A week ago we returned from a very productive trip to the Adobe San Francisco office, where we met both our SVP, as well as a couple of very influential partners – Brent and Jason. One action item that we took from that trip was to make sure we very clearly and openly state what is our strategy and roadmap to the whole Business Catalyst partner community.

This blog post is about these concepts, explaining them in the simplest fashion possible.

Business Catalyst Mission

Our mission is to enable online businesses, not websites through a vibrant partner network.

Value Proposition

All in one as key differentiator, both for you as partners as well as for the business owners.

For you it’s the one stop shop that enables you to meet all your customers’ demands, allowing you to grow to be a successful agency, and for the business owners it’s the one place where you go to manage and grow your online business.

Business Catalyst Strategies

  • Treat our partners as real partners, not simply resellers of our solution.
  • Invest in the all-in-one aspect of business catalyst as main differentiator.
  • Reinventing Business Catalyst into a great platform that enables you to make your customers successful online, allowing the right engineering team velocity, scalability and elasticity.

All in one, explained

It's all about integration. It's not about how well the e-mail marketing side of Business Catalyst compares to our competitors (feature-by-feature comparison), it's all about how we can take advantage of the fact that our system offers e-commerce, analytics, CRM and CMS next to e-mail marketing, and how we can combine ALL these to make the world's best e-mail marketing tool by taking advantage of these integrations.

It’s about workflows that will enable partners to sell the integrated solution and all in one vision to business owners.

Tactics / Roadmap

September 2012

Better e-mail marketing/CMS integration, start working towards the platform vision.

  • Enable better integration between e-mail marketing and CMS and e-commerce, by allowing CMS content to be reused in e-mail marketing campaigns.
  • Start executing towards our platform vision, by improving the extensibility of the list layouts on web apps and e-commerce modules.

November/December 2012

Better e-mail marketing/CRM integration; advance e-commerce.

  • Better integration between e-mail marketing and CRM, by enabling things like list exclusions.
  • Expand e-commerce stock capabilities to product attributes.

February / March 2013

Better e-commerce integration; continue working towards the platform vision.

  • Enable better flexibility for e-commerce by enabling liquid in a production-ready fashion.
  • Better e-commerce reporting.

May/June 2013

Platform reinvention.

  • Enable flexibility for our webapps by enabling liquid and web apps API enabling partners to further extend Business Catalyst to SBO needs.
  • Enhance webapps up to a point where an average BC partner will be able to recreate and enrich most existing BC modules (blogs, photo galleries, etc) using web apps.
  • Enable webapps import/export to fuel an ecosystem of partners helping each other.

If you want to learn more about our strategy and focus for the near term, please attend our September 24th partner conference in San Jose, where the BC team members will be present, and more than open to get into more details.

- Bogdan

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[Updated 30/04/12: Full details of Day 2 social event announced - read more and register at: http://www.prettypollution.com.au/business-catalyst-partner-event]

We're hosting the first official Australian BC Partner conference on 4th June 2012 in Sydney, with a full day of Partner presentations lined up. If you weren't able to make it across to Adobe MAX last year, don't miss out on this great opportunity!

The Adobe-sponsored full day event is free to attend for all Partners and is bound to be a great community building event.

To attend, simply book your spot below. We ask that each staff member from your team who'll be attending fill out the form, so we can best cater and manage the event. Once registered, we'll send you through location details and keep you updated.

 

We'll have special guests Jason Tinnin and Cesar Keller from Simpleflame, plus Brent Weaver from BC Gurus from the US presenting, who in co-operation with leading Australian Partners Brett Stockley from Pretty Pollution and Brendon O'Sullivan from Bosweb Systems will also be organizing a full 2nd day of community building activities.

