Adobe, Microsoft Pitch Salesforce Alternative with Boost from Avanade
Adobe is digging deeper into the Microsoft ecosystem by tapping Avanade to deliver the new Adobe Experience Platform (AEP) and the various pieces of its content creation and management offerings, along with its marketing and e-commerce solutions.
Already three years into a close partnership with Microsoft, Adobe earlier this month brought Avanade, the joint-venture consulting and systems integration business held by Accenture and Microsoft, into the mix. The shared goal among the four players is to offer customized solutions that bring Adobe’s digital customer experience technology together with Microsoft Dynamics 365, Office and Azure.
Avanade, the largest Microsoft-focused systems integration services partner, has created a practice with extensive Adobe technology expertise. Both Adobe and Microsoft are looking to Avanade to advance both companies’ digital business transformation and AI capabilities to create modern, personalized customer experiences into websites and apps based on their respective technologies.
The partnership between Adobe and Avanade includes support from Accenture and Microsoft, which will direct leads and co-sell on RFPs. The new Avanade Adobe practice has access to a bench of nearly 4,000 experts from Accenture with certifications in the various Adobe content management solutions (CMS), as well as its recently acquired Marketo and Magento marketing and e-commerce platforms.
Both Adobe and Microsoft have a shared competitor in Salesforce. Since Adobe and Microsoft formed their initial partnership in 2016, they both discovered the extent of their distinct expertise, and lack thereof. Avanade, Adobe and Microsoft hope to bridge that gap. In the process, the companies believe Avanade’s impact will help expand the overall partner ecosystem.
“We started out really broad, but what we realized is, it’s pretty hard to stand up an Adobe practice,” said Jennifer Jobin, the alliance manager at Adobe who oversees the partnership with Avanade. “If you canvas all the Microsoft partners to stand up an Adobe practice, it is a very different thing.”
Jobin would know. As a 22-year Microsoft veteran, she oversaw alliances between the company with partners including Avanade before joining the Adobe ecosystem in 2014 at Perficient Digital. At Adobe, Jobin came on board last year to educate Microsoft’s partner team how to work with Adobe and vice versa. Through that process, Jobin said Avanade “stuck its neck out” in its decision to create the Adobe practice.
While Jobin acknowledged Adobe and Microsoft’s focus on Avanade might ruffle some features with their other partners, she maintained that will pay off in the long run.
“If we’re going to create a little bit of tension, that’s fine,” she said. “And then we’ll create some demand out there.”
Lisle Holgate, senior director for global partner development at Avanade and Jobin’s direct point of contact, said his organization has expertise in bringing Adobe’s wares into Dynamics, Office and Azure.
“With Avanade now coming into play, we now provide that capability that gives the Adobe folks the assurance that the Microsoft end of the engagement can come off without a flaw,” Holgate said.
In the past two months, Holgate said the pipeline for projects has increased exponentially, which have come directly from Adobe and Microsoft. “With us in there now, Adobe and Microsoft working together to generate joint leads for us,” he said.
Jobin said Adobe’s internal partner group now has Microsoft Partner Solution Managers, tasked with …