Market analytics leader Gartner has unveiled its much-anticipated 2022 Magic Quadrant report for digital experience platforms (DXP).
Such platforms are growing in demand, as maximizing online experiences becomes crucial to engage with modern, digital-first, autonomous customers.
Yet, many DXP providers offer numerous capabilities, from journey mapping to data management tools. Amongst this competition, deciphering the best match for a brand is challenging.
Fortunately, Gartner isolates the strengths and cautions of many prominent platforms, identifying market leaders and informing businesses ready to embark on a digital transformation program.
This year, the market analyst assessed the DXP offerings of 16 worldwide vendors, identifying four market leaders in the process.
The Definition of Digital Experience Platforms
Gartner defines a DXP as a “well-integrated and cohesive” technology suite that enables the creation, management, and advancement of digital customer experiences across various industries.
As such, these platforms enable digital journey orchestration, combining capabilities from many applications to create seamless experiences for customers.
These applications – either built natively into the platform or available as integrations – are plentiful. Gartner suggests that core capabilities include analytics, data management, journey mapping, personalization, knowledge sharing, and many more tools.
Offering such functionality, DXP vendors are often difficult to differentiate. Yet, the 2022 Magic Quadrant report for DXP divides providers into four segments: Leaders, Challengers, Visionaries, and Niche Players. Here, we review them all.
Leaders in the Magic Quadrant pave the way forwards for the future of DXPs. Exhibiting a proven ability to execute and a polished vision, they excel across numerous criteria, including overall viability, platform/service features, and market understanding. This year’s leaders are:
Widely implemented and highly recognizable, Abobe Experience Cloud provides a proven mature DXP solution, according to Gartner. The market analyst also lauds its wide array of functionalities – across the digital experience – which includes content management, analytics, and personalization features. The vendor also offers an ecosystem of creative, marketing, and advertising agencies, which will support efforts to enhance online customer journeys.
While suited to B2B and B2C use cases similar to the Adobe offering, Acquia also provides an Employee Experience solution to enhance the experience of the people who create and manage digital customer journeys. Such a capability is a differentiator, yet Gartner also praises the vendor for its open-source capacity and low-/no-code experience builder, Site Studio.
Having acquired Zaius in 2021, Optimizely expanded its capability to map customer journeys, uncover critical customer insights, and deliver personalized, targeted digital experiences. Gartner highlights this as a positive step forwards for the brand while applauding its digital experience optimization and multivariate testing approach.
Making several SaaS acquisitions that enhance customer data management, market resource management, and personalization strategies, Sitecore is piecing together an exciting vision. Harnessing new AI and data functionalities, the provider caters for a range of “CX-centric scenarios” and B2B use cases. Gartner also highlights its global network of alliances as a particular positive, offering significant support to clients embarking on a digital transformation journey.
Challengers in the Magic Quadrant demonstrate an ability to implement DXPs that deliver successful outcomes and meet current client demands. Yet, they seemingly lack the perception of Leaders and Visionaries, perhaps hindering their potential capability to cater for future requirements. This year’s leaders are:
- HCL Software
A global leader in CRM technologies, the provider also offers the Salesforce Experience Cloud, which aims to provide the “connective tissue” across its wide-ranging portfolio. This portfolio is a significant strength, enabling Salesforce to achieve substantial market penetration. Its partnership network, developer community, and App Exchange marketplace also receive acclaim from Gartner.
Liferay focuses on empowering IT teams with the tools to develop the best digital experiences. Enterprise IT buyers often choose Liferay for this reason, alongside its selection of integrations, customizations, and advanced support features. Although, Gartner pinpoints its Java heritage – which is still visible – as a slight concern.
Frequently implemented across regulated industries – such as government, finance, and insurance – OpenText has developed invaluable experience in delivering digital experiences in such spaces. It also offers an innovative media widget called “micro UX” and impressive information management capabilities. However, Gartner casts doubt over the provider’s experience in addressing “cutting-edge requirements”.
