You can tell a lot about a company not just by how they treat their customers, but how they treat their partners as well. Digital agencies, systems integrators and technology vendors must work together seamlessly and in the spirit of true trust to create the best experiences for their customers.
These partnerships need to be built not just on trust and good faith, but the mutual benefit of all three parties: vendor, partner and ultimately the client.
It’s been about a month since Adobe informed their partners that new architecture and launch services are required for what Adobe considers key “Experience Cloud (Adobe’s recent re-dubbing of its Marketing Cloud) deployments.
In talking with our partners post-launch, it’s clear they are not happy. While it makes eminent sense for any technology vendor to be prepared to provide technical support to its partners and their mutual customers, this new and potentially expensive professional services agreement is mandatory and not the best nor most good-faith way to provide such services.
One reason for Adobe’s edict of mandatory launch service engagements could lie in the fact that the Adobe Marketing Cloud and it’s various components (like Adobe Experience Manager) are not true cloud solutions. This is “cloud-washing” at its worst and changes the way Adobe will work on cloud deployments with their partners. Their complicated integrations leave too much room for failure and now it seems they are demanding an exorbitant fee to ensure success. In a recent blog post referencing the 2017 Forrester Wave, David Aponovich, Sr. Director, Digital Experience at Acquia explained cloud-washing best:
They are painting over the reality that their WCM and related software is still being deployed on site, or on a traditional hosting environment …. perhaps with a sheen of ‘managed hosting’ assistance thrown in for good measure
At Acquia, we are committed to providing enablement (both sales and delivery) resources and 24/7 support to ensure that our partners are successful. Acquia also provides technical resources to our partners. In a cloud-native world, customers buy subscriptions and those subscriptions include Technical Account Managers - akin to dedicated support experts - who work with both the customer and partner to ensure success - both getting the customer project live and beyond. Rather than surprise its partners with mandatory launch services, Acquia includes Technical Account Management in all of its pricing.
Acquia’s technical account managers (TAM) work in collaboration with both the partner and customer, not one or the other. Partners get to work with our TAMs to ensure that they can work alongside experienced experts to answer any questions or tackle any issues that may pop up during the course of a client deployment.. As a result of our long-standing commitment to providing TAM support, our solutions get integrated and deployed successfully. TAMs working with partners -- augmented by foundational training from partner delivery enablement -- result in seamless teams comprised of our respective talent. We believe this is a more elegant solution focused on collaboration and communication, both of which are critical to the success of a project.
When a partner and their client works with Acquia, the entire approach toward customer success is different. Yes, we price our TAMs into our agreements (and the choice to use a TAM’s services are optional depending on the level of the subscription selected) but the difference here is that there is transparency, teamwork and trust in our partners. We want partners to never feel they are being asked to “pay to play”, especially the exorbitant amounts Adobe is demanding. We do not believe that this sort of “protection money” is any way to manage partner relationships.
Customer success should always be the top priority; TAMS are included to ensure technical support is provided, not an add-on designed to increase our own revenue.
Partner success is a constant priority for us at Acquia. Our commitment to them is to help them manage and stay ahead of the waves of continuous change sweeping over the world of digital marketing and digital experiences, helping them adapt to a future where we both succeed in the name of customer success.
If this is the final straw for you with Adobe, then contact Acquia and see how we do it. Call us at 1-888.922.7842 or email us at [email protected].