Adobe Experience Manager Review

With the improvements made in Assets 6.3 for synchronization and accessibility of product data and content records, information can be utilized in a wide range of different channels, including catalog

What is most valuable?

  1. 3D assets: Repurpose 3D assets to accelerate time to market and save on production costs. Upload, manage, view, and render 3D content created from Creative Cloud or many other popular 3D applications. Easily rotate, zoom, change colors, textures, backgrounds (stages) and lighting on 3D objects to create a new set of images from an infinite number of camera angles to use in digital marketing campaigns.
  2. Source user generated content: Livefyre is now fully integrated within Experience Manager, enabling marketers to rapidly discover, filter and manage user-generated content into the central repository of Experience Manager. Unlock the power of user-generated content from social sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and tell your brand’s most authentic and engaging story.
  3. Social & UGC: Livefyre is now more fully integrated into AEM Assets. It still requires a Livefyre account though, which means the need for a license. But if you rely on User Generated Content, or want to start using UGC, then this is something to consider. There are some rights management requests to make sure that the content you want to use, is allowed to be used. Once approved by the owner; then it will show up inside your DAM to be used.

How has it helped my organization?

With the improvements made in Assets 6.3 for synchronization and accessibility of product data and content records, information can be utilized in a wide range of different channels, including catalogs and other designed documents.

Using this product data, they can be inserted semi-automatically into materials that can be printed, emailed, posted on websites, etc.

What needs improvement?

  • The product is in constant evolution, with several key areas being improved in each iteration.
  • The Assets capabilities of AEM 6.3.4 were basic and with troubles to scale, but that has changed significantly in newer versions where the Asset module has received a lot of focus and is currently one of the best solutions for Digital Asset Management out there.
  • Adobe’s Cloud Manager can provision default three-tier architecture (Author-> Publish -> Dispatcher), any other complex variation, such as four-tier setup is hard to provision (Author-> Author -> Publish -> Dispatcher)
  • Companies with heavy investment in Microsoft technologies and .net infrastructure find Adobe AEM hard to integrate and end-up using Adobe AEM as API backend
  • Last but not least, Adobe AEM TCO (total cost of ownership) is very high with return on investment is slow (ROI is not necessarily low), which is why Adobe's focus is mostly large companies with deep pocket

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for the past three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have found occasional issues with stability, but those were in general caused either by custom developed code or issues in the implemented architecture.

When the application is installed in servers without the necessary requirements in terms of hardware specs, users may experience slow page loads and perhaps even systems not responding.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No problems with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Support from Adobe is good and responds in a timely manner. Their ticketing system works and is useful for getting to the bottom of the problems.

One thing to have in mind is that Adobe provides support only for the base AEM application, and not for custom code development to extend and/or customize its functionalities.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Being in a consultant company solely dedicated to Adobe CQ/AEM, this is not applicable.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup is very easy and straightforward.

The application comes in the form of a JAR or WAR file for easy deployment with various tools and systems.

Using the JAR, you can have the application up and running in five minutes, just by double-clicking/executing the file (it requires users to have Java installed, but that is a pretty common requirement these days).

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Keep solution architecture easy to avoid unnecessary license costs. Start with the basic licenses to solve your immediate needs, and only increase them if the project really requires it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have worked with other similar solutions that solve parts of the complete set of solutions AEM provides, but none of them have the ability to handle so many of those areas in an integral way.

For Web Site and Content Management in general, sample tools are Drupal,
Joomla, and Wordpress.

What other advice do I have?

Start small and plan your first set of objectives clearly, leaving all the “nice-to- haves” for a later phase.

Starting this way will help companies get a sample of the benefits, and get familiar with the tool in general.

After the first phase, they may find things that they thought they wanted are not really required or can be achieved in a better, more efficient way in the AEM world.

Another useful piece of advice is to avoid trying to re-create your current solution using AEM, and rather, try to look for new and different ways to achieve the same results that take advantage of AEM’s features.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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