Boasting an impressive global market presence, Oracle differentiates its DXP offering with extensive B2B/B2C experience orchestration, collaboration, and personalization features. Gartner also praises the vendor for its flexibility to meet client needs in terms of strategy and implementation. Yet, the market analyst worries that Oracle is losing focus on its DXP roadmap.
Excelling in low-code development tools, HCL Software aims to empower the IT teams that harness its DXP solution. It does so through its innovative self-service “solution factory”, HCL SoFy. According to Gartner, these solutions are ideal for complex global deployments across hybrid working environments. However, this complexity is perhaps a little much for those that require a more packaged approach.
Visionaries in the Magic Quadrant are the forward-thinkers that develop cutting-edge propositions that align with emerging trends within the digital experience realm. Nevertheless, their offerings are not quite so comprehensive as Leaders or Challengers, which may impede their ability to execute. This year’s leaders are:
Bloomreach takes an innovative approach to DXP solutions, aligning its focus into three critical “pillars”: engagement, discovery, and content. Doing so empowers clients, as they understand exactly what they are buying. The provider also caters for incremental adoption of its solution, simplifying the digital decoupling process. However, Gartner seems to suggest that this modular approach may restrict its go-to-market strategy.
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Magnolia provides a DXP solution that clients across many verticals implement. As such, its platform is highly extensible, containing many market-leading components from different vendors. For companies looking to replace a native content management system (CMS), this is perhaps the ideal solution. Yet, those looking for a more packaged solution may wish to look elsewhere.
Niche Players in the Magic Quadrant are often just the ticket for businesses with well-defined vision of how their digital experiences will flow. Nevertheless, they are sometimes limited by use cases, global presence, and viable industries. This year’s leaders are:
After acquiring e-Spirit in 2021, Crownpeak offers an Experience Optimization Engine, which provides powerful AI-driven personalization capabilities. But Gartner questions the move, stating that it caused “market confusion” as considerable overlaps exist in the propositions of both providers. With that said, the analyst does recognize its AI as a critical strength, alongside usability.
With a particular focus on bolstering digital commerce experiences, CoreMedia provides a “lean core”. Clients can build upon this with an array of integrations to the likes of Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and SAP Commerce Cloud. Yet, in terms of longer-term ambitions, Gartner cautions that is product strategy and roadmap require careful evaluation from prospective buyers.
Headquartered in Brno, Czechia, Kentico offers simplicity to midmarket companies that sets it apart from many other vendors within the Magic Quadrant. Gartner also highlights that the company provides “good value for money” and a promising pricing model. However, according to the market analyst, its personalization, data management, and journey mapping capabilities are weaker than many of its competitors.
With low-code and drag-and-drop features, Progress aims to reduce the complexity that often comes with DXP solutions. Progress also empowers businesses with enhanced scalability and a transparent pricing model through its Sitefinity Cloud platform, which allows them to start small and expand incrementally. Yet, the company vision concerns Gartner, as the analyst highlights that its messaging and go-to-market approach is not “forward-looking”.
Squiz offers a “shallow learning curve” to users of its DXP solution, enabling businesses to get up and running quickly. The provider also provides products in distinct modules for content management, data services, and more. Consequently, clients only pay for the components that they need. Nevertheless, Gartner cautions that Squiz falls behind its competitors in “feature sophistication” across numerous areas.
What Will the Digital Experience Platform of the Future Look Like?
With digital disruptors gaining ground across many sectors, existing market stalwarts are enhancing digital experiences to keep pace. As such, the presence of DXPs will likely increase across many industries and evolve considerably in accordance with this trend. Therefore, the 2023 Magic Quadrant will probably make for compelling reading.
What’s more, new names may enter the fray, from big brand names like SAP to innovators such as Glassbox and Mura.
Yet, for now, we raise a metaphorical glass to this year’s market leaders: Adobe, Acquia, Optimizely, and Sitecore. Congratulations!
Wish to enhance the digital experience with virtual assistants? Check out our rundown of the report: Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Conversational AI Platforms 2022