When SAP and Adobe linked arms during last month’s Adobe Summit in Salt Lake City, it was unclear whether the reseller program was more about shared customers or code. But insiders note a third player indirectly involved in what seemed like a two-company partnership: management consulting giant Accenture.
Like SAP, Accenture has been making a push for digital marketing budgets with its acquisition of Acquity Group and earlier grab at design firm Fjord. The consulting firm also has close ties to SAP-run commerce company hybris for digital and ecommerce deployments.
“I think the Adobe-SAP alliance needs to be seen in the context of the broader SAP-Accenture Marketing Performance Solution,” said Martin Kihn, research director for Gartner. “The vision is for SAP HANA to power an Accenture media mix and analytics platform for marketers, who could use Adobe for the upstream stuff SAP and Accenture don’t do, like site analytics and content management.”
Adobe gains a couple of core competencies as a result of an “iron triangle” with SAP and Accenture such as professional services, custom solutions and implementation strength. “[These capabilities] lend Adobe some heft with the hardcore enterprise quants and CFO skeptics who don’t live in the marketing-driven cultures where Adobe traditionally shines,” Kihn noted.
SAP is already pushing itself into new disciplines. Consider the co-branded offering Adobe Analytics from SAP, released shortly after the Summit. Among the features of the co-branded tool is the ability to optimize ad spend and track online and offline marketing campaigns. These are not areas where the supply chain-intensive SAP has traditionally played.