Tag Archives: Adobe

Adobe Sign introduces updates targeting mobile device users

Adobe Sign updates this week brought new features supporting mobile devices and new integrations with Microsoft cloud products including SharePoint, Dynamics, PowerApps and Flow, Teams and Azure.

According to Mike Prizament, senior product marketing manager at Adobe, the company emphasized improving user experience on mobile because nearly half of its users start the signing process on their phones. “If 50% of people check their email, and then they try to start signing a document on their phone, we want it to be as easy as possible,” he said.

The Adobe Sign updates include the following:

Improved mobile signing experience: Adobe Sign enables users to zoom in on areas they need to sign and provides mobile-friendly navigation buttons that guide the signer through required fields. The company said these functionalities are available on mobile web and don’t require users to download an app.

New home screen interface: The Adobe Sign home screen has a new design intended to make the main e-signature tools more visible and accessible. The tools let users send out a document for signatures, track document status and manage the signing process. Users can send documents from the Adobe Sign home screen for people to sign instead of emailing the document or sending paper copies, according to the company.

 The new Adobe Sign home screen.
The new Adobe Sign home screen.

New manage page: The new page lets managers responsible for sending documents for signatures track or modify the process. The user can check to whom the documents were sent, determine whether a recipient opened the document yet, change or cancel recipients and archive the documents.

Adobe Sign allows two different levels of account sharing on the manage page: view only and full access. The view-only sharing mode allows the main manager to share the account to team members so they are given access to only view the status of the task. The full-access sharing mode gives complete control to team members to take over the manager’s account in case the person is taking a vacation or leaving the company, according to Adobe.

The new Adobe Sign manage page.
The new Adobe Sign manage page.

Users can swap back and forth between accounts in a drop-down menu on the manage page.

Integrations with Microsoft cloud productivity products

Adobe Sign has updated integrations with the following Microsoft products:

  • Microsoft SharePoint: Users can create and embed digital forms that can be filled, signed and reused. The update is intended to help customers collect information from a large number of people inside and outside the company. Data from the forms is automatically saved and mapped back to a SharePoint list.
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365: E-signatures works with Dynamics 365 Sales in more languages, including German, French and Japanese.
  • Microsoft PowerApps and Power Automate in the Government Community Cloud: Users can add signing workflows when a new document is uploaded in SharePoint, then route final documents and create an audit trail to OneDrive/SharePoint.
  • Microsoft Teams: Team members can send documents for signatures and manage, track and get notifications for the status of important documents. The Adobe Sign integration in Teams is certified as part of the Microsoft 365 Certification program, ensuring that enterprise data privacy and security are protected from third-party developed applications in Microsoft 365.
  • Microsoft Azure: Adobe Sign is now available in Microsoft Azure in Europe and stores all data, content and information within the EU.
  • Microsoft Azure Active Directory: Microsoft Azure Active Directory enterprise customers can use single sign-on to send Adobe Sign to their employees via the Adobe admin console within 30 minutes.

“Signature is a key component to identity, and identity is a key component to trusted commerce. Adobe has a huge potential to leverage over 1 billion PDF users in the future of legal signing authority,” said R “Ray” Wang, principal analyst and founder at Constellation Research.

He said the latest integrations with Microsoft products will enable tools such as Dynamics 365 Sales, Microsoft SharePoint, Teams and other apps to take advantage of signature from Adobe.

Wang said Adobe ultimately competes with DocuSign, a cloud service providing e-signature technology.

Adobe sees a big potential still ahead for the market of e-signatures, citing IDC research sponsored by Adobe that found 80% of enterprise document processes still rely on paper. “There’s still a huge opportunity there, and this is a big area that Adobe Sign looks to solve together with Adobe Document Cloud,” Prizament said.

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Adobe digital experience platform adds small businesses offerings

Adobe has extended its Adobe digital experience product portfolio to small and midmarket businesses in an effort to provide enterprise-grade capabilities such as agility, scalability and flexibility to businesses with fewer resources.

