A New Era for Marketing and Commerce

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Last week, we announced a sharpened focus on AI-powered and cloud-based applications, and that HCL plans to acquire certain marketing and commerce software. You can read more about the announcement here.

While the transition is not planned to take place until mid-2019, I thought it was important to share what this means for our portfolio moving forward.

Watson Marketing remains a significant area of investment 

With respect to our marketing portfolio, we announced that HCL will be acquiring the legacy on-premise Unica products (Campaign, Interact, Marketing Operations, and Contact Optimization).

When IBM pioneered AI-powered marketing, we knew that this would be a platform built for the next generation of the customer experience. To that end, it is critical that we invest in areas where we see the most opportunity for growth and enhancement. Our AI-powered and cloud-based applications are front-and-center to this strategy.

To that end, our strategic applications such as Watson Campaign Automation, Watson Customer Experience Analytics, Watson Content Hub, Tealeaf, and many others are not impacted by this announcement. On the contrary, IBM remains committed to the success of these industry-leading, AI-powered offerings for marketers.

While it is always a difficult decision to part with products, we also believe it is critical to hone our focus in order to build for the future. Our newly concentrated marketing portfolio is now positioned for that future.

Select Commerce and Digital Experience offerings will move to HCL

We also announced that the on premises Digital Experience offerings (WebSphere Portal and Web Content Manager), and Commerce products (WebSphere Commerce and Digital Commerce), will be acquired by HCL. Watson Content Hub is not impacted by this announcement, nor is IBM Order Management, which you can read more about here.

We understand that this will change how IBM supports commerce professionals, yet I am optimistic to HCL’s stewardship of these products. C Vijayakumar, CEO of HCL Technologies, spoke to their confidence in the future of these offerings in a recent interview:

“Overall, these areas — especially security, commerce and marketing — are significant growth markets and there is a $50-billion market opportunity. It is of great interest to HCL, especially for our digital and other programmes. The products are good, have good recognition in the market and good installed base across the globe in a wide range of industries and many geographic markets. And because we have existing IP partnerships, we are also confident of what we can do with the products.” Source

We are excited that HCL recognizes the value and potential of these products. Our team has worked hard on the current strategy and roadmap that has customers, partners, and prospects excited. We will ensure they receive a smooth transition to HCL.

Looking forward across both Marketing and Commerce, we believe this renewed focus on AI-powered and cloud-based applications will accelerate our ability to deliver industry-leading products to our customers, and we can’t wait to show you what’s next.

VP Offering Management, Watson Marketing and Watson Commerce

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