the state ofdigital marketing. The panelists there agreed the art of digitalmarketing remains on the low end of its anticipated hockey stick-likegrowth.