From technology fragmentation to consolidation
The recent (2 days ago to be precise) acquisition of CommerceServer.net (a leading eCommerce platform) by SiteCore (a leading Web Experience Management Platform) is not just a flash in the pan. While it may sound like yet another technology acquisitions, I see this as a step towards the eventual “convergence” & “consolidation” within the broader marketing technology ecosystem, a rather big step.
The timing of this acquisition is an interesting co-incidence because just last week I posted a blog on the Technology Dilemma around what fuels a brand’s eStore experience. The ideal answer to that question has usually been the most expensive and complex implementation – a hybrid approach that leverages the best of both worlds, using a WCM (web content management system) to drive the consumer experience with advanced targeting and personalization capabilities while the eCommerce platform handles all eCommerce transactions, product catalog, dynamic pricing, order management and other transactional capabilities WITHOUT worrying about delivering the consumer experience (refer to a depiction from www.getElastic.com).
Having said that, perceiving this acquisition as a simple integration between a WCM and eCommerce platform would be short sighted – for me these are the first few steps towards solving a larger problem of disparate and fragmented marketing technology landscape that requires a high degree of stitching and integration, an effort that is not only complex but also highly expensive. The underlying technology & data fragmentation often leads to isolated and dis-connected consumer experiences. Hence a growing need for a Marketing Operating System (mOS) that has the nuts & bolts of core marketing capabilities out of the box, allowing the marketers, strategists and creative to focus on consumer engagement and experiences instead of technology & data integration.
I honestly expect and hope for more acquisitions and collaboration in similar direction from the Adobe, IBM, Oracle and Salesforce of the world, all of whom have pieces of the ecosystem but still missing a good percentage of the landscape. The convergence and integration in the technology layer is bound to drive unification of consumer data which will lead to a true omni channel, frictionless & seamless consumer experience.
So what’s next?
Adobe and Demandware?
Oracle (ATG) and SDL Tridion?
Or possibly IBM (WCS) and OpenText?
I guess we shall have to wait and watch!!!