The Amplience Founding Story
Blood, sweat and tears should never be a feature of creating digital experiences.
Yet there they were. A key requirement of the monolith stack. Mind-numbing frustrations and impossibilities were an endemic, pervasive daily reality for digital and ecommerce teams in the mid-2000s. And it wasn’t just a handful of issues either.
Integration and deployment was layered with complexity. It took months, years even, and incurred huge costs. The resulting solution was static and clunky. Want to add shoppable media? That’ll be an upgrade. Want to grow your business? That’ll be a replatfom. Want to exercise even the smallest amount of choice and freedom in how you do your work? No chance.
The technology was tired, stubborn and brittle. It wouldn’t scale and was massively unreliable at peak periods. Stressful for the business. Disappointing for the customer. Frustrations for the creatives were mirrored by those for the developers, who were stuck using archaic programming languages. Each new change required a multi-skilled team adding to the already high cost and complexity with little to show for it.
Legacy CMS and ecommerce suites were hindering those teams that wanted to move quickly. Instead of offering a solution they became the problem. Because they weren’t created for innovation. Or evolution. They were created for one channel. And one device. A 20th century solution that didn’t see the future coming. A future that declared itself with a bang in 2007: the arrival of the iPhone.
The impact of the iPhone on ecommerce cannot be overstated. Almost overnight everything changed. And it was more complex than merely needing a mobile ecommerce site to match your desktop one. The new tech was matched by new consumer expectations and demands for performance, content, and integrated experiences.
Legacy solutions were created for one channel. And one device. A 20th century solution that didn’t see the future coming.
And the monolith stacks weren’t ready for it.
Flexibility and adaptability weren’t built-in features of their architecture. So it was impossible for digital teams to keep up with the scale and pace of change. They were trapped. Unable to do anything without a huge amount of time, cost and headache. It was every shade of poor. Poor tools. Poor processes. Poor systems. Poor tech. Poor user experience. Poor customer experience. Poor performance. Poor economics.
The old guard had a desperately narrow way of thinking. Sure, they made an attempt to restyle themselves as “modern” solutions. Introducing new tools and talking a tall tale about what they might be able to do. But the fundamentals were the same. They were trying to keep up with the future while being modelled in the past. Trying to convince everyone that theirs was the only way it could be done. Because it was the only way they wanted to do it. And they thought their monopoly was sufficient that they didn’t need to change.
It was because of that hubris that they didn’t see us coming.
We were working as consultants, system integrators and marketers in leading digital companies. And we were sick of seeing how frustrating it was to implement, evolve and interact with CMS and eCommerce platforms. We were restless. We felt the same frustration as our customers. We absolutely knew we could find a better way of doing things.
So we started with a question:
“What would having complete freedom to create compelling digital experiences look like?”
We knew what we hated.
We knew what didn’t work. We wanted to free digital teams from the constraints and sky-high costs of legacy tech.
We wanted new methods. Simple processes. Intuitive tools. Flexible integrations. We wanted to imbue confidence that innovation could be fast. Could be easy. Could work. And could evolve.
We wanted freedom. For ourselves and our customers. We wanted to work without restriction. To dream big and deliver bigger. We wanted to create a platform that could not only withstand the pace of change, but would drive it. We wanted to create the complete opposite of a monolith.
To do that, we knew everything we built had to exist in the Cloud. It would make implementation super easy, automate upgrades and get rid of people being trapped in the endless replatforming cycles.
Our first product, Interactive Merchandising, focused on shoppable media production. Making it both intuitive and powerful. We sold it as a subscription (SaaS) to better align our customer outcomes to a commercial model that worked for everyone.
Dynamic Media came next. An API-first, headless image and video content management system. It was fast, scalable and massively powerful. Media was stored as data, which meant media renders in different shapes, sizes and formats could be transcoded on demand. Complex media production and content management could be fully automated. Both of which transformed customer productivity.
As we evolved we developed a deeper understanding of the MACH (Microservices, API-first, Cloud and Headless) approach. It quickly became clear that this was the only way we could step on the gas and achieve the level of freedom we wanted. The future was here and we embraced it with open arms.
Seeing the power and undeniable productivity improvement Dynamic Media had given our customers, we applied the same API-first, cloud and headless concepts to the development of Dynamic Content. The addition of microservices made this a true MACH product: a user-focused CMS that has freedom baked in to its core. Because it has one key feature that makes monolith stacks and legacy tech completely redundant. Customers can now manage their digital experiences in content. Not code.
For 12 years we have been building, deploying and constantly iterating. Learning what works. Getting rid of what doesn’t. Solely focused on solving this problem. We weren’t just thinking about the end product. We were thinking about all the different elements that our customers need to truly have freedom in their work. And that’s all we’ll ever think about. Because that’s our guiding light: to harness the power of modern tech to create the freedom to do more.
harness the power of modern tech to create the freedom to do more.
Industries will shift.
Technologies will evolve. And we will always be ready.
Because Amplience is so much more than a reactive response to a smartphone. It's a proactive shaping of the future. A future where you can create without constraint. Innovate and differentiate. Perform at scale. And define the way you work.
Enough of the old way of doing things. It’s done. It’s over. We’re putting a stake in the ground now. And we’re going to shout about it. We want to build a world where there are no limits to the digital experiences that can be created. That’s what freedom means to us. It wasn’t possible with the old model. But it’s possible now. And with freedom the possibilities are endless. How you use that freedom is up to you. Amplience will make sure you have it.
James, Rory, John, Will, Neil, Troy and all of the team!