Author Archive: adobeuk

A milestone in Customer Experience Management

This week has been a significant milestone for Adobe in the delivery of our Customer Experience Management (CEM) vision. We launched the Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform, a new technology platform, and a set of new Customer Experience Solutions, that enables companies to build immersive, multi-channel digital experiences.

In this blog post I’ll try and explain in a little more detail what the platform and the solutions cover, and how it will address the business problems which organisations are facing in today’s digital world.

Firstly, what’s clear is that how people are engaging with content and organisations is changing, meaning that the traditional understanding of computing, software and applications is undergoing revolutionary change. Our digital lifestyle continues to evolve. We hear talk of about consumerisation of IT all the time and this is changing perceptions of what online interactions and business applications should be, i.e. easy, engaging & social.

Similarly, expectations regarding access to brands across multiple touch points – the webFacebookTwitter, apps, etc – are increasing. Users expect a seamless transition of experience between these touch points, forcing organisations to re-think how they manage these relationships. Added to this, the challenge of integrating these new touch points with existing back-office systems.

In the words of Adobe SVP Rob Tarkoff, “The fundamentals of Customer Experience Management are changing faster than anyone ever imagined. Consumers are experiencing brands in profoundly different ways than in the past. Companies and government agencies are trying to catch up with this rapid change, asking themselves how they can evolve their brands while leveraging mobile, social and cloud innovations to stay ahead of the competition.”

It is against this backdrop that Adobe has launched the Digital Enterprise Platform and Customer Experience Solutions.

These solutions address an organisations CEM requirements; from creating rich interactive interfaces across multiple devices, to social brand engagement enabling interaction with customers across social networks. Marketing can optimise the customer experience across multiple channels creating more relevant, timely online conversations with customers.

The full range of solutions includes: Web Experience Management, Social Brand Engagement, Selection and Enrollment, Unified Workspace, Customer Communications and Integrated Content Review.

These solutions are then joined together by a technology platform – Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform. This enables enterprises to build immersive, multi-channel digital interactions for today’s social and mobile customers, making this digital vision a reality. Melissa Webster of IDC adds, “What’s needed is a platform that provides businesses with a range of solutions designed to help them engage with their customers when, where and how the customers want, and lets them deliver an experience that keeps the customer coming back.”

For more on the announcement you can read our social media press release. Finally, don’t forget you can follow all of the Adobe news including new information Digital Enterprise Platform and updates about CEM on Twitter @AdobeUK@AdobeEnterprise and follow the conversation with #AdobeCEM.


An Adobe “Experience” Delivered in London

“How people are engaging with content, the notion of computing, software and applications is undergoing revolutionary change” states the voiceover as images of life and technology flicker harmoniously across the huge screen, watched by a packed hall of freshly-seated guests in London’s Hilton Tower Bridge hotel, home to the UK stop of the Adobe Experience Delivers tour last week. Watch Adobe’s Senior Director of Enterprise Marketing Neil Morgan opening the event below:


Customer Experience: Why Adobe?

Since 1982, explained VP of customer experience Kevin Cochrane, the company has strived to change the way people interact with information. In more recent times, Adobe has been growing its Enterprise business – but providing its customers with the tools to provide their customers in turn with a great experience is nothing new. Adobe remains at the forefront of digital innovation in the Customer Experience space – and the Adobe Experience Delivers tour, which arrived in London on the 17th of May, is all about celebrating, exploring and moving this forward.

Experience Delivers

The morning keynote was shared by Kevin Cochrane, Ron Rogowski, principal analyst at Forrester Research, Erik Larson, senior director, Customer Experience Product Management and representatives from two of Adobe’s customers, Logica and SapientNitro.

The key theme throughout the day was perception. It’s this, agreed our speakers, that defines CEM and sets it apart from CRM. Forrester’s definition of CEM is the perception that people have of interactions with a company – not what actually happens in these interactions. CRM defines moments that matter to the company – CEM is about moments that matter to the customer, and the way that customer recognises your brand.

