By now, I am sure you heard that Acquia acquired AgilOne. There were numerous press and analyst articles and blogs with very positive commentary on this acquisition. This blog post will address the key topics that came up as I discussed this news with many of our customers, analysts and industry peers. There are four key topics that I heard in these ongoing discussions:
1. Why did Acquia acquire AgilOne?
David Raab, founder of the CDP Institute, said succinctly in his blog that “The logic behind this deal is so clear that there’s little need for comment.” He added “DXP involves coordinating and personalizing customer experiences across channels and it requires the unified customer data that a CDP provides.”
Forrester analysts termed this acquisition as a “leapfrogging opportunity for Acquia over its competition.”
Mike Sullivan, Acquia’s CEO, was quoted in the Wall Street Journal stating that Acquia’s customers want Acquia’s DXP to deliver relevant and personalized interactions with their consumers and this acquisition enables Acquia to deliver the same.
As Dries Buytaert, Founder and CTO of Acquia, described in his blog “the two fundamental building blocks to delivering great digital experiences are - content and user data.”
Acquia’s portfolio of products already does an exceptional job with the content building block. A unified customer profile, which a CDP provides, will form the second building block and Acquia DXP can leverage this unified customer data to provide personalized, one-to-one experiences. This uniquely positions Acquia DXP to be fundamentally differentiated in the marketplace, and help marketers deliver superior digital experiences.
2. OK, makes sense. Why AgilOne?
Dries Buytaert in his blog said that he talked to a dozen CDP vendors. So, the answer to this question lies in AgilOne CDP’s key differentiators in the marketplace that solidified AgilOne as the premier CDP. To highlight a few:
- AgilOne CDP is built on the latest big data technology that is proven to scale and, at the same time, flexible to meet the unique needs of each brand in any vertical. (David Raab’s blog says “AgilOne rebuilt its core technology fairly recently, giving it a highly flexible and scalable platform.”) While on this topic, the latest Black Friday and Cyber Monday event and transaction spikes provided yet another opportunity for our scalable technology to shine. We will discuss this further in an upcoming blog.
- AgilOne is one of the few CDPs that handles online and offline data as well as identity matching, and is the most advanced in these capabilities.
- AgilOne’s configurable and rich machine learning (ML) layer enhances the unified customer profile with actionable ML scores that clients can easily leverage to further personalize and optimize digital experiences. Other CDPs do not offer this.
- Many enterprise brands are already leveraging AgilOne CDP to achieve great results. (Read through all the awesome case studies on our website.)
- AgilOne has a passionate team who pioneered the CDP space even before the term CDP was coined, and this team now brings its expertise to Acquia.
3. OK, so, what does this mean for AgilOne CDP customers and prospects?
In a nutshell, this development leads to our continued commitment in delivering the best CDP along with accelerated growth. More specifically:
- All AgilOne executive leadership and employees are now part of Acquia, continuing to enhance and deliver on our promise to provide the best CDP.
- This will lead to deeper resources to fund growth that in turn leads to an accelerated and enhanced roadmap, both for the core CDP functionality, for the rich and growing integrations, and for the AI/ML framework.
- This expands beyond R&D into other areas like leveraging Acquia’s deeper partner network, support and services methodologies, and commitment to excellence.
- AgilOne is going to continue to be available as a standalone offering (and as part of the Acquia Open Marketing Cloud). AgilOne CEO Omer Artun said it best when he was quoted in TechCrunch: “Through this acquisition, Acquia will enable us to continue to deliver, and build upon, our vision.”
- Customers have given us overwhelmingly positive feedback about the acquisition. Wendy Mudis, VP of Marketing at Lids, told us, “This is exciting news! I used to work with Acquia at my previous company and I was impressed with their cutting edge technology. They were definitely ahead of their peers in the customer data space. Having AgilOne join them will create an even more powerful connection."
4. That’s great! But, what is the impact of this on the CDP landscape?
There are three trends that this will lead to:
- This news clearly underlines the fact that every business needs a CDP to provide a great digital experience for their customers. There were some minor acquisitions in this space earlier in the year, but this acquisition by Acquia will be a catalyst, and will lead to other companies that aspire to become DXP providers to acquire a CDP or risk being left behind.
- Standalone CDPs will find it daunting to differentiate in the market as larger vendors with deeper resources innovate and accelerate.
- A majority of marketers prefer a best-of-the-breed approach (source: CMSWire) to solve marketing challenges. This will result in marketers embracing “open CDPs” that support such an approach – and preferring that approach over vendors who are building CDPs primarily to connect their own siloed clouds. Salesforce, Adobe (and to an extent Oracle CX Unity) are building such CDPs to connect their siloed clouds and execution systems (although it will be a while before they are actually available to customers).
Let us know your thoughts
Please share your thoughts and comments with us. We are building exciting integration plans across Acquia marketing cloud products and AgilOne, and defining and executing on exciting roadmap items. We will be back with more updates!