Digital River, Adobe Strengthen Cloud Commerce Alliance

Digital River on Wednesday announced it has expanded its ties with Adobe Experience Manager to offer an end-to-end cloud commerce solution targeting the high-tech industry.

The new solution, which is based on a 2015 agreement to integrate Digital River’s cloud-based Global Commerce Platform with Adobe Experience Manager, offers brands a fresh approach for bolstering their direct channel strategy and operating more competitively online.

It lets brands tailor every element of the commerce journey while addressing the C-suite’s priorities, according to Digital River.

The solution is available in the Adobe Experience Manager Package Share.

The new tool gives high-tech brands the ability to respond to online consumers’ demand for a consistent, dynamic shopping experience anywhere, any time, and on any device, said Errol Denger, Adobe’s director of commerce strategy.

Brands can use their in-house resources or a preferred system integrator to take advantage of the offering.

“This deal’s about expanding e-commerce presence for Adobe and distribution for Digital River,” remarked Ray Wang, principal analyst at Constellation Research.

“Many Digital River customers already have Adobe, but in newer markets this agreement makes it easier for integration and account management,” he told CRM Buyer.

An Adobe-approved reseller, Digital River provides services in several countries in Asia, Latin America, Russia and Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

It also provides global online subscription services for Adobe’s Creative Cloud across 19 geographic regions.

What the Companies Offer

The Adobe Marketing Cloud, which includes Experience Manager, offers the following:

  • Integrated digital marketing solutions to organize, access and personalize marketing content;
  • Deep insights into what’s working with customers; and
  • The ability to deliver the best experiences to every customer across every channel.

Digital River Commerce Cloud features include the following:

  • Payment processing;
  • Subscriptions and recurring billing;
  • In-app purchasing and smart wallet management;
  • Order management;
  • Experience management;
  • B2B and reseller channel engagement; and
  • Global fulfillment.

Shaking a Fist at the Giants

Salesforce and Oracle are major players in the e-commerce and e-marketing arenas, and Adobe may be trying to take them on.

“It makes sense for Adobe to take advantage of Digital River’s local expertise and presence rather than investing in building out itself,” remarked Rebecca Wettemann, VP of Research at Nucleus Research.

Adobe is “competing with a lot of big players here, and local expertise is important in any tech market — particularly when you’re dealing with individual developers,” she told CRM Buyer.

CRM packages and digital marketing clouds from Oracle, Salesforce and Microsoft, as well as smaller players that offer multichannel and omnichannel capabilities, already are widely available.

Whether Adobe and Digital River will succeed is questionable. “The customer takes on some integration risk,” noted Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.

The risk is that the two offerings may not necessarily be designed to go together, and customers may have to navigate twin support and sales organizations, he told CRM Buyer.

“Peer partnerships don’t have the greatest history of working out, largely because you don’t have one throat to choke,” Enderle said. “It’s generally far better to get a solution like this from either one firm, or from one firm that’s clearly acting as the general contractor.”

Granted, the Adobe/Digital River solution is an extension of an existing one, but all new solutions need extensive production testing before release. That raises the question of why anyone should go with what appears to be an untested solution.

“Adobe and Digital River own the issue,” Wang noted. “They will test and own.”

Further, “CRM is dead,” Wang said. “The future is e-commerce.”

The Lure for High-Tech Firms

Given that high-tech companies pioneered e-commerce, how likely is it that the Digital RIver-Adobe offering might be of any use to them?

“High-tech firms are often victims of the ‘cobbler’s son has no shoes’ syndrome,” Wang said. “The integrated offering is the valuable piece.”

Richard Adhikari

Richard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including Information Week and Computerworld. He is the author of two books on client/server technology. Email Richard.

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