Expectation proved another important theme; specifically, how perception is now defined by changes in consumer expectations. People expect a personal, immediate and reactive level of engagement, and much of this is due to the rise of constant access. With tablets, smartphones and even televisions (Forrester calls it “The Splinternet”) providing information and services via attractive ‘app’ interfaces anywhere and at any time, customers are growing less used to, and as a result less tolerant of, awkward opening hours and complicated automated telephone systems.

Adobe partner Logica built on this message – the ‘Don Draper’ approach of building brand reputation goes nowhere when confronted with new ways for customers to share their perceptions of your brand. For example, it’s now far easier, and often perceived to be more valuable, for customers to complain via social channels than to your call centre. Customers are growing wise to the fact that they can often get a faster and more comprehensive resolution to their problem if they name and shame via Twitter.

Look for the incentive

Finally, the speakers discussed the fact that it’s not always the customer driving change; sometimes there needs to be a real incentive for your users to embrace new technology. One fascinating example, given by Adobe’s senior director of Customer Experience Product Management Erik Larson, relates to banks giving users the ability to turn off paper statements and only check their statement online. In fact, many customers didn’t choose this option – they weren’t interested in saving the banks money on postage and wanted something they could read through on paper. There was no incentive to change – so one leading bank created one. By making online statements fully interactive and adding the ability to query payments by clicking on them, it created a real incentive for users to change their habits.

Afternoon Breakout sessions

Following the keynote, the conference splits into three breakout tracks, with attendees choosing the most relevant for them. Speakers range from Adobe evangelists to customers such as Southwark Council and the Royal Courts of Justice. We’ll be looking at some of the great CEM examples highlighted in the afternoon in a little more detail over the coming weeks.

We’ll also be bringing you video interviews, filmed on the day, with speakers from Adobe and its customers – as well as highlights from the keynote itself – on this blog over the coming days.

Meanwhile, if you’d like a little more detail on the above, head over to for the full keynote video, as well as interviews filmed on the day. You can also read what we tweeted throughout the event, and tweets from a number of other attendees using the #AdobeCEM hashtag.

Adobe Flash Player 4.5 Integration with SAP NetWeaver Gateway

One of the important factors for organisations trying to improve their business processes and user experience is the need to access applications across multiple devices. In particular the need to enable fully functioning business apps on mobile devices.

Adobe is making great strides in developing its technologies and partnerships to make this a reality. Last week Adobe announced new plans for further integration with SAP – one of the world’s largest providers of enterprise business solutions. The integration – between the SAP NetWeaver Gateway technology and Adobe Flash Builder 4.5 – will enable the development of rich mobile and Web applications for the enterprise that harness the functionality and power of SAP applications.

This new integration will allow developers to improve front-end experiences and extend SAP business and consumer processes, providing enterprise customers instant reach to critical business data across a broad range of devices and platforms, including Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS and iOS.

If you’re interested in learning more about this announcement take a look at the video below from Adobe’s CEO Shantanu Narayen, plus check out Adobe TV for a design demonstration.

Adobe Government webinar: Simplifying Service Transactions & Business Processes

Thursday, 12th May 2011 at 2 pm (45 minute programme)

Tomorrow we’re excited to be hosting 45 minutes of engaging insight into how new developments in technology offer simpler ways to transact – and streaming the debate live to your computer.

Public services are moving inexorably online, and the UK population becoming ever more digitally savvy. The panel will be discussing how best to take advantage of new tech developments in order to meet the needs of both the organisation and its customers.

On the panel will be:

  • Glyn Evans, Socitm President, Corporate Director of Business Change at Birmingham City Council and CIO Council member
  • Peter Bole, Director of ICT at Kent County Council
  • Alan Banks, Managing Director, Adobe UK
  • Helen Olsen, Managing Editor, ITU and UKauthorITy

You’ll need to register in advance to access the webinar, and we recommend logging in three or four minutes before we’re due to start – click here to sign-up.

