Author Archive: Ed Van Siclen

We Are Family — All My Partners and Me…

Well, it’s about time.  Right!?!  Come on, I can’t be the only person who wanted to see Adobe align our portfolio of enterprise offerings into a more cogent and declarative organization.  It just makes good business sense.  Let’s face it – our restructuring makes much better business sense than HP jettisoning their PC and tablet businesses or Google acquiring Motorola, while their android partners smiled with their nervous support.

At Adobe, we now have aligned our engineering, marketing and partner resources to fully exploit our leadership position in addressing the challenges facing the digital marketer.  Our legacy in the Creative field has placed us in a pole position to lock arms with our partners and the heads of digital marketing to tackle a world that is increasingly more mobile, increasingly more social and increasingly more technical.  Essentially, we have enhanced our market position and partner strategy to align with a CMO who is being forced to transform and reinvent themselves into the Chief Marketing Technologist?

The natural marriage of customer experience management (CEM) and on-line marketing presents a great starting point.  And now with our new alignment, we are organized to win….and win big!

From purely a partner perspective, I believe that we have listened and responded to your input by creating a unified partner organization.  As the leader of this new team, you have my commitment that we will continually strive to earn your business and tune our programs to optimize the impact that we can achieve together in the market.  Partners continue to be key and fundamental to our success.  Over the next several months, we will reveal our plans to combine and align the partner ecosystems around CEM and the Omniture on-line marketing suite for maximum leverage.  These are truly exciting times.  And we are thrilled with and confident that the restructuring of Adobe will yield breathtaking results.

Adobe Partner Community Event in Barcelona

Adobe’s partner community community conference in Barcelona this week was another outstanding event. In fact, even getting my pocket picked on the Ramblas couldn’t dampen the mood. Over 150 partners descended upon one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The content and dialog was inspirational and the party on Tuesday night was epic, as usual — it even managed to siphon partners away from SAP’s FKOM.

DAY Software took center stage at the event with most presentations wrapping around the delivery of experiential content in a multi-device world. David Nuescheler, DAY CTO, was rockin’ the house and showing off the simple beauty of his baby, CQ5. Everyone was blown away by the speed and elegance of the solution. And, hey, if you were not able to attend, don’t fear. We have posted the presentations for your viewing pleasure — ENJOY!

I highly recommend the presentation on Day 2 — no, not mine! But the pitch from Cleve, CTO at Cognifide. It is a brilliantly articulated vision around the market dynamics and technical requirements of delivering compelling, emotional user design. It, in fact, made me feel a bit pedestrian in my view of this market segment.

Our partner community conference is back on the road and heading for New Orleans. We hope that you can join us on March 22nd and 23rd.

From Vegas to Barcelona!

Vegas

Back from Vegas, exhausted but energized.

Look, I wouldn’t wish a week in Las Vegas on my worst enemy, but the Adobe sales kickoff was outstanding — complete with truly mind bending technology, breakout sessions with comprehensive solution offerings tailored to solving customer pain points, and some inspirational validations of our vision from some of the largest companies on the planet who have engaged Adobe to transform how they reach and converse with their customers online.

And the week started off with a bang. On Monday, we announced our global partnership with Deloitte to launch the conference. This agreement is a culmination of several years of mutual commitment and really exemplifies Adobe’s growth in the enterprise software market. We were also the beneficiary of a couple of outstanding presentations from Mark White, Deloitte CTO, and Paul Clemmons, who took Adobe under his wing a few years back and has been instrumental in nurturing our partnership. The energy radiating off of the Deloitte team was contagious, but it didn’t stop there.

The interactive agencies, which joined Adobe through our recent DAY Software acquisition, were blown away. If I could bottle their energy and sell it…well, let’s just say that it would probably be illegal even in Vegas! All kidding aside, no company can deliver customer experiences from creative expression to wrapping content into the customer conversation to data insertion from legacy systems to human centric orchestration of process flows to the analytics that arch over the entire experience (and so much more in between). And these partners paid us back throughout the conference, leading so many great sessions. So, a huge shout out to Chris and team at Acquity – Dan and his team at SapientNitro – Jens from Logica – and so many other partners.
We truly value and appreciate the impact that our partners have on our business. From our global network of regional partners to our interactive agency partners to our global SI partnerships, we thank you for your support and the enthusiasm that you expressed around our vision ahead.

