What is Launch Foundation Services?
Some may have noticed that there is a line item on their Adobe Experience Manager contract called LFS, Launch Foundation Services. What is it and why do you have to pay for it? Let’s give a little history to start.
Back in the day, when AEM was CQ, there wasn’t a lot of standardization around “best practices” regarding the setup, programming, and infrastructure of a site. Some groups, eager to tap into this new CMS, didn’t know what they were doing and some might have cut corners or completely done things the wrong way. Additionally, there wasn’t a lot of documentation provided on how to work with AEM. I worked with one customer that had been given an authoring process by their first implementation partner, that included someone manually going in and updating nodes inside CRXDE. It left a lot of customers complaining about how their site didn’t work or didn’t do what they thought it was going to do. Many of those complaints were leveled at Adobe, for right or wrong.
Over time the documentation has increased and Adobe Experience Manager has matured in its offerings (and continues to grow to include new frameworks and features), including a standard that experienced developers recognize as the right way to approach things. If that is the case then why is LFS something that organizations are required to use?
Purely cynical people might suggest that this is just a way for Adobe to indemnify themselves against complaints about projects being done poorly or the product underperforming, while making the customer pay for it. It’s not hard to see why people would think that. But let’s come at this from a more positive position. If Adobe can manage to get out in front of bad decisions and guide organizations to better decisions, then it will prevent unhappiness and frustration, as well as pave the way toward positive word of mouth.
Having helped a few clients go through the LFS process on a few projects, it is clear to us that some of the major purposes of this is to help avoid, among other things:
- Poorly architected and implemented AEM projects and migrations
- Unskilled developers
- Lack of internal organizational process
- Catastrophic systems failures due to insufficient or nonexistent load testing
- Delays and reduced margins on the investment to the Experience Cloud
Launch Foundation Services is meant as oversight and does not involve Adobe doing anything in the way of configuration, coding, or setup. Their team comes in at various parts of the implementation process and gives recommendations that should be done. You don’t have to do everything that they say but they are going to want to understand why decisions to do things are being made. The reps are going to ask you about your company’s various processes and practices. For example, they will ask about:
- Business objectives, goals, and requirements
- Communication tools and frequency
- Team and development preparation
- Development guidelines and processes
- Internal quality assurance and user acceptance testing practices
What is good is that they force a conversation on the customer that frankly sometimes the organization hasn’t bothered to have. Adobe sits in a position of authority as the owner of the software to help shine a light on areas that, in the past, have been ignored by organizations due to a variety of reasons (time, cost, etc). This is a conversation that can be swept away if the customer doesn’t want to have to deal with it when the implementation partner tries to bring it up. It hopefully will help them plan out what is actually going to happen or at the very least what they would like to happen.
This process may seem excessive, but this is becoming the standard for new AEM work. At its heart is the goal to optimize the implementation, keep everything on track, and leverage the expertise of Adobe’s teams so that there is a positive outcome. Are you looking for an implementation partner who is familiar with the LFS process and can help prepare and guide you through it?
We do. We’re Hoodoo.