With little time to reflect on Sitecore's recent acquisition of Reflektion, another enterprise DXP has helped itself to strategic snack – providing more evidence that the market's appetite for expansion is still voracious.
While the past 18 months have seen a relentless cycle of consolidation across the industry, it now seems that Gartner's crop of DXP leaders are playing pole position around critical gaps in their DXP stack. What started with optimization and customer data is now evolving into a heated race for robustness on every level – and for Acquia, digital asset management has been missing from the mix.
Here's more on what the acquisition could mean for the Drupal-based DXP platform.
Widen's value proposition is fairly simple: it unites digital assets such as rich media, product information, and marketing content into a single workflow and provides an intuitive interface that democratizes access to a brand's resources.
In layman's terms, it makes finding and using assets like video, graphics, and copy much easier for marketing professionals (or anyone for that matter).
Whether you're a content strategist, UX designer, marketer, or web developer, delivering a great user experience is always the mission – and good content is essential to that goal. Widen has focused on the asset side of the Content Operations flow, enabling users to enhance their experience with access to the right components.
Acquiring the capabilities of a DAM and a PIM are "strategic gold" for Acquia. To create personalized customer engagement at scale, brands are creating immense volumes of digital content. Traditionally, DAMs have helped simplify a marketer's access to this content while managing versions and workflows to ensure consistency. But within the context of a DXP, a modern DAM must also provide robust technical capabilities and extensibility. Additionally, a PIM solution should enable product data enrichment with marketing copy and digital assets to easily create branded product content.
Together, these capabilities help organizations create and refine distinctive digital experiences based on evolving customer preferences – which is exactly what Acquia aims to do. It's also worth noting that the worldwide market for DAM is projected to grow to $8.5B by 2025, a 15% CAGR. PIM is set to increase from $8.8B last year to $18B in 2027, an 11% CAGR. This underscores the value of the investment.
"Acquia has long been an established leader in managing textual website content," said Dries Buytaert, Co-founder, and CTO of Acquia. "Now, with Widen, we will be able to offer world-class capabilities around rich media and product information content. Widen is consistently ranked a leader by industry analysts for vision, execution, and market presence. We have numerous joint customers today and believe Widen software will deliver value to Acquia Marketing Cloud and Drupal Cloud customers. We're excited to welcome the Widen team to the Acquia family and to collaborate with them on Acquia Open DXP."
When it comes to expanding the stack, the buying spree continues – and Acquia was already leading a similar trajectory as other DXPs, particularly in the Customer Data Platform (CDP) layer. Aquia acquired AgilOne two years ago, while in the last six months, Sitecore acquired Boxever and Optimizely acquired Zaius.
While some other platforms have already addressed DAM capabilities as part of their DXP offering, Widen presents a more advanced solution that will enable Acquia with key advantages. Now, marketers will be able to create, review, manage, distribute and analyze content across the entire lifecycle and support complex marketing workflows and enterprise DXP requirements.
"With Widen, we continue to differentiate Acquia Open DXP by adding enterprise-grade, cloud-native DAM, and PIM capabilities," said Mike Sullivan, President, and CEO of Acquia. "We will immediately invest in accelerated development of the Widen solution and leverage our global capabilities and partner network to bring it to marketing organizations that use Acquia Open DXP to manage, transform and deliver digital assets at scale."
Widen also goes beyond managing creative assets to include storing unstructured data such as legal documents, insurance claims, and contact lists. The marketing-friendly Widen PIM solution delivers product data from creators to customers – centralizing it for syndication across websites, catalogs and e-commerce channels.
Widen also brings a portfolio of more than 700 customers to the Acquia ecosystem, including notable brands like Carnival Cruises, Crayola, Energizer, Kohler, LG, McCormick, New Balance, Progressive, and more. This is yet another differentiator for Acquia as they look to compete with other leading enterprise platforms.
"Content is the heart of any digital experience," said Matthew Gonnering, CEO of Widen. "It influences action across marketing channels; email, social media, content management systems, marketing campaigns, e-commerce, product information management, and more. By combining with Acquia, a company that shares Widen's belief that radical innovation starts with commitment to customers and the community, we will continue to rapidly innovate our solutions to support the first and only open digital experience platform."
The transaction is expected to close in late September 2021.
Acquia empowers the world's most ambitious brands to create digital customer experiences that matter. With open-source Drupal at its core, the Acquia Digital Experience Platform (DXP) enables marketers, developers, and IT operations teams at thousands of global organizations to rapidly compose and deploy digital products and services that engage customers, enhance conversions and help businesses stand out.
Established in 1948, Widen builds high-performing software that empowers organizations to create impactful, measurable and consistent brand experiences. Its platform spans brand management, marketing resource management, and product information management solutions and has enabled over one million marketers, content creators, and technologists at over 660 global brands to better connect with audiences. Customers include Dyson, New Balance, Energizer, Laura Mercier, Nars, Zeiss, Salvation Army, Citizen Watch, the Atlanta Falcons, Carnival Cruise Line, and many more. Headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, and with a European office in London, UK, Widen has the highest customer loyalty in the digital asset management (DAM) industry.