This month Microsoft was featured prominently at the Adobe Summit in Las Vegas. What was announced and what does this mean for Microsoft and Adobe customers? How will the two companies work together?
The alliance with Microsoft follows a string of product acquisitions by Adobe to gain dominance in the fragmented marketing cloud market. Adobe, Salesforce, Oracle and IBM have spent significant sums on acquiring companies with products to flesh out their online marketing offerings, as show in the figure below from this TFM Insights blog post.
Here are the products sold as the Adobe Marketing Cloud that are most relevant to sales and marketing:
- Adobe Target -- Helps you test the user experience on your website, such as alternative landing pages, to optimize for desired results, such as lead conversions.
- Adobe Analytics -- Suite of web analytics tools which may be extended and customized. Competes with Google Analytics.
- Adobe Campaign -- Marketing automation tools for email and offline channels. Competes with Mailchimp and ClickDimensions.
- Adobe Social -- Social sentiment analysis and coordination of social content and conversations. Similar functions to Microsoft Social Listening and Microsoft Social Engagement. Competes with Hootsuite.
Many details of the Adobe Microsoft alliance have not been released, but here is what we know so far from announcements from both Adobe and Microsoft.
Adobe has chosen Microsoft Azure as their preferred, but not exclusive, cloud vendor. The Adobe Experience Manager Sites Managed Service is now available on Microsoft Azure.
Microsoft Power BI offers connectivity to Adobe Analytics through the Microsoft content pack. This means you can create dashboards and visualizations with Power BI that consume data from Adobe Analytics, as shown below.
|Microsoft Power BI dashboard for Adobe Analytics|
Microsoft recently announced discontinuation of their Dynamics Marketing product. It was based on Marketing Pilot, a product that Microsoft acquired. Rather than creating a new product to replace Dynamics Marketing, Microsoft chose to endorse the Adobe Marketing Cloud and create incentives for join selling.
Because Microsoft was unable to gain significant market share with its Dynamics Marketing product, Adobe provides a lifeline to relevance for Dynamics in the online marketing arena. Microsoft is not shown in the following Gartner "magic quadrant" matrix, but Adobe is in the strongest position:
In a broader initiative, Adobe, Microsoft and other industry leaders (AppDynamics, Acxiom, Dun & Bradstreet, Qualtrics, Zendesk, 7 and MasterCard) are collaborating on a semantic data model for real-time customer engagement. This data model will standardize how data is structured and build new applications based on the common language. An update on the progress is expected at Microsoft Build 2017 on May 10-12.