“SeeWhy began in the email remarketing space and email is making a comeback, particularly with mobile devices,” said Jennifer Polk, research director at Gartner. “But it will be interesting to see if an infusion of capital from SAP allows them to innovate across new channels and sources of data, [such as] mobile, social advertising and in-store.”
SAP’s acquisition of SeeWhy is indicative of the future of its marketing solutions roadmap. While competitors Oracle, IBM, Adobe and Salesforce.com are building marketing cloud stacks, SAP is seemingly building an open ecosystem.
SeeWhy’s 30-partner ecosystem includes such data partners as Experian and Epsilon, reporting tie-ins to Google Analytics and Webtrends and commerce hooks to hybris competitors like GSI Commerce and Magento.
At this juncture, Nicholls does not foresee SAP-competitive partner relationships ending as a result of the acquisition.
“If you look at the way brands work, they need to be able to tie functions together,” he said. “Our ability to do that cross-channel, and to blend email and advertising together, is very high value. I think in reality we’re a good partner for all of those other technologies by importing real-time triggers and feeds for more relevant promotions.”
Hybris’ Walker agreed, saying he doesn’t foresee companies gravitating toward one marketing cloud and one marketing cloud only. The greatest challenge is bringing data and information together to compile rich customer profiles that unify in-store, online and mobile data.
“Today these various marketing clouds are very much just an overcast sky,” he said. “Everything is blending together and no one is solving the big problem behind that and I think that’s where we are moving. We want to solve the big problem [of unified customer profiles across point solutions] but also have an open ecosystem with partners such as Adobe and others, even what might be on paper competitive solutions, for customers to use.”