Adobe buys Day Software to be “taken seriously” in content management

Adobe’s decision to acquire Swiss content management provider Day Software gives it a degree of credibility in the content management market it has hitherto lacked, an analyst has said.

“Although they had some of the necessary [technology] pieces, Adobe were never taken seriously as a content management player,” wrote Apoorv Durga, a web content management specialist for analyst firm Real Story Group, earlier today. “This announcement will surely change the situation dramatically.”

Adobe has been steadily building a tool set to support the processes by which businesses create and manage customer-facing documents, processes in which the web plays an increasingly significant role. In October 2009, it acquired web analytics provider Omniture for $1.8 billion.

But to date that tool set has lacked content management functionality that makes all types of content easy to find, supports the workflow of content creation processes and, in the case of web content management systems, helps organisations produce and manage their websites.

“Customers who wanted [enterprise content management] capabilities had an option of using an embedded repository” from OEM partner Alfresco, Durga wrote. “Now they will also be able to use Day’s CRX, as well as have tighter integration with Day’s digital asset management and social collaboration offerings.”

The principal challenge for Abode, best known for its Photoshop and Acrobat desktop tools, will be in selling “enterprise-grade, customisable software”, said Durga. “Their history of selling shrink-wrapped, lower-priced, high volume software has built the firm into a silicon valley giant, but their ability to sell small-scale but very high-value enterprise software deals remains untested.”

In the first six months of this year, Day Software’s revenues were 25 million Swiss francs ($24 million), up 47% from the first half of 2009. Adobe’s offer therefore equates to around fives times Day’s annual sales.

Day Software CEO Erik Hansen attributed the company’s revenue growth to “organisations around the globe [placing] an investment priority on driving business through the online and mobile channels and migrate away from legacy, Web 1.0 content management systems.”

The core of Day’s technology is based on the Jackrabbit content repository and Sling web framework, both open source technologies from the Apache Software Foundation, although other parts of its code base are proprietary. Interestingly, Adobe’s press release announcing the acquisition made no mention of Day Software’s open source credentials. 

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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