Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day to be acquired by Adobe - implications?

Today, Adobe announced to buy Day Software, another WCM manufacturer based in Basel, Switzerland, who uses the same technology foundation as Magnolia. As an initiator of the JCR standard and main contributor to Jackrabbit (the JCR reference implementation), Day is certainly important for the JCR ecosystem.

Let's have a look at the possible implications of the deal for Magnolia.

Adobe bought Omniture not even a year ago for 1.2B$, which was/is the leader in web analytics. With Day's CQ (their CMS), Adobe now has the final part in their portfolio to create, analyze and publish content. (I couldn't find out yet what part "Adobe Publish" plays. Seems to be an SaaS platform, so probably not competing with CQ.)

With Adobe, Day can now enter the US market, something that was difficult until now (even if they are no longer Day). Adobe buying Day further validates the JSR-170 standard, makes Magnolia's technology stack better known and more attractive for potential buyers. Interest in Magnolia will rise along.

Adobe might well underplay the repository part and the visibility of JCR might decline in turn. We typically do not sell Magnolia because of JCR (although it does happen), and once we have a prospect, saying that he gets the same repository technology he would buy from Adobe will certainly be soothing any worries. Good for Magnolia again.

On the technology side, Adobe will either strengthen JCR and keep Day's CTO and JCR brainchild David Nüscheler, or David will leave to pursue his vision regarding repository technology elsewhere. David will get a lot of $ out of the deal, so he will have little reason to work in a direction he doesn't like if the alternative is to spend the rest of his life on his own island watching whales make love in sunset.

In either case, it should not mean too much worry for repository implementations. Even if Day under its new owner stops contributing to Jackrabbit, JBoss just launched ModeShape (tested extensively using the best test app they could get - Magnolia CMS). Good thing Magnolia is independent of the underlying repository implementation.


The business aspects

Adobe is building huge integrated application suites and I bet that CQ will not become cheaper by being part of that. On the contrary, Adobe aims to provide value through an integrated publishing chain for the customer (creation, analytics, publishing) and will monetize that value.

Adobe buying Day brings insecurity to the current Day prospects (and clients) and will result in more prospects leaning towards Magnolia. In addition, many people don't want to talk to the likes of Adobe because they rightly fear that Adobe will sell them every product in their portfolio, even if all they ask for is a WCM.

The market will split between those seeking an expensive integrated application suite (Adobe Livecycle) and those seeking a powerful and focussed WCM product that is easy to use, extend and integrate with their business needs (Magnolia CMS).

Summary

Adobe buying Day will be good for Magnolia and Magnolia customers; it will most likely not be good for Day customers (the aim of a takeover rarely correlates with the goals of the existing customer base, otherwise the existing customers would have bought something else). Thanks to Adobe buying Day, Magnolia's technology stack will gain more credibility, and with clients like the US Navy (navy.com), EADS.com, Sony Playstation and many other multi-nationals in its portfolio, it is easy to see that Magnolia CMS is a very credible alternative to becoming dependent on a single integrated product suite delivered by a rather closed-sourced billion $ company.