Archive for June, 2008

We Want to Meet You!

During the next months we will conduct a couple of roadshows as part of our effort to get early feedback from potential Genesis (code name) users. We plan to visit three regions in the United States: Dallas/Austin, Seattle/Portland and Chicago.
We are specifically interested to talk with Sales Management, Sales Operations Management, Finance Management (focus on Financial Planning and Analysis) as well as IT professionals in charge of enterprise collaboration. If you are interested or know someone who might be interested to meet with us please contact me at mzeller[at]adobe[dot]com. The Genesis team (there will be about four of us) will visit your company and conduct a 2 hour session to discuss your current usage of business applications and collaboration tools as well as demonstrate the latest version of Genesis and encourage participants to provide feedback into our product roadmap. You also will be first in line to get an invite for the Genesis private beta release we have planned for later this year.
If you are wondering what Genesis is all about see my previous overview post.
Looking forward to hear from you.

The Elevator Pitch

I just finished a new summary description (marketing types call it elevator pitch) for our product initiative code-named Genesis and also took a few new screenshots. Let me know how I could improve the description to make it easy to understand for people without previous knowledge about Genesis.
Genesis is a new product initiative at Adobe with the objective of joining business applications, documents and the web on every knowledge workers desktop with integrated collaboration capabilities. Using the very intuitive interface of the Genesis desktop client (built on Adobe AIR) knowledge workers (like sales and finance professionals) are able to create custom workspaces combining views into business applications, analytics, web sites and documents. Workspaces can be easily and securely shared with other colleagues or business partners outside the company and provide out-of-the-box real time collaboration capabilities like instant messaging, voice and video as well as screen sharing and white boarding. The Genesis desktop client will be provided as a free download (like the Adobe Reader and Flash Player) and the sharing and collaboration infrastructure is provided by Adobe as a hosted service allowing users to adopt Genesis without or only minimal involvement of the IT department.
A Sales Deal Room in Genesis
Pic. 1: A Genesis Workspace – Sales Deal Room includes Salesforce.com opportunity, Pipeline Analysis, Google News and related files and documents (view large screenshot)
The Genesis Organizer and Catalog View
Pic. 2: The Genesis Organizer manages all workspaces and provides access to catalogs full of templates and tiles (widgets and applications to customize workspaces) (view large screenshot)

Participate in Genesis User Research

In the coming weeks we will conduct a wave of user research for Genesis (code name) in the Bay Area. Our target user groups are finance professionals who need to report company performance to management (FP&A) as well as sales and/or pre-sales professionals who work on complex deals.
If you are interested to provide early feedback on Genesis, influence our roadmap and earn $150 on the side please see the following postings on Craigslist:
Finance Professionals
Sales Professionals

Code Name Genesis – The Future of the Enterprise Desktop?

Starting a new blog is always difficult. There are so many things I want to talk about at once. Looking back at the last five years of blogging the only thing more difficult then starting a blog seems to be maintaining the blog.
So why another blog? This is actually not my personal blog (you can find that over here) but the blog of the Adobe Genesis team. I envisioned Genesis together with Steve Yankovich (an Adobe Entrepreneur in Residence) about 9 months ago and since then we build a small team to bring this vision to the market.
So what is the goal of Genesis? With Genesis we try to significantly improve the daily work of information workers in the enterprise. I have been working for the last 15 years on various enterprise software solutions. At Adobe I helped building the partnership with SAP and deliver SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe. During the last years I investigated how new technologies like Adobe Flex and AIR can improve the productivity and usability of enterprise applications. Talking with many customers it became apparent that end users continue to be frustrated about the many information silos and that useful internal information, like Business Intelligence data is not being utilized because it is to hard to access it. Additionally the state of collaboration tools in most enterprises is still limited to email and voicemail. While I believe that the rise of tools like wikis, forums and blogs (I use all of those internally as well as externally) are helping to bridge teams and facilitate conversations between customers and companies, they are still hard to adopt for the regular business user (I am sure the tools will improve gradually). Also I am convinced that there is another major white space today that is not being covered by those tools: A workspace on my desktop, which allows me to mash-up applications and documents in a business context (e.g. a specific customer deal I am working on), share that workspace with others (e.g. sales engineering and legal team) and then collaborate asynchronously or in real time. In a nutshell that’s what we want to deliver with Genesis. The first release of Genesis will be a free AIR based client and a hosted service which facilitates collaboration. Since there is no expensive or complex server infrastructure, business users will be able to use Genesis without the involvement of their IT department.
By the way the timing of this first blog post is no coincidence. Adobe just released Acrobat.com, which is clearly an important milestone for Adobe’s transition from software to SaaS (more about it here). Genesis actually uses the real-time collaboration API’s of Acrobat.com to provide seamless application sharing within the Genesis workspace. It is getting late but before I leave you here is a link to a demo of an early Genesis prototype. I promise I will record a new demo as soon as I get my hands on the latest build.
As a team we agreed that we want to involve our customers and partners early during the development of release 1. We have already talked to many companies and people in 1:1 meetings and private webcasts. This blogs makes the conversation public and we are excited to get your feedback and keep you in the loop about our progress.
Cheers,
Matthias Zeller
Group Product Manager