Adobe (news, site) has taken customer experience management a step further today with the announcement of its Digital Enterprise Platform. This is both a re-branding of Adobe Livecycle, and a major architectural change that pulls together a suite of customer experience solutions, that ensures businesses (and in particular marketers) can be more agile and responsive to customers.

Sweeping Changes at Adobe

A lot has been happening at Adobe lately. If you consider the enhancements that have been made to Adobe Livecycle over the last year, the acquisition of web content management vendor Day Software and the subsequent introduction of the new Adobe Web Experience Management platform.

But that was only the beginning of the changes that would happen at Adobe. Today, with the announcement of the Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform (DEP) we are seeing what many likely expected to a happen and then a little more.

According to Kevin Cochrane, VP of Enterprise Marketing at Adobe, DEP has been designed to help business engage with customers across all channel in a manner that is both immediate and easy to do. DEP allows businesses to offer a consistent, personalized experience.

A Single Enterprise Architecture

Seeing Adobe pulls all of its solutions together under a single architecture is what many saw coming after the Day acquisition. Leveraging Day's modern, modular architecture based on open standards (we are speaking here of the Day CQ CRX kernel and the composite services application framework (OSGi)), Adobe has announced a single unified architecture that will incorporate all services into a single platform. This included everything that was Adobe Livecycle and the WEM platform.

The value that this change brings is two-fold. It offers IT a single platform to manage and support and it pulls together a suite of solutions for business to manage the customer relationship across all digital channels including web, social, mobile and print.

You might be surprised at the speed at which this move to a single architecture has been made, but it's a testament to how important it is to offer a technical platform that is modular and based on open standards. In this case it also demonstrates that Adobe is committed to playing a lead role in the development and support of these open standards.

Cochrane said that this new architecture takes roughly 4.5 minutes to install, takes up 388 MB of space and comes as a single JAR file.

New & Enhanced Customer Experience Solutions

It's not just the technical platform that's new. Adobe has made some updated to existing solutions, such as its WEM solution, and it has added some new services that marketers will likely love.

Updated WEM

Obviously Adobe Web Experience Management (WEM) has been built on top of DEP, so there's zero upgrade there. What's new is that it has been enhanced with tighter integration with Adobe's Online Marketing Suite (OMS). A new set of components that can be dragged and dropped into different interfaces include a new theme and survey component for customer feedback. In addition, marketers can better leverage Adobe Test and Target, using it inside CQ for campaigns.


Adobe Web Experience Management

Learning Opportunities

Customer Communications

Adobe has completely revamped its Customer Communications Solution. You would know this as the solution accelerators within Livecycle -- Interactive Statements and Customer Communications. The new Customer Communications solution offers a completely new WYSIWYG interface with drag and drop capabilities. Test and Target can also be leverage within Customer Communications to support more intuitive electronic statements.

Integrated Content Review

Also new is the Integrated Content Review Solution. Designed to support marketers, it enables better tracking on digital assets through the different stages of design, creation and approval. It integrates directly with Creative Suite for the creation of assets, feeding them directly into CQ DAM. Livecycle BPM is leverage to provide project management and workflow across all aspects of asset creation. In addition, Integrated Content Review also integrates with WEM for the seamless creation and use of all content assets.


Adobe Integrated Content Review

Updated Mobile Experiences

Cochrane also told us that the Digital Enterprise Platform now enables the deployment of applications across all iOS, Android and Blackberry devices. This is one set of tools (Flashbuilder 4.5 and Flex 4.5), one codebase to deploy apps anywhere.

A Few Solutions in Beta

Along with the new and updated customer experience solutions created above, Adobe also has a few solutions currently in beta. These include:

  • Social Brand Engagement: A customer community solution
  • Selection & Enrollment: A guided selling process across all channels
  • Unified Workspace:  A single workspace that pulls together work across all channels including mobile and the call center.

History in the Making

In a blog post announcing the new Digital Enterprise Platform, Rob Tarkoff, Adobe's SVP and GM of Digital Solutions said:

This is one of the most exciting announcements in Adobe’s enterprise business’ history, and a significant achievement on our journey to deliver a complete CEM offering that empowers our customers to support and extend the immersive, multi-channel, digital interactions that their own customers demand.

 It has certainly made clear the importance of the Day Software acquisition, its commitment to open standards and its history as a design company.

You can learn more about the Digital Enterprise Platform on the Adobe website and at Adobe's upcoming Adobe Digital Enterprise Summit, taking place in Los Angeles on October 3 and 4 in conjunction with Adobe MAX 2011.