So, from the Enterprise Solution Partner team at Adobe, happy holidays, and we’ll see you in Barcelona on January 25th for what will sure to be another epic Adobe Partner Community Day. What? You haven’t registered? You know what to do – just click on the link below:
http://engagewithadobe.com/

MAX-imum Energy

What a week!  MAX was outstanding — The Giants are in the World Series – I met Martha Stewart (and now have some great ideas for Thanksgiving) – I sat next to Jerry Brown on my flight back to the Bay Area (actually he sat 3 rows behind me and in a center seat!) – and finally, the mysterious conspiracy of the cosmos, which undoubtedly involved the alignment of moons and stars, has delivered yet another great DAY.

As of today the acquisition of DAY Software is now complete.

So on behalf of the entire Adobe partner organization and our global Enterprise Solution Partners, we want to welcome the DAY employees and partner community to Adobe.  We are thrilled to have DAY’s market leading WCM solution, acting as the gravitational nexus pulling all of Adobe’s assets together as we lead our assault of ridding the enterprise of applications devoid of emotion.

As the legions of Adobe developers made their annual pilgrimage to MAX, the experiential revolution could be felt in every nook and cranny of every presentation and every new innovation.  As the red monk “govenator” pointed out: we are in the midst of another major tectonic shift.  Gartner echoed this sentiment, as well.  In fact, our only disagreement was whether this new wave of enterprise applications would enthrall or electrify the customer experience.  The drab, lifeless expression of enterprise applications, which impose a drone mentality on the user, is over.

And the marriage of the right-brain creative partners with the left-brain systems integration partners will create a formidable force.  Over the next several weeks, we will be communicating our partner cross-pollination plans.  On the surface, our objective is simple.  Long standing LiveCycle partners can accelerate their understanding of DAY software by engaging the talented partners joining the Adobe customer experience revolution.  And vice versa, we want DAY partners to lean on our longstanding partner relationships to accelerate their understanding of Adobe technologies that transform the user experience of enterprise applications.  We will unveil our plans next week, so stay tuned!

Come and Find Me!

More than ever, I recognize the truth of Mark Twain’s famous quote, “when I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” You see, my son has reached the apathetic age of 14.  According to him, I am neither funny nor terribly smart.  Thankfully (again – according to my son) I provide an ample supply of food and access to a vast array of technology.

My son and his generation of ‘assumed network access’ are engaging and interacting in a very different way.  While my wife and I still hurry to get our chores down by 9pm on Wednesday night, so we are ready to watch our favorite show, Modern Family, my son casually hits the DVR or slides out his multi-function, touch screen, always connected, “thing-a-ma-bob” and watches what he wants, when he wants, where he wants.

I, too, find myself slipping into this world.  What with my laptop, BlackBerry and iPad, I am now motoring around the web, consuming content whenever and where ever I please.  I ease my blackberry out of its holster with such ease and skill that even Wyatt Earp would be proud.  But all of this trekking and traversing across the web has to make it hard for a marketer to target me, to find me, to inspire me to take action.  I am not sitting in the living room during ‘prime time’, watching ‘must see TV’ anymore.  I’m on the go.

Chief Marketing Officers clearly have a tough job.  An ever increasing number of their customers are thriving, existing and lurking in the web.  So, CMO’s need to find their customers – live where they live – and insert their message in a compelling and emotive manner.  As media budgets continue to rotate to the web, today’s marketer must create, deliver and optimize campaigns that deliver results, increase revenue, enhance customer satisfaction and improve brand awareness – and that enthrall the customer.  The customer experience is the heart; the life pulse of this movement.  When I look at Adobe’s end-to-end assets, we are incredibly well positioned with our technology and our partnerships to help the CMO find me and pull me in.  And if you desire to learn more about Adobe’s role in shaping customer interactions and conversations, then please join us in New York on August 24th and 25th.  We have a rockin’ event planned and would love to see you there:  http://engagewithadobe.com/welcome.html

