Tag: Adobe

Microsoft and Adobe getting closer

dc34c48293d48b194affb44168216351Microsoft and Adobe  are joining to make their respective sales and marketing software products better at seeing off Salesforce and Oracle.

The pair said they will work together to create a a shared data format between Adobe’s marketing software suite, which the company is re-naming its Experience Cloud, and Microsoft’s sales software, called Dynamics, allowing the software systems to work together seamlessly.

“It’s going to enable to customers to go beyond the current (software) silos they have to navigate today,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of the cloud and enterprise division at Microsoft.

For Adobe the partnership builds on a deal it struck with Microsoft last year to use its Azure cloud computing services.

Adobe has been pushing into business-to-business marketing software since it purchased Omniture Inc, a firm that helps website owners track their traffic, for $1.8 billion in 2009. Software that companies use to run digital marketing and advertising campaigns represented about $1.2 billion of Adobe’s $4.6 billion in revenue last year.

Microsoft has been trying to expand Dynamics, its software system for sales people. Teaming with Adobe helps it compete more strongly against Salesforce and Oracle, which both offer a combination of sales and marketing software.


Adobe has given up on software audits

Adobe Analysts working for Gartner have noticed that Adobe has abandoned its software audits.

Big G research director Stephen White blogged saying that the programmes were closed in the North America, Japan and Latin America markets since November 2015.

“Closure of the EMEA program (sic)  is currently underway; the company states it will maintain audit/compliance programming only in select markets throughout APAC,” he wrote.

Until recently, Adobe was also one of the top five most active auditing software publishers according to Gartner client surveys. However, the elimination of Adobe’s audit and licence compliance programme is not terribly surprising, considering the company’s aggressive conversion to SaaS subscriptions, and implementation of monitoring services including the Adobe Genuine Software Integrity Service.

White thinks this is a good thing, because it shows the company’s move to software-as-a-service has eased its piracy and counterfeiting problems to the extent that it doesn’t need to conduct audits any more.

With SaaS the outfit can see just what its customers are up to and fire off automated reminders of licensing obligations and take them to court if they ignore the request.


Salesforce demands Demandware

Salesforce_Logo_2009Cloudy Salesforce has written a $2.8 billion cheque for Demandware whose software is used by businesses to run e-commerce websites.

The move is part of a cunning plan to open a new front as Salesforce wants to take more market share from traditional software providers such as Oracle and SAP who offer cloud-based e-commerce services.

The e-commerce market has been growing  as retailers expand their online presence, boosting demand for software that helps manage functions such as payment processing and inventory management.

Salesforce appears to have paid rather a lot for the company to see off any of the other outfits which were bidding for the company. Word on the street is that Adobe and Oracle were also snuffling around.

Demandware has not been doing that well. Its shares, which have fallen about 21 percent in the past year. Its customers include Lands’ End, L’Oreal (because it is worth it) and Marks and Sparks. It has  reported sales growth of more than 30 percent for the last 10 quarters.

While Salesforce has beaten up everyone in the CRM war, it still needs to stay in front.  To do that it needs lots of products which is something it lacks.

Global spending on digital commerce platforms is expected to grow over 14 percent annually to about $8.5 billion by 2020, Salesforce.

The deal, slated to close in Salesforce’s second quarter ending July, is expected to increase the company’s 2017 revenue by about $100 million-$120 million.

Salesforce had forecast fiscal 2017 revenue of $8.16 billion-$8.20 billion in May.


Adobe’s cloudy subscription flowers

Cloud computing - photo Mike MageeAdobe’s cloud-based subscription model is doing wonders for its bottom line.

The outfit reported a profit that topped market expectations for the ninth straight quarter on strong subscriber growth for its Creative Cloud package of software tools, which includes Photoshop.

More than 833,000 subscribers signed up for Creative Cloud in the fourth quarter ended Nov. 27, more than the 678,200 additions analysts were expecting.

Creative Cloud includes graphic design tool Photoshop, web design software Dreamweaver and web video building application Flash, among other software.

Adobe, which has seen strong growth from Creative Cloud, has been nimble enough to attract users other than enterprises and professionals to the software suite.

More than half of its customers subscribe to the highest-priced full Creative Cloud while the rest subscribe to individual products. Photoshop Lightroom was the fastest growing.

Apparently this is because it is attracting new users from hobbyists and consumers and people that would never buy the Creative products before.

San Jose-based Adobe has been switching to web-based subscriptions from traditional licensed software to enjoy a more predictable recurring revenue stream.

Revenue from its digital media business, which houses Creative Cloud, jumped 35 percent to $875.3 million.

