25 years and it feels like it’s just beginning

Just came back from a wonderful christmas break and wanted to let you all know that I’ve moved to a new role in Adobe.

My new role is called Technical Account Manager and I will now be taking care of customers on a name list. This will allow me to be much closer to the customer and be able to help in more ways specific to each of my customers’ needs. I am looking forward to getting deeply involved in my new responsibilities, but that is not to say I will not miss my hay day as a Solutions Engineer.

It was such a great experience to be able to talk about Adobe in crowds that go beyond a thousand. When you hear people applaud because of all the cool things we can share… that feeling is unbeatable.

Last December, The Sales and marketing organization got together for the Annual Conference and it was also Adobe’s 25th year anniversary. Am I such a fan… and what an honor to be able to take some fan photos! Here are some!

Russel Brown — none but the master of Photoshop

And I don’t have to tell you who this is! Noha Edell and myself get to rub elbows with THE man!


November in Review

My, my, may I just say what a busy November it was. It’s probably one of the fastest months for me this year… now I’m seeing December around the corner. Events were back to back this month, with Photoshop World being the biggest and the one that took up most of my time even a few weeks before November.

Lucky Singapore and Malaysia, they had an awesome day filled with Photoshop CS3 showcases. You can imagine what happens to a room filled with over a thousand people, and one thing is common: They are Photoshop fanatics. The challenge to make a wonderful, feature-packed, engaging day lies on us, the presenters.

How do you pick and choose what to show in a day when it comes to Photoshop? Definitely appropriate to borrow one of Oprah’s quotes (and forgive me if you’ve seen this before… it could be my favorite): “There’s so much to talk about”.

I am elated to have worked with Julieanne Kost, a psychology graduate, a photographer, an artist, and most of all a Photoshop Geek at heart. I would have posted up a photo of us together if I had one… but we had so much fun, it never occured to me. But the next time I meet her I will definitely take that photo 🙂 Singapore definitely enjoyed Julieanne’s company and I myself have picked up a lot of nifty little bits of info regarding Photoshop. Like, I didn’t know there was a difference between the feather command in Refine Edge as to the feather command under the Select Menu! And did you know that using the perspective crop is better than the perspective distort (it might not be visually obvious, but when we get into the nitty gritty of the mathematical pixel stretching and squishing… hah!).

More about Julieanne here: http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/au/2445 and http://http://www.photoshophalloffame.com/winners/jkost.html

Kuala Lumpur had the chance to host Michael Stoddart from Sydney Australia. Not only is he a very talented presenter, He is also Adobe Asia Pacific’s Senior Sales Manager. Catch a glimpse of the not-so-serious Michael on a flicker page. The fun, the jokes, the laughs… there is definitely more to Photoshop than just shortcuts and magic eraser…

Here I found some blogs about how the event went, and I’m happy that the attendees found value and enjoyed the day: http://iansalang.blogspot.com/2007/11/adobe-conference-asia-pacific-dont-play.html



After Photoshop World, I need to hit the ground running (again!) and prep for a 45 minute presentation to a group of enthusiast who proudly call themselves the FSUG (Flash Singapore User Group). What to present? Juicy stuff from the Max. See some more detail here… http://http://arulprasad.blogspot.com/

To close my November off… I had to deliver an Acrobat 3D version 8 for Manufacturing in our cozy and freezing PageMaker room…

And maybe some November rain too.

Man, am I so looking forward to December!

Adobe Max2007 has come and gone

I am just back from Barcelona, Spain where the Adobe Max 2007 Conference was held. And it was great! There is no better word to describe that four days. The fact the Adobe flies me all the way to Europe and let’s me attend one of the biggest events of the year (as far as I’m concerned) is that sweet cherry on top, but just being able to swing and mingle with the smartest and most creative people on this part of the world, makes it so fulfilling.

connect. Discover. Inspire. That’s exactly what Max2007 did. If you do a quick search on YouTube There are lots of videos of the event (both from the one in Chicago, as well as the one in Europe), but nothing beats being there. The energy and the excitement, the questions, the discussions… and the Max Party! I could probably talk about this for the next few weeks and still have the Max hangover. My mind is reeling and I’m so excited to start planning for next year. There’s so much happening and it just proves that so much more can happen to us. Who knows, by next year, we might be ready for our own Max Event.

Some of the things I’d really like to share are the sneak peaks on Astro, Thermo and the JEAplus2.

And oh, please check out the Adobe Media Player… if you don’t have it yet, i don’t know what to say…

By the way, since I’m blogging already, and if you guys haven’t found it yet, there is an Indesign Plug-in Editor.

The Adobe® InDesign® Plug-in Editor is a suite of tools for developing InDesign plug-ins, made available on the Eclipse platform.

Anyway, back to the Max, the most valuable experience I get from the Max is when I get to meet the right people. Being able to meet colleagues and having a brief connection with them makes our region more visible. It gives me the opportunity to talk about our countries, what we are missing, what we could do next year. It opens up the chance to plan things for next year.

