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Experience business battleground of the future: Adobe CEO

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Experience business battleground of the future: Adobe CEO

Adobe is eyeing the lucrative marketing and advertising field to spread its influence beyond the creative suite of products it is known for. They plan on making themselves known in cloud computing, especially through their ‘Experience Cloud’ solutions suite that they announced in March 2017.

Shantanu Narayen, Chairman, CEO and President of Adobe Systems spoke at the recently held Adobe Symposium in Mumbai. He said: “We believe that the new, modern experience business needs an equally modern platform and a new nerve centre for the enterprise.”

Currently, Adobe’s solutions offerings cover three key areas—the Document Cloud, Creative Cloud and Experience Cloud. The Experience Cloud comprises of three divisions called analytics, advertising and marketing. Narayen says that through these divisions, the company seeks to set the standard for how creative content and customer data come together to create customer experiences.

Preserving status quo not a business strategy

Speaking about the company’s own revolution, Narayen said, “Shortly after I became CEO in 2007, the company was at a crossroads. Creative suite, InDesign, Photoshop, Acrobat, etc. were all leaders in their own categories, but the company’s growth was stagnating. Mobile was upending our desktop software business. While we were focused on tools to build web pages, we felt that opportunities to build websites at scale were passing by us.”

The attitude of big publishers towards Adobe was not satisfactory to say the least. “We were not on their management radar because we were not mission critical to where their business was at,” he said. “The recession in 2009 added even more pressure to our business. Our past success had led us to believe that our revenue would continue to grow forever,” he added.

After a lot of introspection, the company decided to structure their business around two core areas – content and data. “How could we use the cloud to help our largest business, which is the Creative suite, and not disrupt it? This insight led us to, what I believe, is the largest transformation in the software industry—the move from the Creative Suite to the Creative Cloud,” he said. The idea behind Creative Cloud, he says, is to give people everything they need in the creative process from inspiration to monetization.

The new battleground

According to Narayen, cloud computing will be significant for businesses in the future as customer expectations are dynamic due to new creative formats like Virtual Reality (VR), voice, gestures, etc. “All these are within reach and more will emerge over the next few years. Changes in cloud technology will fundamentally alter computing technology,” he said.

On the importance of building great experiences, Narayen said that the “experience business” will be the new battleground where everyone will have to compete in the future. He said that the companies not preparing to provide great and new experiences to their consumers are at the risk of losing out.


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