Microsoft's Pending Acquisition Of aQuantive Impacts You...

by Kyle McNabb.

Quite a surprise this morning, waking up groggy after 4 fun filled days at our IT Forum event in Nashville, and seeing Microsoft's attempting to acquire aQuantive. You're probably thinking this acquisition has nothing to do with information and knowledge management. Oh but it does...especially for any of you looking to support your online operations through the implementation of Web content management and related technologies.

Why should you care? Well, aQuantive offers interactive design services through one of their operations, Avenue A|Razorfish. I've witnessed enterprises - such as yours - increasingly engage their interactive design agencies for not only site design and persona development support, but Web content management technology recommendation and implementation assistance. We often see Avenue A|Razorfish and Molecular resources assisting in Interwoven implementations, and other agencies supporting Vignette, FatWire, or Tridion implementations. And, now that Microsoft's about to acquire the services of aQuantive, you can expect to see at least one agency push for using SharePoint Server 2007 to support Web site initiatives.

I believe you're seeing the future of Web content management, a future in which Web content management's no longer looked at as a technology, but as an important piece to your Web/online operations.

Ebusiness, marketing communications, marketing operations, and other Web teams supporting customer experience initiatives will continue to push their interactive marketing service providers for design AND implementation help.  Microsoft's setting themselves up to be a sole source Web operations provider to many of you - providing you the design services AND the technology to deliver a compelling customer experience. SDL, granted not an interactive agency but a service provider to marketers for globalization support, is looking to tackle this future through their acquisition of Tridion - offering globalization services & technology PLUS content management technology for marketing operations throughout the world. Other interactive agencies will soon follow.

The impact:

  • Other Web content management vendors would be wise to aggressively pursue strong relationships with interactive design agencies. And I believe many of these agencies can no longer remain agnostic to Web content management technologies, they'll have to create alliances, build up implementation skill sets, and address your implementation needs.
  • You'll increasingly look for broader Web and online operations solutions that are based on strong Web content management capabilities to support your multi-site, multi-channel, and multi-language content management AND delivery needs.
  • ECM strategy development will be impacted. You'll face less pressure to find one solution to support your Internal and external site initiatives. Instead, you may face more pressure to find solutions to support roles within, and outside, the organization - for example, one content management solution may be required to support Sales (Sales Intranet), Marketing (ebusiness, email, marketing communications), and Customer Support (call center) initiatives as they all relate to customer experience. Supporting R&D, Finance, or other roles could use another content management solution.

As this future unfolds, we'll be here to comment and, more importantly, provide direction and insight. And I'd like to hear from you. You can comment on this blog or email me at kmcnabb@forrester.com.

Comments

re: Microsoft's Pending Acquisition Of aQuantive Impacts You...

Kyle,I agree with your vision of web content management. We often implement large Web properties where CMS is an important piece. This is especially true of big telecom vendors where there's a need to provide a superior user experience, self service and ecommerce along with compelling content. We also often use a lot of interactive design and usability expertise in most WCM projects that we undertake.Best regards,Apoorvhttp://apoorv.info