During the programme, which will be broadcast live over the internet using Adobe Connect, we will be asking the audience to participate in polls to gain their views. You will also be able to submit questions to the panel during the interview but due to the volumes we are not able to take all live submissions.

@AdobeEnterprise will also be tweeting live from the webinars and you can follow and participate in the conversation on Twitter using the hash tag #AdobeGovLive.

Banks to take on “Customer Service Battle”

For some time Adobe (particularly here in this blog) has talked about the need for organisations to firmly embrace customer experience management (CEM) and to develop strategies, underpinned by technology, which put the customer at the centre of the organisation. This applies equally in both the public and private sector.

So it was with great interest that I read news announcements yesterday from a number of the UK’s leading banks. Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Lloyds Banking Group have all made bold pledges to improve their customer service.

These investments to improve customer service range from speeding up the time it takes to issue new bank cards, to refurbishing branches and investing in new technology.

Comments made by Anthony Jenkins, head of global retail banking at Barclays, are particularly interesting: Jenkins makes a strong connection between how improving customer service levels has have a direct, positive impact on shareholder value.

At a time when banks have been cutting costs across their business it’s entirely encouraging to hear such positive talk about investing in customer service. An article in Tuesday’s Independent cites increased competition and the need for diversification of products as driving factors behind this.

The most recent CBI/PwC financial services survey showed banks planning to invest in customer service even though they are cutting costs elsewhere because they need to find new ways to generate income. As well as the fallout from the credit crunch and setbacks on overdrafts and selling payment protection insurance, the banks face competition from PayPal, Tesco, Metro Bank and other new entrants.

Talk of investment in customer service is also not just limited to the banking sector, but stretches more broadly across financial services. A fascinating interview in the Financial Times yesterday with Mark Hodges, Aviva’s UK chief executive also revealed that customer experience ranks high on his agenda. Hodges’ very open and frank assessment is that Aviva’s customer service – particularly within its call centres – just wasn’t very good and they are taking measures to improve it.

One of the most interesting statistics is that by dealing with initial customer calls more thoroughly and conclusively and solving the complaint first time – they have managed to reduce the number of calls to the centre by 20,000. This objective – to reduce the number of calls and increase the quality of customer interactions – is similar to what Adobe is achieving in the public sector with Southwark Council.

17th May sees Adobe UK host its “Experience Delivers Tour”, where technology and strategies to address the customer experience and the customer journey will top the agenda. Some of the stand out keynotes include: The Importance of Customer Experience Management delivered by Kevin Cochrane, VP Customer Experience at Adobe, The new era of experiences: mobile, social and immersive delivered by Ron Rogowski from Forrester and Future of Tablets: next generation of devices with mobile tablets presented by Michael Chaize, Platform Evangelist at Adobe.

Furthermore, there will be a host of opportunities to hear how other organisations are managing their own customer experience. Details of the agenda are available here and you can register for the event now.

Also, keep checking this blog and Twitter (#AdobeCEM) for further details, including customers who will be presenting at the event.

Tom Coppock, solutions architect, Adobe UK

Adobe Experience Delivers Tour, London 17th May 2011

Experience Delivers Tour

Next month the Adobe Experience Delivers Tour comes to London. The 17th May will be day jammed packed with a series of talks and discussions from independent industry experts and Adobe senior executives. It will also be an opportunity to hear from Adobe customers and partners on some of the fantastic work being done right now around customer experience management (CEM).

