In a recent conversation with a chief technology officer, he asserted all digital technology changes in his organisation were being led by IT and not by marketing. It made me wonder: How long a marketing function like this could survive?
SAP has struck a partnership to resell Adobe’s marketing technology platform in an effort to tackle the needs of both CMO and CIO for more data-driven, real-time customer management solutions.
Under the global partnership, SAP plans to resell the Adobe Marketing Cloud with its in-memory data processing technology, Hana, and its hybris ecommerce suite to enterprise customers. In a statement, both companies said they will invest in marketing, sales and development resources to support the agreement.
The deal is a reflection of how enterprise IT vendors are increasingly injecting both marketing technology and database analytics into their wider enterprise stack to better customer engagement across all touch points.
It also gives SAP a rapid step up into direct competition with the likes of IBM, Salesforce and Oracle, while opening a door for Adobe into the enterprise sector.
“Today’s most successful brands use digital marketing to drive their businesses,” said Adobe senior vice-president and general manager of digital marketing business, Brad Rencher, said. “In this new world, a strong bridge connecting the worlds of the CMO and CIO is a strategic imperative.”
SAP executive board member for products and innovation, Dr Vishal Sikka, said the partnership is aimed at helping both c-level executives enable their organisations to improve customer engagement through data utilisation.
“Adobe has been an amazing partner on the SAP Hana innovation journey. Together, the Adobe Marketing Cloud and the SAP Hana platform will enable companies to analyse massive data sets across various marketing channels and help engage customer in real time, unearthing opportunities like never before,” he said.
As part of the agreement, the companies will improve integration between the hybris commerce suite and Adobe’s Marketing Cloud, an effort both claim will help companies provide a more unified omni-channel experience for customers.
Both companies also highlighted the improved data-driven customer insights and customer experience management capabilities presented by a combined platform offering.
Ovum senior analyst for customer engagement and marketing technology, Gerry Brown, said the alliance fills a gap in SAP’s portfolio around digital marketing solutions.
"Although a strong player in the CRM area, SAP has always struggled to deliver a cogent digital marketing solution. Leveraging the SAP HANA in-memory database platform and the SAP hybris Commerce Suite with the Adobe Marketing Cloud to provide clients with a complete solution for omni-channel customer experience,” he commented.
"The new partnership will enable SAP customers to leverage data held within their SAP ERP and CRM databases and other SAP operational systems to provide a single real-time view of the customer within the Adobe Marketing Cloud. They can then use the Adobe Marketing Cloud platform to execute relevant and timely campaigns to both market segments and potentially individual customers. This capability is likely to prove attractive to both SAP and non-SAP customers alike.”
Brown also pointed out Hybris and Adobe have many joint customers and added the deal leverages existing commercial ties.
"Adobe gains greater access to the large SAP enterprise installed base, a large partner ecosystem and the global SAP salesforce; and SAP gains some great marketing technology and the brand credibility that accompanies Adobe’s strong position in the digital marketing arena," he added.