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Archive for August, 2012

August 30, 2012

Customer Spotlight: What Would You Do with 1,200 Hours in Labor Savings?

Instead of stacks of unwieldy paper documents, developers in the City of Sacramento are now submitting project documentation electronically with PDF for much easier review and distribution. By moving to a digital environment, the submittal, review, and approval process eliminates the need to output and handle thousands of pounds of unwieldy paper documents (some 13,000 building permit a year), saving time and money.

Using Adobe Acrobat Pro, engineers and developers can now submit plans electronically as a PDF. Since the staff will no long has to manually input information from the plans into the central database, electronic submissions decrease the possibility of introducing errors.

Even if only 25% of the plans are submitted in PDF, the Sacramento CDD estimates that it will save some 1,200 hours of labor previously used to receive, time-stamp, collate, and distribute documents. This time savings does not even include efficiencies associated with easier review, processing and archiving with the PDF files.

“Standardizing on Adobe Acrobat to simplify increasingly complex plan check reviews—involved in managing development projects—helps our agency make the City more economically competitive, resourceful, and vibrant,” says Matthew Sites, project manager, Community Development Department for the City of Sacramento.

To read more about how the City of Sacramento is using Adobe Acrobat, check out the full story here:

Ali Hanyaloglu, senior marketing manager, Acrobat Solutions

Follow Ali on Twitter, @acroboy

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8:54 AM Permalink
August 28, 2012

In Good Company

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about some Adobe Acrobat customers who are taking advantage of the Adobe enterprise license agreement (ELA) and standardizing on Acrobat across their organizations. Because the ELA simplifies the entire licensing process they save time and money. And by standardizing on Acrobat across their companies they’re making deployment, updates, maintenance, and integration easier.

Two large government organizations are also taking advantage the ELA and standardizing on Acrobat. The U.S. Air Force has recently selected Acrobat X Professional as its standard, enterprise-wide PDF software. Using the premier PDF solution from Adobe, the Air Force can create higher-quality content while driving tighter collaboration and productivity, greater security and lower costs across the entire organization.

The Air Force cited several factors that led to adopting Adobe Acrobat as its PDF solution, with a three-year enterprise agreement, covering 600,000 seats. In addition to PDF creation capabilities, Adobe Acrobat delivers peace of mind by helping eliminate compatibility and other issues that drain valuable resources. Adobe Acrobat enables better software asset management and improved patch and update processes, which significantly reduces the effort and cost required to keep systems up-to-date.

Another large government agency, which I can’t name, entered into an ELA with Adobe recently, as well. The department consolidated software licenses for the most current versions of Acrobat X as well as LiveCycle Enterprise Suite, and Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Master Collection. They now have a standard PDF solution nationwide.

The ELA enables the department to consolidate more than 400 separate purchase orders into just a handful of annual purchases or renewals. The ELA saves a lot of time and helps to ensure that the latest software is deployed to employees needing it in a timely manner. In addition, the agreement positions the department to secure the lowest, most consistent price for the latest software and technology, creating massive savings year after year.

Using the ELA to deploy PDF solutions across your organization is a smart move and you’d be in good company. Check it out.

Mark Grilli, senior director of Acrobat Solutions product marketing

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8:49 AM Permalink
August 27, 2012

Fuel Up For Less This Month with FormsCentral

What can $0.99 get for you these days? Probably about half a cup of coffee, less than a third of a gallon of gas, or a single song for your iPod. Seems like that dollar bill won’t usually get you too far. Starting today, however, we’d like to add something to the list: for a limited time, $0.99 will get you a whole month of FormsCentral Basic.

For less than the price of a cup of coffee or a gallon of gas, you can take full advantage of the service offerings at FormsCentral: create up to 5 forms, accept payments through your form via PayPal, allow for skip logic and email notifications, and all the rest – for a full month. This is the perfect opportunity to get acquainted with the Basic features of FormsCentral, whether you’re a fan of the free version and want to test out a premium feature set or whether you’re new to FormsCentral and just want to see what it can do.

So the next time you’re buying yourself a cup of coffee or browsing the latest releases in iTunes, just think about where else you could put that one dollar bill to use. Check out more on this cool FormsCentral deal.

This offer is good for 30 days until September 22, 2012. Pricing is for one month only.

-       Rebecca Staley, Marketing Specialist, Acrobat Solutions

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9:39 AM Permalink
August 20, 2012

Securing and Protecting Your IP

We recently conducted a study of the challenges and expectations of knowledge workers and IT. While the full results of the study aren’t ready yet – and I’ll share them with you here, among other places, when they are – there was one finding that stood out: the majority of organizations underestimate their overall information security risk as a vast majority of workers regularly collaborate with others outside their companies.

The implications of this are enormous. Leaked sensitive information damages your competitive advantage and erodes your customers’ and partners’ trust in you. And that, of course, hits the bottom line. IT departments can choose a user-friendly, document-level security solution to protect the company’s documents, inside and outside the firewall. For their part, users need the ability to secure documents with a solution that can easily integrate into the existing IT environment. That way, everybody’s happy.

Adobe Acrobat customers deal with document-level security risks all day long. We all remember the embarrassing high profile cases in which law firms or government agencies thought they’d deleted sensitive content only to find it on the front page of the NYTimes. However, using Acrobat, Andrew Moir, a partner at international law firm Herbert Smith, says “we know that information we need to keep confidential, stays confidential.”

