by Thor Olavsrud

Adobe takes aim at customer experience, partners with Microsoft

Mar 21, 2017
Adobe SystemsAnalyticsCloud Computing

With its new Experience Cloud offering, Adobe seeks to help enterprises optimize customer experiences. And working with Microsoft and other partners, it will create a standard semantic data model to make it easier to customize apps, capture behavioral data and glean insights.

cloud data warehouse
Credit: Thinkstock

Customer experience is the name of the game at Adobe Summit 2017 in Las Vegas this week. Today the company unveiled its new Experience Cloud offering, along with a new partnership with Microsoft aimed at creating a standard semantic data model for customer experience apps and services.

For years, digital marketers have measured digital interactions to gather customer data in an effort to optimize customer interactions in real-time by doing things like personalizing landing pages and targeting display ads. The new Adobe Experience Cloud brings together Adobe Marketing Cloud, Adobe Advertising Cloud and Adobe Analytics Cloud in an effort to take the technology Adobe has developed for digital marketers and extend it to all the areas that touch on customer experience, like optimizing and personalizing customer support or building products.

“The intent is to push this technology across the entire enterprise,” says John Mellor, vice president of Strategy, Business Development and Marketing at Adobe. “Think of it as an evolution to support where customers have pulled this technology and where we see its future. It’s a way to help enterprises understand this is not just a marketing discipline anymore. It goes beyond just a single department.”

Yes, Sensei

Experience Cloud is built on the Adobe Cloud Platform and leverages Adobe Sensei’s machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities. Adobe has updated Sensei with new capabilities for enterprise customers, including Fluid Experiences, Auto-Target, Enhanced Anomaly Detection and Contribution Analysis. There are also new tools and partner integrations available through Adobe I/O (Adobe’s cross-cloud developer portal), including offerings from AppDynamics, Clicktale, Dun & Bradstreet, ForeSee, Mastercard, ooyala, SapientRazorfish and others.

Experience Cloud also integrates with Adobe Creative Cloud and Document Cloud to streamline workflows.

Meanwhile, Adobe is building on the partnership relationship it established with Microsoft two quarters ago, when the two announced they would collaborate on product development and R&D. In conjunction with other industry leaders, the two partners plan to collaborate on a semantic data model for understanding and driving real-time customer engagement. The model will standardize how data is structured to expedite the process of gaining insights from massive amounts of data.

Mellor says a common data model is necessary to break down the silos that have grown up around data. For instance, he says, if the marketing function and customer support and development are all to share customer data, a common taxonomy is required.

“What do I call a customer profile? What’s inside that? What do I call a campaign? What are the attributes of a campaign? You support team needs to know exactly what the marketing team means by a campaign or an offer,” Mellor says.

Customize and capture

By providing end-to-end integration at the platform level, the partners say customers will more easily be able to customize their apps, capture behavioral data within web and mobile apps and glean insights from across Adobe and Microsoft services, as well as any other platforms that support the data model.

The partners are working other industry leaders to build the data model, including AppDynamics, Acxiom, Dun & Bradstreet, Qualtrics, Zendesk, [24]7 and Mastercard. Mellor anticipates the initiative growing and bringing on more partners, though.

“We view this as being an open standard,” he says. “We think it’s an industry need. We particularly look to our developer community to support and rely on this.”

The partners expect to provide a progress update at Microsoft Build 2017 in May.