As organizations focus on the integration and interoperation of key digital systems, vendor partnerships that can deliver on this need become critical to businesses. This is especially true when the partnership involves solutions that are broadly used and critical to business operations, which is why the partnership between Adobe and Microsoft is so important and beneficial.
The three-year-old partnership is focused on integrating the systems that support marketing, sales, and service. This is particularly important because these systems are changing rapidly. Leading customers are focusing on integration to develop a cohesive view of their customers that supports much greater levels of personalization. Both firms are not only working toward better integration, but also augmenting the platforms with AI and machine learning (ML) that enable true personalization capabilities.
Delivering a comprehensive customer perspective drives the joint goal of unifying data, content, and processes. As Dave Welch, vice president of Microsoft Solutions at Adobe, notes, “With out-of-the-box integrations and specialized connectors, the free flow of information between solutions such as Dynamics and Marketo is automated and done at speed.”
There are other important manifestations of the partnership as well. The integration of Adobe Document Cloud and Sign with Office 365 brings greater speed and simplicity to many business processes. IT no longer must perform manual ETL tasks that need updating every time there is a change in underlying data structures or apps.
There are also unique elements in the Adobe-Microsoft partnership.
“There are two key facets to the integration activities,” says Welch. “First is the integration of products, and the second is working together for customers.”
Technology integration is focused on automating connections between products and adding functionality. The companies are working shoulder to shoulder to solve customer problems. This includes providing better design/integration/operation services. For example, Avanade, an Accenture company and a leading Microsoft partner, has added a new practice to support joint Adobe and Microsoft solutions.
A good real-world example of this integration is the Iowa State University Foundation. It had struggled with inefficient and manual document management processes that required weeks for funds distribution. Integration of Adobe document management technology with Office 365 cut 13 days out of the funds distribution process and greatly reduced the number of manual tasks.
Looking forward, there are many exciting things to come.
“We are working very hard to bring customers more value from the Open Data Initiative,” says Welch. “ODI takes integration to the next level, delivering a framework for enabling a single comprehensive view of data.”
AAA Northeast offers a good example of how Adobe and Microsoft change a business. Once ranked at the bottom of all AAA organizations for digital outreach, AAA Northeast set out to remedy the problem by building a new member-centric digital system using Adobe Experience Cloud and Dynamics 365. After the system was rolled out, AAA Northeast quickly became AAA’s No. 1 sales channel and moved to the No. 1 spot for all AAA organizations for digital customer satisfaction. Online revenues increased 25% year over year, and digital transactions increased by 35%.
That’s just one example of the tangible business benefits made possible by the Adobe/Microsoft partnership. There are many more. The joint solutions that are now possible will be game-changers for organizations focused on next-generation customer experiences.