Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe Corp’s business strategy has recently focused on creating a one-stop solution for marketer’s technology needs. With the launch of Adobe Creative Cloud in 2012, Adobe allows users to access its strong legacy products (such as Photoshop and Lightroom) along with other products needed to design and develop visual aids in the form of graphics and videos.
Adobe understands the need for virtual collaboration among its customers and the trend towards video advertising. These customer needs have fueled its move to partner with Bluescape (a visual collaboration platform), as well as its recent acquisitions of TubeMogul and KyleBrush.
In the future, Adobe plans to further capitalize its Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning technology to continue providing solutions that meet its customer needs, either through Creative Cloud or other platforms.
This report will start with the background history of Adobe’s business strategy, including the launch Adobe Creative Cloud to provide context on the objective of this platform and its evolution. We will then review the partnership with Bluescape and other recent acquisitions. We will close by briefly reviewing Adobe’s future directions.
ADOBE’S BUSINESS STRATEGY, ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD AND ITS EVOLUTION
Adobe’s business strategy used to revolve around providing software products for designers and marketers. In the past, it relied on selling these products individually, and it faced the challenge of software piracy where many users don’t pay for the products.
With the increased popularity of cloud-based applications, Adobe launched Adobe Creative Cloud in 2012. This platform gives customers access to use multiple products within the Adobe design suite, which includes graphic design, video, and photo editing among others. Adobe Creative Cloud is offered as a subscription-based service, where all of the products are stored and maintained in the cloud and customers can simply access them and be sure that they have the latest versions of the products.
This subscription-based strategy generated an increase of topline revenue by 44%, and Adobe managed to get 30% new customers who have never tried any Adobe products. As it gains more customers, Adobe continuously evolves its Creative Cloud through the updates of individual products within its design suite and the launch of Adobe XD CC.
One notable string of updates involves the popular design product, Adobe Photoshop. In 2016, Adobe Photoshop introduced a feature called Font Similarity filter, which allows customers to filter fonts by type (such as Serif or Sans Serif) or by visual similarity. Another feature launched at the same time was the glyphs panel to allow customers to insert punctuations and symbols more seamlessly.
In the future, Adobe Photoshop may look into capitalizing its machine learning capabilities to create a personalized user interface panel, where users will have panels and tools laid out on the screen based on their recent usage.
In 2017, Adobe released Adobe XD CC, which offers the “quickest user-experience design software available,” according to an article on Softonic.com. The benefit of this speed is to allow designers to directly include their clients in the design process and integrate client’s insights into the design more quickly.
Another new product included in the Adobe Creative Cloud was the Adobe Dimension CC. This product allows customers to design in 3D. It offers “photo-realistic models” as well as more realistic lighting, shadows and textures that more accurately capture the angles, contours and perspectives of the objects.
Adobe also focused its Lightroom product for photography and introduced Lightroom CC that can be accessed from anywhere by logging on to its cloud website.
ADOBE AND BLUESCAPE PARTNERSHIP
In today’s digital world, virtual collaboration across multi-functional teams is becoming more common. Along with this trend, there is a need to have a platform that allows seamless collaboration between users within a company or between users in a company and their clients.
Designers who use Adobe’s products have similar needs. They require a platform akin to the digital whiteboard that allows visual collaboration where they can share, get inputs and evolve their design works.
Realizing this particular customer need, Adobe sought partnership with Bluescape, a company that offers cloud-based visual collaboration software. This software can be accessed on any device and works with any apps.
By collaborating with Bluescape, Adobe provides additional capability for its customers to easily meet, share and develop ideas and designs that they create with Adobe design suite. Bluescape customers can locate assets stored in the Adobe Creative Cloud Libraries and import them into a Bluescape workspace.
ADOBE RECENT ACQUISITIONS
Align with its vision to become a one-stop solution for marketer’s technology needs, Adobe felt the need to bridge its gap in automated video advertising capability. Video advertising was and still is the fastest growing sector in advertising.
The above two reasons triggered Adobe’s acquisition of TubeMogul in 2016 for $540 million to enhance its marketing offering. Adobe plans to integrate TubeMogul’s technology with other data management and analytics tools within its Adobe Marketing Cloud.
In 2017, Adobe acquired KyleBrush.com to enhance its Creative Cloud tools by adding 1,000 digital brushes. Adobe also hired the creator, Kyle T. Webster.
Similar to other companies, Adobe is exploring the opportunity to capitalize the increased trend of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning. According to Appleinsider.com, Adobe is planning to launch an AI-based feature called Select Subject in Photoshop in the near future.
Select Subject tool can identify an object that is most likely to be the main focus in a scene. Users can select an element within an image with a single click, instead of the traditional select tool’s edge detection feature using a magic wand, a pen or a magnetic lasso. This new tool is supported by Adobe’s AI and machine learning technology, Adobe Sensei, which was launched in 2016.
Adobe is also shifting its focus from products to customer experience, according to TechTarget. It is revamping its Adobe Experience Cloud that “bundles Creative Cloud, Analytics Cloud, Advertising Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Document Cloud for enterprises.”
To make sure that customers don’t feel overwhelmed with the myriad of products within the Adobe Experience Cloud and to help customers learn to maximize the functionalities of each product, Adobe launched Experience League in 2018. Adobe Experience League is an “interactive, guided learning online platform” that helps customers learn about Adobe products using guides or by connecting with other professionals.
Adobe’s vision is to become a one-stop solution for marketer’s technology needs, and it is continuously advancing its Adobe Creative Cloud to meet their needs. The partnership with Bluespace allows Adobe to provide a virtual collaboration platform for its customers to share and collaborate on a design project more seamlessly.
The acquisitions Adobe made in recent years are to further complement its marketing offering in the video ad buying system and to enhance the capabilities of its existing products. In the future, Adobe plans to capitalize its AI and machine learning technology to continuously improve its products, including Creative Cloud, and develop a versatile and optimal solution using its multiple products.