4 June, 2012 (Day 1) Schedule:

Time

Presenter(s)

Topic

8:30 Jackson Palmer
Welcome and schedule outline
9:00 Liam Dilley Getting started with Liquid markup
9:45 Jason Tinnin  Taking Business Catalyst to the next level - case studies and examples
10:30
Morning tea break
11:00 Brett Stockley + Matt O'Malley Best practices with Business Catalyst
11:45 Jeff Perlman Application smorgasbord - integrate with 30 plus applications via a single portal
12:30
Lunch break
13:30 Mark Barrett Going up the food chain - using sales strategies and internal systems to increase projects value and lock in on-going revenue
14:15 Brent Weaver Positioning and selling your Business Catalyst services
15:00   Afternoon tea break
15:15 Declan Reynolds Effectively outsourcing your Business Catalyst projects
16:00 Tim Gentle Expand your reach - setting up an educated BC sales channel 
16:45 Brendon O'Sullivan Customer care and support best practices
17:30 Jackson Palmer
Thanks and closing
17:45
End of day

5 June, 2012 (Day 2) Schedule:

Join your fellow Partners for a day of fun and networking. We'll have barefoot lawn bowling and open-mic presentations throughout the day at the Balmain Bowling Club, then an after party not-to-be-missed at the CBD Hotel, Sydney.

A big thanks to our Master Partners, Simpleflame, BC Gurus, Pretty Pollution and Bosweb Systems for organizing and sponsoring Day 2. It's free to attend and bound to be a great day of community building.

 

Register your spot at: http://www.prettypollution.com.au/business-catalyst-partner-event

Time

Presenter(s)

Topic

11:00AM - 5:00PM
Balmain Bowling Club
Barefoot bowling, networking, open mic, and a sausage sizzle
6:00PM - 9:30PM
CBD Hotel, Sydney Partner after-party, fully catered, buy your own drinks
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Adobe Creative Cloud + Business Catalyst

As you may have read over on the official Adobe blog, Adobe Business Catalyst is set to be a key component in the upcoming release of Adobe's Creative Cloud offering.

The industry is in the midst of an exciting transformation around content creation, distribution and monetization. The Creative Cloud initiative marks a huge investment from Adobe in the future of the Business Catalyst platform, as the primary vehicle for publishing to the web.

We're pleased to announce that as part of each Adobe Creative Cloud membership, customers will receive their very own Adobe Business Catalyst site, running on our popular "Starter" plan. This is a great starting point for anyone new to the platform, whether for a personal site, promoting a small business or for simply distributing the work you've created using Adobe's range of tools.

As part of this initiative, you'll see increased investment in the enhancement of existing Business Catalyst integrations with widely used tools such as Adobe Dreamweaver and Muse (codename). We also hope that further down the line we'll be able to bring you additional value through potential integrations with recently acquired web technologies such as Typekit and Nitobi PhoneGap.

With the range of new users entering the Business Catalyst ecosystem, we're building the platform to effectively scale, meaning existing Partners can expect an even better Business Catalyst - with performance and stability improvements across the board, be it connecting via FTP, navigating your Admin Console, or serving content on a client's site.

Adobe Creative Cloud brings amazing value to customers, including our entire suite of desktop and touch tools all for a convenient fee of just $49/mo. Membership enables customers to express their creativity across a range of devices, then easily publish and share their work via rich services such as the Digital Publishing Suite and Adobe Business Catalyst.

We're excited to play such an important role in the Adobe Creative Cloud offering, further empowering web designers like you to build beautiful, functional websites, and we look forward to having you on-board for the ride!

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Muse (code name) is a new tool from Adobe (currently in public beta) that enables print designers to create and publish original HTML pages to the latest web standards without writing code. With just a few clicks, you can easily publish your sites to the Business Catalyst hosting platform from within Muse. The cost to host your Muse sites with Adobe Business Catalyst is currently US$9/month.

Once you've published your Muse site to Business Catalyst, you can easily layer in our integrated modules. To help you get started, we've put together a great video outlining some tips and tricks for enhancing your Muse sites with Business Catalyst's range of built-in modules.


Watch on AdobeTV

In this video, you'll learn how to take your Muse sites to the next level by integrating Business Catalyst's powerful range of Modules. See how you can insert modules in any Muse site, change their layout quickly and easy, then customize their styling with some basic CSS.

