We recently published our digital experience delivery platform wave (you can find the blog post and accompanying report here).  These platforms have emerged to help solve customer needs around integration between digital experience technologies and data management.  

Over the past year, many agencies and systems integrators (SI) have also gotten on the digital experience platform bandwagon. These partners have been white labeling and directly licensing/selling digital experience platforms-as-a-service (PaaS). These solutions are typically built on the backbone of proprietary web content management (WCM) and eCommerce solutions (usually Adobe’s toolsets, though we found some notable exceptions built on Oracle and SDL), and are meant to provide an “as a service” model to delivering multichannel content- and commerce- driven experiences. Many, many services firms from both agency and systems integrators backgrounds have started to promote these solutions including well-known names like: SapientNitro, Publicis Groupe, Wipro, Infosys, Cognizant, Deloitte, and Capgemini.

Service-provider PaaS represent a new sourcing model for digital experience delivery platforms, but also raises many questions.  Is there really a "secret sauce" that separates these digital experience PaaS from the digital experience platforms sold from technology vendors? Our recent Forrester report dives deeper into this issue by exploring such questions as:

  • Is there such a thing as preconfigured, platforms as a service?        
  • Have services firms been able to implement digital experience PaaS when firms already have certain digital experience components in place?
  • Are prepackaged integrations and vertical-specific modules the real deal?
  • Are partners just hosting digital experience platforms or are they providing true managed services?  

While the report explores these questions in more depth, in general we found that most partners still have work to do to prove real value from their digital experience PaaS offerings. Most are selling these digital experience PaaS to 1) create differentiation in a market where there are often few  tangible and easy to measure differentiators and 2) to create new product revenue streams. In the meantime, we found that customers continue to benefit most from services firms that rely on services capabilities, not product capabilities.  But we want to hear from you and your thoughts here. What do you think of agencies and SIs selling digital experience platforms? Are you optimistic or skeptical? We’ve love to hear your comments below.