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Adobe & Advertising Week 2013

Some thoughts on SAP/Sybase acquisition and the mobile opportunity for the enterprise

Adobe launches new cloud-based eSignature service

Like everyone, I sign stuff, lots of stuff — NDAs, contracts, and all sorts of other documents. I always find myself frustrated with the signature process.

The simple act of signing doesn’t particularly bother me. It’s all the mundane tasks that need to be completed before and after signing that drive me batty.

First, I typically receive the document to be signed in electronic form — meaning I need to print it out to sign it. Then, I need to figure out how to get it back to the other party. In some cases, I might need to find an overnight envelope, fill-in the address form, stick the document in the envelope, seal the envelope, and then find a drop box. Depending on where I am, this could take up to an hour, round trip. (Did you know that people spend $7.4B/year overnighting documents just because a signature is needed?)

Or in some cases, I need to fax it back. Faxing might be quicker, but it’s no easier: (1) create a cover sheet, (2) print the cover sheet, (3) fill in the receiving parties information, and (4) walk down to the fax machine and stand next to it waiting for the transmission to complete. But wait, I’m not done — the person whom I’ve faxed it to usually wants an ‘original copy’! So now I’m back to hunting for an overnight envelope…

Oh brother.

There’s got to be a better way. Why can’t we just sign things electronically? In this Internet age, signing something really should be as easy and fast as sending an email.

It turns out that Adobe already has a big, well established business providing a highly secure digital signature capability into large banks, the military and a number of governments. In fact, we’re a market leader in digital signatures. The first digitally signed judicial order was executed using Adobe technology as was the FY 2011 US Federal Budget. We’ve built a digital signature capability into Adobe® Acrobat® and we have a server-side technology called Adobe® LiveCycle® that supports digital signatures in automated workflows. This type of digital signature requires sophisticated computer infrastructure that’s often beyond the reach of small businesses and individuals. And therein lies the opportunity — take our LiveCycle signature technology, put it in the cloud and simplify it to make it easy for everyday signatures.

Today we’re announcing the beta release of this service. We’re calling it Adobe eSignatures™. We wanted to create something that was easy to use, fast, accessible to anyone with an internet connection and a browser, and that wasn’t overloaded with complicated features.

The service is really convenient. Just go to Adobe eSignatures and sign-in. There you’ll find a very simple guided process that allows you to upload a PDF, designate the email address of the other party, and click to sign. You don’t need any special tokens or smartcards.

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Unlike paper documents, when a document is executed using Adobe eSignatures, it is certified to provide additional assurance that the document has not changed since it was signed. If you subsequently open the document in Adobe® Reader® or Adobe Acrobat you’ll see a blue ribbon at the top of the screen. If someone modifies a document after it has been signed, Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat will detect that something has changed and the blue ribbon will no longer appear.

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Adobe eSignatures complies with both the US ESign Act of 2000 and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA). According the US ESign Act, “signatures and records cannot be denied legal validity simply because they are electronic.”

So give it a try and let us know what you think. There’re a few things that we’d like to add to the service, but we want to hear from you first so that we can know what things are most important. We hope you’ll find our new service easy and convenient and we hope you’ll use it for all of your everyday signature tasks.

I look forward to hearing from you,
Paul McNamara
Entrepreneur in Residence, Cloud Computing

Freedom of choice

Adobe Advances Flash Platform Media Delivery Solutions at Streaming Media East

At Streaming Media East, we’re showcasing new distribution, content protection and media framework technologies. Highlights of the show include the immediate availability of Adobe Flash Access™ 2.0 software, a content protection solution that enables the distribution and monetization of premium video content, which can help create new sources of revenue for media publishers. In addition, Adobe is also showcasing HTTP Dynamic Streaming, a new protocol support for media streaming on the Flash Platform; and the Open Source Media Framework, to accelerate development of custom media players.

If you’d like to learn more about how these solutions are advancing the Adobe Flash Platform, check out our social media press release. The press release also includes video interviews with some of our leading partners discussing how we’re collaborating to bring these solutions to market.

The video interviews include:

DirecTV: Steven Roberts, senior vice president for New Media at DIRECTV discusses how DirecTV is expanding their collaboration with the Adobe on HTTP Dynamic Streaming for the Flash Platform.

