Tag Archives: Adobe

Microsoft Dynamics 365 + Adobe Campaign: how do they integrate?

With Adobe Campaign and Microsoft Dynamics 365, brands can bring their marketing and sales content, data, processes together to deliver engaging customer experiences across all touch points throughout the customer journey.

You can learn more on the Adobe / Microsoft partnership in this article.

To synchronize data between Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the Adobe Marketing Cloud, you need to make your CRM data flow through Adobe Campaign, the cross campaign management solution of the Adobe Marketing suite.

Understanding the different versions of Adobe Campaign

There are a few things you should  know about Adobe Campaign.
There are two versions of the product: Adobe Campaign Classic (ACC) and Adobe Campaign Standard (ACS).

    • Adobe Campaign Classic (v6 / v7) is a rebranded/enhanced version of Neolane, a cross-campaign management and emailing solution, that was acquired by Adobe in 2013.
      Adobe Campaign Classic works with a rich-client Windows console and is an on-premise software (although it can be partner-hosted or hosted by Adobe).
      You can consider Adobe Campaign Classic to be legacy, although it still gets updates regularly with new features and better integration with the Adobe Marketing Cloud.
      Adobe Campaign Classic has more advanced features than Adobe Campaign Standard, and can respond to more complex use cases regarding data management and personnalisation.
    • Adobe Campaign Standard is the “new” Adobe Campaign. It was rebuilt from the grounds up and tailored for the cloud.
      Adobe Campaign Standard is cloud-only (SaaS) and gets automatic updates as new features are added. It is web-based: no more client console and a friendlier user experience.
      In terms of functional scope, ACS covers more simpler use cases than ACC: email and SMS channels, reports, workflows, audience management, etc.
      Adobe continues to invest on Adobe Campaign Standard to add new features.

Adobe Campaign deployment options

While Adobe Campaign Classic and Adobe Campaign Standard are two different products, the two of them can be combined in a hybrid deployment scenario. This way, you can leverage the complex and more advanced features of Adobe Campaign Classic and enjoy the simpler web interface and better cloud integration of Adobe Campaign Standard. This hybrid model is a bit complex and involves data synchronization between the two products.

What version of Adobe Campaign can Dynamics 365 integrate with?

As of today, Microsoft  Dynamics 365 only integrates with Adobe Campaign Classic (ACC).

Adobe Campaign Classic contains a CRM connector that has been available since Neolane, and that can natively integrate with Salesforce, Oracle CRM On Demand, and Dynamics CRM. Adobe keeps enhancing the Dynamics 365 connector.
The CRM Connectors are an Adobe Campaign Classic option: you should check the license agreement to know if you can leverage it or not.

This compatibility matrix will help you know what version of the Dynamics CRM API is supported.

Dynamics 365 is not (yet?) integrated with Adobe Campaign Standard (ACS), the cloud-based marketing solution.

Integrating Adobe Campaign Classic and Dynamics 365

The CRM connector can synchronize data bidirectionally for the CRM standard entities (lead, contact, account, opportunity…) but also for custom entities and attributes. Synchronization between Adobe Campaign and Dynamics 365 is carried out via a dedicated workflow activity (on the campaign workflow canvas). It enables you to:

    • Import from the CRM
    • Export to CRM
    • Delete objects in the CRM

To configure the CRM integration, you first need to create an External Account in Adobe Campaign (Explorer > Administration > Platform > Externals Accounts) of type “Microsoft Dynamics CRM”:

You then need to open the configuration wizard. Adobe Campaign automatically detects the tables from the Microsoft Dynamics data template. You can then select the tables to be recovered and start creating the corresponding schema, that become available in Adobe Campaign.

Within a campaign workflow, you can for example import data from Dynamics 365 by adding the CRM activity:

The following workflow activity details imports contacts from Microsoft Dynamics, synchronizes them with the existing Adobe Campaign data, deletes duplicate contacts, and updates the Adobe Campaign database:

You can find more on the CRM Connector configuration here, in this dedicated Adobe knowledge base article.

How to bridge the gap between sales and marketing and offer a full 360° view of the customer in Dynamics 365?

