Measuring Up: How We Can Help You Overcome the Challenges of Adobe Experience Manager (AEM)

Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) is one of the largest content management solutions in the world. But with that size comes a reputation for being complex and difficult to learn.

While Adobe Experience Manager works well for some organizations, the total cost of implementation and time to deployment prove limiting to many.

If you’ve already made the financial commitment to using AEM, and feel stuck, we can help. We’ve assisted numerous AEM customers with optimizing AEM’s functionality by pairing it with the Brightspot CMS platform, our powerful, more budget-friendly solution.

Below we’ve outlined the top challenges companies encounter when working with AEM and how we can help you overcome them.

The Cost

The licensing fees for Adobe Experience Manager vary by business needs and which components are implemented, but in general, costs average $250,000 to $1,000,000+ annually. In a review of content management systems, Gartner noted: “Adobe's WCM offering is one of the more expensive in the market, sometimes being twice the price of its nearest competitor.”

Brightspot is, on average, half the price of AEM. What’s more, you can reduce maintenance costs by managing your content yourself. Because Brightspot is designed with the users in mind, editorial teams can learn to publish their own content in a matter of days.

Time to Launch

If you’re working with AEM, you can expect a 9-to-18-month rollout and implementation timeline. Compare this to Brightspot, where teams can go from idea to launch in 90 days or less for a full site, using best-in-class publishing products such as Brightspot Readymade. Standing up microsites and landing pages can be done in a matter of hours.

The Deliverables

Many of the essential tasks demoed by Adobe’s sales teams are not achievable solely with AEM. Companies often find that to meet their business objectives they must also license Adobe Analytics, Adobe Tag Manager, and other Adobe products to supplement AEM, significantly increasing licensing fees.

With Perfect Sense and Brightspot, there are no hidden costs. We deliver on-time and on-budget. Every Brightspot CMS launch involves a true partnership between our team and our client. Our out-of-box CMS implementation includes in-CMS analytics and a broad portfolio of integrations. We believe those things are essential to your success, not extras you should pay more for later.

Heavy IT Involvement

First and foremost, your engineers can expect a complicated installation and setup for Adobe AEM. They will be required to build everything—from text boxes and templates to submit buttons and edit screens for users. Simply put, it is not a product that you can deploy and then hand over to your editorial team.

The AEM platform can be hard to grasp for those without advanced HTML skills. Because the system is not designed for editors, additional costs and time required for training should be factored in or the responsibility of creating, developing, and managing the system will fall primarily in the hands of your IT team.

At Perfect Sense we want to empower your teams to do the things they do best. Brightspot was designed to fit into your publishing process, freeing publishers to quickly distribute content to every channel without the need for IT. In turn, IT gets to focus on innovations, while creators get to create.

Integrator Dependency

To deploy AEM, a third-party implementation partner is required. These implementation partners have no direct access to Adobe, and the implementation process and setup will be heavily dependent on the vendor you choose. This increases the maintenance cost and makes you reliant on a single, third-party partner, making it difficult to switch if problems arise.

With Brightspot, a third-party implementation is not necessary. Our team will partner with you on every facet of the project to deliver a world class digital experience. We can deploy quickly and with significantly fewer resources than our competition.

Rigid Structure

A key reason Brightspot is preferred by editorial teams is our content discoverability. With our clean, folderless infrastructure, powerful federated search and customizable dashboard, editors can move quickly and avoid time wasted in tracking down content. Adobe Experience Manager’s folder structure and basic search functionality can be challenging to navigate and require more clicks and time than they should.

AEM does not offer federated search out-of-the-box and their basic search functionality is not powerful enough to parse large amounts of data and return relevant results. Unless you know exactly where you saved something, searching for a particular item is time-consuming.


In today’s growth culture, publishers rely on metrics to remain competitive and make informed decisions. But with AEM, analytics features aren’t available out-of-the box.

Brightspot features out-of-the-box analytics, which means you won’t need IT or development support in order to get basic analytics on your site. It’s worth noting that Brightspot also has integrations with other analytics providers such as Google Analytics.

We believe in working within whatever ecosystem you’re accustomed to; so, if you have an analytics system in place that you would like to continue using, there’s a good chance we have an out-of-the-box integration for it or can explore an integration with it.

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The Brightspot Difference

Brightspot was built to delight editors and empower developers. With best-in-class editorial tools and robust admin features, Brightspot allows your editorial team to create and publish timely, relevant content faster and more easily than ever before. Here are some of the highlights of the Brightspot platform:

  • An incredibly flexible, lightweight foundation that can be tailored to the way you publish, enabling creators to quickly distribute content to every channel without the need for IT
  • A highly personalized dashboard and streamlined user interface that make it possible to publish with less than 10 minutes of training
  • Robust federated search, core to the Brightspot platform, which increases the discoverability of your content and makes it easy to locate any asset
  • Authoring tools that editorial teams love: In-line editing capabilities, an enhanced rich text editor, leading edge secure preview capabilities and bulk editing, advanced version control, field-level locking and workstreams.
  • An API-first approach to CMS architecture, with more than 200 integrations out of the box
  • Customizable drag-and-drop workflows that can be tailored to the way you do business
  • A large in-house services department, with direct access to Brightspot’s developers, implementation teams and platform teams

AEM can work (well enough) for organizations that can afford both its costs and the significant training time required. But as the digital landscape evolves, budgets shrink and competition grows tighter, many companies find that difficult.

We’ve replatformed countless clients off of AEM. Request a demo today and find out how you can replatform quickly and drastically improve your overall content management experience with the Brightspot CMS.