Goats going head to head
Business & Strategy
DXP Sitecore

Sitecore vs Adobe Experience Manager

Mar 30, 2022
Oshyn
Oshyn

There are many competitors in the digital experience platform (DXP) space, making it a tough decision for which platform is the ideal option for your business. Sitecore and Adobe are two of the top contenders in the enterprise DXP market and not without reason. They both have the tools to help enterprises manage the high volume of content and digital experiences across their digital properties.

At Oshyn, one of the most common questions we get is how Sitecore and Adobe compare to each other. To help guide your decision and answer any questions you may have, we wrote this article about each platform to give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

Sitecore vs. Adobe: An Overview

Let’s take a closer look at both DXPs to understand where their similarities and differences lie.

Sitecore

Overview

Sitecore is an enterprise-grade CMS with a suite of products on offer. From digital asset management to ecommerce functionality, Sitecore’s all-in-one approach appeals to large companies seeking a single, long-term technology partner.

Sitecore is .NET based, making it the go-to platform for Microsoft-focused companies with developers who are already comfortable with .NET. It also allows for integrations with third-party software using the API-based xConnect service layer for maximum flexibility and scalability.

Sitecore is available as a SaaS or PaaS, enabling enterprises to scale without worrying about external servers and reducing the need to host data on-premises.

Sitecore offers the following tools and integrable platforms:

  • Sitecore Content Hub
  • Sitecore Experience Platform
  • Sitecore Experience Manager
  • Sitecore Experience Commerce
  • Sitecore Order Cloud
  • Sitecore Customer Data Platform
  • Sitecore Discover

Enterprise companies can leverage each of these platforms separately, but ideally, these products work in tandem as a fully-fledged digital experience platform, facilitating a 360-degree customer experience.

Why Enterprises Opt for Sitecore

  • Consistent Digital Experiences: With Sitecore, marketers and IT can collaborate seamlessly to create, manage, optimize, and deliver experiences.
  • Sitecore AI-enhanced DAM: By leveraging Sitecore AI, you can identify trends among visitors and segment customers more accurately. This feature also extends to digital asset management.
  • Centralized Content Hub: With Sitecore’s Content Hub, marketers can manage all content assets across all platforms like websites, eCommerce, and more.
  • Extensive support system: Sitecore Support provides a comprehensive Knowledge Base, online communities, and an expert development team that provides support and insight into a wide range of topics.

Adobe Experience Manager

Overview

Adobe Experience Cloud is a collection of integrated Adobe products that includes analytics, digital asset management, web experience management, and content management products. It streamlines the process of content delivery and management with its multilingual, multi-platform, multi-device capabilities.

AEM consists of five modules — sites, forms, mobile, assets, and community —that combine to provide a powerful CMS system for building websites and mobile applications with high traffic. The platform has grown out of several integrated acquisitions combined to ensure that enterprises have all the features they need to deliver great digital experiences.

AEM has its own niche development technologies, namely OSGi, Oak, JCR, and Sling. This can make it seem very complex, making it difficult to set up or extend without a platform expert on hand to guide you through the implementation process.

Adobe offers the following tools and integrable platforms:

  • Commerce Cloud
  • Adobe Campaign
  • Adobe Audience Manager
  • Adobe Experience Manager
  • Adobe Analytics
  • Adobe Commerce
  • Adobe CDP

Why Enterprises Opt for Adobe Experience Manager

  • User-friendly CMS: Marketers can leverage its intuitive inline features, drag, and drop, and content authoring functionalities to increase CMS productivity.
  • Content-driven & personalized experiences: By integrating Adobe Target and Adobe Analytics, AEM delivers a tailored shopping experience for B2C and B2B brands.
  • Extensive Adobe products support: Apart from AEM, there are several other Adobe products that you can leverage for enterprise use, including Creative Cloud and Adobe Analytics.
  • Faster time to market: AEM reduces complexity in workflow, making it easier to manage, create, and distribute content.

Sitecore vs Adobe Experience Manager: A Comparison

Adobe and Sitecore: Technology Profile

Adobe Sitecore
Source Code Proprietary Proprietary
Web Framework Apache Sling Microsoft ASP.NET
Programming Language Java C#
Database Server Java Content Repository SQL

Sitecore is a highly integrated enterprise platform that runs on the ASP.NET development framework. With Sitecore PaaS, you can scale up and down as users grow, making the platform flexible and preventing companies from maintaining dedicated servers.

Through the Sitecore xConnect API framework, Sitecore products can seamlessly interact with MarTech systems. The flexibility of Sitecore-based development is particularly helpful to companies that need to develop customized solutions. However, this flexibility comes at a cost, as the out-of-the-box version could use some tweaking.

In contrast, AEM combines several different solutions with Adobe Experience Cloud consisting of multiple databases and languages. This technology incoherence stems from a mismatch of acquisitions that are not yet well-integrated or connected. This makes it more difficult for developers to work across many different languages and platforms, which can be time-consuming, costly, and complex.