From Inside-Out to Outside-In

It’s a panicked sense to terror that courses through me. That’s right. And sure, it may seem like an innocuous and mundane task, but I can sense it lurking in the shadows just waiting to spring into attack: purchase order approvals! You see, I have nothing against spending money, particularly when it’s not mine. But I can’t stand the byzantine maze that I must traverse to approve a PO. OK, so I am over exaggerating a bit. But come on, enterprise applications just have to change. Or, perhaps, should we update Ben Franklin’s famous quote: “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes and horrific user experiences from legacy enterprise applications.”

The user revolt is on!

Last week, some of the senior leadership at Capgemini paid us a visit in San Jose. It is just terrific to witness the traction of user centric computing. Capgemini’s CTO, Andy Mulholland, is a big proponent of the YOU network. And true to form, the team from Capgemini were heralding the era of outside-in development. Their legacy approach of defining data models and construction of applications from the database out to the user is increasingly coming under fire from customers. It is not uncommon for this approach to lead to misaligned user expectations. Capgemini cited some examples where they built applications from the inside-out and in the end the application missed the mark on customer usability. So, they have moved to rapid prototyping of applications starting with the user experience, ensuring that they capture how the user truly interacts with the application. Once complete, they then wire the experience back into the customer’s IT infrastructure. And that’s how your move from inside-out development to outside-in.

For me, I know that the customer driven enterprise has arrived when a company the size, breadth and depth of Capgemini adopts the outside-in model. The YOU network is here. And the ‘YOU’ is us. We are driving change. We have accelerated our technical proficiency through our adoption of the dearth of smart, connected devices that are infiltrating our lives.  We now wield the power and we are no longer tolerant of applications dictating how we use them.

Give me the URL. Let me hit the application. Don’t you dare burden me with 6 weeks of training! Let the intuitive, alluring interface of the application walk me through a natural process of completing a task.

Ed Van Siclen
Vice President, Technology & Partner Solutions

It’s a Beautiful DAY!

Did you hear the news today? If you didn’t, then take a read about what’s happening here at Adobe…

This weekend I found myself toiling away, fumbling with expanding my home wifi network. As I was extending my WDS architected network (closet case geek), I noticed that I had 13 devices connected to my little router – 13! I swear that I only have 3 PC’s in the house. But then I remembered the Xbox, the Samsung DVD player, the Seagate NAS drive, the HP printer, the AppleTV and the list went on and on. So, I made two startling revelations: 1) I run the IT department in my house and 2) Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.

We ARE connected. Our lives are swelling online, weaving and twining through the fabric of the Internet – we are constantly connected. The shift has happened. And it seems like only yesterday that we impatiently waited for the mesmerizing whir, buzz, garbled beep and connection to the Internet via our US Robotics modem. And now look how far we have come! In a recently published report, it is projected that half of the US population will have a smart phone by the end of the next year.

So, how does this relate to Adobe, you ask? Well, I often find that stringing together separate threads serves to provide focus on a topic and ultimately reveal the answer. So, allow me to continue. During a recent meeting with my friends at Deloitte, one of their top strategists made the complex obvious. He stated that in a constantly connected world companies must establish a customer ‘conversation’. It is no longer good enough for a company to merely be a destination or an online store. In order to ‘thrive’ companies must engage with customers where they are, when they want and how they want.

For me, it has been fascinating to watch Starbucks leverage social media and other online properties to reconnect with their customers – where they exist online — to engage and sustain a conversation with them. I sat on panel a couple of weeks back with Chris Bruzzo, Starbucks’ VP of Brand, Content and Online. Chris has done a masterful job engaging his customers in conversation and community action/goodwill. And the benefit to the brand has been astonishing. Just take a look at Starbuck’s Ideas portal and their V2V initiative. It is very inspirational, engaging and brand reinforcing.