Presentations, discussions and case studies will include:

  • Importance of Customer Experience Management - Kevin Cochrane, VP Customer Experience, Adobe
  • The new era of Experiences: mobile, social and immersive - Ron Rogowski, Principal Analyst, Forrester
  • How digital interactions are impacting customer experiences - Delivered by Sapient
  • Consumerisation of IT: key driver in increased customer expectations - Delivered by Logica
  • Tomorrow’s Soup: The customer journey - Erik Larson, Senior Director, Customer Experience Product Management, Adobe
  • Future of Tablets: Next generation of devices with mobile tablets - Michael Chaize, Platform Evangelist, Adobe
  • Customer success of devices being used for multiple platform delivery by a leading asset management firm

Three break out tracks: Web Experience Management; User Experience Applications; and Customer Orientated Processes with 9 compelling customer sessions:

Examples include:

  • Strengthening your brand image with a digital platform
  • Delivering an improved customer and citizen service through CSR experiences
  • Improving collaboration and productivity via online meetings and web conferencing for enhanced employee experiences

For more information on Adobe Experience Delivers Tour and for details on how register visit You can also follow updates on the Adobe Experience Delivers London event on Twitter @AdobeEnterprise and we will of course be tweeting, so do follow #AdobeCEM.

Two Adobe Government webinars today

We’re very excited to say that today (Thursday, 14th April) there will be not one, but two Adobe Government webinars taking place. The topics up for discussion are “ID and Authentication”, followed by “Designing and Delivering Intuitive Online Processes and Service Transactions”

Full details of the expert panellists copied below. As ever you need to register in advance to access the webinar – click here and sign-up.

Thursday 14th April 12pm – ID and authentication:

Panellists include Dane Wright, IT Strategy Manager, London Borough of Brent (Mydex pilot and gov gateway) and Gilles Polin, Head of Government Solutions, Adobe

Thursday 14th April 2.30pm – Designing and Delivering Intuitive Online Processes and Service Transactions (Web Experience Management)

Panellists include: Graham Walker, Government Director for the UK Digital Champion; Dr Lorna Peters, Connect Digitally, Dept of Education and Hertfordshire; and Gilles Polin, Head of Government Solutions, Adobe.

@AdobeEnterprise will also be tweeting live from the webinars and you can follow and participate in the conversation on Twitter using the hash tag #AdobeGovLive.

Introducing the all-new Acrobat IT Resource Centre

Exciting news from Adobe – the Acrobat IT Resource Centre has been launched.  If you’re looking to learn more about Acrobat and Reader then this is the place to go.

At the heart of the site is a bank of fresh, new IT focused content including a white paper with customer perspectives, IT led videos, IT tools and training information for enterprise deployment. We’ve also incorporated an area for visitors to seek insightful advice and perspective from the key thought leaders in the IT industry.

There is a great new whitepaper just published which is well worth checking out IT’s next challenge: Three key trends in document.

The Acrobat IT Resource Centre is also a great place to easily access Adobe blogs such as the Acrobat Blog (new post from Mark Grilli explaining more about the Resource Centre – This is IT) and IT evangelist Joel Geraci’s IT Matter’s blog.

The Resource Centre will be regularly updated with new and varied content and will become essential destination for information on wide range of IT issues.

How important is the digital experience in improving customer experiences?

This latest webinar from Adobe asks the overall question “How important is the digital experience in improving customer experiences?”, opening with the question “what are customers looking for?”

Our panel of experts for this debate are (from left to right):

Essentially, we all lead different lives with unique regimes that put us in front of different methods of data access at varying times. Traditionally, we’ve all chosen between offline channels (phone) and online channels (the web). Some of us access services from our laptop on the sofa, others purely from work PC, others prefer to pick up the phone and ring a call centre.

Now, with more and more people owning an internet-enabled mobile device, these channels are becoming interwoven; and our panellists make some excellent points as to how this new flexibility can benefit the customer.

The key is to give the customer the power to access and manipulate the data and services they need through whatever medium they prefer. Banks have been doing this for years; it’s so easy to withdraw money from ATMs and manage our money with internet banking that we now have little need to walk into a bank branch.

