The last two days were the whirlwind of the annual Adobe user conference -- a chance for for them to announce new products, train us on existing products, and illustrate potential new products. The reuse of the term 'product' was intentional -- it is a very biased point of view for which we pay money to see. That said, it is still good to see 5,000 people in attendance and hear the stories from 'people like me.'
Here are my thoughts
- The tag line from the plenary session of "Listen, Predict, Assemble and Deliver" seems to be a much better mantra for what they are actually trying to do than the title that focused on the 'last millisecond.' The phrase is more pragmatic from a business case perspective and actually forms the bridge to their step-brother "Adobe Creative" and publishing.
- The rationalization of individual products into five suites (or solutions in their terms) makes a lot of sense. Now there is just Adobe Analytics that bundles a variety of related tools, e.g. web analytics, data warehousing, and analysis. Similar strides are made with Target, Social, Experience Manager, and Media Optimization. One can now at least envision a horizontal flow, even if the hand offs are a little rough.
- Analytic use cases almost always related to business outcome. While easier for brands to do than service provider it is refreshing to see analysis changing how we market or conduct business. Examples ranged from creating new products (Conde Nast) to quickly identifying a browser-specific bug (SkullCandy).
- It still takes smart people to run these products. While integration is improving, the skills required to work in a single area remain high. Scene 7 and connecting to the Marketing Cloud labs required preexisting domain knowledge. Not to mention the required integration; heard one rule of thumb: plan on 3-5x the software cost.
That said, for me the highlight had nothing to do with digital marketing, Adobe or my day job. Sal Khan of the Khan Academy talked about the genesis of the global learning platform. Quite the story.