A statement released contained the following:
Adobe is committed to delivering exceptional software and services to our customers. It’s in our nature to innovate and try new things, and it was in this spirit that we acquired Business Catalyst in 2009. As we re-focus on products that broadly provide our customers with the most value, Adobe is announcing the end of development for Business Catalyst as of March 26th, 2018. New sites will no longer be available for purchase starting with June 18th, 2018.
Adobe will stop hosting existing sites on Business Catalyst on March 26th, 2020. Adobe encourages customers to download their data and migrate to other systems well before March 26th, 2020. Detailed how-to information and assistance is available. Customers’ data will be retained by Adobe until March 26th, 2020, after which date the data will be deleted. Data retention is for the sole purpose of allowing customers to export their data and transfer to another platform.
Based on the comments I have seen so far, this as to be expected is going to cause a massive headache for many Adobe Business Catalyst partners and users across the globe.
The tweets above are just a small sample of the feedback, the comments on Facebook carry an even clearer picture of what this means for the community that has backed and supported Business Catalyst for many years. Some using stating that 1000’s of hours will need to be invested to migrate sites in their entirety to new platforms.
For many, this news has been a long time coming. Business Catalyst is not what it used to be, it has failed to keep up, and that has sadly shown.
Where does this leave you?
While this news may seem to be catastrophic for many, it is in fact not all that bad. The promise of the all-in-one platform was a big pull for many, but in reality, each element was never brilliant and often very clunky.
All of this and more is the reason I stopped using Adobe BC in the first place. Customers struggled to get to grips with the CRM, email marketing and modules and I would find myself going in circles with support.
In my case, I migrated my sites to Wordpress. But for many this will not be an option or that simple.
The good news is that Adobe has provided a two-year timeframe for developers and designers to work towards. In itself, is a lifetime in digital.
Positivity from Adobe’s end of life announcement.
As with anything, my view is always to look at the positive aspects and how these will impact you and your business going forward.
Your customers can and WILL benefit.
The bottom line is that your customers will likely thank you, as mine did four years ago. Take your time to correctly research and develop platforms that work for YOU and your client’s businesses.
My experience is that great things do not come in a one size fits all format, and this is where I believe Adobe BC has struggled.
Hosting & Emails
During the lifespan of Adobe BC, we have seen far superior products develop and become go-to products. For example G Suite and Office 365. Almost every business can benefit from migrating their email to one of these services and be safe in the knowledge that data, privacy and security are top of the list.
Regarding hosting, Adobe BC has always had its issues. Depending on the platform you migrate to, superior hosting platforms are available. If you are heading towards Wordpress, which I imagine the majority will look no further than Flywheel.
CMS, Content Management System
Content management systems with a better user experience will enhance your customers time and likely improve time spent editing and updating content.
As mentioned above Wordpress is the likely platform that will tick the majority of boxes for your clients.
CRM, Customer Relationship Management
Much better CRM’s exist out there, and with excellent integration options and processes, your customer’s productivity and sales will increase. If cost is an issue, HubSpot’s free CRM is a brilliant starting point for research.
The reality is that most of your clients will not know what or how to use these WebApps as it was always a workaround for added functionality. In the land of Wordpress, these are plugins, and millions of them exist to make our lives easier.
As with any platform, you can develop your plugins that are often simpler, sleeker and far more efficient.
Adobe BC’s product here was poor, inferior in fact. It could never compete with the likes of Wordpress. However, many platforms exist for writers and content producers alike.
If you are serious about the email marketing for your business, you will not be likely to have been using Adobe BC’s functionality in the first place.
Far superior products that are dedicated to email marketing and advertising exist, for example, MailChimp and ConstantContact. These also come with the added security and functionality you would not have been receiving previously.
I am still, to this day not sure why Adobe BC boasts this is a feature. Develop your own or utilise existing functionality from TypeForm or similar.
Most platforms will allow for secure zones, from password protecting content to adding an SSL certificate to your site. Flywheel, who I mentioned above for Wordpress hosting will bolt a simile SSL on free of charge
Reporting & Analytics
Google Analytics is, of course, the go-to reporting tool here. It will provide real-time and more in-depth data for your reporting needs. You can of course also utilise this for remarketing and goal tracking as well.
To be honest, most Adobe BC websites will have added this added to them as standard, or at least I would have hoped so.
I could write several articles on how much your customers will love you with much better search engine optimisation functionality and the improved search traffic it will bring them.
While these are only small snippets of how things can improve going forwards, Adobe’s update yesterday has shown how dangerous it is for a business to put all of their eggs in one basket.
Two years is a lifetime in the design, development and marketing industry, use this to your advantage.