Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) as a Cloud Service: What You Need To Know

March 6, 2020  |  
By The Pedowitz Group (TPG)
  |  Technology
March 6, 2020
By The Pedowitz Group (TPG)

In January 2020, Adobe announced the availability of Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) as a Cloud Service. This highly-anticipated announcement could mean a lot of change for marketers currently using the application. It also presents an opportunity for marketers who previously didn’t consider the tool.

At its core, Adobe Experience Cloud addresses this challenge by offering a holistic product solution designed to deliver personalized content at any touchpoint. Adobe Experience Manager combines flexible experience management applications to enable needed customization – but until now, how remained exclusive for enterprises that could maintain on-premise or managed services.

So … what does this mean? Let’s dive in, or scroll to the bottom to watch a conversation we had with Adobe’s Director of Strategy and Product Marketing for Adobe Experience Manager (AEM)!

Want more? Our AEM consulting is ready to help!

What is AEM as a cloud service?

AEM as a Cloud Service is the latest innovation of Adobe’s Experience Manager, which is part of their Experience Cloud. It encompasses all key features of the technology, but now they’re available on a continuously-improving, scalable platform maintained by Adobe.

Is AEM now software as a service?

Yes, this offering transitions AEM into more of a Platform-as-a-Service model, with Adobe supporting all operational aspects of the platform.

Why does Adobe want this?

Even enterprise customers have found AEM difficult to maintain. They were limited by capabilities available in a specific version that quickly became outdated with every new release. Developers couldn’t implement current best practices if their instance didn’t support the latest enhancements, so they often continued operating status quo.

This caused an enormous undertaking prior to platform migration to refactor and test code before cut-over … and some companies still use legacy versions due to high investment costs associated with upgrades.

This business model wasn’t sustainable for Adobe. It needed adjustments to remain competitive and attract new customers by lowering adaptation barriers. This move also encourages adoption of the latest enhancements by reducing resource constraints on customers.

In addition, this allows greater upsell potential for AEM-related tech such as Audience Manager and Target, both of which unlock greater personalization capabilities.

Why should companies want to migrate to cloud services?

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Adobe has announced their two-year release schedule for their on-premise, managed service, and cloud service offerings. Within that timeline, they are investing exponentially into AEM as a Cloud Service and reducing enhancements of the two legacy solutions.

Also, it’s likely Adobe will halt enhancements all together for on-premise and managed services platforms within the next few years. If existing customers want to benefit from Adobe’s continued innovations facing the inevitable deprecation of on-premise and managed services, then they must migrate to AEM as a Cloud Service.

What about companies who don’t currently use AEM?

This is part of Adobe’s evolution, as it enables companies needing a robust solution to adopt a scalable solution with AEM.

With significantly-reduced need for maintenance, it reduces the barrier for entry. And in my experience, Adobe’s a leader in driving truly personal experiences across digital platforms.

AEM as a Cloud Service would be a great solution for mid-sized organizations that need to stand up a new instance utilizing dynamic personalization within weeks supported by industry-leading enterprise innovations. And according to Adobe, results show 50% faster ingestion time, a 40% increase in administrative efficiency, and a more than 20% increase in author productivity from early adopters of mid-market to large enterprise companies using the application. 

While the initial outlay can still be significant, the barrier to attaining this is now far lower than it once was.

Related: What to know re: an AEM migration

What’s the main difference with cloud service vs. on-premise?

Lower cost of ownership without the responsibility of maintaining or managing your platform’s infrastructure. This allows development to be concentrated on creating custom code for innovative digital experiences rather than spending your budget on a costly (and time-consuming!) upgrade to leverage the newest features … only to do it again with the new version.

This relates to my experience of upgrading a client’s mature platform from AEM 6.3 to 6.5. It was an enormous project of converting hundreds of components from Classic to Touch UI and refactoring old code from deprecated features. This took many months to complete (even with additional, dedicated resources) and costed hundreds of thousands of dollars!

Once on the cloud, companies will always operate on the most current version by deploying nightly releases. This eliminates the need for quarterly releases and platform upgrades that ultimately delayed them from being widely implemented.

In short, being on Adobe’s cloud service enables:

  • Easier license cost structure
  • Continuous upgrades
  • Auto-scalability
  • No infrastructure / operational management
  • Improved security

A conversation with Adobe

I and other staff here at The Pedowitz Group had a fireside chat with Haresh Kumar, Adobe’s Director of Strategy and Product Marketing for Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) to talk about this and more!

YouTube player

I want to migrate! How do I start?

Adobe provides a three-phased approach and offers tools to help alleviate the undertaking of a transition. This includes planning, execution, and post go-live best practices to ensure a successful execution.

  • In the first phase, customers must assess cloud service readiness by completing a comprehensive assessment and can utilize the Best Practice Analyzer to expedite this process. Then, the organization must conduct resource planning and establish KPIs to wrap up the planning phase.
  • Within execution, the team must transfer content and refactor code prior to go-live.
  • Finally, post go-live phase focuses on continuous review of best practices development.

Of course, we’re also ready with our AEM consulting services should you need certified expertise!

If you’d like to connect with me with follow-up questions or to learn more about AEM as a Cloud Service, you can reach me via LinkedIn.

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