The product portfolio for SMBs includes:

  • Magento Commerce: According to Adobe, this product provides agility and scalability through a portfolio of cloud-based omnichannel platforms. It is designed to enable users to integrate digital and physical shopping experiences. Through the integration of Adobe Stock with Magento Commerce, SMBs with an Adobe Stock subscription will be able to access more than 130 million assets such as images, templates, 3-D assets and stock videos.
  • Marketo Engage: As part of Adobe Marketing Cloud, Marketo Engage enables users to target individual leads or accounts at scale, as well as measure business impact across customer touchpoints. Additionally, according to Adobe, Marketo Engage offers access to more than 65,000 markets globally to enable users to share best practices to build and formalize marketing strategies.
  • Adobe Analytics Foundation: Adobe Analytics Foundation was designed to bring the enterprise-grade features of Adobe Analytics to SMBs through the Adobe digital experience platform. Customers can implement the tool at the appropriate level for their organization, and then scale up as needed.
  • Adobe Sign for Small Business: According to Adobe, the new Adobe Sign for Small Business offers enterprise-grade e-signature capabilities tailored to small businesses in an effort to help digitize signing documents for customer onboarding, contracts, approvals, payments and invoices.
  • Creative Cloud for Teams: This product enables companies to deploy Adobe digital experience applications. The Creative Cloud Libraries let teams share assets and folders securely, while collaborating and managing changes.

While digitalization was once more of an enterprise-centric theme, SMBs have increasingly taken on the challenge. Historically, it has been more difficult for smaller businesses to digitize their operations due to cost and scale, but in recent years, it has been on the rise. According to Gartner Research, SMBs’ IT spending is predicted to be at a 4.2% compound annual growth rate for the next five years.

Dig Deeper on Digital experience management

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Adobe Experience Platform adds features for data scientists

After almost a year in beta, Adobe has introduced Query Service and Data Science Workspace to the Adobe Experience Platform to enable brands to deliver tailored digital experiences to their customers, with real-time data analytics and understanding of customer behavior.

Powered by Adobe Sensei, the vendor’s AI and machine learning technology, Query Service and Data Science Workspace intend to automate tedious, manual processes and enable real-time data personalization for large organizations.

The Adobe Experience Platform — previously the Adobe Cloud Platform — is an open platform for customer experience management that synthesizes and breaks down silos for customer data in one unified customer profile.

According to Adobe, the volume of data organizations must manage has exploded. IDC predicted the Global DataSphere will grow from 33 zettabytes in 2018 to 175 zettabytes by 2025. And while more data is better, it makes it difficult for businesses and analysts to sort, digest and analyze all of it to find answers. Query Service intends to simplify this process, according to the vendor.

Query Service enables analysts and data scientists to perform queries across all data sets in the platform instead of manually combing through siloed data sets to find answers for data-related questions. Query Service supports cross-channel and cross-platform queries, including behavioral, point-of-sale and customer relationship management data. Query Service enables users to do the following:

  • run queries manually with interactive jobs or automatically with batch jobs;
  • subgroup records based on time and generate session numbers and page numbers;
  • use tools that support complex joins, nested queries, window functions and time-partitioned queries;
  • break down data to evaluate key customer events; and
  • view and understand how customers flow across all channels.

While Query Service simplifies the data identification process, Data Science Workspace helps to digest data and enables data scientists to draw insights and take action. Using Adobe Sensei’s AI technology, Data Science Workspace automates repetitive tasks and understands and predicts customer data to provide real-time intelligence.

Also within Data Science Workspace, users can take advantage of tools to develop, train and tune machine learning models to solve business challenges, such as calculating customer predisposition to buy certain products. Data scientists can also develop custom models to pull particular insights and predictions to personalize customer experiences across all touchpoints.

