Posts in Category "Uncategorized"

September 30, 2014

Does Creativity Drive Success In Government?

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Across Government IT leadership these days, the high-level focus has definitively shifted to address the three new basic commodities of the Information Age: Mobile, Social and Cloud. The explosive growth of connected citizens, social networking, mobile web browsing and cloud storage availability has challenged Government agencies to fundamentally redefine and re-architect services that were previously unimaginable or even nonexistent.

The Federal Government, once belabored and disrupted by this past decade’s major innovations, is now making concerted efforts to establish standards for bringing its digital services in line with the best private sector services, with its establishment of the U.S. Digital Service. In their excellent Playbook for building successful digital services in Government, the USDS stringently emphasizes the need for agencies to consider the End User as the central element of any service, and to understand that “the needs of people — not constraints of government structures or silos — should drive technical and design decisions.”

In other words: since the major innovations of the last decade — Mobile, Social and Cloud — will be the commodities of the next decade, the new frontier for Government agencies is Experience.

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In the private sector, we see disruptive technologies succeeding via a design-led experience. Startups like Über, Nest, AirBnB and Pinterest provide just a few examples of how a well-designed, user-centric experience not only add value to services — it becomes the *primary* value.

Graphic designers, imaging specialists, layout artists and multimedia personnel — once considered ancillary to the process of architecting services — have increasingly gained value as strategic decision makers, facing the front lines where user expectations and business requirements meet to determine the ultimate citizen experience.

Accordingly, Government leadership can foster successful citizen experience by adhering to another best practice from the private sector: fostering employee creativity.

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For years, business leaders have focused on things like employee productivity, process efficiency and workforce planning as the key success drivers for their companies. But over the past few years, the mindset has shifted. Leading companies recognize the importance of another key success driver – the need to infuse creativity into all aspects of business – from strategy and culture, to innovation and customer engagement.

Adobe and Forrester recently conducted a study that found that creative companies – those that encourage creative perspective, practices, and culture – outperform in both revenue growth and market share. 58% of respondents from creative companies said their revenues have strong growth (10%+ year-over-year), vs. only 20% of less-creative firms. And creative companies are 50% more likely to report a commanding market leadership position over competitors.

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For more information on the results of this study, and its impact for creating exceptional citizen experiences, check out this blog post from David Wadhwani, Adobe’s Senior Vice President of Digital Media, as well as this infographic.

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Adobe will also be highlighting this study at the Adobe MAX Conference this coming October 6-8 in Los Angeles, CA. If you’re a Government employee or contractor, and you’re attending Adobe MAX this year, please join us for the Digital Government Reception on Sunday October 5th! See you there!

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August 18, 2014

Building a Creative Framework for the U.S. Navy

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Government organizations such as the U.S. Navy know that they need to keep pace with the private sector when it comes to technology. So, when the U.S. Navy needed a new creative framework for digital media, digital agency Left of Creative guided the military branch toward Adobe Creative Cloud.

First, Left of Creative recommended the U.S. Navy establish a collaborative creative workflow that would enable individuals across the country and around the world to work together. With server and storage requirements from technology partner Splice Media, the U.S. Navy brought Creative Cloud into its highly secure environment. With Left of Creative, the U.S. Navy is now elevating its standards for media quality, delivery, and security across platforms and devices.

“I’ve been a big advocate of making sure the government strives to innovate like other media producers,” says David Bellino, founder and CEO, Left of Creative. “Investing in technology such as Adobe Creative Cloud makes connecting teams inside and outside the government a very easy process. Plus, it meets the Navy’s IT and creative needs.”

For more information, please see the detailed Customer Success Story (PDF) and a video profile of this story on Adobe’s Government Customer Showcase.

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October 28, 2013

Creative Cloud for Government: Winter 2014

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If you haven’t been following the buzz around the Adobe Creative Cloud, we recently announced our 1.4 million paid subscriber mark, with Enterprise adoption accelerating rapidly. Our customers are overwhelmingly choosing subscriptions instead of perpetual model licenses, and we’ve seen very strong adoption across Government segments.

Defense, Civilian, State and Local IT procurement specialists are looking to Adobe’s ETLA (Enterprise Term License Agreement) model to keep initial costs down, shift licensing costs into the Operations/Management budget, and realize the value of Adobe’s ongoing innovations in multiscreen design and development.

