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10 minutes with... #4

10 minutes with... #4

Dr. Jochen Wiechen, CEO of Intershop on Adobe's plans to acquire Magento Commerce

Adobe announced its plans to buy Magento Commerce. What implications do you see for the e-commerce market?

It´s public knowledge that Adobe intends to complement its portfolio with e-commerce capabilities it has been lacking so far. This is to bring content and data together with commerce, thus extending Adobe´s approach “to sell experience rather than products”. The merger results from the market pressure particularly in North America, where Sitecore and Episerver along with Oracle, SAP, and Salesforce claim big market shares from Adobe.

Which areas would you identify as difficult to overcome?

Assuming the market presences of Adobe and Magento to be a guarantee for an emerging commerce leader falls short of understanding the complexities of this merger. Really uniting their product portfolio is the most obvious challenge. It means bringing standard software together with a big share of open source code which was each developed for different customer segments. While Adobe mainly addresses the enterprise segment, Magento Commerce is mostly present with customers of small and medium-sized businesses. Future will tell how the community that has been contributing code for Magento Commerce will keep on doing so and what this will imply for speed and innovation of the product development. Apart from that I wouldn´t be surprised if this merger will lose a lot of its potential synergies by enormous friction caused by the very different company cultures of the both parties.

The market for commerce software has seen a number of mergers of the last years. Will this latest move impact the partnership of Microsoft and Intershop?

The partnership of Intershop and Microsoft combines leading solutions for digitalization projects for companies of all sizes and maturity levels. Obviously, commerce expertise is a vital part of the joint offering, bringing it together with the know-how condensed in Microsoft´s 365 in terms of customer relationship management, ERP, predictive analytics, sales support, etc. - and all available as cloud offering, too. Therefore, this partnership is not at question at all, but a valid answer for market demands. However, it is the customer who decides for the preferred solution matching individual demands at hand. Intershop´s portfolio is just as ready to work with the Adobe Experience Manager as Microsoft has areas to partner with Adobe, too.

What merger do you expect next?

I´m not to forecast the next move of whatever party in the market. To customers looking to solve their pressing digitalization issues ground to make decisions on is availability, expertise, matching technology, ROI, flexibility to respond to future demand. Intershop is made to solve their problems, regardless in which constellation. 

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