SDL looks to battle Oracle, Salesforce.com in 'customer experience'

SDL's Customer Experience Cloud combines Web content management, social analytics and more

Customer experience has emerged as one of the enterprise software industry's hotter segments of late, as companies try to run marketing, sales and support across both traditional and digital channels.

While Salesforce.com, Oracle and other large vendors have generated headlines for their moves into customer experience, SDL is hoping to present itself as an independent alternative with a newly launched product suite.

The SDL Customer Experience Cloud brings together Web content management, campaign management, social analytics, e-commerce, language translation services and documentation, with a unified user interface, according to a company announcement Monday. The suite is the result of several years of work, according to SDL.

All SDL products will be available in SaaS (software as a service) form, receiving updates on a quarterly basis, SDL said.

As part of the launch, SDL has also made a series of new executive hires over the past six months, including the appointment of Jan Wiersma as head of cloud operations, according to a statement.

SDL counts more than 1,500 global companies among its customers, including Chrysler, Canon and Bosch.

To build out its customer experience suite, SDL has invested in recent years in acquisitions and "a considerable amount of R&D," CEO Mark Lancaster said in an interview. "We think are quite significantly ahead of the competition in terms of integrated technology."

Among SDL's acquisitions are Tridion, for Web content management; Language Weaver, for machine translation; Alterian, for campaign management and marketing analytics; and Bemoko, for mobile content delivery. SDL expects to have roughly £266 million (US$440 million) in revenue for 2013, and has more than 1,500 customers.

What SDL lacks in contrast to Oracle or Salesforce.com, however, is a core CRM (customer relationship management) application.

It's not necessary for SDL to get into CRM, Lancaster said. "We're not interested in being a big database with all your customers inside it. That database is not going to solve your customer engagement problem."

Companies gearing up to invest in customer experience software should consider offerings from platform vendors such as Oracle as well as specialized players like SDL, according to analyst Ray Wang, founder and chairman of Constellation Research. "Most [customer experience] projects tend to get replaced in three to four-year cycles, so I'd say it's a minimal risk" to go with a smaller vendor, he said. "What you are looking for in this space is flexibility and functionality today."

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Disruption Down Under – What’s Amazon’s real competitive advantage?

Savvy shoppers wait in anticipation, while Australian retailers are gearing up for the onslaught. Amazon’s arrival is imminent.

Change across the board: Why boards need to digitally evolve

Traditionally the non-executive board of a company acts in an advisory capacity - attending monthly board meetings to offer overarching advice and guidance typically focusing on:

Jodie Sangster

CEO, ADMA

The most desirable customers you’ve overlooked

“What will really move the needle?” This is a question that keeps leaders awake at night. And at the intersection of some of their top priorities – finding pockets of growth, redefining the customer experience, and making an emotional impact – lies a latent market: Their diverse customers.

Really inspiring !

Goldenboy Media

Jaywing sets sights on Australian growth with digital and data-driven agency model

Read more

Being aware of regulations or guidlines is just the start. As our CEO Emma Lo Russo stated exactly two weeks ago at an event we supported...

Alan Smith

​Are the Wild West days of influencer collaboration over?

Read more

Rebranding is always nice solution to get better organisation. Businessman may apply certain special services (for example, https://www.l...

David Hill

CMO interview: Spearheading the global rebranding of OFX

Read more

Thank you so much for sharing this article.Top Digital Marketing company in Bangalore

Way To DM

Predictions: 17 digital marketing trends for 2017

Read more

Thanks for the great article Jodie, agree many boards and senior execs are operating in outdated modes, just as we need some reverse soci...

sharyn

Change across the board: Why boards need to digitally evolve - Data-driven marketing - CMO Australia

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in