AMSTERDAM — In the little over a year since Mountain View-based BloomReach bought Amsterdam-based open source web CMS provider Hippo, the company has worked to merge the two company's capabilities: joining the artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning of BloomReach with Hippo's content management offering.

Last week at the BloomReach Connect conference in Amsterdam, CTO Arjé Cahn shared the latest step in this journey: a unified platform geared towards developers, scheduled for release in early 2018, which will bring together the APIs from all of the main products. With the developer platform, Cahn said partners will be able to build vertical-specific solutions and data apps, to embed data insights into the content management system's user interface.

Cahn said the company is striving to provide a foundation on which customers can build and deliver digital experiences. “We are not driving innovation,” Cahn told CMSWire in an interview, “we are giving our customers the tools to innovate.”

A Single DX Platform

The release will build on the company's digital experience platform (DXP) launch in May, which BloomReach said at the time was the result of the ongoing integration of its Relevance Engine into Hippo’s web content management system. The launch brought the three modules — Experience, Organic, Personalization — onto a single platform, with customers purchasing on a per module basis. 

  • BloomReach Personalization: Personalization makes use of embedded intelligence algorithms that understand content, behavior, user personalization and customer journeys among other things to deliver more relevant experiences.
  • BloomReach Experience: This was the Hippo CMS Enterprise Edition that managed experiences across all customer points.
  • BloomReach Organic: This offers organic search at scale and improves the structure of the site by linking related searches and products. It also surfaces the most relevant content for search engines and identifies gaps in content that need to be filled.

The resulting DXP boasted a semantic understanding of content that the company stated could anticipate what customers were looking for and meet those needs. The DXP also simplified reusing content and services across multiple environments by decoupling the presentation layer from the content and its associated metadata — in effect, a headless CMS.

Beginning in 2018, the company will also offer the platform under a single license, in response to what many organizations were struggling with. Cahn explained, “Organizations are struggling to manage digital platforms that are getting bigger and bigger. They have bigger teams now, they have more and more people involved in the whole ecosystem so there is a greater need for better and bigger collaboration tooling, better need to build out new websites, new mobile sites, new digital environments."

Learning Opportunities

One Platform, Open APIs

Cahn went on to stress the new approach does not mean BloomReach will become another monolithic suite, “What we don’t want to be is a suite, like our competitors on the [Gartner] Magic Quadrant who built out massive suites that do everything. We prefer to take a more open approach to the things we are doing. What we are doing is offering a developer platform where our partners and customers can hook up to our APIs.” 

The company made its entrance into the Leaders quadrant in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management this July.  

The extensive list of APIs currently on offer include the organic API, the GDPR API for privacy and content APIs. "With that [developers] can build out their own machine learning algorithms on top of these APIs and in inject them into their content management systems, so they can be used by the end user and drive personalization,” Cahn said.

Using this, organizations will be able to take data from the personalization module, including data from web pages and external sources, and use that across the platform for better customer journey mapping and experiences. This, Cahn concluded, is what he meant when he stated BloomReach itself would not drive innovation, but only providing the tools.