Adobe offers Multi-Solution Architecture Training Options

Adobe is now offering multi-solution integration training courses to the partner training inventory.   Currently, there are two sessions available from instructor Varun Mitra for AEM to Campaign integration for simplifying email creation and Target to AEM integration for personalization. Both are common use cases and you should attend to start your Multi-Solution Architect training path.

Follow this link to the Partner Portal: Gain Multi-Solution Expertise with AEM Technical Integration Training

Gain Multi-Solution Expertise with AEM Technical Integration Training

Customers are tackling complex challenges, sometimes best solved by more than one solution. Developers and Architects are invited to register for an upcoming Adobe solution integration training designed to introduce the fundamentals along with guided instruction and hands-on exercises. Two sessions are now available, with more to come.

The courses are free to Adobe Partners. Again, if you’re not currently a partner, you should enroll with your company as a Community Partner. After approval, you’ll be granted access to the training, news and presentation material online.

Adobe Solution Partner Portal link here.

 

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How Much Does the Adobe Marketing Cloud Cost?

One of the first questions a client asks when I recommend solutions of the Adobe Marketing Cloud is, “How much does the Adobe Marketing Cloud cost?”

“If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.”

-Joe Gunchy, the world’s worst Multi-Solution Architect (read more about Joe here)

Adobe generally will not just give you pricing for a few reasons. One, they will not lose a deal to a competitor on price alone. Their words, not mine. Second, they sometimes offer discounts for bundling solutions if you’re procuring more than one product, which you eventually will.  In fact, it’s estimated that 83% of Adobe’s top clients own three or more solutions of their marketing cloud.

Got AE?

Some accounts may not have a dedicated Account Executive (AE) tied to your client. Whether you get an AE or not is determined by who your client is and what major industry vertical they operate within. The sales team is divided into Adobe’s strategic accounts (the top ~60 global accounts across all verticals), vertical-specific accounts, and the rest of you.  Knowing this is important because the AE is not only responsible for managing the overall relationship with the client, but also helps provide the coordination and orchestration of the individual Solution Sales Representatives to execute against your digital strategy. See also: bundling.

When there is not a dedicated AE, the wrangling of sales reps may come from you, which looks just like this:

“I wish I had an AE.”

 

Pricing Pre-work

To start the pricing conversation with Adobe, some pre-work needs to be done by you (and client) before you ever engage with the sales team.  Each solution is priced differently, requiring some product-specific information gathering. Here’s a good starting point:

Analytics:  Number of server calls per year.  Page views is a good proxy (also include mobile SDK usage and secondary server calls for multiple report suites).

Target:  Server calls per year. Number of page views per year is a good proxy (also include mobile SDK usage and secondary call usage (like email integration)).

Campaign:  # of active contact records, they don’t charge CPM. It is also product tiered (Standard/Premium/Ultimate)*

*Adobe has gone through more name changes than P. Diddy.  -me

Media Optimizer:  % of spend display, search and social.  CRM for Dynamic Creative Optimization (number of records).  Per click charged for click tracking on non-managed channels (redirects from emails, search engines, etc. – for attribution tracking)

Audience Manager: based on events (page views, log ingestion events, CRM ingestion events, etc)

Social: Price based on number of social profiles (Facebook accounts and twitter handles) and users of the solution (seats).

AEM Sites (On-premise)

  • number of content authors
  • page views per day (if there are peaks that we should be concern about)
  • Page caching level (usually 95% and higher)
  • Require Commerce Framework or connector
  • Require Multi-site manager – charged for Author only

AEM Assets

  • number of asset users / workflow users
  • number of assets being working on or changed daily
  • Is there a need for Branding portal  – SAAS offering
  • Is there a need for Asset Share – publish instance required
  • Dynamic Media or S7 – SAAS by monthly server calls
  • InDesign Server – catalog producer or InDesign manipulation

AEM Communities

  • Number of instances to support the volume
  • For Enablement Module – number of users

AEM Forms – licensed by CPU Core

  • Number of transaction per day
  • Complexity of the form

AEM Mobile

  • Use cases (1-3 apps; department solution; enterprise solution)

For AEM Managed Services, also consider:

  • SLA – 99.5% (basic), or 99.99% (BIG price difference here. Choose wisely based on your client’s needs)
  • Amount of storage requirement – primary for AEM Assets
  • Additional environments – dev, test, …
  • Additional backup requirements
  • Additional network I/O
  • Additional CDN (Cloudfront) storage
  • Additional CEE hours – for the managed services staff

Don’t forget to allocate a bucket of consulting hours for potential engagement of Adobe Professional Services for provisioning, setup, and guidance.  That’s a nice way of saying, “Don’t F it up.”

Conclusion

I skipped school the day they taught writing concise conclusions, so instead I’ll leave you with this picture from 2017 Adobe Summit. Here’s me and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen:

Shantanu: Yo, Brad. What’s good, homie? Can I take a picture with you?
Me: Fine. Make it quick. Ryan Gosling is about to give a crappy interview…

 

Blurry like a Big Foot picture

 

 

Finding the Unicorn: The Role Your Organization is Missing (and May Never Find)

Adobe states that over 80 percent of their clients own three or more solutions of the Adobe Marketing Cloud, including six of the ten highest revenue Pharmaceutical companies. This number will likely grow, as Adobe saw a record 26% increase in revenue Q1 of 2017. The true value of the Adobe Marketing Cloud comes when these solutions are connected together, to provide a consistent, relevant experience across channels and devices. Finding and retaining talent with the ability to connect multiple solutions of the platform is now a mandate. In the Adobe world, this rare role is called the Multi-solution Architect (MSA).