Irdeto: Jan Steenkamp, vice president of the Americas for Irdeto talks about Adobe Flash Access 2.0 and how both companies are collaborating on content protection solutions.

KickApps: KickApps, in collaboration with Adobe, today announced its plans to release the Open Source Media Framework (OSMF) App Studio, for creating custom video players for the Adobe® Flash® Platform.

Adobe/Doug Mack: Interview with Doug Mack general manager and vice president for Adobe Digital Imaging and Rich Media Solutions.

These videos are also posted to the Flash Platform YouTube Channel.

Moving Forward

This morning Apple posted some thoughts about Flash on their web site. The primary issue at hand is that Apple is choosing to block Adobe’s widely used runtimes as well as a variety of technologies from other
providers.

Clearly, a lot of people are passionate about both Apple and Adobe and our technologies. We feel confident that were Apple and Adobe to work together as we are with a number of other partners, we could provide a terrific experience with Flash on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

However, as we posted last week, given the legal terms Apple has imposed on developers, we have already decided to shift our focus away from Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices for both Flash Player and AIR. We are working to bring Flash Player and AIR to all the other major participants in the mobile ecosystem, including Google, RIM, Palm (soon to be HP), Microsoft, Nokia and others.

We look forward to delivering Flash Player 10.1 for Android smartphones as a public preview at Google I/O in May, and then a general release in June. From that point on, an ever increasing number and variety of powerful, Flash-enabled devices will be arriving which we hope will provide a great landscape of choice.

Adobe AIR on the Android Platform

Partnerships have been at the very heart of Android, the first truly open and comprehensive mobile platform, since we first introduced it with the Open Handset Alliance. Through close relationships with carriers, device manufacturers, developers, and others, Google is working to enable an open ecosystem for the mobile world by creating a standard, open mobile software platform. Today we’re excited that, working with Adobe, we will be able to bring both AIR and Flash to Android.

Google believes that developers should have their choice of tools and technologies to create applications. By supporting Adobe AIR on Android we hope that millions of creative designers and developers will be able to express themselves more freely when they create applications for Android devices. More broadly, AIR will foster rapid and continuous innovation across the mobile ecosystem.

Google is happy to be partnering with Adobe to bring the full web, great applications, and developer choice to the Android platform. Our engineering teams have been working closely to bring both AIR and Flash Player to Google’s mobile operating system and devices. The Android platform is enjoying great adoption, and we expect our work with Adobe will help that growth continue.

We also look forward to all the innovative content and applications created for Android and Flash. Join us at Google I/O in May to learn more about our work together with Adobe to open up the world of Flash on mobile devices.

Advertising Women of New York “Changing the Game” Awards

I’m in NY to accept my Changing the Game award from the Advertising Women of New York (AWNY). I have to say that it was one of the most inspiring events I have ever attended.

My fellow honorees were so incredibly accomplished–from Lisa Price, who founded Carol’s Daughter, a beauty care product company for African-American women, to Robin Chase, who founded Zipcar as an alternative to single-driver vehicles, to Heidi O’Neill, who has grown Nike’s Women’s Training division into a $1.6 billion business while encouraging girls to find strength through sport, to Katie Ford, former chairman and CEO of Ford Models and now a global ambassador for Free the Slaves, which is dedicated to ending human trafficking (roughly 27 million people–many of them girls–are enslaved around the globe). Jean Chatzky was the emcee and shared personal insights about her career and spoke about the need for women to support each other in business. She quoted Madeleine Albright, who said: “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” My small accomplishment has been to lead the charge to Adobe becoming a “100% digital” marketer and we’re well on our way there, with 75% of our marketing dollars now spent online. In the end, we all agreed that “you can’t have it all,” but, by golly, you can get pretty close.

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Honorees at the AWNY awards luncheon. I’m the third from the right, top row.

Unveiling the all new Creative Suite 5!

You know for a supposedly slothful company, Adobe sure launches a lot of products. Monday April 12 sees us announce the Creative Suite 5 product line: that’s five suites, 15 point-products, and a whole bunch of online services for creatives.

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We’re hosting an online launch event at 8am PDT on April 12. Sign up and check it out here. And if you’re already convinced, pre-order your CS5 products here. We plan to begin shipping CS5 within 30 days.

