Today, OpenX formally announced OpenX Enterprise, a new publisher ad server which it says optimizes "all ad revenue channels in one place. This includes inventory sold through a direct sales force as well as inventory sold indirectly through the rapidly increasing number of demand sources such as ad networks and Demand Side Platforms (DSPs)." Read the release.
John Linden, CTO for OpenX, discussed the announcement and the new ad server's implications.
AdExchanger.com: Describe the target publisher for the new ad server.
JL: OpenX Enterprise is designed for large and mid-sized publishers who need a premium ad server that allows them to manage all of their revenue channels in one place, that want to benefit from direct selling tools which have been completed redesigned, and that need to manage first and third party data in a comprehensive way. OpenX Enterprise can most certainly be used very effectively by publishers with relatively simple needs, but we think its innovations really shine when publishers have more sophisticated and innovative ad businesses and more complex ad technology needs.
We’re already starting to see this trend play out, with leading large publishers around the world - such as Groupon, Excite Japan and Orange-France Telecom - adopting the platform.
What's in it for marketers?
I’d highlight three major elements:
First, the newly designed direct selling tools make ad operations much easier, quicker and more business-focused. This will make ad operations activities quicker, less error-prone and more in-tune with sales activities, resulting in a superior experience for marketers buying from publishers using the new OpenX Enterprise platform.
Second, a key component/aspect of the OpenX Enterprise platform is that OpenX Market, our unique online ad exchange, is built directly into the new ad platform. That provides publishers with seamlessly integrated access to the buy side of OpenX Market. And for marketers, it provides access to an enormous volume of primary inventory on which they can bid in real-time. We think the new platform really provides the best, fastest and easiest way to access and buy primary publisher inventory.
Third, by providing first and third party data management capabilities natively within the ad server, we believe publishers will more easily be able to create better, more unique audience segments for marketers to buy.
Considering how deeply enmeshed an ad server becomes in a company's business, isn't it difficult for a company to change ad servers? How does OpenX address this challenge with potential clients who are already on DFA or Atlas?
Making significant changes to a publisher’s ad serving infrastructure can certainly involve effort, no question. We think, however, that the breakthrough technology and significant enhancement to revenue that are core to the new OpenX Enterprise platform make the transition process very worthwhile.
More specifically, it’s been years since the sell-side ad server space has seen really significant breakthrough innovation. Yet publishers have been looking for better solutions to the new opportunities of real-time selling (on exchanges) and data management. Now OpenX gives them something compelling in both these areas. Furthermore, bringing totally rethought direct selling tools to market is creating intense interest.
All these benefits notwithstanding, we do completely understand that ad infrastructure transitions can be complex. As a result, OpenX also has a dedicated team whose mission is to assist publishers with the transition to OpenX Enterprise. It’s a consultative process with our customers during which we help them rethink how they monetize their inventory using both direct selling and real-time selling methods.
Finally, as I said, it’s important to note that several major publishers have either already made or are currently in the process of making the transition to OpenX Enterprise, even before we officially launched the platform. Those include Groupon in the U.S., Orange-France Telecom Group in Europe and Excite Japan.
And, just to be clear, OpenX is focused on the sell-side so we are not in competition with any buy-side solutions.
It appears the platform includes a data management platform (DMP). Can you discuss your DMP stack? How does it break out?
OpenX Enterprise introduces Audience Segmentation, a full DMP framework as a core component to our technology stack. This framework, complete with a robust API, allows publishers to place their audiences into demographic, behavioral, and performance segments based on direct actions or as the result of sophisticated rules evaluated with every impression served. This system integrates seamlessly into our forecasting, targeting, and reporting systems to give publishers full insight and control into their users. OpenX Audience Segmentation can be used with first party and third party data and can also be easily integrated with other DMP systems a publisher might already use.
What about guaranteed inventory in a real-time biddable environment? Beyond a simple floor price, what sort of intelligence can the OpenX platform bring to the auction on behalf of the publisher when a publisher's impression is either sold to guaranteed or non-guaranteed sources?
Our primary goal with OpenX Enterprise is to provide publishers with a total revenue technology stack. We have been working on this concept for nearly two years and are very happy with our progress in this area. Our system allows publishers in one unified ad decision to evaluate all their directly sold campaigns as well as hundreds of real-time bids from every major DSP and agency on each impression and make the best decision to maximize publisher revenue while simultaneously delivering accurately across all of their direct guaranteed campaigns. We believe this unified ad decision is absolutely critical for publishers to fully maximize revenue with full transparency and total control of both their advertisers they are selling directly as well as all the advertisers available via the real-time bided ecosystem.
By John Ebbert