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Thoughts on Adobe acquiring Day CMS

Big announcement today in the CMS world that Adobe has bought Day for $240 million. A significant acquisition on a lot of fronts.

Adobe’s enterprise suite now consists of Day, Omniture and LiveCycle. The Alfresco/Livesite piece may be marginalized over time by this acquisition. The Day - Omniture marriage is a pretty attractive option for enterprise Web sites assuming that there is even minimal effort to marry these tools over time. The press releases all mention Flash and the other Adobe desktop software, but those seem like a smaller part of the story vs. the Day, Omniture and LiveCycle suite.

Any organization using any of those three tools will likely now need to include an assessment of the other ones in their product evaluation cycles over the next couple years.

The other noteworthy things here to me are the cash premium paid vs. revenue. In the last couple years, we haven’t been alone it seems, in thinking Day has about the most progressive and impressive Java CMS on the market. Adobe apparently paid a premium for that, but in this case it fits.

I’m always skeptical that the acquired company won’t get lost in the shuffle and that R&D budgets won’t keep up with the market. Here though, it seems like this will be a better fit for software that is currently trending up in utility and popularity vs. where Interwoven and Vignette seemed to be getting stale and when they were acquired.Time will tell though whether Adobe is more distracted by developing and selling Omniture (or its other myriad of products) vs. Day.

It’s also interesting to note what this says about Cold Fusion. Why not buy a Cold Fusion based CMS or Alfresco? Is this an admission that CF is dead/dying compared to Java? Adobe seems to be skipping any effort to resuscitate CF (at least at the Enterprise level) with this transaction.

So this leaves four main camps for enterprise CMS:

  • Microsoft – some of the consolidation in this industry seems to be positioning against .net and the .net tools like Sharepoint, Sitecore, Ektron and EpiServer. The preference toward .net vs. Java in the last few years is certainly helping drive consolidation on the Java side.
  • Adobe, Day – with this suite and platform being Java leaning – it’ll be interesting to see how or whether these interact with the Oracle/Java combo above
  • Oracle, Java & Stellent – Perhaps Oracle was in the bidding for Day and helped drive the Day price up – replacing, rewriting, or abandoning the stale Stellent platform seems inevitable.
  • OpenText and their hodge podge of tools

The Autonomy and Tridion sorts of vendors are still out there and viable to varying degrees, but all in all things seem to continuing to march on in a .Net vs. Java and MSSQL vs. Oracle DB battle royale.

Who wins?

web content management solutions, WCMS

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