Revenue from its digital marketing business, which offers tools for businesses to analyze customer interactions and manage social media content, rose 2.3 percent to $382.7 million.

Total revenue rose to $1.31 billion.

Despite the 21.7 percent increase in fourth-quarter revenue only matching analysts’ estimates, a much lower 3.4 percent bump in total operating costs also helped Adobe’s profit beat estimates.

Adobe’s net income soared to $222.7 million, or 44 cents per share, in the quarter, from $88.1 million, or 17 cents per share, a year earlier.


Adobe and PageFair moan about adblocking

StoneWall-1Ad-blocking will lead to almost $22 billion of lost advertising revenue this year, according to a  report put together by Adobe and PageFair.

For those who came in late, PageFair is a Dublin-based start-up that helps companies and advertisers recoup some of this lost revenue.

If the pair’s figures are right, then the use of adblocking software has increased by 41 percent during the last year. Levels of ad-blocking activity now top more than a third of all internet users in some countries, particularly in Europe, the report said.

Gaming, social network and other tech-related websites were most affected by ad-blocking software, the report added.

While companies spend billions of dollars each year on these internet marketing efforts, analysts say people often overlook them while looking at online content.

Campbell Foster, director of product marketing at Adobe, said that what was causing grave concern for broadcasters and advertisers is video advertising, which is some of their most valuable content, is starting to be blocked. Whoopee, Campbell.

Almost 200 million people worldwide now regularly use ad-blocking software, the report said. About 45 million of them are in the United States, with almost 15 percent of people in states like New York and California relying on these services. The figures are even higher in Europe, where 77 million people use versions of the software. In Poland, more than a third of people regularly block online ads.

Recently, the focus on ad-blocking software has turned to mobile devices. Smartphones and other internet-connected devices are driving breakneck internet use, particularly in emerging markets, and the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system will allow people to download some form of ad-blocking software.

Currently, only a small fraction of ad-blocking comes from mobile devices, according to the Adobe/PageFair report. But analysts say developers are working on plug-ins for smartphone Web browsers that will allow people to block advertising on their mobiles and tablets.


Raiffeisen wants to sell Comparex

saleDespite the fact it is doing rather well, and even recently opened a branch in the US, the German Raiffesisen Bank wants to off-load Comparex.

The price could amount to EUR 350 million ($391 million) which strikes us as a little on the cheap side.

In 2013/14 the firm generated revenue of EUR 1.5 billion.

Comparex was established in 1986 as a joint venture of BASF and Siemens and specialises in licence management, software procurement and technical product consultation

Comparex is a large Microsoft licensing solutions partner (LSP) and also sells licences from Adobe, CA, Citrix, IBM, Symantec and VMware.

Raiffeisen has been the sole owner of Comparex since 2011 but the bank needs cash after a disastrous number of investments in Russia and Ukraine.

Patch that Flash!

wargames-hackerSoftware company Adobe released a security bulletin that patches its Flash Player.
The updates apply to Windows, to the Macintosh, and to the Linux operating system.
The security bulletin said that Adobe is aware of an exploit used in attacks against older versions of the Flash player.
Affected software includes the Flash Player Desktop Runtime, Flash Player for Linux, Flash Player for Google Chrome, and Flash Player for Internet Explorer 10 and Internet Explorer 11.
You can find details of what you need to do by going to this page. The patch itself won’t be available until next week, it seems.

Workers reject Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe

courtroom_1_lgEmployees suing Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe over running a hiring cartel have asked an appeals court not to approve a $324.5 million settlement in the case.

Plaintiff workers accused Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe in a 2011 lawsuit of conspiring to avoid poaching each other’s employees. The companies agreed to a $324.5 million settlement earlier this year.

US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California rejected the proposed class action settlement, saying the amount was too low. The companies appealed last month, saying she committed “clear legal errors”.

The workers said that although they believed the $324.5 million deal originally warranted approval, the judge had the proper authority to reject it and they would “defer to Koh’s sound judgment about how best to oversee this litigation”.

Tech employees alleged that the conspiracy limited their job mobility and, as a result, kept a lid on salaries. The case was interesting because it appeared to be another conspiracy organised by Steve Jobs.  Jobs also conspired with book publishers to keep the price of eBooks artificially high.

Plaintiffs based their allegations of conspiracy largely on emails circulated among Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs and former Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt.

Koh repeatedly referred to a related deal last year involving Disney and Intuit. Apple and Google workers got proportionally less in the latest agreement compared with the one involving Disney, Koh said.

