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Adobe buying Day – Quick Analysis


Adobe announced it was buying Day Software today, filling in a portfolio hole with Day’s web-driven content management technology and looking towards web-driven business.


For $240M Adobe is filling a long-standing hole in their portfolio, primarily in LiveCycle, the enterprise-centric part of Adobe. The content management in the LiveCycle and other brands has always been very document centric, as you’d expect the PDF-people to be. The longer-term vision is to build out the emerging category of web-based selling and “engagement” to use an old term of Adobes: allowing companies to use the web (mobile or desktop) as a primary channel for sales and customer engagement.

Much of that kind of strategy hinges on managing the data and analytics associated with tracking customer’s every move (file under “privacy is dead” and “better junk mail”) and integrating that into your sales and account management practices.

Others have hit up the content management angle (there important here-and-now) and the open source angle (which is definitely interesting given Day’s involvement with Apache). I’ll go over one longer term idea of of how the commendation of existing Adobe assets (including, most importantly Omniture) and Day gets close to a new category of IT use.

The Big Vision – eCommerce Redux


Back in the 1990’s, “e-commerce” put companies on the web and allowed them do business in the web. Retail, mostly. That was pretty huge, if you remember. Can you imagine a time before buying an airline ticket before the web? A book? Exactly. It’s almost unthinkable.

After the dot.bomb, e-commerce withered up as a buzz-tastic category – it was mostly done and there was all that Web 2.0 consumer stuff to get excited about. Google was much more interesting than selling PVC pipes over the web.

Recently, the idea of being able to track consumer’s every move on the web (thanks to Google, Facebook, and most of the Web 2.0 world) has introduced the need to return to e-commerce with that huge set of data. It’s like if everyone had a loyalty card whether they wanted to or not. While I cynically criticize this as just “better junk mail,” the point is using that pile of user data to better separate customers from their cash.

To make another stretch analogy, a lot of what’s going on here is trying to deliver on those initial goals of Customer Relationship Management, but this time, actually working and caring about the customer, not just using CRM as a way to optimize a companies internal processes. I’m sure you sit in amazement when you call up big companies (mostly utilities and telcos) and they have no sense for the ongoing relationship between you (their customer) and themselves.

Open source, traditional ISVs (Solarwinds is a hallmark example), and now SaaS ISVs have integrated this kind of sales pipeline tracking and “real CRM” into their processes for sometime now. Spreading that wider ability to “everyone” is a whole new category, wide open.

Clearly, having a the ability to deliver a strong, agile web presence (the hope is: Day, LiveCycle, and the Creative Suite tools for UX), start tracking everything (Omniture), and the sales/customer management software (missing, but with plenty partner and integration opportunities) are core parts of this vision. The category itself is a bit fuzzy at the moment and needs much awareness driving. Adobe did a good job carving out the RIA space (to be derailed by Apple with help from Google & the HTML 5 crowd) – we’ll see if they can take those tactical learns any apply them here.

Disclosure: Both Adobe and Day are clients. Slides used with permission from Adobe.

Categories: Enterprise Software, Quick Analysis.

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