Integration with Adobe Experience Manager Brings Additional Value
Earlier this year, Adobe announced it would be integrating its digital publishing platform, Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) with its web experience management solution, Adobe Experience Manager (AEM), part of Adobe Marketing Cloud. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Robert Reneau, director of digital marketing at Maxim Integrated, a developer and manufacturer of semiconductors headquartered in Silicon Valley.
Reneau explained that the company has more than 9,000 semiconductor products on its website. Having instant access to relevant product information for each is essential for Maxim’s sales team, as customers must have the best solutions available to them for their specific needs.
“A typical ‘data sheet’ for one of our products could be as long as 50 pages,” Reneau explains. “And there is additional information as well, including engineering documentation and details about related products and resources. Plus we are always adding new products. You can imagine how time consuming it can be for our sales force to keep up with all of this.”
Maxim launched a web site redesign this past summer and used the opportunity to implement Adobe Experience Manager to help better manage content and deliver an exceptional customer experience. “We were also looking for a better way to present our content,” he adds, “both to make it easier for our sales force and more engaging for our customers. For that reason, we also acquired Adobe DPS and have recently integrated the two.”
Reneau indicates that the previous process involved more time to create customized reference materials for the sales force which the company calls e-briefs. E-briefs are used by the sales force and can be presented directly to customers. “We originally designed e-briefs using InDesign and DPS,” he says. “All of the required information was pulled from different sources and needed to be checked, and verified to ensure accuracy.”
The process is much different today. All content is initially developed for placement in Adobe Experience Manager. Modules are tagged by product group so that appropriate content is presented based on a user’s login. This library of modules can then be dragged and dropped to create web pages consisting of already-approved content.
But the real benefit lies in the new creation process for e-briefs. “We can now create these in seconds,” he says. “Since we have to create thousands of these, the new process is a huge benefit in terms of productivity and efficiency. Not only that, but we are able to increase the number and type of e-briefs we make available, not only for products, but also evaluation kits, reference designs and selection guides. All of the resources associated with each individual product is linked to its e-brief so that the sales person instantly has all required information at her fingertips.”
Reneau explains that about 50% of the company’s sales force uses tablets, and more will be doing so in the future. E-briefs are converted to PDF format for sales people that don’t yet have tablets. E-briefs are stored in Maxim’s App Locker, powered by Apperian’s EASE platform, so that sales people can easily access them while they are logged in to Salesforce rather than having to move to a different application or search through a file hierarchy to find all of the necessary information.
But Maxim hasn’t stopped there. “We also acquired Adobe Analytics,” Reneau says, “and that allows us to have more granular tracking of the DPS platform. In addition, we have an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription which gives us the tools to create the content.”
“An interesting thing I wanted to highlight,” he continues, “is that when we designed the web site and built it out for the AEM platform, we created it in modules of content. A module is a block of content, an image, a video, and each of these modules is tagged by the product group it belongs to. This makes it easy to dynamically aggregate modules to create e-briefs as well as web pages. And, of course, if changes need to be made, they are made in one place and automatically flow through to all other locations, with notifications to customers and other stakeholders that content has changed. This contextual tagging means that we can dynamically create online content and allows us to have one-to-one personalization as well.”
Maxim considers this one-to-one dynamic web implementation as a virtual salesperson, saying, “It not only makes the rest of our sales force more efficient, but it helps us establish an intimate relationship with customers. These dynamic documents allow us to have a digital conversation with customers that we were unable to have before.”
The Maxim story is another example of how platforms such as Adobe DPS and Adobe Experience Manager are changing the way enterprises equip and train their sales people. While this rather complex and all-encompassing configuration was internally developed by Maxim in collaboration with Adobe, it points out the types of services that print service providers can be thinking about offering their customers to add high value, high margin digital services to the mix. It is also a cautionary tale—if you don’t bring these ideas to your customers, they will ultimately stumble upon them on their own, very likely comprising a missed opportunity for your company and perhaps lost customers in the end.