Additional capabilities of Data Science Workstation enable users to perform the following tasks:

  • explore all data stored in Adobe Experience Platform, as well as deep learning libraries like Spark ML and TensorFlow;
  • use prebuilt or custom machine learning recipes for common business needs;
  • experiment with recipes to create and train tracked unlimited instances;
  • publish intelligent services recipes without IT to Adobe I/O; and
  • continuously evaluate intelligent service accuracy and retrain recipes as needed.

Adobe data analytics features Query Service and Data Science Workspace were first introduced as part of the Adobe Experience Platform in beta in September 2018. Adobe intends these tools to improve how data scientists handle data on the Adobe Experience Platform and create meaningful models off of which developers can work. 

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Data-driven operating model propels Adobe’s digital business success

Adobe stands as a textbook case of a software company that faced the threat of digital disruption head-on and emerged a winner. The company’s move from selling Photoshop software disks in a box to selling subscription-based digital media services online is based in no small part on its building a data-driven operating model.

Leading the data effort is Mark Picone, vice president for information and data services at Adobe. He works to ensure that data is curated, accurate and useful to the front-line teams that “turn the knobs on the business.”

In a video from the recent MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, Picone highlights the approaches Adobe teams took to build a data architecture that broke down data silos and consequently improved Adobe’s business analytics efforts.

“We treat the data as a product,” Picone explains. “Having a product approach to what we’re building allows us to build once and serve many and create a set of capabilities that is very impactful.”

Editor’s note: This transcript has been edited for clarity and length.

What role do data services play in digital transformation at Adobe? What is the model?

Mark Picone: Our job really is to be an enabler for the company and enable the company to be data driven. There are a lot of things that make that very difficult. You can say data is developed, and it’s created all over the place. But how can you create a [data-driven operating] model such that the data is stitched together, it’s curated, it’s governed, it’s the right data, it’s correct? [Only] then can you create mechanisms to be able to better communicate with customers, or engage the customers or just better understand your business.

[The] single view of the customer … is based on very strong governance techniques and a unified data architecture.
Mark PiconeAdobe

We’ve done that with this data-driven operating model. The data-driven operating model has really allowed us to look across all of the silos that we had four or five years ago that really was as a result of going to the cloud and going into subscriptions and rationalize that together to create a single view of the customer.

That single view of the customer, though, is based on very strong governance techniques and also a unified data architecture. Combined with that, we are able to take what I call an ‘outside-in approach’ of creating customer journeys.

The customer journey — which, for our consumer-based business, [involves products like] Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator — [the customer steps are] discover, try, buy, use and renew. Across every one of those steps, we actually assigned owners and organizations to own those different KPIs [key performance indicators] within that journey step — and, then, to create calls to action.

That outside-in approach allowed us to create data sets and analytical experiences that we now use to run the entirety of our digital media business. And it’s been transformational from a number of different points.

When we close the business every week, there’s a group of over 100 people that get together and look at the single source of truth … journey step by journey step, and they understand what’s happening in that market. Did our annual recurring revenue go up or down? What was traffic? What were the ads? What were the promotions? And they basically use that to turn the knobs on the business. … They do that on a week-in, week-out basis. …

How can data play a role in achieving operational efficiencies?

Picone: The operational efficiencies come [from] reporting the same metrics up to management in the same way. There’s no question about what that metric is. …

But, really, the true value is in how we run that business. The way we do ad spend has radically changed, the way we do targeting and testing has radically changed because we now have a purview of every product across every geography, across every route to market.

And, when you make those decisions now, you actually see how the annual recurring revenue took place for [individual] customers over time. It is the same thing when we do A/B targeting. …

We’ve taken this whole [data-driven] digital operating model and created a playbook. And this didn’t happen when we created, it happened after we actually did it, and we said, ‘Wow, there’s a lot of reusability here.’ — not just from a systems and a capabilities perspective, like platforms, governance and data architecture, but really from the methodology. The methodology really allows us to have this inside-out approach of understanding all of your data assets, categorizing them, creating a database that has the lowest level of granularity, gets curated and is ready for analytics. …

Then, you combine that with that top-down approach, which is customer journey steps, assigned organizations and processes, and that yields actionable results. And we’re actually taking that [digital business] model and rolling it out to other parts of our business, even internal organizations and finance — as an example, procurement to pay. …

We treat the data as a product. We are an internal team. Our customers are all largely internal — although the data we create personalizes real-time experiences within the products. …

And we’ve introduced a step over the past year that we call ‘code development.’ And that’s where we really open source the data. So, now, the data is available for others to bring their engineers or third parties, whatever the case may be, to come into our environment and actually build data assets and expand the nucleus of what we call our ‘unified data architecture.’