The mandate for an organization to retain a Multi-solution Architect was evident at the 2017 Adobe Summit, as the majority of technical sessions involved combining two or more integrations such as, Adobe Experience Manager integration with Adobe Analytics and Adobe Target, Audience Manager & Adobe Analytics: Your data management power couple, and The Dynamic Duo: Adobe Campaign & Adobe Analytics for real-time re-marketing. Last year, it was estimated that there were only about 15 true Multi-solution Architects worldwide at Adobe. In agencies, there are likely none.  And with an already steep investment on the platform itself, hiring this rare consultant would break even the largest organization’s implementation budgets.

Computer Futures is one of the leading supplier of Adobe talent in the U.S., with Adobe themselves being one of its largest customers. In their 2017 Adobe Market Report, they state that, “the true multi-solution architect will be the most valuable individual in the marketplace.” Currently, there are an estimated 40 open positions for an Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) developer alone, and even more for an Adobe Campaign developer. An individual with the experience to connect both systems (or even three or more solutions) would be like finding a unicorn. And with new legislation on the table that would effectively double the salary of H1B workers to a minimum of $130,000 per year, the available talent pool to fulfill these roles will decrease as the low-cost developer pool shrinks.

“For the most part, ‘true multi-solution architects’ are working for Adobe directly. This is where they naturally receive the best training and gain the most project exposure year on year. There are some that have flown the proverbial nest or exist outside of this, but they are extremely hard to come by.” -Dave Fox, Computer Futures

It’s important for you to heed the call and extend your AEM practice to multi-solution consulting and execution to align overall solution architecture to digital marketing strategy and goals. This ensures marketing campaigns are fully integrated to deliver a consistent, personalized experience and messaging across channels, and are continually measured and refined through data-driven insights.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Since you won’t likely won’t find an MSA, you have to make one.  If it’s you, how do you get up-to-speed on your multi-solution architecture practice?

The Adobe MSA acts as the facilitator between the business and the individual Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) for each solution, so there are soft skills needed in addition to the nerd stuff. Even the greatest musicians need a conductor. Assuming your organization’s offering is silo’d (like most), it’s the job of the MSA to provide the connective tissue between your web, relationship marketing, social, media, data, and insights teams. Although the technology was created to provide the horizontality across these silos, your antiquated, pre-digital business model and processes will hamper its effectiveness. You are the glue.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Tell a story: “When Dr. X visits our homepage, we identify he is a Cardiologist who has never prescribed our drug. We dynamically show content in the hero space specific to first-time prescribing Cardiologists and a clear call to action to contact a sales rep in his area. When he clicks the button, we take him to a Contact a Rep Form. Blah, blah, blah.”  Notice the story has no Adobe solutions (or any technology solutions, for that matter) listed whatsoever.  You first need to define the what before the how.Your story should always tie back to a measurable business goal. In this case, it is to increase registrations and rep engagement. Now, it might not be your job to actually create the story, it is your job to bring the story to life.
  • Start small. Too often, organizations take the Joe Gunchy approach and choose the largest implementation as their ‘pilot’.

    “Go big or go home.” –Joe Gunchy

    You need quick wins, so start with a short story (not a novel), then map the data, content, and technologies needed to bring your story to life:

    • Homepage (AEM)
    • Doctor speciality data (first and third-party data in Audience Manager)
    • Doctor prescriber data (first and third-party data in Audience Manager)
    • Geolocation data (browser info in AEM Context Hub)
    • Behavioral data (Analytics data shared with Target)
    • Contact a rep form (AEM/Campaign)

When you identify a missing piece in your technology landscape, you need to weigh the value of acquisition/customization.  Is it easier to modify the story or the technology landscape to achieve quick wins while still achieving your business goals?

  • Connect the dots. Study the Adobe Use Cases  found in the Adobe Solution Partner Portal. If you’re not an Adobe Partner, you can register as a Community Partner to access this content. The use cases show how data is exchanged between solutions for a variety of scenarios. Understanding these will give you a foundation for implementing their connectivity.  A multi-solution connected diagram looks like this:Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.44.01 AM.png
  • Follow best practices.  Check out the Build a Digital Foundation using the Adobe Experience Cloud tutorial for tips on how to integrate AEM with other solutions. Also, read the  Integrating with the Adobe Marketing Cloud documentation then actually try some hands-on execution of a small use case. Start by simply personalizing a single piece of content in AEM using the out-of-the-box Context Hub for geolocation or other available trait, then eventually move up to AEM + Target integration, then Analytics to Target to AEM, then AEM to Campaign, etc. Fail fast, and learn.

    “E pluribus unum (Out of many, one)”

  • Out of many, one.  This is the opportunity to organize around your team of internal SMEs to help with the connectivity between solutions to bring your story to life – a journey manager, of sorts.  Do you have to know every detail of every Adobe solution? Nope.”You don’t have to know how to push every button, you just need to know there’s a button to push.”   Let the SME’s do their SME’ing while you retire back to your cubicle knowing you’re the rarest mofo in the org.

    #unicorns4life.