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Design & Technology February 12, 2020

Highlights From Gartner's 2020 Magic Quadrant For Digital Experience Platforms

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Gartner has released the 2020 magic quadrant for Digital Experience Platforms (DXP), their annual review of service providers in the DXP market. The magic quadrant is a useful reference point for businesses looking to draw up a shortlist of potential service providers for their business, or for current users to compare their technology stack to developments across the industry. While the DXP market is still developing, the increasing pressure on businesses to provide an integrated, engaging digital experience is driving adoption of DXPs, across B2C, B2B and B2E.

This article focuses on DXP vendors that Dept partners with. The full report can be read here, providing further information on how the companies are categorised and the weighting criteria used by Gartner.

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Adobe Experience Cloud

Adobe remains a market leader, particularly well suited for mature B2C businesses. Adobe Experience Cloud is supported by a global ecosystem of design, implementation and strategy partners, providing customers with a wide range of options to suit their particular needs. This is  a key benefit for organisations that are looking for an expansive DXP service but may not have the necessary technological expertise in-house to maximise their use of the service.

Adobe Experience Cloud is still developing their B2B service, bolstered by the 2018 acquisition and integration of Marketo and the more recent acquisition of Magento. Building out their B2B offering is underway, but there are currently limitations to their offering around sales, supplier and customer experience tools. Price and complexity can also be a barrier for new users. Companies looking at Adobe must consider the cost over multiple years, as well as their ability to implement the service.

Bloomreach Experience (brX)

Bloomreach is the sole visionary in this year’s edition of the magic quadrant. Their hybrid cloud offering, part PaaS, part SaaS,  is built for B2C and B2B digital commerce companies, designed as a front end for their operations.

To this end, they have established strong partnerships with digital commerce service providers, including Commercetools and Salesforce. This offers a forward thinking headless integration option for developers to utilise. Their focus on digital commerce includes providing strong on-site search options for consumers, personalising the experience through the use of AI.

Gartner reports that Bloomreach has missed out on longlists and shortlists of potential vendors due to a lack of awareness, however Bloomreach is broadening the number of implementation partners they work with. For companies that are not focused on digital commerce, careful attention should be paid to how brX would align with their digital strategy.

Acquia

Providing B2C and B2B personalisation, content and journey management, Acquia is a DXP committed to open source, creating a strong community of developers. This also supports Drupal, their web content management tool which forms part of the DXP. Acquia have also strengthened their platform with the acquisition of Cohesion, a low code Drupal website builder, and Mautic, an open source automated marketing service.

Acquia’s commerce, analytics and digital asset management technology is a little less developed than the competition, so may not be an ideal fit for businesses reliant on these services. Gartner also reports that potential users are unsure of the difference between using Acquia’s DXP and using Drupal, a roadblock to platform uptake.

Crownpeak

Crownpeak has carved a niche for itself as a DXP by providing services for midsize healthcare, pharmaceuticals and financial services companies. Their compliance, security and consent management tools are well designed for these industries, and the DXP is designed for ease of use, from a clear pricing system to the user-friendly interface. This means less of a technological barrier for organisations that are looking for a DXP but do not have a strong developer team in their business.

Potential users with needs that go beyond content management and data governance may find that other DXPs are a better fit for their digital strategy. Crownpeak has fewer implementation partners, though they are looking to expand their network in the near future.

Episerver

Over the past year, Episerver has entered the leaders quadrant. Backed by transparent pricing and a focus on user experience, Episerver emerged as a leader for B2C brands, providing strong customer journey, personalisation and content tools. 

Their AI and analytics service offers businesses a deeper understanding of their customer base, highly useful for growing digital commerce brands. Transparent pricing is a major plus for businesses drawing up a list of vendors, offering a clear understanding of the costs involved.

Episerver’s B2E offering is a little less developed, though Gartner reference a number of B2E Episerver customers and the integration of Microsoft Office 365. Their headless offering is in an emergent, rather than mature state, with Episerver looking to build touch points out beyond a web-centric content delivery system.

Salesforce

Designed for vertical markets, particularly retail, manufacturing and healthcare, Salesforce is well supported by one of the largest network of partners and a global community of developers. The Salesforce Einstein tool is useful for companies looking to improve their CX through personalisation. Salesforce aims to create a 360° understanding of customers, linking data across multiple touchpoints.

Price packaging can be a barrier for potential users that are not already signed up to a Salesforce service. Gartner raises questions over the complexity of the Salesforce offering, due to the wide array of tools that comprise the DXP product, including Salesforce Community Cloud, Einstein and the Lightning Platform. This also includes Salesforce CMS, which recently became available to all users following a year long beta process.

Sitecore Experience Platform

Sitecore continues to be a market leader, providing content management, personalisation and optimisation through the Sitecore Experience Platform. It is most commonly used by B2C companies in the retail, hospitality and healthcare industries, built for companies that have a focus on building a strong customer experience. Their Javascript-based hybrid headless build offers agile development and the implementation of machine learning through Sitecore Cortex is useful when optimisation is a top priority.

Gartner reports that customers have taken issue with the lack of transparency and high level of complexity around the pricing of the service. The transition to cloud services is proving a little bumpy too, with certain questions around technical issues slowing the transition for existing customers. When drawing up a list of technological vendors, businesses should take into account the complexity of Sitecore’s offering, maximising the product can be a challenge depending on the current level of technical expertise already in the organisation.

SDL

While SDL featured in the 2018 and 2019 editions of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, SDL chose not to participate in the 2020 edition. This decision is due to a disagreement on with Gartner’s scoring and weighting criteria, more information on SDL’s decision is available here.

Putting together a list of potential DXP vendors

Resources such as Gartner’s Magic Quadrant and the Forrester Wave are useful in building an understanding of the DXP market and the specialisms of the various providers, though it is recommended to work with a tech-agnostic agency, like Dept, to fully explore your business requirements and receive experience based advice on the solutions that each platform can provide. For more information on drawing up a shortlist of CMS and DXP providers, and further advice on selecting a solution for your business, our guide may help.

 

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