2019-05-17 20:48:45

It’s no surprise that big corporations capture the spotlight over smaller businesses. The world of small business, however, and the role these ventures play and the data they hold are crucial to keeping the country’s economy stable.

For Adobe Inc., small businesses represent so much more, according to Jason Woosley (pictured), vice president, commerce product and platform, Experience Business at Adobe. The company has a set of new tools it’s bringing to small merchants to help them expand their competitiveness in the market and boost the customer experience.

Woosley, who worked as the senior vice president of product and technology at Magento, prior to Adobe acquiring the company in 2018, spoke with Jeff Frick (@JeffFrick) and Lisa Martin (@LisaMartinTV), co-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, during the Imagine event in Las Vegas. They discussed Adobe’s relationship with open source, some of its customers’ biggest concerns, and what products its unveiling for small businesses (see the full interview with transcript here). (* Disclosure below.)

Martin: In the last year since the announcement of the Adobe acquisition [of Magento] and the actual completion of that six or seven months ago, how has the community reacted? Has it strengthened? What have been some of your surprising observations about the community’s strength?

Woosley: I think [Magento] came into the acquisition with a lot of apprehension. There was a concern that “Adobe’s too big. It’s too corporate. It doesn’t really love open source.” All untrue. Adobe has incredible open-source initiatives already inside, but you don’t hear a lot about it. Our community, I think, was a little bit concerned. Does the level of investment go down? Our ability to promote that product, do we start to back off that?

Of course, we haven’t done that at all. In fact, what we’ve seen is that our community loves the Adobe acquisition. [Adobe sees] opportunity just as clearly as [Magento did]. We have more than triple-digit growth in the number of community contributors coming to us since the acquisition last year. It’s a clear sign that the ecosystem is fully on board with what we’re doing.

Martin: You’re giving a lot of SMBs the ability to harness symbiotic data power between Adobe and Magento for advertising, analytics, marketing and commerce. To be able to have that wealth of knowledge and make that experience is exactly what consumers expect.

Woosley: Right. It’s about bringing behavioral data and the transactional data together to really get a 360-degree view on individual customers. There’s too much raw data there for Excel to ever be able to tell you anything. You’ve got to rely on things like artificial intelligence and machine learning so things like Adobe Sensei can derive insight out of that mass set of data. But that’s the way you create those personalized experiences. You must employ those techniques to get there.

Frick: I want to unpack the Sensei downspin a bit. I think that’s interesting. The integration of AI in applications is where we’re really starting to see it come to markets early, and this is a great example of using the Adobe AI inside of Sensei on specific parts of the application to deliver a better app and better consumer experience.

Woosley: We’ve got a great roadmap for rolling out artificial intelligence capabilities to Magento Commerce. It’s one of the largest things we’ll do over the next 12 months. Really bringing those capabilities around recommendations, around experience personalization and experience targeting. Around A/B testing.

Then, you think a little into the future, and suddenly you’re looking at an AI that can give you pricing recommendations and campaign recommendations, and that’s a world we can’t wait to really explore fully in the commerce world. Amazon applies a lot of dynamic pricing techniques right now. It’s an expensive process. I don’t know a lot of small merchants that have access to the tools to do that. We’re bringing those tools to small merchants, and that’s going to change the game fundamentally.

Frick: So much of retail execution is inventory execution, right? To add the sophisticated tools on the back and manage inventory across that broad kind of distribution plane with all these different points of engagement is so critical to these guys to have any type of chance of success.

Woosley: Yes, it is. We’ve got a Magento order management product that specializes in … global inventory control. We’ve made terrific investments there to bring new capabilities to make sure that those omni-channel aspirations are not something that a merchant has to go invest a whole lot of money and chance in their systems.

I think it is interesting to think about when you talk about how B2C is really bleeding into B2B, right? As supply chain management, 70% of our B2C merchants engaged in B2B workflows, and almost all our B2B-only merchants are looking at how they go from B2B to B2C.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the Imagine 2019 event. (* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for the Imagine 2019 event. Neither Adobe Inc., the sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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