One such innovation involves a new technology called “Perspective Warp” wrapped into Photoshop CC. With this integration, digital imaging professionals can easily change the perspective of images, whether they are manipulating perspective of one image or compositing multiple images together. Here’s a video tutorial on this long-awaited breakthrough feature.

If you’re looking for Government success stories around rapid adoption of new creative technologies, be sure to register for our free Adobe Digital Government Assembly on February 6th, 2014 at The Ritz-Carlton in Pentagon City. Come hear from technology leaders, senior agency officials and industry pioneers as they discuss three core themes that will serve as the foundation for government agencies moving forward: engage, transform and drive results.

One of the technical challenges many agencies face involve the rapidity of CC updates currently shipping, and keeping desktops up-to-date. Also, in many government IT environments, end users of Adobe desktop software are constrained to a thin layer of bandwidth, and users are not administrators. Many clients are completely disconnected from external networks, and if they do have connectivity, their internet access outside the firewall will be closely monitored, constrained or proxied.

For Government IT and procurement personnel seeking a comprehensive overview of Creative Cloud offerings for Government, including technical deployment tips,  we offer this new video and its associated slides. In the video, we discuss the specific policies around deployment that IT Directors will need to address from behind their network constraints. We also address how the rolling updates to our desktop products will help support your mission of keeping your networks secure, stable and uniform, and how to deploy those updates securely and efficiently behind your firewall.

 

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September 4, 2013

Best Practices for Virtual Conferences

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Today, more and more agencies are looking to migrate in person events online.  These range from one-hour events to those spanning multiple days.  Many agencies have already succeeded in transitioning events online.  In fact, both NASA and the U.S. Naval Safety & Environmental Training Center have made great strides in this area and found success in doing so.

Leveraging an online collaboration tool like Adobe Connect can make this transition smooth and successful.

  1. Adobe Connect meeting rooms are persistent.  This allows meeting hosts and presenters to prepare poll questions, load presentations and more well in advance of the go-live date.  This same room can be used for any necessary dry run session(s) to ensure everyone is comfortable with the flow and material well in advance.
  2. Adobe Connect layouts allow for a smooth transition of content throughout the live, online event whether you have a single speaker or multiple.   In fact, creating a layout for every agenda topic and transition point is a great best practice.  This reduces the need to quickly bring up and arrange a new PPT deck on the screen or draft a new poll question on the fly.  Everything is arranged well in advance and the host can smoothly transition from the welcome lobby, to the introduction PPT, to poll questions, etc.
  3. The Adobe Connect Presenter Only Area is essential during large, online events for host and presenters to communicate and prepare material backstage (without impacting the live stage seen by all participants).

Please checkout the Adobe Connect Blog and Virtual Conference landing page for additional best practices and insight on how to migrate your next in person event online successfully.

 

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May 17, 2013

Adobe Connect powered by Bell Canada

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Bell Canada’s Private Cloud
Powers Adobe Connect

- outside of the reach of the US Patriot Act

Powered by Bell Canada Banner

I spent a few days working in the Bell Canada’s Private Cloud infrastructure, (Infrastructure as a Service from Bell Canada), setting up virtual machines, networks and firewalls. I setup the environment after meeting with some Canadian Government agencies where I quickly learned how important it would be to Adobe Connect available in the private cloud – all in Canada.

Now, the Canadian government will be able to test out this Adobe Connect deployment that is “all in Canada”. I’m pretty sure other governments around the world (and some individuals) will also be very interested in this new deployment option.

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May 8, 2013

Creative Cloud for Government: FAQs and Resources

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This week, Adobe made some exciting and industry-changing announcements at the MAX 2013 Conference in Los Angeles. Here is Adobe’s letter addressed to our Creative users across all markets and disciplines about these changes, and below is a quick recap of the key announcements:

1) Major Updates to the Creative Cloud: Adobe announced a significant update to Adobe Creative Cloud, our flagship offering for creatives. Available in June and packed with new features, Creative Cloud reimagines the creative process through a stunning set of “CC” desktop applications and sophisticated cross-device collaboration and publishing capabilities.  See the full press release here.

2) Accelerating our Shift to the Cloud: Adobe has seen enormous industry-wide adoption of its Creative Cloud solution, and we have decided to focus our creative software development efforts on that platform moving forward.  While Adobe Creative Suite® 6 products will continue to be supported and available for purchase, the company has no plans for future releases of Creative Suite or other CS products. Focusing development on Creative Cloud will not only accelerate the rate at which Adobe can innovate but also broaden the type of innovation the company can offer the creative community. See the full press release here.

