Adobe Summit 2018 – An experience and three takeaways

Author: José Luis Santos

Four of our best warriors visited a beloved arena for the Emakina Group: Adobe Summit 2018 @ Excel London.

Our smiley and happy #dreamteam (see groupfie above) was formed by Johan Cootmans (Program Manager) at the back of the picture, followed by Jeroen Huys (Managing Director), Yoeri Conickx (Client Service Director) and Johnny Degreef (DevOps Engineer).

On the summit, Adobe partners, customers and prospects, 5000 people in total gather to get inspired by cases, discover new products & features, exchange experiences, partner and get a real non-stop show with a lot of astonishing experiences.

As every year the Adobe summit becomes a celebration, a fully digital and physical experience surrounded by visual shows, projections, huge stages and big screens… everything to create unbeatable experiences. But let’s face it, every company should celebrate their accomplishments together with their partners, customers and prospects… because behind every accomplishment, there is an experience, an interaction, a story to share and to learn from.

There were plenty of break-out sessions on new product features like for AEM and Campaign, several global brands presented how they optimize their customer experience and finally, there were sessions on future trends.

It is really impressive to see how Adobe Sensei is already empowering all modules of the Experience Cloud. On the summit AI became really tangible. It is not a prediction anymore, today AI is reality. We are only at the beginning, but even the sky doesn’t seem to be the limit.

– Jeroen Huys
Alignment with our vision
Certainty as a service

This concept, empowered by blockchain, reassured all the investment and efforts that we are making enabling this technology for our customers. You can also check our blogpost about blockchain.

In this context, we are also happy to share our joint collaboration with Nico Vergauwen, Blockchain consultant and founder of Alt Street, expert in Smart contracts, Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology will help our customers to reach the next level of certainty and transparency.

Just contact us if you want to understand better how blockchain can empower your business models.

DevOps Deciphered

Adobe shared some lessons learned that they observed in some companies that failed applying DevOps and why we should sometimes refer to Development-Operations teams (doing development and giving operational support) instead of using the term DevOps teams.

Some applications are not suited for DevOps practices. Instead of spending huge amounts of money trying to convert these monolithic products into something flexible (and probably fail after all), you might want to concentrate on decoupling your entire stack as much as possible. This way, you can embrace DevOps in the applications where it’s really useful and where most business value resides, which is typically in the front-end layer.

– Johnny Degreef

They also shared about the CALMS framework, often used in companies that want to adopt DevOps as part of their digital transformation. DevOps is not just about technology or automation, it is much more, and it has to start from a change in culture.

Adobe Managed Services

According to Adobe, 75% of their customers (and they have 600+ customers) are running AEM successfully on Adobe Managed Services (AMS). With Managed Services, Adobe runs and maintains your AEM stack in the cloud and they take care of code deployments, upgrades, … It is very mature and a logical next step for companies still having their AEM running on-premise. The figures pointed out 99,97% uptime average, 8000+ AEM servers managed in a Multi Cloud (Azure & AWS) set-up.

Adobe Managed Services comes with NewRelic as Application Performance Monitoring (APM) tool. This is a cloud tool that we also use for our customers and we can only applaud that choice.

Key message in this session was to define your KPI’s clearly from the start of the project. What do want to get out of it? Is it about cost saving or is it more about outsourcing control which is not part of your core business? Depending on these KPI’s, you can decide to go for it, stay on-premise or move to the Cloud without AMS and still stay in control.

Experience – Technology – Talent

Making experience your business is good for business. In order to accomplish this, you need to have the correct technologies in place. For this purpose, Adobe has added a new tool built on the Adobe Cloud Platform called Adobe Launch. Launch is the next-generation of Adobe’s tag management technology and you might want to have a look at it. But technology alone does not suffice, you also need to have the right talent on board. Attracting talents is probably the biggest challenge in this fast-evolving digital age. And by coincidence, this is the heart of Design Is Dead. We have succeeded in attracting the right talents that can implement the right technology to deliver the right customer experience.

Take-aways from the summit

1/ The Adobe Summit was again the confirmation and an example to follow regarding digital transformation journeys… Wow! It is admirable to see how Adobe evolved from a graphical solution provider for desktop to an Experience Technology leader provider as pointed out in reports such as Gartner and Forrester. Their organic and inorganic growth strategy is well balanced. They are taking advantage of their marketing knowledge and succeeding at integrating the solutions they acquired (e.g.: Neolane, Day). Well done Adobe!

2/ Experience is everything. And even though during the conference it was (almost) all about the digital experience, it is clear that a company should deliver an overall on- and offline experience. The insights from Virgin Atlantic during the keynote on Thursday is the best proof of this. Deliver the best possible experience (even a small one like a ‘happy birthday’ card on the seat of a passenger), and your brand will grow as well as the customer loyalty. And, definitely, your employees will be happier. Win-win-win-… in every way!

Adobe even launched a new job title! If you want to become an Experience Maker, you can visit their new platform Experience League.

3/ AI is not a hype, it is here to stay, and Adobe is a heavy believer of it. Adobe Sensei is an artificial intelligent system that focusses on making the live of marketeers and creatives easier. Don’t ask Sensei to solve all world problems but will definitely help you to optimize your communication and automate your online presence.

This summit blew my mind! It had all the necessary ingredients to trigger many thoughts around the current trends in the market and I started wondering: will AI systems take over all parts of the creative and marketing process? To be continued…

– Yoeri Conickx
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