Oracle now provides the best digital experience platform, displacing previous leader Adobe according to the latest Forrester Research Wave report. Oracle moves into top spot with the biggest portfolio and heavy cloud refactoring. Adobe lost marks for a lack of commerce functionality and “no significant PaaS”.

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The report, The Forrester Wave: Digital Experience Platforms Q3 2017, is written by Forrester Wave authors Mark Grannan and Ted Schadler. It examines the 14 most significant digital experience platform providers based on their current offering, strategy and market presence.

Of the 14, Oracle stood out, holding sole possession of the “Leaders” tag. While Adobe now joins Salesforce, IBM and SAP Hybrid in the “Strong Performers” category.

“Oracle has one of the broadest portfolios — including, content, commerce, marketing, data, analytics, and customer care — of any vendor we evaluated,” the authors said. The Californian based provider scored top marks in service, vision and product customer count.

However they still have work to do, according to the authors, “The platform still lacks strong customer analytics and digital intelligence tools, and customers still complain about the complexities of their setup experience.”

According to Will Griffith, regional VP, APAC for Oracle Marketing Cloud, the ranking is recognition for both the completeness of Oracle’s cloud platform for digital experience and the maturity of Oracles solution.

He said whilst many of the components referenced in this latest wave report come from discrete acquisitions, Forrester’s ranking recognises the work Oracle has done bringing these together at a data and solution integration level. “Customers today like Jetstar are leveraging this to drive seamless digital experience across all their digital touch points from unknown browsers to known regular customers – the degree of control over the experience each of their customers receives is helping Jetstar to engage, convert and retain customers better than their competition.”

“I’m also really pleased to see recognition of Oracle’s focus on commerce. More and more customers tell us they need a partner and platform that helps them understand how digital experience effects revenue and drives revenue growth… and which levers they can adjust to continue to improve that growth.”

According to Griffth, “We increasingly see this as the focus for businesses who are either digital natives disrupting traditional markets or legacy players adding digital engagement models to their customer experience.”

Adobe Slips

Oracle’s promotion has come at the expense of sole 2015 leader Adobe (there was no report in 2016). A company spokeswoman told Which-50 that they were proud of their previous leadership positions and their slip was the result of Forrester’s “evolving criteria”.

Source Forrester

“By shifting the focus to native solutions vs. capabilities via integrations, Adobe wasn’t given credit for its broad set of partnerships with CRM, commerce, customer service and public cloud platforms providers,” she said.

“However, even with the shift in focus, Adobe continued to score ahead of 10 other companies that participated in the report, and is called out as being “best in class in content, marketing, and customer data management functionality.”

Indeed, Adobe still led several categories, scoring perfect marks in customer data and market presence, with the authors describing them as the “cadilac of marketing and experience platforms”.

Adobe received a zero mark in the commerce section as it does not provide any such function and was also criticised for its challenging implementation.

The other standout was Salesforce, bolstered by recent additions to its portfolio. They offset a modest current offering score – lacking in content and some analytics, with high marks in strategy and market presence.

“Salesforce, with its converging clouds, is a good choice for B2B and, increasingly, B2c companies, particularly those willing to invest in its PaaS for adjacent applications,” the authors said.

Also included in the strong performers category was IBM and SAP Hybris.

New Players

The 2016 report also saw the addition of new digital experience platform players. Sprinklr, and BloomReach were ranked as ‘contenders’ while Magneto and Liferay were considered ‘cliffhangers’.

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