The annual Partner Briefing at Adobe Summit EMEA was a great success in London this week. With more than 350 partners in attendance, I had the pleasure of kicking off the event. It is an exciting time to be an agency, but only for those in digital. Adobe’s Matt Thompson, executive vice president of worldwide field operations, followed my remarks and added that he’s “incredibly excited about 2014; both the role partners play in Adobe’s growth and the role Adobe will play in growing our partners’ businesses.”  The bottom line is, partners are a critical component of Adobe’s go-to-market model and Adobe’s growth is tied to the work we do with our great partners.

John Mellor, vice president of strategy and business development at Adobe, set the stage for what key messages partners could expect to hear at Summit—namely, the paradigm of reinventing marketing and how customer adaptation is driving a huge amount of change.  “It is like a revolution. It’s a time for opportunity and high innovation,” Mellor said. Matt Langie, senior director of product marketing for Adobe Marketing Cloud, demoed the new Adobe Digital Marketing Maturity Assessment, a remarkable tool that allows marketing directors and decision makers to identify their organizations’ strengths and areas for improvement. Our guest speaker, Tim Waters, PhD and principal analyst at Digital Clarity Group, spoke about the importance of customer experience management and “the CEM imperative,” stating, “CEM isn’t the next big thing, it’s the next only thing.”

Industry hot topics presented by Adobe executives included Big Data, personalization, mobile, and social. The remainder of the briefing focused on partner programs and the resources available for partners to help grow their businesses. Mark Zablan, president of Adobe EMEA sales, alongside Peter Ford, director of Adobe EMEA partner sales, continued to showcase Adobe’s commitment to partners with the presentation of Adobe’s annual Partner Awards. This year, Adobe named Accenture Interactive as EMEA Partner of the Year, and recognized three additional partners for their outstanding contribution: CGI, Cognifide, and

Shantanu Narayen, Adobe’s president and CEO, concluded the event by reinforcing Adobe’s gratitude and commitment to its partners, and he emphasized the understanding that success in this competitive industry cannot be achieved without great partners.

We wrapped up this fun and informative day with a networking reception with the EMEA direct sales organization. Our partners left with the tools they need to go out, be successful with their customers, and maintain a competitive advantage in the digital marketing landscape. Next stop for the Adobe Partner Briefing—Australia and Singapore.