Adobe Campaign data can be displayed in Microsoft Dynamics 365 in dashboards and on record’s forms:

Adobe Campaign dashboard in CRM

Adobe Campaign email options on a lead in CRM

Adobe Campaign history of interactions on a lead in CRM

To be noted: the CRM rendering of Adobe Campaign data is not documented today. I still have the following questions:

  • Is Adobe Campaign data such as deliveries are also stored in the CRM database? (I assume not).
  • Does a dedicated Adobe Campaign solution exist for Dynamics 365? (To facilitate displaying Adobe Campaign data on Dynamics 365 dashboards and forms).
  • Is Adobe Campaign Standard used (in a hybrid scenario) to display Adobe Campaign data in iFrames?
  • Do CRM users must also have an Adobe Campaign license to display its data?

Understanding the Microsoft – Adobe partnership, its current state and its impact on partners

Microsoft professionals are looking more and more into Adobe since the announcement of a strategic partnership between the two editors.

Last May, I attended the Adobe Summit EMEA conference in London, and I was impressed by the very advanced vision Adobe had on customer experience. Many C-levels & VPs (from T-Mobile, BMW, Coca-Cola, Adidas, Hostelworld.com…) shared testimonials and success stories that reinforced Adobe’s leadership in the Digital Marketing space.

On top of their vision, Adobe built (or acquired) a powerful set of interconnected solutions that meet their clients’s marketing and experience management ever-growing needs. These solutions are offered under the “Adobe Experience Cloud” umbrella.

Summary of the facts:

On September 26th, 2016 Microsoft and Adobe announced a strategic long-term partnership. Adobe brought in its expertise and leader position in Digital Marketing while Microsoft brought in its Cloud experience (Azure) and its Business Applications (Dynamics 365).

Adobe and Microsoft partnered because they share a vision for the future of the enterprise. A vision organized around the following themes:

  • Cloud-first
  • Mobile-first
  • Exceptional experiences

Microsoft and Adobe have come together to create a long-term strategic vision and plan for the era of the empowered digital consumer. This vision and plan enable companies to:

  • Bridge the worlds of the CMO and CIO, by bringing together content and data in one end-to-end platform.
  • Create a unified global platform for customer engagement and experiences across sales, services, and marketing.
  • Help enterprises embrace digital transformation and deliver compelling, personalized experiences through every phase of their customer relationships to strengthen their brands.

What have Microsoft and Adobe committed to with this partnership?

Adobe will make Microsoft Azure its preferred cloud platform for the Adobe Marketing Cloud, Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Document Cloud.

Microsoft will make Adobe Marketing Cloud its preferred marketing service for Dynamics 365 Enterprise edition. This is especially targeted at customers for which solutions such as “Dynamics 365 for Marketing” (Business Edition) or from ISV (like ClickDimensions) are not sufficient in terms of capacity or functional coverage.

How is this partnership technically implemented today?

From an integration perspective:

  • Integration of Microsoft Dynamics 365 with Adobe Campaign (the entry point in the Experience Cloud).
  • Use of the Data Visualization (DataViz) capabilities of Microsoft Power BI with Adobe Analytics.

Form a platform perspective:

  • Hosting of the Adobe Experience Cloud, Creative Cloud and Document Cloud Adobe on Microsoft Azure.
  • Establishment of an industry-standard semantic data model to provide a common language for understanding and driving real-time customer engagement.
  • Collaboration and investment in advancing the state of the art in areas of deep learning and artificial intelligence (AI) as it relates to customer journey
    experiences and applications.
  • Integration of the Adobe’s developer platform with Microsoft’s developer platform to drive a combined developer and ISV program.

Adobe and Microsoft continue to extend the integration of their solutions and their for roadmap for 2017 / 2018 will bring many new features and enhancements.

What next?

As a conclusion, one can wonder how current Microsoft and Adobe partners are going to position themselves on the market to offer end-to-end solutions to Dynamics 365 and Adobe Marketing scenarios.

As a matter of fact, as of today, few of them cover both technologies. And even if Microsoft and Adobe respectively opened their training portals to their partners (Dynamics Learning Portal for Microsoft and the Solution Partner Portal for Adobe), both technical universes remain complex to master for new-comers.

Some, such as Avanade and Accenture Interactive, already have the teams that can cover the full technical and functional spectrum of these editors, but they still have to train architects to design end-to-end solutions leveraging Dynamics 365 + Adobe Marketing.

Coming soon: an article dedicated to the integration Dynamics 365 with Adobe Campaign!