Content Authoring and Experience

From the perspective of a content author, Sitecore is an easy-to-use platform that provides a consistent user experience. With its smart forms creator and WYSIWYG editor, you won’t need a developer to create, publish, and manage content in Sitecore. Additionally, multiple users can author or edit content simultaneously on Sitecore.

In contrast, AEM provides a sleek platform where large design teams can leverage Adobe’s creative suite and edit content all in one platform. Its features also include a real-time WYSIWYG editor and an intuitive UI that enables non-technical users to create and manage content easily.

Verdict: With proper customization, enterprises can benefit hugely from either platforms’ content management and authoring functionalities.

Community and Partner Support

One of the most important factors for enterprises to consider when choosing a DXP is the community support and partner ecosystem. It helps ensure you get the most out of your investment. Sitecore makes great efforts to develop a strong partner network and streamline the partnership process to create a positive end-user experience.

With Sitecore Partners like Oshyn, you also get access to helpful blog content, tutorials, and technical support. On top of that, Sitecore offers incentives to users who participate in the Sitecore community. It also offers a service level agreement (SLA) with tailored support for Sitecore clients. You can interact through Sitecore’s active Slack channel that boasts over 5,000 members and the subreddit forum with over 1,100 participants.

AEM doesn’t have as large a community or partner support network as Sitecore. This is a result of the demanding complexity and implementation of AEM. Additionally, there’s a bit of a disconnect between Adobe and its implementation partners, which can negatively impact customer projects. The situation is also the same between Adobe and its developer community.

A semi-official Slack channel for Adobe AEM had just 950 members at the end of 2020, while the Adobe AEM subreddit only just passed the 800 subscriber mark in 2021.

Verdict:Sitecore has a robust partner ecosystem that you can count on to provide support throughout the implementation phase and even after completion. In contrast, Adobe still has much to improve on with its siloed and disconnected partner network.

Personalization and Marketing Features

Adobe provides several marketing features that include Adobe Analytics, Adobe Campaign, and Adobe Target for A/B testing. Many marketers often laud the capabilities built into Adobe Analytics. While Adobe’s strength is not personalization, you can combine Adobe Analytics with Adobe Target to enable multichannel personalization and effective A/B and multivariate testing.

With Sitecore, you can create unique user experiences by leveraging its superior personalization capabilities. In this regard, Sitecore stands out among other DXP competitors on the market. It also provides many essential marketer-friendly features such as advanced marketing automation, A/B and multivariate testing, analytics, and machine learning-based segmentation and targeting.

Despite the performance of both platforms, there’s a stark difference. With Adobe, the marketing features are sold individually, meaning you’ll have to pay separately for each one. Meanwhile, Sitecore offers all the features out-of-the-box in one single platform.

Verdict:Adobe and Sitecore are excellent platforms with top-notch marketing features. However, while you can enjoy all these features directly out-of-the-box with Sitecore, Adobe markets them separately, potentially costing you more.

Total Cost of Ownership

The total cost of ownership plays a significant role in enterprise decision-making. Sitecore and AEM are both high-cost solutions. And the final price depends solely on the specific use cases and business requirements. However, Sitecore’s pricing is more competitive in the enterprise DXP space compared to Adobe.

Adobe is among the more expensive enterprise-level DXP options on the market. This is mainly because Adobe’s partner ecosystem is based on commissions, which increases the cost of implementation. On top of that, some of the challenges of working with AEM may negatively impact development costs. This is because of the extra complexity associated with its niche development frameworks.

Verdict:Even though both platforms are expensive, Sitecore is much more affordable and competitively priced than Adobe. In the long run, you’ll save more on development costs by leveraging Sitecore, especially if you take advantage of its active community and expert developers.

Choosing The Ideal Enterprise DXP Platform

While Sitecore and Adobe look similar on the surface, they’re not that similar at all. Besides their overall features, both platforms couldn’t be more different. For enterprise businesses focused on delivering solid customer experiences, Sitecore is the best option for your business. Sitecore’s personalization features are unmatched, and its strategic and marketing-related tools make it an outstanding DXP for enterprise businesses.

Plus, Sitecore offers businesses access to a partner ecosystem with thousands of different implementation partners from which to choose to create a roadmap tailored to their needs. Sitecore understands that digital transformation is more than technology, and they offer you the human component to make sure that implementation works as it should.

Oshyn is a Sitecore implementation partner that has worked closely with dozens of marketing, design, and IT teams to deliver effective customer experiences in line with their business objectives.

With over 25 certified Sitecore developers, trainers, and analysts on staff, we’ve built a stellar reputation working with top brands, including Dole, Brandman University, Wolters Kluwer, Volkswagen, and Aetna. And they’ve partnered with top creative talents like Sapient-Razorfish, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, 72andSunny, and many more.

If you want to know more about Sitecore implementation, read more here: How To Choose a Sitecore Partner.

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