Ready to get started with Muse?

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Hello BC partners. My name is Paul Gubbay. I'm the VP of Product Development for Design, Web & Interactive at Adobe and one of the people responsible for the acquisition of Business Catalyst. We are very excited to add Business Catalyst to our Web Pro organization which includes Dreamweaver, Fireworks and BrowserLab. We believe that Business Catalyst is a critical component of a full solution to help Web Pros be successful building multi-screen online businesses.

Sydney Data Center

As you know, we've been going through some growing pains. We've faced several challenges over the past two weeks which have caused significant problems for our customers, including issues with hosted email services and the stability of our original Sydney data center. We are working around the clock to do everything we can to resolve these issues (please reference Eddy's earlier post). Of course these outages are unacceptable for our customers. Therefore, we will issue a full month credit for all sites that were hosted on the legacy Sydney data center & those that experienced issues with hosted mail (details coming soon).

In addition you should know that we have been heavily investing in Business Catalyst:

  • The team has grown to 3 times its original size at acquisition
  • We have recently moved operations to a dedicated IT department within Adobe
  • We have spent millions in brand new data centers that are built with new Adobe supported hardware

New Data Centers

Now, as you may know any new site created in Business Catalyst is automatically hosted in one of our spanking brand new data centers which were spun up to provide reliability and to handle a greater load. Our plan was to migrate sites from the original data centers to the new over the first half of this year.  However, the growth of BC has obviously out-accelerated our plan to migrate to the new data center.  Therefore, we are going to significantly increase the migration process over the next couple of weeks.  Once this is complete and the original data centers are shut down we will see considerably improved reliability.

We will do everything in our power to reduce the impact to the community during this time. However, please understand that we will not be able to accommodate everybody's needs. There is no one perfect time that works for everyone. However, we will try to get as close as possible based on your feedback. We are listening.

Outages

When an outage occurs we have an immediate response team that springs into action and within minutes they enter what we call the "war room". Rest assured that while some of you are waiting for a response, and wondering what is going on there is a full team actively working through every angle to resolve the issues ASAP. For the latest information on any issue and our plans to resolve it, please refer to:

  • Our Twitter feed provides the most recent information and should be updated frequently during the outage. The team has committed to this.
  • Our Blog is updated with more detailed information once we understand the situation and have something valuable to say.

If you are on a forum thread during an outage I would ask that as partners you help direct traffic to one of these two places. You will also see posts from us as well directing users to Twitter or the blog.

The Team

You'll be happy to know that the original BC team has been integrated within Adobe. This is not BC & Adobe. We are one company. Any autonomy that the original BC team maintains is to ensure that they have bandwidth to successfully run their business rather than have a larger company get in the way. There are several people on the Business Catalyst Management team:

  • Bardia Housman – Original founder of BC. Now responsible for strategy and product vision. Please note that Bardia does not run Engineering or Operations.
  • Rocky Offner – Dir. Of Engineering for Web Pro and oversees BC along with Dreamweaver and BrowserLab.
  • Eddy Chan – Product Mgmt. Of course you are all familiar with Eddy.
  • Bogdan Ripa – Dir. Of Engineering for Business Catalyst. Bogdan runs a team of 40+ exceptional engineers that work long hours improving the BC system.
  • Laurent Rouquette – Operations. Laurent is part of a newly formed IT group within Adobe and has recently taken on BC operations. He's been working diligently helping to get the new data centers operational and is overseeing the upcoming migration.
  • Matt Nade - Manager of Customer Support, driving live chat, our Twitter status account and formal Support channels.

Business Catalyst has a bright future at Adobe. And we know that this is possible because we have great Partners. It has been painful to watch some of the recent issues and our top priority is to resolve them and put this behind us. We will get through these growing pains and with the new APIs, BC V3 and many other plans we have in the works, we're setup for a very bright future.

Paul Gubbay
VP of Product Development
Design, Web & Interactive

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