In giving more accessibility to the customer, however, usability becomes a significant factor. Gunnar raises the point that customers are used to thinking that the “fun” stuff online is easy – social networking sites like Facebook invest millions in ensuring their interface is as intuitive as possible. It’s this instant usability that businesses need to aim for when providing an online service; your customers don’t want to have to read a manual or help section before they can do what they want with your site.

The panel goes on to discuss social media, how companies can attempt to keep up and how consistency can be maintained across all channels and devices; Cleve raises the point that the recent influx of tablets of varying sizes has affected the user experience on a device level – and suggests ways that page designers can ensure consistency of page layout.

Finally, our speakers offer their thoughts on the future of customer experience management.

The full video of this debate can be viewed above; please do add any comments or questions below, as we do value your thoughts and opinions.

Gartner CRM Conference Day 2

Day 2 of the Gartner CRM Conference 2011 is at an end; what are the key messages we came away with?

The Customer Experience war is fought on the front lines

Ed Thompson, VP and distinguished analyst at Gartner, delivered a number of key messages in his session, titled Putting Plans for Customer Experience Into Practice. Notably, he urged CEOs and managers to look to their front line employees for input – as they are the ones dealing with the customers and witnessing their frustrations and concerns first hand.

Companies spending the most on improving customer experience are generally either the very best or very worst at it

The very best companies at customer experience management (CEM) invest heavily each year in measuring customer experience in order to stay on top. The very worst companies invest heavily each year in a bid to quell the constant bashing by the media. It’s the companies sitting quietly in the middle that have yet to appreciate just how important customer experience is to their business.

Gartner CRM

Process is important, but so is the flexibility to break it

We all have tales of times when customer-facing staff have gone that ‘extra mile’ for us; whether upgrading us on a flight or hotel room or giving us an unofficial loyalty discount. In fact, the most successful companies allow rule-breaking “by design”; while process remains the key to a good customer experience, giving your front line sales and customer service operatives the flexibility to step outside that process in the right circumstances is a sure way to create happy customers.

Measuring your customers’ experience requires more than one method

Gartner’s Jim Davies took to the stage to explain that measuring your customers’ experience demands a multi-faceted approach in his presentation titled Voice of the Customer: Listen, Analyze and Act To Improve the Customer Experience. He broke this down into three categories:

  • Direct – Customer communicating directly with you via survey, letter or phone.
  • Indirect – Customer talking about you to others – this includes social media
  • Inferred – That voice inside a customer’s head that no one hears, but affects their future decisions

The challenge for companies is to take a holistic view of all three of these together, and to understand just how strongly one compliments the others. Jim cited a great case study of a leading Middle East mobile provider. For years, number portability didn’t exist in Israel. Changing provider meant changing phone number, which was enough of an inconvenience to keep many with networks they weren’t happy with. When portability was introduced, the network experienced a massive increase in customer churn that surveys hadn’t predicted. Implementing a speech analytics system analysing word spotting, emotion detection and talk patterns led to an 85% increase in customers identified as a churn risk – 75% of which proved accurate.

The public does not trust technology

Technology is feared for its unreliability – from the murderous haywire robots of 1960s sci-fi to media reports of lost USB sticks full of valuable data. The hardest challenge for any company investing in CEM is to gain its customers’ trust. Services must be robust and offer constant feedback; if a user fills out a form online, for example, but does not receive a confirmation email, they will in most cases phone a customer service line. Reducing complexity also increases trust – the simpler a form or service is to complete, the less perceived risk in it going wrong.

Customer experience online begins at the development stage

Adobe’s VP of Enterprise Marketing Kevin Cochrane joined forces with Yohan Founs, Principal Consultant at leading French IT specialist and Adobe customer SQLi to demonstrate how Adobe Air enables fast development of cloud-based collaborative interfaces. Meanwhile, Gartner’s Ray Valdes offered insight into designing delightful, or dreadful digital user experiences. We’ll be looking at what was said on development in the coming days – watch this space!