To match the earlier settlement, the latest deal “would need to total at least $380 million,” Koh said.

Adobe spies on Epub users

indians-010aAdobe has been spying on users  of Digital Editions 4, the newest version of its Epub app.

For some reason Adobe’s Epub app, seemed to be sending an lot of data to Adobe’s servers and hacker mates of the Digital Reader  have confirmed that Adobe is tracking users in the app and uploading the data to their servers.

Benjamin Daniel Mussler, the security researcher who found the security hole on Amazon.com, has also confirmed it to be true.

Adobe is gathering data on the ebooks that have been opened, which pages users read, and in what order. However, it gets worse. All of the data, including the title, publisher, and other metadata for the book is being sent to Adobe’s server in clear text to allow any spook, Chinese hacker, private eye, to hack into the stream and read it.

Just when you think Adobe could not be dumber, the outfit is not just tracking what users are doing in its own app; it is also scanning your computer and gathering the metadata from all of the ebooks sitting on your hard drive too. Once it has read every ebook it uploads that data to Adobe’s servers too.

Nate Hoffelder  the hack who found the breach described it as a “privacy and security breach so big that [he is] still trying to wrap my head around the technical aspects, much less the legal aspects.”

To be fair this kind of mistake is common as lots have been caught sending data in clear text, and others have been caught scraping data without permission. LG was caught in a very similar privacy violation last November when one of their Smart TVs was shown to be uploading metadata from a user’s private files to LG’s servers in clear text.

It is probably not deliberate, just what security experts technically call “bloody stupid”.

The  software has violated so many privacy laws in the US, goodness knows how many it will have broken in a civilised country like Germany where privacy is taken more seriously. The Frankfurt Book Fair is coming up later this week. Adobe will be exhibiting at the trade show so we guess that the Germans will be interrogating a few executive – that ways to make you talk, apparently.


Megacorps get the hard word

Judge-DreedA settlement between Apple, three other IT outfits and their employees has been rejected by a judge saying it was too low given the strength of the case against the employers.

Apple, Google, Intel  and Adobe failed to persuade  US District Judge Lucy Koh to sign off on a $324.5 million settlement to resolve a lawsuit by tech workers, who accused the firms of conspiring to avoid poaching each other’s employees.

Koh in San Jose, California, said there was “substantial and compelling evidence” that Apple Messiage founder Steve Jobs “was a, if not the, central figure in the alleged conspiracy,” Koh wrote

In their 2011 lawsuit, the tech employees said the conspiracy had limited their job mobility and, as a result, kept a lid on salaries. The case has been closely watched because of the possibility of big damages being awarded and for the opportunity to peek into the world of some of America’s elite tech outfits.

The whole case was based largely on emails in which Jobs and Google’s  Eric Schmidt hatched plans to avoid poaching each other’s prized engineers.

In rejecting the settlement, Koh referred to one email exchange which occurred after a Google recruiter solicited an Apple employee. Schmidt told Jobs that the recruiter would be fired. Jobs then forwarded Schmidt’s note to a top Apple human resources executive with a smiley face.

The four companies agreed to settle with the workers in April shortly before trial. The plaintiffs had planned to ask for about $3 billion in damages at trial, which could have tripled to $9 billion under antitrust law.

The plaintiffs are worried because workers faced serious risks on appeal had the case gone forward.

But Koh repeatedly referred to a related settlement last year involving Disney and Intuit. Apple and Google workers got proportionally less in the latest deal compared to the one involving Disney under the settlement.

To match the earlier settlement, the latest deal “would need to total at least $380 million,” Koh wrote.

A further hearing in the case is scheduled for September 10.

Apple faces class action for treating employees badly

oliverFour former retail and corporate Apple employees who filed a lawsuit against the over  labour violations managed to “upgrade” their lawsuit to class-action status.

The status was awarded because it was believed that more than 20,000 current and former Apple employees were harmed by Apple’s management antics.

The four people who originally filed the suit had different experiences with Apple, saying the company violated California’s Labour Code and Wage Orders with its actions. These included making people work long hours without a break and receiving their paycheques late.

It has taken years to get the case to court as Apple has been fighting tooth and nail with voluminous briefing and lengthy oral arguments.

In the end however the California Superior Court granted Plaintiffs’ motion and certified the case as a class action, appointing Plaintiffs and Plaintiffs’ counsel (Hogue & Belong) as the class representatives and class counsel on behalf of approximately 20,000 Apple employees.

Apple now faces claims of meal period, rest period and final pay violations affecting approximately 20,000 current and former Apple employees, rather than just four.

