May 16, 2013

Upcoming Creative Cloud Webinars

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As Jerry mentioned in last weeks post, we have some upcoming webinars on the new Creative Cloud (CC) features, security and deployment for public sector customers. On May 21, we will talk about the new policy changes and product features for CC in the public sector. This webinar will give users some valuable insight into the changes in CC and some of the exciting new features they will want to utilize in their agencies.

Day 2 on May 22, is focused primarily for the IT staff, it will cover the policy changes, but will go more in depth into deployment, security and support options for the new CC offerings. We will also be covering the various purchasing options for CC as well.

This is a great opportunity to learn all that’s new for CC and have it focused specifically for those in government. If you were unable to attend Adobe MAX, this will be worth your time. To register or for more information, go here. Each webinar will start at 2 p.m. EST. I hope you will join Jerry and I next week online.

10:57 AM Permalink
May 14, 2013

Document workflow optimization: understanding Reader extensions licensing

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The following post was originally published in the Adobe LiveCycle blog.

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We get many questions about Reader extensions. That’s not surprising really because there are numerous ways to use reader extensions in an enterprise capacity, as well as in a workgroup or consumer type of way. We also get many questions about the aspects of licensing reader extensions based on the fact that Reader extended forms can be created from our Acrobat family of products as well as our LiveCycle family of products. The licensing programs for Acrobat and LiveCycle are designed to serve different uses and organizational needs. They scale from desktop use to enterprise levels.

Before we go too much further though, let me explain what a Reader extended document is.

The Reader extensions capability digitally signs a PDF form or document to enable certain features in the free Reader product on a per-file basis. These are features otherwise found in the full Acrobat product.  Extending features in a PDF document allows the content creator to offer more advanced capabilities to end users with free Reader without requiring them to purchase the full Acrobat product.  Examples of the features which are enabled by Reader extensions include commenting, digital signatures, and saving forms and data offline.  We usually see customers take advantage of this technology to capture data in a form using Reader extensions based on the ability for someone to fill out a form inside of the free Reader product, save it to their desktop, and then email it to the person needing this information.

LiveCycle and Reader Extended Forms:

Here’s an example of a Reader extended form:  http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040.pdf.  This example was created using LiveCycle Enterprise Suite. LiveCycle is a server based product for automating form and document processing in enterprise organizations. The use of reader extensions in LiveCycle is targeted for large distribution use cases.  Other services available in LiveCycle can be used to generate PDF documents and forms and automate their processing in conjunction with other enterprise systems. LiveCycle’s Reader extensions capabilities are licensed on a per-document (or form) or a per-recipient basis. Its usage can scale to extract information from an unlimited number of documents or an unlimited number of recipients.   A LiveCycle customer can purchase more document or recipient licenses as their business needs require.   For example, a state that wants to develop a single tax form to collect information from its 2 million citizens might purchase a per-document license for their form.  However, a government department of 6,000 planning to develop several human resources forms might be better served with per-recipient licenses.

Acrobat and Reader Extended Forms:

As I mentioned earlier, you can also create a reader extended form by using Acrobat.  Acrobat is a desktop product for producing and working with PDF documents on an individual basis.  The reader extension capabilities in Acrobat are intended for small scale distributions.    Acrobat provides capabilities to extract data into spreadsheets for further processing.

12:21 PM Permalink
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.

 

9:27 PM Permalink
April 25, 2013

Acrobat-Swiss Army Knife of Software

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Many times I refer to Acrobat as a Swiss Army Knife? Why? Like a Swiss Army Knife you need to have it with you always, it can help you in emergencies, and is a tool you can use daily. I use Acrobat daily in my work, even prior to joining Adobe. Many times it has been my life saver as I needed to edit a PDF file that no one could find the original document. Enter Acrobat, as my emergency rescue, I just export the PDF to Word and begin editing.

Swiss Army Knife Illustration

In state and local government, I find they use Acrobat the way we sometimes use a Swiss Army knife. We get out the knife blade or in Acrobat’s case the Create PDF blade and we forget there are other tools in Acrobat. In our post today I would like to explore some of the other uses of Acrobat or its other blades.

8:16 AM Permalink
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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7:30 AM Permalink
April 4, 2013

Need assistance and don’t know where to turn??

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You know that feeling you have inside when you are prepping for a virtual meeting and need one last item configured, but you don’t know where to turn?  Well, I’m here to tell you you are in good company.  I’ve done it myself…**blushing**…and I should know better!

I wanted to create a blog with a list of resources you can go to when you are in a jam and need quick assistance.  So, I have put this together below for your viewing pleasure.  I would bookmark this blog so you can quickly access this in the future.

1:40 PM Permalink

Creative Cloud Packager

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In the past I have written about the virtues of Creative Cloud. Today we made a great step forward in Creative Cloud for Teams. Now you may be wondering what great feature I’m going to talk about. This new software is a tool for IT administrators to use to deploy Creative Cloud Team, we call it Creative Cloud Packager.

This new software for deployment means that the IT department can now configure Creative Cloud Team to suit their organization. More specifically, an administrator for a Creative Cloud Team account, can now download directly from the application all of the Creative Cloud products and updates (regular and feature), define custom installation behavior and at the end have a native MSI or PKG that you will use with your deployment tool to install on all machines you manage.

screen cap of Creative Cloud Packager

Up until now the Creative Cloud offering really didn’t have as much relevance in the government space because it required the users to be  administrators on their computers and in very few instances was this the case. This now means that Creative Cloud Team could be a viable offering for our some of our state and local agencies, as well as smaller departments in the large government organizations because now it can be deployed through standard IT deployment methodologies. For many smaller government agencies it is really great to have access to all the tools and the updates, as well as some of the services offered in Creative Cloud.

For those IT administrators who are reading this post, the following video will walk you through the Creative Cloud Packager.

10:00 AM Permalink
April 3, 2013

Modernizing Contract Management for Health Providers

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Successfully managing busy physician practices requires working closely with a wide range of insurance providers—which gets increasingly complicated as the number of physician providers and patients grows.

University Physicians Network (UPN) is a multispecialty medical group with 1,600 doctors who work at  many of the leading hospitals and clinics in and around New York City, including the prestigious New York University Medical Center. UPN’s doctors serve patients covered by 20 insurers that regularly require contract review and approval. In the past, that meant printing contracts, mailing them to physicians, and submitting signed contracts to insurers. The process could take weeks.

With Adobe EchoSign, UPN automated the process without the need for special software or accounts. With only email and web access, signees can securely view and sign documents in just minutes.
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10:18 AM Permalink
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.

12:09 AM Permalink
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!

12:00 PM Permalink