Our business landscape is pretty unique, that is South East Asia. But we have good customers, and we have customers who know what they want. The technology is there, the infrastructure, we are still working on, and the opportunities will become more real in the very near future.

Like they say, “there is no other way but up!”

Next year is gonna be fun!

Contrarily, fix what’s not broken.

Hello again, and I am back from hibernation. After two months, I almost drowned in my primary task of doing workshops, product launches, and planning for more events. And of course I also managed to insert a sweet diving holiday in may, that’s why i disappeared for a while (again).

The past month I’ve been going around, meeting customers, talking about InDesign, InDesign Server, and Adobe’s technology (anything from Flash, to PDF to our new AIR). These are the things that get me to wake up in the morning and my brain just starts whirring while I enjoy my cup of coffee. The possibilities of what you can do with these wonderful technologies are endless. From just being able to seamlessly deliver information in a file format that you are comfortable and confident in, to creating simple scripts to help automate some repetitive tasks, to building a full-muscled runtime managing data… it’s almost like magic…

But then, i finish my coffee and I dump my cup on the sink getting ready to leave for the office. The reality hits me. My customers might not be as excited. There are many reasons. Some of them obvious, some of them are not. Some of them reasonable, some of which I don’t quite understand.

It could have something to do with the corporate culture, the attitude towards technology, the feeling that creeps up when we think of changing something. For those who know how things work at the back end… how to read some lines of code, and how to tinker and tweak settings here and there, its unquestionable that updating and using new technology is the way to go. Only because we trust and we are confident that it works… in fact, not only does it work, it makes everything so much better.

It streamlines the workflow, it makes it easier to access information, it secures your data, saves versions, fixes errors, traces history, all sorts of things you can think of. A system can make a process feel like heaven.

So maybe it’s not the question of whether the technology is good enough… but it’s a question of whether our customers have the confidence (and the budget) to trust that an upgrade will bring them a better way of doing things and in return allow them to scale their business and earn more revenue. No company would like to spend money as an expense. They’d like to spend it and consider it an investment.

If we can prove that to them, by handholding, or just by giving them that confidence… we may be able to finally convince them to change the way they do things. Give up manually doing things and pushing paper, and believe that the computer can automate and that technology is there to back it up and make sure things are in working order.

After all, even if the current way our customers are working works… it doesn’t mean that they are doing it in the best most efficient way there is… and yes, we don’t have to fix what’s not broken, but maybe we have to improve what we can. At the end of the day, when the customer sees how streamlined a process could be, they’re happy… and you’ll be proud you’ve helped them realize it.

For some inspiring stories, take a look at how a lot of other Adobe Customers have seen the light 🙂

If you have a success story, we’ll be proud to write something up and show it off… just send me a note!

Take care!

One Stop Shop for ID Development Training

I must say i don’t want to make a habit of disappearing and reappearing like this on my blog, unfortunately, I am still trying to get this blogging exercise into my internal rhythm (you know like i just naturally have my coffee in the morning without thinking about it).

Till then, I am still trying to keep my weekly commitment on at least saying hello.

I owe this blog at least 4 entries, so here’s the first installment.

The first InDesign Developer Training in Singapore was an absolute success. Find photos of the training here in the Kodak Gallery (interestingly enough, if you have Photoshop Elements 5.0 and a Kodak Gallery account, you can directly share your photos from Photoshop Elements 5.0 — easy, and fun to do).

What’s next after this?

Here’s a link to the Adobe InDesign Online Developer Training and I urge you to devour everything you can find from that page. It’s addicting, and it will keep you sharp and build up on whatever we’ve done on the live training last March.

All of this, I assure you is not wasted effort. Once our techie guys have their heads wrapped around the wonderful world of InDesign Development, anything is possible. So salespeople… do what you do best 🙂

Before this fiery month of may slips by, we should get together on a call again. And this time, we’ll talk about how we can move forward and make the meetings more valuable to you.

Talk soon.

Up to my neck, but still kicking!

Ok, I’ve passed out again for the past few weeks (so much for my new year’s resolution… i can’t sustain it when push comes to shove). And yes it is SHOVING. CS3 end user shows for South East Asia is right around the corner and the pressure isn’t justs on, it’s haunting me like crazy. There’s so much to prepare, so much to show, so little time (isn’t it always the case)… Nonetheless, the word is *exciting* and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

In fact, I shouldn’t even be too stressed, some very good Adobe friends of mine are coming to town to share their genius and their wisdom. Look out for Bob Donlon, Tim Cole, Brian Chau, and Thomas DeMeo… the CS3 launch is gonna be a party you wouldn’t want to miss. 

So if you haven’t registered yet, better get your mouse clicking on here. There is a cap and the registration will close (we have to follow conference hall rules, and it says, we cannot fill a room with too much people lest it bursts).

Once the ball starts rolling, and once you see what we’ve got for you on our biggest release ever, the only thing that is probably going through your head is "why did Adobe take so long to make something like this". If you just can’t wait, we’ve got some e-seminars available for viewing online found here. But if you’d like to view some cool stuff on your own time, you can opt for our On-Demand Seminars.

