Adobe, one of the best-known developer of document management products and services, is taking sharp aim at a relatively new market -- customer experience management (CEM).
The core concept behind CEM is to create engaging end-to-end, process-driven web and mobile applications that can improve customer onboarding and retention, brand awareness and loyalty, as well as process efficiencies.
Bottom-line: that means putting the customer at the center of how an organization does business.
The lynchpin product behind Adobe's CEM ambitions is LiveCycle Enterprise 2.5, which the vendor claims will bolster the company's ability to deliver enterprise multi-screen productivity, real-time collaboration and document generation in an integrated environment.
At Adobe MAX, Adobe's worldwide developer conference, the vendor unveiled a new version of its LiveCycle Enterprise Suite. giving developers new tools for creating enhanced customer-focused, business apps.
New capabilities in LiveCycle ES2.5 include enterprise mobility for improved multiscreen delivery of applications, an enhanced framework for building enterprise rich Internet applications (RIAs), and real-time collaboration to empower organizations to interact with customers and citizens in more meaningful, personal ways.
The vendor also unveiled three next-generation solution generators, designed to reduce development time and increase quality of enterprise applications.
Adobe hopes to fill the void left by many enterprise systems that were not designed to deliver fluid, intuitive experiences online, said Rob Tarkoff, senior vice president and general manager, digital enterprise solutions business unit, Adobe.
"Businesses are losing productivity among customer-facing employees, and customers are frustrated with accessing services," said Tarkoff.
Customers expect to interact with business applications or services in the same way they do when shopping, connecting with colleagues and friends, or booking a vacation, said Tarkoff.
"Adobe's emphasis is on creating software that improves customer experience and gives developers the tools they need to make business software as intuitive and interactive to use as possible," said Marc Eaman, Adobe corporate evangelist.
Eaman added that LiveCycle ES 2.5 will enable developers to create a personalized experience at the desktop and seamlessly continue it to mobile devices.
One of the key enhancements to LiveCycle 2.5 is LiveCycle Mobile ES2, which extends process management, data capture, and content services to mobile devices. LiveCycle Mobile ES2 integrates with back-end systems and enables intuitive mobile experiences for Android, Blackberry, iPhone and Windows Mobile devices.
Another key enhancement is that developers will be able to create user-centric RIAs that embed real-time collaboration, including chat, voice, video, screen and application sharing. LiveCycle comes with a standard toolset and a methodology for design, modeling and developing these RIAs.
In addition, developers will be able to leverage Adobe Flash and Adobe Reader to extend the capabilities of LiveCycle.
Adobe also announced three solution accelerators built on LiveCycle: correspondence management, managed review and approval, and interactive statements.
Accelerators kick-start project planning, decrease development time for production applications, and reduce risk with a supportable and upgradable framework, said Eaman.
He said the accelerators provide best practice methodologies, solution templates, and building blocks to extend LiveCycle ES2.5.
The correspondence management accelerator enables business users to dynamically create personalized communications using pre-approved layouts and content. Users can provide consistent, high-quality customer correspondence such as a customized claims letter.
The managed review & approval solution accelerator enables multi-party participation in content review processes.
The final accelerator, the interactive statements solution, allows developers to embed personalized RIAs in secure PDF formats. Using these RIAs to communicate with customers, companies can create interactive documents such credit card statements, telecommunications bills and electronic invoices.
For example, when somebody receives an emailed credit card statement, he or she can verify their identity with a username and password, pay a bill, dispute a charge, check reward point balances, or take any number of other actions.
Adobe's new interactive statement solution accelerator will enable companies to merge their statement and portal analysis user interfaces into one interactive statement presented as a traditional business document, said Tim Hickernell, Lead Analyst, Info-Tech Research Group.
"Users will no longer have to go to two separate interfaces to manage and optimize their accounts," said Hickernell. "In addition to increasing consumer convenience, this convergence will also increase adoption of e-statements by consumers."