It is not clear how much cash this is going to cost Apple if it is found guilty as no financial demand has been made in the case.

It has been a bad time for Apple lately which has just been told by a court that its long-standing policy of locking in staff using no-poaching agreements with other companies was illegal.

Apple alongside co-conspirators Google, Intel and Adobe agreed to settle for $324 million with the tech workers who filed the class action.

Samsung expands hardware channel

Samsung rules the roostKorean giant Samsung said it will work with NAPPS  to grow its MPS and print hardware channel. NAPPS members include Adobe, Docuware, Kyocera and Xerox.

It’s the certification body for the UK document management business.

Samsung joins a number of Managed Document Services (MDS) organisations which, it says, work together to ensure good service and best practice.

According to Mark Ash, who is the UK general manager in print a Samsung UK, his company pledges to give all of its resellers good technology, tools and services.

”Giving our dealers the opportunity to join us as part of NAPPS is just another way for Samsung to strengthen our dealers’ performance,” he said. “MPS remains a key strategic growth area for us in 2014 and we will continue the significant investment programme that was started in 2013 with further increases in people, processes and technology.”

He said that Samsung is rapidly expanding its indirect channel. “New dealers are signing up on a weekly basis.”

Adobe buys digital marketing firm

cloud (264 x 264)Adobe has written a cheque for Neolane, a software company which allows for managing digital marketing campaigns over multiple platforms.

It is believed the deal cost Adobe $600 million and is part of the company’s bid to bring cross-channel campaign management to the Adobe Marketing Cloud.

Adobe Marketing Cloud is a set of tools encompassing analytics, social, advertising, targeting, and web management.  Neolane has been tried and tested at Barnes & Noble and Bridgestone Tires.  It means that clients get a software platform for automatic web campaigns.

Adobe said the acquisition, expected to close next month, will not materially affect its revenue forecast and adjusted financial results for the current fiscal year.

According to Forbes, Neolane CEO Stéphane Dehoche will continue to lead the former Neolane team as part of Adobe’s digital marketing business.

The move means we can expect to see Adobe more heavily pushing its cloud offerings, backed by its software rental model, in the next few months.

Gerry Brown, senior analyst at Ovum, said that Adobe desperately needed a good  campaign management platform as a lack of one had been “a glaring hole in its digital marketing platform proposition”.

At more than ten times what Neolane earned, the cost of the deal was steep for Adobe. But Brown said it was worth it because it could propel Adobe into the market leadership.

He thinks that the catalyst for this acquisition was Salesforce.com’s recent $2.5 billion purchase of Exact Target.  Adobe had wanted to get its paws on Exact Target and Eloqua but did not manage it,

“Adobe was likely compelled to act before all the their campaign management best-of-breed vendor acquisition options evaporated,” Brown said.

Adobe and Sapient expand their partnership

RembrandtSapient Nitro – a division of Sapient – and Adobe have expanded their offerings by integrating the EngagedNow platform with Adobe’s Marketing Cloud.

The idea is to spread the offerings across web, social networking, mobile phones and digital displays, Adobe said.

EngagedNow, according to Alan Herrick, CEO of Sapient, is create multi-channel offerings without having to design and develop the back end infrastructure.

What this means is that the two firms offer hosted and managed services using Adobe Marketing Cloud with Sapient’s EngagedNow. The companies will build integrated offerings for vertical markets including travel, sports, entertainment, retail and financial services.

The worldwide partnership was announced at a conference held by Adobe in London, today.

Big Tech taken to task Down Under

strayaTop tech companies are being called to task by an Australian committee that argues the country is getting a raw deal by unfair price discrimination.

Aussie MP Ed Husic moaned to the Australian that by some estimates, prices for Australia can be 60 percent more than in the States. He and the committee will be putting Apple, Microsoft and Adobe on 22 March, according to the BBC. Although the firms have replied in writing, until now they have not bothered to meet any representatives in person.

Although price differences aren’t as drastic in the USA and the UK, there is still a gap – with the only difference usually being in pound sterling rather than the dollar. Depending on what action the committee takes, there is the potential to set the bar on international price differences, and whether they should be altered in line with currency values.

Husic told the Australian that, considering IT is so widely used in both business and consumer segments, prices for hardware and software can “have a major commercial and economic impact”. He said that bringing IT prices down and “easing the bite of price discrimination” should be an “important micro-economic priority”. Of course, convincing conglomerates that tinkering with their margins is a good idea will be easier said than done.

The bigger picture, however, will be that if pricing is more competitive, consumers and businesses won’t hesitates as much to buy – even in challenging economic conditions.