digital architecture center of excellence

Why Every Business Needs a Digital Experience Practice

Digital transformation has been a top business priority for years; however, more than 50% of all these projects today fail. The cause? Lack of strategic alignment and not enough investment at the executive level. According to a 2019 Mckinsey& Company survey, 70% of digital transformation projects fail due to lack of leadership and poor business communication. When projects fail, it’s not because a business didn’t have the right product or solution, but they lacked the scope of support and insight into the true value these products deliver to the business. 

Reaching customers in today's environment requires an organization to have full awareness and jurisdiction over its entire digital ecosystem. People are interacting with brands everywhere from smartphones to social media to chatbots and in-store kiosks. To differentiate on offering superior, holistic experiences, companies must look beyond the value of each individual tool to understand how these channels combine to impact the customer experience and unlock new opportunities to do more. 

Investing in Digital Experience Grows Long-Term Value

The total potential of the customer experience is infinitely more valuable than the sum of its parts. To win in the experience economy, every brand needs a Digital Experience Platform (DXP) at the core of its operations to seamlessly engage customers across every channel and adapt to new technologies as soon as they arrive on the scene. At Acquia, we believe that an open DXP is the future of digital experience, and our partners will only be able to fully serve their clients and deploy experiences today’s customers want by investing in a practice that is actively intertwined with every point in the customer journey. As DXPs become a necessity across all business operations, organizations will be expected to understand not just the individual technologies (marketing automation, site building, customer data platforms, etc.), but they’ll need deep insight into how all of these technologies work together and, moreover, how they can be built upon to generate ROI and reveal potential opportunities with future solutions. Rather than taking a product-first approach to solving a problem, practices focus on developing skills and lines of communications that transform the way the entire organization thinks about their digital ecosystem. 

A DX practice is not a single team of expert developers or a set of tools. It’s a collaborative community of technical talent, sales leaders, partner managers and business stakeholders all aligned around a joint strategy to win new business and grow their influence in the market by continuously unearthing fresh, compounding value. The majority of today’s digital leaders already have an assortment of martech products at their disposal from CRMs to Commerce engines; personalization tools to analytics dashboards, but tech without strategy isn’t worth much. A practice offers an additional layer of connective tissue and understanding. Bringing those sales and marketing and customer success insights to the forefront allows partners to see beyond the standard capability of the platform and system itself and understand how each piece will drive ROI for the end user. This means they’ll be able to offer clients strategic recommendations informed by data, earning trust and influencing more valuable bookings.

A well-run practice doesn’t just apply a product to solve a problem. Rather, partner practices leverage experts who understand the entire structure of how to determine and implement the best solutions and continue to follow up and uncover new opportunities long after the project has been delivered. Equipped with our in-depth range of services and digital experience capabilities, Acquia and our partners are providing the building blocks for everything from digital strategy and consulting, change management blueprints, implementation projects and ongoing optimization efforts that evolve and bend to suit the future needs of their own customers. 

Collaboration Empowers Mutual Success at Scale

Now that you know how a digital experience practice elevates your offerings with clients and delivers proof of value across every line of business, how can you take action? Acquia is owning our partner-first commitment and opening up our knowledge and extensive experience with our partner teams through Acquia Partner Practices. These partner practices, centered on the flexible, future-ready capabilities of our open DXP platform empower partners to build broad and deep centers of excellence at the heart of their operations so that they can go on to deliver consistent growth directly to their clients. Our Practice Development program understands the combined value of joint successes and is focused on driving business growth with and through Acquia. In addition to strengthening communication with our partner managers, our Practice Development Managers collaborate with partners to tap into opportunities for new business and enable more high margin services.

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Cross-business collaboration at the executive level ensures that partners and clients are strategically aligned and can more seamlessly deliver solutions to their customers quickly and at scale. Since our partner program began, technical account managers (TAMs) and expert services have worked closely with partners and customers every step of the way from training to integration to development, resulting in seamless teams that leverage the most value out of our combined talent. Now, we want to help partners do even more to empower their teams and the customers that those teams serve to be experts in the DX space by building their own Acquia practices. Some of our partners have already taken this step and built well-equipped Acquia practices. For partners who want to position themselves as leaders in the space and prove to customers that they can be relied upon for any and all services, Acquia is helping partners develop their own talent and ensure they have the knowledge to execute each step from strategy and design, through integration and optimization. 

Expertise Matures Into Future Market Value

A fully operating DX practice begins with prioritizing education and learning from those technology companies who are leading the way. Businesses should invest in people that understand open technology solutions inside and out and know how to integrate these technologies intelligently in ways that facilitate the experiences their customers expect. Through sharing this knowledge with our partner network, these firms will be able to establish a powerful digital foundation for any brand wanting to create world-class customer experiences.

As these practices mature, companies will also gain the ability to expand their capabilities beyond the platform and integrate with other third-party applications as well as proprietary homegrown technologies. For system integrators, strategic consultancies and digital agencies, this offers a greater chance to collaborate with other vendors and develop strategies that best fit the use case of each business. Each new successful integration project then serves as a reference architecture that partners can look to, again and again, growing their offerings and overall value proposition in the market.

 Learning the inner workings of all sides of open digital experience technology also allows companies to develop and deliver their own intellectual property and code. Through building on existing innovation, teams can establish their own unique code and applications that they can use to inform new site projects and strengthen their delivery processes. Through working directly with open technologies and adding to their current tech stack, businesses gain a competitive edge and grow the collective knowledge of their teams. Acquia provides a solution that is the “center of gravity” for managing experiences. Partners who build practices around this solution will be positioned to deliver customers the most compelling results.

Ultimately, the creation of new digital experience practices and centers of excellence begins a domino effect of future innovation. Knowledge is power, and the more we can arm brands with the tools they need to realize their own digital potential, the more this knowledge will spread and propel a revolution throughout the entire scope of customer experience. 

The demand is there, and it’s time to act. To see how our Partners are driving innovative business success, check out the 2019 Acquia Partner Award winners

Joe Wykes

Joe Wykes

SVP, Worldwide Partnerships and Sales  Acquia

Joe Wykes is senior vice president of worldwide partnerships and sales. He leads our global partner team, as well as our inside sales business development team. These teams collaborate to build awareness for the Acquia brand, generate qualified pipeline and best-in-class conversion. With more than 20 years of software sales experience, Joe brings a deep understanding and great passion for sales strategy and execution, enablement, operations, talent development, and business integration.

Prior to that Joe served as president of Percussion Software, an early pioneer in content management and data integration. During his tenure, he led the company’s successful expansion into the enterprise market, with record deals in the North American and European markets.

Joe is a qualified barrister at law, from the Inns of Court School of Law, and was called to the Bar of England & Wales. He also holds a post-graduate degree in law and an undergraduate degree in medieval and modern history.

Joe lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts, with his wife and two children. He is an avid rackets player and passionate foodie.