This is interesting news. Scene7, probably the most developed ‘rich media delivery service’ has been acquired by the hairy old-timer on the imaging block, Adobe.
Unless you’ve used Scene7 it’s difficult to explain, but most of the rich trickery/magic you see on retail sites has their fingerprint on it: detailed image zoom and rotate, colour swatching (where the images changes colour/pattern/material as if by magic) and marking up room-set images so that you see individual products (say chairs, sofa, lamp) from within the scene linked to the individual product page. They also do behind-the-scenes things like image management, optimising, streaming and caching, but it’s the visual magic that catches the eye.
Adobe – who are dominant in on-screen, portable imaging and “layered” images (photoshop etc) – have been very active of late getting into dynamic imaging and web. Their advances with Apollo and Flex and Flash have positioned them well for the Web2.0, rich-interaction web trends.
The addition of Scene7 fills the gap between creating images (Photoshop) and widgets (Flash) and on-site behaviour (Dreamweaver and Flex) with an image management layer for “everything else”.
Scene7 will benefit from the addition scale of Adobe (to support their growth) and hopefully (please, please!) Adobe can wave a magic wand over the S7 backend and admin systems which – when falling from the Ugly Tree – hit every branch on the way down. Hard.
Adobe has a good record of maintaining the relative independence and creativity of acquired companies (eg Macromedia) and so there’s every hope that the energy that Scene7 have showed of late will continue into the new structure.
As an aside it’s also an interesting time from the business side too. After a disruptive period during which the Big Beasts looked a little off the pace, we’re seeing a resurgent, focused Adobe; Apple combining flair with solid commercials; Microsoft releasing Silverlight (nice Sony-like logo, bits of open source, Python and Ruby allowed…)…. In all, the world’s a more interesting pace and the ‘big guys’ are waking up and getting
Anyway, to return to a semblance of a point, it’ll be interesting to see how S7′s competitors respond and – even more pertinently – how Microsoft and others will respond to a confident S7 linked to a competitor for the crown of King of the Rich Internet.
Rich, of course, being the operative word