There is a storm brewing, folks, and it isn’t going to just blow over. As fuel prices (here in the US anyway) start the uphill, summer climb, budgets for travel sink lower, and the amount of work we need to accomplish at very best stays the same, we need to figure out how to do our jobs while working with our colleagues around campus or around the globe. We here at the Adobe Education Technologies blog have been asked to do more of our work from home, and we love it! However, it is difficult to confer and present with colleagues because we often need to edit the presentation together, yet there is no way to justify the trip across the country to do so. When the economy turns around, among the strewn bits of jetsam that any storm leaves, we need to find a better ways to work corroboratively, pick them up, and use them make our work more efficient in any economy.
Adobe is noticing this along with everyone else—and we are doing something about it. The latest effort has me floored. It’s called Adobe Presentations and it’s a true software as a service (SaaS) product. If you have ever worked with PowerPoint or Keynote, then you will know what it does. However, it’s the “how-it-does-it” that has us floored. First off, you can give it a spin by going to the new labs site of Acrobat.com. Link to Adobe Presentations. Take a look at the Welcome presentation sample that you can use to get started (this a PDF exported from that presentation and uploaded to SHARE):
However, to understand how this will become a new port in the coming storm, read on.
It’s not that we can create an excellent presentation that excites us. We certainly can, and you will see that it is an easy-to-use tool with templates, layouts, graphic objects, image inserting, and movies. However, it’s the workflow that makes all the difference. If you have ever worked on a presentation with someone else, then you’ll understand the value of Adobe Presentations right away. Take this workflow as an example:
- Create a slide file with your content
- Send that file to someone else for their review
- Get the file back and make the changes
Sounds simple, but add to it the problems of:
- Platform issues
- Font issues
- File-size limits in email
- Misunderstandings in comments
- The complete lack of synchronization in this process
. . . and you realize why Adobe created Presentations. We are not just looking to create a great presentations tool, we are looking to change the very workflow you use to create them. You can:
- Work in real-time with as many colleagues as you want (or dare) to
- Allow people to edit the complete document right along with you
- Allow some people only to see the document or change only the content of the presentation
- Deliver your presentation from any computer that has an internet connection and the Flash player installed (no more thumb drives filled with versions of your presentations to swap just before you go on stage
- Adjust the document between presentations to respond to feedback you get from the audience or other presenters—from any computer.
Plus, once you discover Presentations and it’s effective workflow (trust me, it will save you hours), you may want to revisit SHARE, Buzzword, and ConnectNOW all services found at Acrobat.com [link to Acrobat.com]. What they all have in common is the ability to allow you and a team of distributed people to work to get your work done more efficiently and more effectively.