Senior Director of Product Marketing, Customer Experience Management
As senior director of product marketing, Rob Pinkerton oversees all product marketing efforts for Adobe's customer experience management (CEM) solutions, including industry marketing, solution marketing and core product marketing. He and his team are responsible for defining Adobe’s CEM go-to-market strategy, product launch process, organizational readiness, messaging, positioning, packaging, pricing, and competitive analysis. Previously, Pinkerton was responsible for Adobe’s strategies for vertical markets. Pinkerton has 19 years experience in software strategy and technology.
Prior to joining Adobe, Pinkerton was Vice President of Product Management for LexisNexis’s Enterprise Data Fusion Product, which was developed for U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies to perform complex data analysis. For five years, he worked for Siebel Systems (now part of Oracle Corp) as Director of the Global Public Sector product business where he was responsible for Siebel’s second fastest growing product line and over 200 global public sector customers using enterprise case management and CRM.
Pinkerton has an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University, a law degree from the University of Baltimore, a BA in economics, political science and history from the University of Richmond and has a patent for co-inventing a system for processing intelligence information (held by Oracle).
Adobe has several folks participating in the World Economic Forum in Davos. We were excited to participate in the creation of WELCOM which is new online community designed to extend the collaborative power of DAVOS 1 week summit throughout the entire year. There is a good post by Don Tapscot on WELCOM that you can read here. And if you are interested in a daily sum up of the proceedings, Adobe’s Rob Tarkoff (who keynoted our Adobe Open Government Assembly) is posting insights on the Adobe Conversations Blog.
I really enjoyed Vivek Kundra’s blog last week ‘They Gave Us The Beatles, We Gave Them Data.gov’ as he welcomed the launch of data.gov.uk. He writes, “It is exciting to see the seeds of openness, accountability, and transparency taking root around the world.” So I thought I’d draw attention to some of my favorite international examples of what happens when public servants, “are dedicated to breaking down long standing barriers between governments and the people they serve.”
The Australian Government Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research decided that it was unreasonable for a small business to have to interact separately with dozens of different government agencies before it could legally operate. A new hairdressing business had to first seek approval from 27 agencies for jurisdictional registration, insurance, healthcare, signage, and licenses to play music and serve food (i.e coffee.) before it could legally operate. So Australia created business.gov.au to create a single service in the cloud for business to interact with government. The results were both quantitatively and qualitatively impressive. Listen to Anthony Steve talk about it here.
The London Borough of Southwark struggled to deliver housing benefits to people in need in a timely fashion. By providing more elegant user centric tools to open up process and empower public servants to be accountable to those in need, they reduced the time to benefit from 38 days to 1 day. Listen to Dominic Cain talk about it here.
In 2009, people around the world participated in an open dialogue about international policies and priorities unlike ever before. They did so because the U.S. State Department opened up its public diplomacy to a transparent and collaborative process through its Co.nx program. When U.S. officials spoke, people were invited to listen, question and comment without limitation from their geography, nationality or technical skill. If you’d like to join the dialogue, you can do so here and if you’d like to see pictures of the application that made it possible you can do so here.
Of course all of these examples originated before Open Government became the mantra of a new generation of technologically inspired public servants. But they illustrate that promise can become practice very quickly. And as the British Invasion in 1964 marked the official genesis of ten years of musical innovation, so shall the arrival of fully sanctioned Open Government initiatives like data.gov give rise to innovations in public service. It will be an interesting decade.
Over the weekend I listened to commentary on the passage of the President’s Stimulus bill and heard Congressman Ron Paul claim that there were only 5 hard copies of the legislative tome available for review to legislators for a material period of time. I also saw reporters page through the bill on TV to illustrate the hand scribbled amendments in the margin of the final version sent to the President.
I was a legislative aid on Capitol Hill from 1993-1999, when collaboration technology was just getting started, as was 24 hour news coverage. Legislation was available online, but never immediately. Back then, when the President’s budget was sent to Congress, it was done so in paper, and staff would stay up all night reading through a single version so the Senator could have comments ready for an early morning statement. Rapidly amended legislation always caused tension between Members because there was no way to quickly distribute changes on the fly and make intelligent public comments to feed the increasing 24 hour news demands. So the news coverage for urgent funding packages (usually supplemental’s for disaster response) or high profile bills usually devolved into a discussion of process and representative fairness, rather than the substantive merits of the legislation. Much like the public discourse this past weekend.
But this is 2009.
The Washington DC technology community has been abuzz lately with the idea of cloud computing. This is largely spurred on by a classic tech battle shaping up between Goggle and Microsoft over the delivery model for software applications to federal agencies.
The cloud is a metaphor for the Internet, based on the graphical image depicted in computer network diagrams. The specific technical meaning of cloud computing is dependent on who is talking about it. At the highest level, cloud computing is like having pizza delivered rather than the traditional way of dining in the restaurant. Either method may be more appropriate depending on your circumstance, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that one is always better than the other or that the pizza will taste any better. For some government agencies, cloud computing will be as sensible delivery method, for others it will not, or perhaps a hybrid will be best. If you’d like to see beautiful versions of well known on-premise software applications (Acrobat and Connect) hosted in the cloud, go to www.Acrobat.com, you can use them for free.
Unfortunately all the enthusiasm over cloud computing has clouded over the more important opportunity for government software applications – which is that for truly connected democracy, applications have to be ubiquitous. If a user is offline, working across multiple devices or operating on an unsupported platform, cloud applications may fall short. Government agencies shouldn’t get locked in to the cloud or not cloud debate, but should consider the true needs of their end users, all relevant infrastructure in the ecosystem that can be leveraged (Yes, this is a veiled plug for Adobe Reader, Flash and AIR) and leverage the appropriate delivery models to optimize the user experience and productivity.
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I was asked by a reporter last week to offer considerations for the Obama administration with regards to updating publicly facing federal Web sites. Here’s what I told her:
1.) Assess Web sites based on audience orientation not agency orientation. Many Government agencies immediately provide information about the agency leader, recent press releases, organizational structure. As I’ve written here before, imagine if you went to Amazon.com and were greeted with a picture of Jeff Bezos, his press releases and links to marketing and finance departments. You wouldn’t buy books. In government, the audience likewise won’t pursue service. Think about modifying these sites to suit your audience needs.
2.) Look for opportunities to consolidate web entry points around services. People who want to use a government Web site want to solve a problem, they don’t want to learn the agency. A good example is Australia with their business to government Web site – http://business.gov.au/Business+Entry+Point/ – they consolidate the services a business needs into one system and effectively do more with less.
3.) Assess if a Web site is a static information source or designed to initiate an interaction. Many government agencies treat web sites like a bulletin board rather than a strategic communications channel and don’t attract traffic or ongoing interaction. But some create a dialogue with the audience. The former type of Web site is one to change. The latter, you don’t want to give up on the brand and existing audience – you can see great examples at NASA.gov – www.nasa.gov/50years & www.nasa.gov/externalflash/ISSRG/ – they are amazing.
Government leaders who want to implement change and improve public service should consider technology as a tool for ‘engaging’ their constituencies. Citizen centricity is not a new concept for eGovernment initiatives, but the application of technology to improve engagement for the entire ecosystem is new. An individual ‘engages’ with government the moment they require an agencies services, attempt to transact business with an agency or simply seek to understand its mission. That individual may be a citizen, they may also be an employee, a businessman or business entity, a non-profit, a serviceman, a contractor, etc. Engagement manifests itself with a phone call, browsing a web site or mobile device, visiting a physical office or personal contact with a government professional at work or home. When the experience of engagement is meaningful and effective, an agency will more successfully deliver on its mission.