This tectonic shift is electrifying. And, as I mentioned in a previous blog, Adobe is at the center of this movement. We have many of the core pieces to help our customers not just exist but to thrive in this world – from artistic creation to enterprise class RIA tools to analytics to BPM and so much more. And today, we have added another pivotal piece to our customer experience management stack: Web Content Management (WCM). Yep, we acquired Day Software today. WCM provides the ‘voice’ for our customer experience management strategy and customer conversations. Adobe now possess the most complete set of integrated solutions that deliver compelling web experiences from initial design to ongoing communications and interactions with customers, delivering on our stated vision of the web as the hub of the customer interaction. So, look outside, or better yet look online – It’s a beautiful DAY!

To learn more about this acquisition, please visit the following blog post from Rob Tarkoff:
http://bit.ly/AdbeDay

This tsunami is gaining speed

While on my annual version of the Griswald family vacation this week in beautiful Carmel-by-the-Sea (admittedly no Wally World adventure), I took some good natured teasing from family and friends over the most recent Fourth of July holiday. Evidently, I run with a crowd that doesn’t post Blogs, Tweet, IM or live on Facebook. So, I had to explain the rationale behind Blogs and why I was Blogging. It was one of those explanations that elicited bewildered stares, half hearted interest and a yawn (or two). But trust me, I delivered an impassioned argument.

So I must apologize to my clearly enlightened and tech-savvy reader when I state the obvious: the power and relevance of social media has never been greater. Those of us who ‘live’ in the world of technology cannot escape this reality, and this new reality presents even greater risks and challenges to corporations. Think about it. Today, I don’t just tell a few friends about a bad experience – I tweet, blog, Yelp, and post a note on my facebook page — from my PC, mobile phone or tablet – from my office, home or local Starbuck’s hotspot – all of which can touch thousands of people…in real time. Gone are the days where I only complain to a few close friends about a poor customer service experience. Social media has ushered in a new reality that puts at risk a company’s image, brand, customer loyalty and ultimately their revenue. These colliding dynamics are forcing companies to rethink how they provide an immersive, differentiated and compelling customer experience on-line. And Adobe is in the center of that discussion.

Recently, I visited a large telecommunications company in the Asia Pacific region. I met with the Director of Creativity and Innovation. This person’s charter is to “electrify” (his words) the experience between the company and their customers. For me, the most intriguing aspect of this position was the fact that he was hired by the CEO. Make no doubt about it. Customer experience is a C-level priority. All of this is quite simple and really makes perfect sense when you think about it. Just look at our personal lives: if an application or web experience falls short and doesn’t deliver to our expectations, then we shout NEXT! But if an application enraptures and delights us, then we keep coming back. Corporations are beginning to acknowledge that customers are defining their loyalties and brand preferences based upon the experiences that they receive on-line. In order to survive in this new reality, corporations must accelerate their move from black and white, data centric experiences to high definition applications that customers love to use. Now, this director of “creativity and innovation” literally came out of his shoes when we demonstrated how other companies are leveraging Adobe technology to change the game.

As for further evidence of this movement, I just listen to my family and friend bad mouth a given web experience, vowing never to return again…or when I greet the UPS man at the front door as he delivers yet another shipment from Zappos.com. Now if only my family and friends would truly embrace this galactic Inter-Web thing (the Internet) and start yelping/blogging/tweeting there would be a lot of companies feeling the sting of delivering a woeful customer experience. And this tsunami is gaining speed.

Innovation cannot be contained – cont.

