Adobe and Microsoft: Preserving the Status Quo is Not a Strategy

“Preserving the status quo is not a strategy.”  That’s how Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen kicked off the Adobe Summit on Tuesday. He was speaking of digital disruption and transformation in general, but what amounted to a vision statement could just as easily sum up the burgeoning new alliance between his company and Microsoft. The status quo in this case might be a shortsighted refusal to take platforms to market together because of old loyalties to .NET or Java, perceived strengths of other point solutions, and other ways of thinking about the exact same customers in distinct, limiting silos.

That sort of thinking will only hold a company back in the digital era, and Adobe Summit showed us a bold new step forward instead.  On a day featuring no shortage of other news– the unveiling of Adobe’s new Experience Cloud approach, for instance– the announcements around how the two software giants are making their months-old partnership real was what really stole the show. I spent some time making the rounds of the exhibit floor after the keynote, and everyone I spoke to agreed on how exciting and groundbreaking the whole thing was, and is.

Quieting the Critics

When this alliance was announced back in September, there was no shortage of cynics eager to dispel the possibilities inherent in the onstage handshake between Mr. Narayen and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. If I had a dollar for every time that I heard “Adobe is Java, not .NET” or even “This is just another ISV to Microsoft,” I could retire happily today.

Yesterday proved the cynics wrong. This is more than just a paper partnership to these companies.  Much more. To begin with, the Adobe team highlighted the use cases and actual integration scenarios they’ve now published on their Partner Solutions Portal.  I’ve been digging into them and these are real-world examples of how these platforms can work together to deliver unparalleled customer experiences.

The Rubber: Officially Hitting the Road

At Perficient, we’re very much in tune with much of this, having taken it upon ourselves to prove out and design a recommended architecture for Adobe Experience Manager on Azure late last year. That’s one building block– and an important one for the enterprise.  Azure is a world-class enterprise IaaS platform in use by 90% of the Fortune 500.

Featuring incredible attention to compliance and 38 global data centers, Azure provides data sovereignty in more regions of the world than Amazon and Google combined.  The second scenario sees marketing data ingested from Adobe Campaign and uses Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM and Power BI to draw up powerful, real-time analysis. If you don’t know Dynamics CRM, perhaps you should get to know it– a full-featured CRM platform considerably more affordable than Salesforce.

Either way, Microsoft and Adobe are all about bringing global businesses closer to their customers– whether physically via Azure and data sovereignty, or digitally using the latest advances in marketing and analytics. This is more than just talk, though.

Adobe is Open for Business on Azure

Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie soon took the stage to deliver the coup de grace.  All of the above sounds great, but at the end of the day, talk of integrations and potential benefits is still just vaporware.  To get real, you need real products– which is exactly what Microsoft and Adobe are giving us.

The key supported integrations now available in production from Adobe and Mirosoft.

As seen above, AEM on Azure will officially be known as their Web Experience Foundation.  My colleague Mark Polly has already provided more thoughts around Campaign Orchestration and the Data Insights available when you bring Campaign, Dynamics, and Power BI together on Azure.

“Starting with these [three solutions] it is possible to put these [products] in production now,” Mr. Guthrie said to significant applause.  As a partner who’s spent the last four months getting ready to do just that, we at Perficient couldn’t be more excited.

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