Adobe Experience Manager vs. Sitecore CMS

  • 7-Aug-2013

Adobe Experience Manager and Sitecore CMS are two platforms that come head to head quite often in the WCM product selection projects we lead for our customers. If you’re comparing the two as well, here are some pointers to help you distinguish strengths and weaknesses of Adobe Experience Manager (the former CQ5) versus Sitecore CMS:

  • The underlying technologies are quite different, with Sitecore’s .NET appealing to Microsoft shops, vs. Adobe's Java-based platform (Which reminds me of a joke: Knock on the door. “Who is it?” …After a loooong pause “Java.”)
  • Both are investing heavily in R&D, not only in traditional content management, but also in engagement/experience management functionalities. Sitecore – mainly through internal development and partnerships, Adobe – internally and through a myriad of acquisitions
  • If you decide to implement Sitecore or AEM, you will struggle with finding skilled resources for either, especially in North America
  • Sitecore seems more crude and doesn’t have the same technical and functional elegance as AEM (if I may use a shoe analogy, think Steve Maddens vs. Manolo Blahniks here); but Sitecore appeals to technical folks who appreciate the ability to extend and customize the CMS (not that you can’t do that with AEM, but we blogged about that recently)
  • Never forget where they came from, i.e. historical and cultural roots, and you will see how the two are different. Even though Adobe is American, it acquired CQ5, formerly based in a Swiss sausage factory - their precise spirit of experimentation endures. Sitecore is Danish, with a sensible and down-to-earth approach, but perhaps some hesitation in venturing into areas of much disruption.

And, of course, there’s a lot more to the comparison of these two Upper-Range Platforms, as we classify them in our Web Content and Experience Management research. If you're already a subscriber, contact us to schedule an advisory call; if you'd like to learn more, let us know.

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