In my last What the FUD? post, I discussed “fear” in choosing the right partner. In this post, I examine what “uncertainty” means in today’s extremely convoluted technology landscape. Over the last few years, we’ve seen a ton of acquisition when it comes to CMS, e-commerce, and marketing technology. Perhaps the biggest news is that Magento was acquired by Adobe earlier this year. Whenever one platform merges or acquires another, it creates a high level of uncertainty, forcing organizations to ask questions like:
- How much of Technology A will be included in Technology B’s future offering?
- What does this do to license pricing for current customers?
- Will we be forced into a costly upgrade?
- Will these two platforms be truly integrated, or continue as standalone products?
- When is end-of-life support for either technology?
Technology acquisitions aren’t always scary
Yes, Luminos Labs is a Premium Partner of Episerver’s (with 9 years of partnership under our belt!), but we truly believe they’ve always had an answer to the above questions – and more – throughout their history of technology acquisitions.
For example, Episerver and Ektron merged nearly 4 years ago. Since then, Episerver has remained as their core offering. They still have continuing support for Ektron customers not ready to make the move. Obviously, over time, they’re hoping to have those legacy customers make the transition over to Episerver. However, they recognize that continuing to support those customers creates a healthy ecosystem of clients at various levels. In addition to this acquisition, Episerver has strengthened its portfolio by acquiring both Optivo and Peerius in 2016.
What isn’t scary about this acquisition path is that Episerver looks for tools to strengthen their feature and functionality sets, without disrupting the entire marketplace. Episerver took the time to integrate these tools into a single suite of products with a seamless user interface. In contrast, certain technology behemoths will have multiple licensing contracts and differing levels of support available for each solution.
One license to rule them all?
The good news about these acquisitions is that – eventually – they’ll be integrated so that you can purchase one license to cover your core needs. These are, of course, as Forrester has stated:
“Four major pillars of digital commerce [that] anchor the commerce suite: commerce management, experience management, order management, and product information management.”
Just thinking about commerce and experience management, on average, marketers use 12 different tools to produce data-driven campaigns. This can bring about an overload of tools, licenses, and user interfaces to manage. Talk about wearing your marketing team thin! Look for platforms that have robust integration strategies, or ones that consolidate tools into one platform, one that has a purpose-built solution and uses best-of-breed tools (see: Episerver).
This holiday season, I’ve also been seeing commercials for Walmart advertising BOPIS – buy online, pick up in-store. Conceptually, this isn’t new. However, the underlying technology to allow for this requires a strong back-end commerce and order management system (like OrderDynamics). Organizations should seek to build a solution that meets customer demands and needs while relieving the overbearing burden on marketing and IT.
Measure uncertainty twice, cut once
Often times, companies want rapid commerce builds. They believe sacrificing discovery time to speed up launch will save them money in the long-run. While this can be beneficial for straight-forward experiences, many organizations have complex business logic or customer needs. These kinds of needs will inherently require more thorough feature and functionality evaluation. How painful is it to report to stakeholders that the solution was quickly built to meet a deadline, but doesn’t provide the value expected to KPIs and metrics? ROI is king, after all.
Luminos Labs focuses on risk mitigation as a methodology. As a result, we believe in the concept of measuring twice and cutting once. Proverbially, of course, as we are talking about coding versus carpentry. Luminos Labs has been doing digital commerce for close to a decade now. Through this experience, we’ve learned that diligent discovery minimizes future risk. This time helps us identify complex feature sets, develop quick POCs, and properly plan critical release phases.
How does this help uncertainty? We uncover all unknowns and risks, make plans to overcome challenges and implement them over the course of development. The result is a strong implementation plan and timeline that we can deliver to the day, on budget, and without downtime.
Remove uncertainty with Luminos Labs
Luminos Labs has helped a number of retailers transform their shopping experiences online. Is your business gearing up for a big shift in eCommerce strategy? Looking to move from an on-premise e-commerce solution to a flexible and powerful platform? Luminos is here to help remove the uncertainty that can come with these big developments.
Our team of experts works 24/7 to provide you with the smoothest implementation and most reliable maintenance when it comes to your e-commerce platform and experience. We’re always interested in doing the best for our clients, and we’ve helped many achieve increases in average order value, some by as much as 22%! If you’re looking for help with e-commerce implementation, Azure cloud services, or general digital strategy, please don’t hesitate to reach out.