Frank, Mary, Tony, and I attended the Adobe analyst meetings in New York this week. To say that Adobe had a lot to share would be an understatement, but this was my first time attending this kind of event, so I have nothing to compare it to. Having said that, I have to say that I was impressed with the progress Adobe has made in several key areas–bringing Macromedia and its products into the fold; building out a much more compelling offering and clearer message with LiveCycle; and further solidifying its commanding presence in the creative tools space.
Along with the major focus on Creative Suite 3 (which was announced on Monday) and LiveCycle, Adobe executives also spent a fair bit of time on Software as a Service, discussing offerings like Adobe Document Center, which I have been playing around with since yesterday morning, and Acrobat Connect, nee Breeze, their web conferencing software. (And without having evaluated Acrobat Connect in detail, I have to say as someone who is on Webinars all the time that Connect is by far the easiest product I have ever used. It also seems to load like any other URL, but perhaps that is because I already have Acrobat professional on my system–not sure.)
A few other things that caught my eye:
- Kuler is, well, cool. It is a collaborative online application that allows users to discover and upload color themes that can be used with Creative Suite tools. Ryan Stewart has a nice writeup over at ZDNet.
- Apollo is impressive. We saw a number of demos, including the eBay one that has been written about (see here, and you can see a video of a demo here. The coolest Apollo demo, by far, is the one you can’t currently see, the Buzzword word processor from Virtual Ubiquity; their Website will tell you they have gone back underground after the alpha release. Again, Ryan Stewart has a nice overview and screen shots over at ZDNet. And there seems to be uptake for Apollo in the broad developer community. According to CTO Kevin Lynch, as of Wednesday the 28th, 30,000 people had downloaded the client since it was posted on March 19.
- There’s a new Beta of Acrobat 3D available for download. I have looked at the manufacturing space a fair bit over the last couple of years, and few areas seem to have more areas of meaningful technical interchange than do manufacturers, their suppliers, and their customers. PDF files are everywhere in these applications, so a more functional 3D Acrobat makes all the sense in the world.
- Adobe’s efforts to be more active in the standards world with PDF are clearly paying off. While we were there, they announced a win with the mortgage industry’s MISMO standards.
Lots to digest, but I came away impressed.
In response to a semi-rhetorical question I posed in my post on Enterprise 2.0 research last week, Niall Cook comments:
You ask: “…what will be lost or gained in the process of force-fitting the “engage and collaborate” functions and culture into the “command and control” of top-down IT directives?”
Simple. The users.
Well, yes, but it is more complex than that. Just as there are good and not-so-good uses of, e.g., wikis (or any technology of course) in enterprises, there are also good and not-so-good uses of policies, procedures, and organizational structures in enterprises. While I agree that there is usually way too much command and control, there are situations where it is just what you want (nuclear plant safety procedures, etc.). We are in the early days yet of figuring out where and how all these 2.0 technologies can be usefully applied, and what corporate culture changes will result.
Part of the debate is continuing with a bit of back and forth between Andrew McAfee and Tom Davenport.
Join us on April 11, 8:30 am at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco for Gilbane San Francisco 2007
We have expanded our opening keynote to include a special debate between Microsoft and Google on Enterprise Search and Information Access, in addition to our discussion on all content technologies with IBM, Oracle & Adobe.
You still have time to join us for this important and lively debate at the Palace Hotel, April 11. The keynote is open to all attendees, even those only planning to visit the technology showcase. The full keynote runs from 8:30am to 10:15am followed by a coffee break and the opening of the technology showcase, and now includes:
Keynote Panel: Content Technology Industry Update PART 2
Google and Microsoft are competing in many areas on many levels. One area which both are ramping-up quickly is enterprise search. In this part of the opening keynote, we bring the senior product managers face to face to answer our questions about their plans and what this means for enterprise information access and content management strategies.
Moderator: Frank Gilbane, Conference Chair, CEO, Gilbane Group, Inc.
Jared Spataro, Group Product Manager, Enterprise Search, Microsoft
Nitin Mangtani, Lead Product Manager, Google Search Appliance, Google
See the complete keynote description.
Gilbane San Francisco 2007
Content management, enterprise search, localization, collaboration, wikis, publishing …
Complete conference information is at http://gilbanesf.com/07/conference_grid.html