Adobe Acrobat lets you remove sensitive data from documents before sharing them with others. The PDF redaction tools permanently delete confidential information, while sanitization tools remove hidden information with one click. Acrobat’s Guided actions also help ensure that all team members prepare documents for distribution correctly and consistently.

You can further mitigate the risk of sensitive information being leaked by controlling access to documents. “We need to control who accesses documents and give people the assurance that the materials they receive have not been altered,” says Margaret M. DiBianca, Associate, Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor

Young Conaway uses Acrobat to password-protect those documents with Acrobat’s 256-bit AES encryption technology to control access. The firm also sets file permissions to prevent editing, printing, or copying content. “With Acrobat, we can put controls on PDF files to limit access to information and restrict copying of data from files,” DiBianca adds. Acrobat also works with Adobe LiveCycle® Rights Management ES2 for extended rights management protection.

It’s also important to understand the role eSignatures play in security. Without an assurance that someone’s signature is the real deal, business could come to a screeching halt. That was one reason Adobe acquired EchoSign last year. With Adobe EchoSign eSignature and Web contracting services, you can send and receive digitally signed documents securely and quickly. EchoSign has been designed from the ground up for state-of-the-art ASP security. Electronic signatures are also protected by the federal ESIGN Act, which ensures that customers who sign contracts electronically are as protected as they would be had they opted for pen-on-paper agreements. You could argue the protections are even greater with digital contracts, since eSignature solutions can offer additional authentications from email, IP addresses, passwords, social network credentials and other safeguards that surpass anything possible with physical copies or fax transmissions.

What’s happening now is that Web contracting, which includes the automation of the entire contract process — from creation, collaboration, and execution to archiving and management — is quickly replacing the painful paper-based processes of the past with the advantages of working on the Web.

The main drivers of Web contracting and eSignatures are customers, partners, and internal users. Customers are increasingly comfortable conducting business via the Web and mobile devices, and they are demanding that companies move more of their customer-facing processes online. That, of course, adds a new dimension to security considerations.

So whether your security needs are redaction, rights management, access or secure e-signatures, Acrobat can provide a solution. There’s more information at the Acrobat IT Resource Center for insights into how to Acrobat can make your documents — and your IT operation — more secure.

Mark Grilli, senior director of Acrobat Solutions product marketing

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7:50 AM Permalink
August 15, 2012

A New Standard for PDF Accessibility: PDF/UA

After many years of work and with contributions from individuals around the globe, the August 7, 2012 publication of ISO Standard 14289-1, better known as PDF/UA, marks one of the most significant developments in the evolution of the popular and widely used Portable Document Format (PDF). The publication and availability of PDF/UA will encourage the production of PDF files that are more consistently accessible to persons with disabilities.

Initially referred to as PDF/Access in 2004 by the AIIM standards committee, PDF/UA was conceived in response to the proliferation of PDF documents that were valid according to the PDF specification, but were insufficiently accessible to persons with disabilities. To meet the needs of the widest possible audience, the producers and viewers of PDF content needed a common standard.

The main PDF standard, ISO 32000, already defines the format’s accessibility features. What PDF/UA does is to clarify and demonstrate how those features should be used, for both producing and consuming PDF documents. As with the other PDF standards (such as PDF/A and PDF/X), ISO 14289 omits features of the PDF specification that are ill suited towards its purpose. Features of the PDF specification necessary for accessibility are mandated in PDF/UA even though they may be optional in the core PDF specification. Also, any features which are allowed in ISO 32000 but which inhibit accessibility are prohibited in PDF/UA.

It’s important to note that PDF/UA is neither a spec to measure PDF content, like the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), nor an everyday authoring guide. It focuses on giving developers of PDF authoring tools and viewers, as well as vendors of assistive technologies that support PDF, critical information on how to build and present PDF content more accessibly. The goal is to make accessible PDFs easy to author and use, however they are produced. While PDF/UA contains great information for authors on how to meet the needs of users with disabilities (and also to address most WCAG success criteria), much of that work should really be done by tools and read by assistive technology, so PDF/UA support will mean authors do less work and get more accessible content.

Over the last 8 years, Adobe has participated in the development of PDF/UA and we are integrating support for PDF/UA into our products. It’s important to us that our tools do what’s right to communicate effectively what authors intend.

Of course, this work extends beyond our own products, and so we’ve been supporting the open-source NVDA screen reader project to include support for PDF/UA and other PDF and Acrobat/Reader-related features as well.

If you want to follow the further developments of the standard or even participate, please see AIIM’s PDF Standards page.

If you are interested in PDF accessibility and PDF/UA, here’s two suggestions for you to learn more:

  • View our training materials for Acrobat and PDF accessibility. These resources offer information about how to use Acrobat to produce or repair PDF files for accessibility. WCAG Techniques for PDF are also available and provide useful information for authors looking to meet WCAG 2.0.
  • Check out the PDF/UA standard. The document itself can be purchased directly from ISO (You don’t have to buy this standard if you just want to author accessible PDF files. However, you should encourage authoring tool makers, PDF viewer makers, and AT vendors to buy it, read it, and support it.)

Andrew Kirkpatrick, Group Product Manager Accessibility, Adobe

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10:48 AM Permalink
August 14, 2012

Adobe Reader and Acrobat X (10.1.4) and 9.5.2

Today, we announced the availability of Adobe Reader and Acrobat X (10.1.4) and 9.5.2. For more information regarding the security details in these releases, please see Security Bulletin APSB12-16. For detailed Release Notes, please see the Release Notes Library.

Steve Gottwals, Group Product Manager

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11:31 AM Permalink

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