Adobe’s acquisition of Omniture has overshadowed another recent acquisition. In August of this year, Adobe quietly purchased Business Catalyst, a CRM & web hosting company. With this acquisition Adobe picked up a turn-key solution for clients to publish, host, and manage business web sites. This would suggest that Adobe is moving towards similar territory as Amazon’s EC2 and other business cloud hosts.
Enter Omniture. Putting an analytics infrastructure behind Flash properties is a no-brainer, though as James Governor notes, it’s unclear how Adobe analytics would be any better than Google. The staggering Omniture client list aside (Apple, IBM, MSFT, etc…), Adobe could bring it’s analytics suite to Business Catalyst clients thereby building an entire publishing, hosting, analytics, & CRM ecosystem. You buy the Creative Suite, publish through Business Catalyst, host on Adobe servers, and reap the user analytics from Omniture. And Adobe grabs a bit of cash at every step. (If you want to get really crazy, think about how LiveCycle & Flash might fit into this equation…)
Now, about Google Wave. Disclosure: I haven’t gotten an invite yet. But I’ve been doing my share of research since the announcement earlier this year. The press following their beta is mostly focusing on how competitive Wave is with email & IM, or how weak the typically-Google user experience is. Although Google has framed the whole offering as a new communications tool, I think this generalization is perhaps a deliberate obfuscation leading people to think it’s only about evolving email.
The most interesting thing to me about Wave is that it combines real-time collaboration with a context-aware architecture. The experience of the user is dependent on the context of their content, their role, and their transactions. I think most commentary has missed the point that Wave is the first real context-aware application framework. If we look at the term “communication” and consider it more as an event protocol, Wave allows all components of a contextual transaction to communicate with each other. In other words, this isn’t just real-time collaboration for users. It’s real-time collaboration for machines. My sense is that Wave is a proof of product, and that the core functionality will be a large part of the Chrome OS underlying all transactional processes. If this is the case, Chrome OS could be a truly revolutionary cloud-aware contextual operating system.
My two bits for a Sunday…