With CS5 we’re taking our creative products in a new direction: this release includes the first steps of our product integration with Omniture, bringing sophisticated online analytics into the heart of the creative process. But we know we still have to wow everyone with stunning creative tools in any CS release and over 250 new features are packed into CS5 products. These include the astonishing new Content Aware Fill and Puppet Warp features in Photoshop CS5 that have been all-the-rage on the web, as we sneaked them over the last couple of weeks.

Our engineers really are magicians, true wizards if you will – and it’s a global effort: teams in San Jose, San Francisco, Seattle, Folsom, San Diego, Richardson, Arden Hills, Newton, Ottawa, Edinburgh, Hamburg, Bucharest, Noida, Bangalore, Beijing, Tokyo — and many other remote sites - all contributed to this launch.

Anyhoo, a few of us lucky PRmeisters and assorted Adobe civilians are at NAB trade show in Las Vegas this week, where we’ll see at first hand customer reaction to CS5 – or at least Production Premium CS5, our video toolset. The Mercury Playback Engine is already getting a lot of buzz from our beta reviewers and Premiere Pro is going to give Final Cut Pro users pause to think. Only kidding Apple fan-boys, competition is a good thing and the basis of our capitalist economy!

So welcome CS5. It’s one of the great truisms of public relations that it’s easier to do PR for great products than horrible ones! There, all you aspiring communications professionals have learned something new today.

If you’re at the NAB trade show, come and check Adobe CS5 products out at Booth SL3320.

CS5 Countdown is on…

When we brought Adobe and Macromedia together back in 2005, one of the things that most excited me was that I would be working with and helping shape the company that produces the most creative software tools in the world.

In 3 short days, we will be launching what is arguably the most compelling release of Creative Suite to date. I don’t want to spoil any surprises, but I feel this release is going to thrill designers and developers.

Creative Suite 5 not only has a lot of great new capabilities, it also shows how we are transforming our software along three major areas: we are incorporating social computing aspects of doing work across the network, we are increasingly adding cloud based capabilities that complement client side software, and we are enabling creation of content and applications across an increasing number screens.

Social Computing Innovation

Using Creative Suite is typically in the context of a team and in cooperation with clients. We’ve added the ability to do this collaboration from directly within CS5 tools using a new service and in-tool panel called CS Review. For example, you can send out a comp to the client and they can use their web browser to see your work as you post updates directly from Photoshop. At the same time, you can see comments from your client directly in the CS5 authoring tools along with linked highlights in the content itself. This will dramatically speed up production cycles.


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Cloud and Client Innovation
We are adding a number of cloud-based services for CS5 users such as Omniture to help you optimize your content and applications to drive greater revenue. For example, we’re introducing the new NetAverages service that shows global aggregated statistics about the use of Web technologies in the browsing experience.

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The team has been working hard to outdo itself with seemingly impossible features running on the client as well, with work in areas such as Content Aware Fill and Puppet Warp, and you can find out on Monday whether these have made the cut for Photoshop CS5. The Content Aware Fill video sneak alone has received about 2.3 million views on YouTube. Overall there are more than 250 new features in CS5.

Multiscreen
Creative Suite 5 also enables authoring for the upcoming release of Flash Player 10.1 and AIR 2, which are optimized for high performance on mobile screens. We’ve made it easier to target multiple devices and form factors with accelerometer simulation in Device Central on the desktop, GPS emulation, and more.

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So, what’s all the fuss about the Apple proposed revised SDK license?
Yesterday Apple released some proposed changes to their SDK license restricting the technologies that developers can use, including Adobe software and others such as Unity and Titanium.

First of all, the ability to package an application for the iPhone or iPad is one feature in one product in Creative Suite. CS5 consists of 15 industry-leading applications, which contain hundreds of new capabilities and a ton of innovation. We intend to still deliver this capability in CS5 and it is up to Apple whether they choose to allow or disallow applications as their rules shift over time.

Secondly, multiscreen is growing beyond Apple’s devices. This year we will see a wide range of excellent smartphones, tablets, smartbooks, televisions and more coming to market and we are continuing to work with partners across this whole range to enable your content and applications to be viewed, interacted with and purchased.

Tune In
Creative Suite 5 is a tremendous leap forward, and I encourage you to tune into the global webcast on Monday 8am PDT at http://cs5launch.adobe.com/ and find out all the details.

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