Also released was a comprehensive description of Adobe’s Creative Cloud for Enterprise offering, as well as an Enterprise FAQ and a short, succinct Government FAQ section.

Adobe MAX Recap for Government

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For our Government customers at MAX, the Adobe Gov team hosted a Reception (pictured above) and several lecture sessions, some of which will be available shortly on the MAX website for preview. In the meantime, make sure to catch up on the Key Announcements on video replay, take a look at some of the interesting Technology Sneak Peeks presented, have a look at my photo gallery, and check out this short explainer video about the Creative Cloud vision:

Adobe Government Webinars Coming Soon

Adobe Government also has a short series of webinars planned in upcoming weeks that will address the Creative Cloud vision, value, top features and integration points specific to our Gov customers, as well as new licensing, procurement, IT security and deployment considerations specifically for Public Sector personnel. Please stay tuned to this blog for dates, times and details.

 

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April 18, 2013

Sneak Peeks of the Latest Advances at Adobe MAX 2013

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If you haven’t already noticed, Adobe recently leaked a whole bunch of Sneak Peeks of our core Creative Cloud applications, including refreshed versions of all the Professional Video Tools, plus Dreamweaver, Edge Reflow, and of course yesterday’s sneak peek into the future of Photoshop…

Law Enforcement, Forensics and Intelligence agencies across the world have been waiting for this feature since MAX 2011, when Adobe first revealed the above capabilities in an early private Photoshop beta.

This year, Adobe MAX 2013 will be the premiere venue to learn about the latest Creative workflows for print, web, video and mobile design. If sequestration has limited your travel, you might be able to convince your manager with this “Why Attend MAX?” list, which notes a complimentary one-year Creative Cloud subscription for all attendees.

If you can’t convince your manager, make sure to check out our upcoming Digital Government roadshows for the Defense Department, Federal Civilian agencies in Baltimore and Atlanta, as well as our ongoing Executive and Technical Webinar series. If you can’t attend MAX, we will bring it to you!

If indeed you ARE going to Adobe MAX 2013 and are a GovBits reader, you are cordially invited to attend any & all of the Government-specific events taking place at the conference!

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April 1, 2013

The Omnipresent Cloud

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Over the past week, my family has been observing the Passover holiday, during which my daughters (ages 7.5 and 5.5) are learning all about the Hebrews’ journeys through the desert of Sinai. During those 40 years, the Hebrews were provided shelter, nourishment and guidance by “Clouds of Glory” which followed their meandering path unceasingly, and became enshrined in the liturgy, ritual practice and common identity of modern Hebrews.

Of course, those Clouds and “the Cloud” we typically discuss in technology provide identical benefits: security, stability, omnipresence, and mobility. These days, without “the Cloud,” our modern technological society would cease functioning; our documents, data, and identities have been inextricably bound into the nebulous digital ether, in which 99.99999% uptime isn’t good enough, and only infinite redundancy is sufficient. 

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As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the Cloud is no longer a dream for some Government agencies; it’s happening. This week, Business Insider reported that a large Intelligence agency plans an unprecedented, 10-year relationship with Amazon Web Services as a “private cloud” implementor. This is the first of such news from the Intelligence sector, but it’s surely not to be the last.

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March 29, 2013

Telework with Adobe Connect

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I engage with a variety of civilian agencies as they prepare to rollout their telework program.  Everyone is looking for a tool to support their mobile worker and provide them with an interactive, rich environment that includes video, audio and desktop sharing among many other features.  Multiple device and cross operating system support is also a requirement.  You never know who you will need to collaborate with online!

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March 24, 2013

US Army using Adobe Connect to provide situational awareness

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The US Army in Afghanistan is using Adobe Connect to provide a place to meet 24/7/365 for the people and organizations involved in trying to keep the peace. This includes 20 or more base clusters and many NATO partners. The main room typically has 20 or more attendees in it at all times of the day – keeping in touch with what is going on. The main focus is sharing a map of current incidents and deployments. Breakout rooms are used when attendance in the main Connect meeting room begins to grow and various side conversations develop.

Viewing a map of the area gives the entire team situational awareness

(The map gives all attendees on the team excellent situational awareness)

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