Adobe seizes the day

Adobe's acquisition of Day Software signals that the company has gotten into the content management business, blogs Stephen Powers.

Adobe has gotten into the content management business, with its announcement earlier today of its intent to acquire Day Software for $240 million. Day —with its WCM, DAM and collaboration offerings — has had a good deal of buzz over the last year or so. Why? Mostly due to a renewed marketing push, demo-friendly products, and occasional uncertainty around competitors due to acquisitions (Interwoven, Vignette) . Day was one of the few remaining independent WCM vendors with enterprise credentials, and was ripe for the picking, particularly given the strength of its WCM product. Adobe, of course, brings its document, creative authoring, and rich Internet application development tools to the table.

With the Day deal and last year’s Omniture acquisition, Adobe continues to assemble components of the online customer engagement ecosystem that we wrote about earlier this year. What’s interesting is which vendors are approaching this ecosystem — from the standpoint of ECM (IBM, Oracle/Stellent, Open Text/Vignette), marketing software (Alterian/MediaSurface),  enterprise search (Autonomy/Interwoven), and now creativity software/interactive Web applications (Adobe).

So, what does this deal mean for content and collaboration pros?

  • Short term, there shouldn’t be a whole lot to worry about for either set of customers. Adobe and Day’s offerings generally don’t have much overlap , but rather are complementary. So there should be no worries about certain products being discontinued in favor of others.

  • Day and Adobe customers will have the opportunity to source more components of the online customer engagement ecosystem from a single vendor and potentially take advantage of possible integrations to come down the road.

  • Day customers should cast a critical eye on development roadmaps. Day’s has been particularly strong over the past few years, and Adobe will need to continue this in order for Day to keep up Day’s momentum (history, unfortunately, has shown us that acquisition fallout can be lethal to ambitious WCM vendor roadmaps).

  • Longer term, Adobe will have the opportunity to build up more Day expertise in North America, which could be a major win for customers interested in the content management products but concerned about North American presence.

The next question is: what other types of vendors will next seriously address the content management issue and acquire capabilities? eCommerce? Social software?  Any other guesses?

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