Adobe Summit 2012 - Salt Lake City report

10 May 2012
Stuart Dean
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Back in March, Miro, Ray and I flew out to Utah to attend the “Adobe Summit 2012”. This was the first time that I had been to a CQ event since the “Day Customer Summit” in Basel, way back in 2007 well before Adobe acquired Day so I was quite excited to see how things had changed.
 
The first day was Adobe Partner Day that focused on delivering the Adobe vision to the partner community before the actual customer summit started whilst also giving an opportunity for some last minute rehearsals for the Digital Marketing Suite (DMS) presentations and demos. My first thought as I stepped into the venue was that attendance was larger than what I  remember of the whole customer summit in Basel!

Days 2 and 3 were the main customer conference with an attendance of 4500 customers and partners. The format was a few keynotes in the morning and late afternoon with a choice of breakout sessions across the tracks below in-between:
  •  Analytics and reporting
  •  Multichannel campaigns
  •  Personalized engagement
  •  Mobile
  •  Social
  •  Tech track
  •  Web experience management
  •  Media monetisation

 I came away from the summit feeling inspired and even more convinced that our relationship with Adobe will be a great thing for Cognifide’s continued growth and success over the years to come. I have tried to summarise my thoughts/takeaway points from the 3 days below:
  • With increasing marketing and advertising dollars being devoted to digital marketing initiatives, digital marketing is the next big investment for enterprises following in the footsteps of ERP.
  • Adobe recognises the opportunity that an end to end enterprise platform for digital marketing represents and has a vision with a laser focus on delivering it.
  • The scope of this vision encompasses the creation, targeting, optimisation/ measurement and now even, predictive modelling of digital marketing activity. You start on this joined up journey in the creative suite and travel through the technology and tools of the rebranded Adobe Digital Marketing Suite (DMS).
  • None of the traditional enterprise software players are doing this – Microsoft, Oracle, HP are all lagging behind with Adobe taking the lead..
  • The fact that Adobe killed Lifecycle last year was a really positive message, reaffirming the focus they have on making this a success. As the Adobe folks would say, “we’re betting the ranch on this”
  • The above obviously means a lot more ongoing work as new clients buy into the Adobe vision. Adobe stated clearly that they do not plan to increase the head count of their internal professional services team and that they will continue to rely on the partner Eco-system to deliver services to clients. So, basically, they are committed to our success and offered help in growth of skills and offerings.
  • Adobe has also done some rebranding (again) with the latest terms being
    1. The platform - “Adobe DMS (Digital Marketing Suite).
    2. The brand “Omniture” is retiring soon and the main products that continued to evince interest amongst the delegates and partners were: Adobe Sitecatalyst Adobe Test and target Adobe Search and promote Adobe Social
  • Various new acquisitions have been made and will be added to the DMS:
    1. Demdex – Audience optimisation platform
    2. Efficient frontier – Predictive modelling of different marketing mix and the effects on results.
    3. Auditude – Video advertising platform.
  • Scene 7 - the SaaS asset management platform captivated the audience.
  • Traditionally, Adobe have been quite agnostic when it comes to e-commerce and the partner day was the first time I have seen Adobe do a retail demo/case study so this intrigued me.. Shortly afterwards on Day 2 they announced a strategic partnership with Hybris as the ecommerce platform of choice.
  • Adobe CQ is at the centre of the DMS so we certainly have a headstart as we have been working with CQ well before Adobe started thinking of the acquisition. We saw a very compelling demo of the Adobe CQ cloud manager running on AWS.
  • Over the coming year(s), the Adobe DMS will become better integrated and sold as a cohesive platform. With this, clients will expect partners to be able to deliver a full service across the platform. This will certainly influence our growth of capabilities over the coming years to ensure there is mutual benefit from our strategic partnership with Adobe.
  • In addition to the Adobe presentations, I particularly enjoyed keynote sessions with Biz Stone (Twitter), Arianna Huffington (Huffington Post), a futurology session with Blake Irving (Yahoo) and a very entertaining creative suite demo with chief geek Kevin Lynch (CTO, Adobe)
As well as all the exciting presentations, we had some good fun, snowboarding on the Friday and got some valuable one-on-one time with some potential clients.

All in all, the conference was a great experience and I’m looking forward to the Adobe EMEA Summit in London next week where we’re sponsoring the Web Experience Management (WEM) track and the Adobe partner café in Poznan over the next couple of months.