Adobe and Sitecore are among the leaders in the digital experience platform market, according to Gartner’s latest Magic Quadrant. Salesforce has the greatest ability to execute but trails other vendors in vision, according to the analyst firm.

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Digital Experience Platforms report, released late last week, assesses the main global vendors’ offerings, with Adobe, Sitecore, Acquia, Liferay, and Episerver all ranked as leaders.

While Adobe is a mainstay in the leaders’ block, other large incumbents – including Salesforce, Oracle, OpenText and SAP – now sit as “challengers” because despite an ability to execute they have a less complete vision, according to Gartner. 

The inverse of challengers, what Gartner calls “visionaries” because of a complete vision but a lesser ability to execute, only has one vendor: Bloomreach.

The other vendors to qualify under Gartner’s methodology all fall into the “niche players” block because they have limited deployment and are restricted to certain geographies. They include Crownpeak, CoreMedia, Kentico Software, and Squiz.

In 2020, IBM, Microsoft, and SDL all feel off the list entirely, although changes in Gartner’s methodology means this does not necessarily indicate lowered opinion from the analysts. Gartner also advises customers to assess all the vendors in their report as even the niche players may offer the best outcome depending on the business.

What is a DXP?

The analysts define digital experience platforms (DXP) as a central hub or technology platform that can “optimise multiple portals, web content management and personalisation applications — in order to provide a more integrated and better managed solution for a coordinated omnichannel digital customer experience”.

According to Gartner, rising customer expectations makes DXP adoption an “urgent necessity” for global organisations but the market is still fragmented and evolving. Many DXPs have evolved from older web content management systems but many of these are not keeping pace with some of the product focused solutions, according to the analysts. 

At the same time, Gartner says, vendors with more platform-oriented solutions are increasing their ability to execute through innovation, creating a “chasm” between Gartner’s main criteria: ability to execute and completeness of vision.

Adobe on top

Adobe, which has the best completeness of vision and trails only Salesforce for ability to execute, says Gartner’s ranking reflects its pedigree.

“Competitors come and go,” Adobe SVP  for Experience Cloud, Aseem Chandra wrote in a company post about the report.

“We pioneered the Marketing Cloud category, we are a leader in the Digital Experience Platforms category, we have made Customer Experience Management our raison d’etre, and we have planted the flag for the future.”

Acquia, also named a leader, said its offering, an open sourced platform approach, allows customers to integrate best of breed solutions and avoid “monolithic” contracts.

“For companies to create a great customer experience, they need to integrate data and orchestrate experiences from a variety of channels,” said Dries Buytaert, co-founder and CTO of Acquia.

“These organisations are looking for open solutions, and a DXP is no exception. An open approach to integration is often the means companies are looking for to maximise their martech investment, and minimise the time it takes to integrate and get to market. It’s an important difference, one that’s designed to allow companies to build digital experiences that are flexible, scalable and secure.” 

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