Our first stop is Indonesia. Jakarta here we come!

Possibilities with InDesign Server

The InDesign Server Product team has been working very hard to put together very good information found on http://www.adobe.com/products/indesignserver/ and one of the really inspiring information isn’t really about the technology overview (of course, let’s admit that is interesting on its own). The partner showcase portion highlights just how much you can do with InDesign Server. And while we are constantly looking out for partners who would like to work with us, (see notes from mnr), there are quite a handful of partners that are showcased. One of which is Peter Schmidt Group

Peter Schmidt Group
For more than 30 years, the Peter Schmidt Group (PSG) has been producing successful results in the fields of brand consulting, corporate design, and packaging design. PSG’s success lies in the interactive processes of its team of specialists, its collaborative design processes, attentive client consultation services, and development of the best possible designs. Peter Schmidt Group provides the iBrams integrated brand management system with a web-based front end that enables dealers and branch offices to adapt templates, creating marketing materials that meet their individual needs while safeguarding corporate identity requirements. The newest version of the system fully supports Adobe InDesign Server software.

Visit the ibrams website at http://www.ibrams.com/

We are really not talking about InDesign Server as a product, but a core component of a solution that will be finally delivered to the customer. And as usual, when we talk about solutions, it’s always about providing our customers better ways of working (and that could translate into many ways too!).

Are you Photobucket-ing?

Today, I was pleasantly surprise to read a press release that Adobe has partnered with Photobucket to deliver a new lightweight remix and video editing tools right into Photobucket’s site.  The same useability concepts taken from Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements are applied, and I am so excited to try it out myself. Premiere Elements is so much fun, easy to use and very intuitive, I sometimes even forget the complexities of the science behind video editing.  If you’re only starting out, the idea gallery is a good place to start.

For the slightly more serious stuff, there’s Production Studio of course (and yes, we are back on the Mac… i’ve posted it before, but i can’t help myself!) and here’s some fun fun fun tutorials on all the things you can do with the suite of video products Adobe has.

But as my guru will tell me, if your an After Effects addict, you shouldn’t be missing Creative Cow’s Tutorial Pages either…

And even if this entry is all about video, if you’re a fan of any of the Adobe Products, especially the Creative Suite (what else is there after that?) you’ll be missing a lot without Terry.  Better subscribe before you miss any of the editions!

Lots of things to share, but we’ll keep some for next week.

New VDP Resource Center

I am just half an hour away from the end of this week, I’m I’m inching in to finish this installment of the Info Basket.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, there is a new and updated white paper on VDP (variable data publishing). And also, better take a while a tour the new VDP resource Center From the website:

Adobe created the VDP Resource Center as a central forum for those seeking to create and deliver messages that will stand out and be noticed in an increasingly competitive and diverse media environment.

Last but not the least is an on-demand seminar worth your while at talking about VDP too.

Have a happy chinese new year!

my chopsuey* entry

At the same time that I just discovered that the Adobe Magazine is back (it used to be PROXY), John Nack posted before I even had the chance. Download the free magazine http://www.adobemagazine.com/

A lot of talk on Web 2.0 too, there’s a 20 minute video that really breaks it down to nice digestible pieces of information… this is the next big thing… don’t miss it!

The concept of being able to deliver Rich Internet Applications is a science all by itself. Taking into consideration the wealth of technology that we can take advantage of (think Java, J2EE, Flex, Coldfusion, AJAX, XML, XSLT, the list goes on), our customer showcase site will show you the a handful of customers that were able to push the limits and communicate in a much more interesting, richer, more compelling way.

So last week, we had the Acrobat 8 for Print Professional Workshop (as part of the Creative@Work series in Singapore). It wasn’t as fully packed as the CSS Workshop, but still it was as engaging… some of the information we shared were the “staples” of an Acrobat/PDF workshop. Talking about PDF as a file format, as a standard (the PDF/A and PDF/X). Not to be missed of course is a little bit of review on PDF Settings, the Export PDF command and the File> Print PS comparisons.

A good piece of document though, is of course found on the adobe website (complete with diagrams and visuals… for those who don’t like to read, hehehe). A solid starting point for those who want to understand how Acrobat’s functionality and feature-set provide and delivers advanced tools for creating, collaborating on, and controlling the output of high-quality Adobe PDF files.

And if your still hungry for more resources, then, this is the place to be, with documents and articles on everything you need to know about Publishing and Printing (I’d like to do a special mention on the one that helps you CREATE THE PERFECT PDF! It’s just like finally finding the perfect pineapple pie recipe — or pineapple tarts for a singaporean, I suppose).

Also, even if fonts have been under the radar recently, I still think OpenType needs a little bit more attention than it is getting. It’s a wonderful technology that combines the ease of use of TrueType fonts and the pizzaz of the postscript font technology. Plus it’s crossplatform and it can contain over 65,000 glyphs!

Revisit OpenType here and be amazed once again 🙂

This could be one of the longest entries I’ve ever logged… but I’m having fun…

*If you have no idea what chopsuey is, wikipedia it 🙂