Just months after launching Adobe LiveCycle Enterprise Suite 2 (ES2), Adobe has created LiveCycle Managed Services, a cloud-based version of the suite that runs on Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).
Adobe LiveCycle ES2 helps companies to extend the value of existing back-end systems by engaging users with collaborative rich internet apps (RIAs) and guided forms, streamlining internal processes, managing correspondence, and strengthening information and document security.
The big picture of Adobe's managed services launch is that it confirms the vendor's commitment to infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS) -- cloud computing markets predicted to grow rapidly over the coming years. IDC, for example, estimates the worldwide market for cloud computing services in 2009 was $17.4B and could reach $44.2B by 2013.
"Adobe's managed services for LiveCycle is a natural evolution of Adobe LiveCycle Enterprise Suite 2," says Tim Hickernell, lead analyst, Info-Tech Research Group.
"Managed services significantly reduce the cost to developers of testing and launching applications, and are a great benefit to all companies, especially to smaller ones which lack resources," he says.
LiveCycle Managed Services adds to Adobe's already substantial presence in the SaaS space and allows enterprises to develop and deploy applications in the cloud quickly and securely, without needing any incremental infrastructure, says Paul McNamara, Adobe's entrepreneur in residence, cloud computing.
"Our hosted option will enable organizations to quickly and effectively deploy key projects that drive innovation while prioritizing IT investments," says McNamara.
"Managed services provide companies with an alternative deployment model to buying modules," adds McNamara. "They give companies the pay-as-you-go flexibility of the cloud that is best suited for certain projects."
McNamara says such projects typically have one or more of the following characteristics: the need for rapid business innovation; the inability to afford the capital for an on-premise deployment; have a limited lifespan; lack IT resource availability or expertise; difficult to predict the scale of internal resources or software utilization over time; and the need to develop, test and implement applications quickly or on demand.
Adobe believes applications that could be an excellent fit for cloud computing include building new interactive online customer self-service, creating collaborative document review and approval processes with business partners, and more.
LiveCycle ES2 modules available with Managed Services include LiveCycle Forms, Reader Extensions, Rights Management, Digital Signatures, PDF Generator, Output, Process Management, and Content Services.
LiveCycle Managed Services is a fully managed end-to-end solution that can be set up as a single tenant or clustered system. Adobe provides all the hardware, software, application servers,
database, facilities, support, maintenance, system monitoring, and system updates.
McNamara says a key component of the offering is the Adobe Network Operations Center (NOC), which gives companies a centralized point of contact for all of their operations management needs. NOC service professionals manage a company's various LiveCycle needs, such as handling installation, backup, recovery, and upgrades.
When LiveCycle ES2 is deployed on the Amazon cloud, LiveCycle ES instances are deployed in the Amazon EC2 environment and are attached to Amazon storage services.
Information passing to and from each business can be passed through a secure, private tunnel or the public internet based on the company's profile and IT security policies.