This is a follow-up post from my previous entry on this topic
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It is evident from the energy at Adobe Partner Community events that we find ourselves in a very special place where the stakes are never been higher. The industry is changing. Enterprise applications are coming under heavy pressure to catch up to our expectations of ‘usability’. And whether we realize it or not, our expectations have changed. As consumers of technology we have a very developed a profoundly different expectation of how applications should look and behave.
- I should intuitively know how to interact with an application.
- I shouldn’t need a manual or a week long training class to use Google or to build a myYahoo page, or the buy a book on Amazon.com.
So, why do we tolerate arcane enterprise systems – where memorization of steps and screen inputs rule the day? Where if you squint your eyes, you can actually see the rows and tables of a database? The answer is that we don’t have to…and the world of enterprise software is colliding with and is be subsumed by the consumer web. As in our personal lives, we are beginning to define our loyalties and brand preference based upon the experiences that we receive on-line.  If an application or web experience falls short, we shout NEXT!  If an application enraptures and delights us, then we keep coming back.
This is a dangerous (new) reality for corporations.  Today, I don’t just tell a few friends about a bad experience – I tweet, blog, Yelp, and post a note on my facebook page. I can now affect thousands of people…in real time. These colliding dynamics are forcing companies to rethink how they provide an immersive and compelling customer experience on-line.  And Adobe, and more importantly our partners, are at the center of that transformation.
And if you want further proof, then join us in New York on 24+25 August at our next partner community event. You will see firsthand how the combination of Adobe technologies, brilliant UX design and an inspired army of partners are disrupting an industry and delighting customers.

Innovation cannot be contained

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Innovation simply cannot be contained. And innovation certainly is not the exclusive purview of Silicon Valley – that much is for certain.  Innovation derives its source of energy from inspiration. And Innovation was on full display last week in Amsterdam, from an inspired group of Adobe Solution Partners – from countries like Italy, France, England, Norway, Germany, Belgium and the US – who descended on Amsterdam to showcase their brilliant LiveCycle based solutions.
The third installment of the LiveCycle Partner Solution Showcase took place last week in Amsterdam with over 100 partners attending this two day event. A broad array of partner built solutions was highlighted. And the breadth of solutions continues to illustrate the broad applicability of the LiveCycle family of products. Here are just a few of the solution areas that were on display:
  • Insurance Enrollment
  • Online Collaborative Budgeting
  • Public Information Management Services
  • Real Time Financial Information
  • Citizen Self Service
  • Combining Composite RIA and Enterprise Mashups
  • e-Invoicing
  • Advanced Communication Chatting System
  • Electronic permission
  • RAP- Rapid Administrative Procedures
  • Dynamic Questionnaire for Insurance Underwriting
  • SAP Forms & Process Management Integration
There is really no excuse for anyone in our partner community not to attend these events.  It is priceless to see what your peers are doing. Socializing with other partners is perhaps the most powerful aspect of this event…well, that and the boat ride through the canals of Amsterdam to have dinner in the 1920’s Olympic stadium isn’t too bad either.
All kidding aside, here is some powerful evidence of our community at work.  We actually now have a group of 15 regional partners in Europe banning together to create a logical services company with pan-European reach. In addition to the obvious benefit of an expanded delivery model, this group plans to push solutions through the other partner organizations.  One of these partners has a 70% market share in Denmark for an Adobe based solution that his company built.  Imagine the possibilities if he can achieve similar success in other countries through this group – and he has both the solution and the domain expertise to bring to the table, while is partners provide reach and access into new markets.  The possibilities are tremendous.  And the inspiration behind this idea came on the heels of an Adobe sponsored partner event.
It is important to realize that there is an admittedly selfish aspect to these events, as well.  We use these venues to listen, learn and help.  Providing partners with a stage to present their solutions has allowed rich insight how partners are taking Adobe technologies to market, which in turn highlights areas where we can improve from program features, to our enablement approach and to marketing plans that must align to and support our community. Also in attendance at these events are representatives from Adobe engineering, professional services, product marketing, technical services and sales – all of whom support these shows and judge the showcase competition. So, a full spectrum of Adobe personnel is engaged.  This broadens our collective consciousness around the expanding needs and capabilities of this partner network.  It truly is a special cocktail of people and perspectives that energize and inspire both sides of the partnership.
Oh and I almost forgot – we don’t just listen and learn from our partners — we help, too.  All of the 6 winning solutions from this event will receive Adobe’s assistance in developing a marketing and sales package, wrapped around the partner’s solutions, to help both companies accelerate into target markets and deal flow. We recently loaded sales and marketing assets from previous showcase winners into the new Enterprise Café air application, which you can download here (http://www.adobe.com/go/cafe/).  Check it out.