So, having a product approach to what we’re building allows us to build once and serve many and create a set of capabilities that is very impactful. We are spending less and less time creating data sets and visualizations and more time creating capabilities that will actually enable the entirety of the organization.

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Adobe acquisition of Marketo could shake up industry

The potential Adobe acquisition of Marketo could unsettle the customer experience software market and give Adobe, which is mainly known for its B2C products, a substantial network of B2B customers from Marketo.

Adobe is in negotiations to acquire marketing automation company Marketo, according to reports.

“It’s a trend that B2B customers are trying to become more consumer-based organizations,” said Sheryl Kingstone, research director for 451 Research. “Marketo is maybe throwing in the towel in being a lead marketing vendor on its own.”

But, reportedly, talks between Adobe and Marketo’s holding company may not lead to a deal.

Ray Wang, founder of Constellation Research, said leaks could be coming from Vista Equity Partners Management, which bought Marketo in 2016 and took the company private, in the hopes of adding another bidder to the race to acquire Marketo.

“If people think Adobe would buy Marketo, maybe it would get SAP to think about it,” Wang said. “The question is, who needs marketing automation or email marketing? And when you think about the better fit at this moment, it’s SAP.”

When reached for comment, Adobe declined, adding that it does not comment on acquisition rumors or speculation.

Adobe expanding to B2B

Marketo said it had roughly 4,600 customers when it was acquired by Vista Equity. It’s unclear whether Adobe and Marketo have much overlap between customer bases, but there could be product overlap between the software vendors.

Marketo is maybe throwing in the towel in being a lead marketing vendor on its own.
Sheryl Kingstoneresearch director, 451 Research

Adobe has its Marketing Cloud system, and both vendors offer basic martech features, like lead scoring, lead segmentation, web tracking, SMS marketing, personalized web content and predictive analytics. But an Adobe acquisition of Marketo would allow Adobe to expand into a wider B2B market, while allowing Marketo to offer its users the ability to market more like a B2C vendor using Adobe’s expertise.

“It’s a huge benefit for Marketo when you look at Adobe,” Kingstone said.

“Marketo has struggled in a B2B sense when its customers try to implement an ABM [account-based marketing] strategy,” she said.

Despite any potential overlap with its own products’ marketing capabilities, Adobe could find the chance to break into a pool of nearly 5,000 B2B customers compelling.

“There’s a lot of value in Marketo, and Adobe has been gun shy about entering B2B,” Wang said.

Adobe’s alliance

If the Adobe acquisition reports turn out to be accurate, it would amplify what has already been a busy year for the vendor. In May, Adobe acquired commerce platform Magento for a reported $1.7 billion.

A Reuters report about the Adobe acquisition of Marketo said likely prices will well exceed the $1.8 billion that Vista paid for Marketo when it took Marketo private.

Over the past few years, industry-leading companies in the CRM and customer experience spaces have sought to build alliances with other vendors.

Adobe and Microsoft have built a substantial partnership and have even gone to market together with products, while Salesforce and Google unveiled their partnership and product integrations last year at Salesforce’s annual Dreamforce conference.

Marketo has been one of the few major martech vendors without an alliance. Combining its technologies with Adobe’s creative suite and potentially Microsoft’s B2B breadth could make a significant imprint on the industry.

“If this is real, then it means Adobe has gotten serious about B2B,” Wang said.

Editor’s note: TechTarget offers ABM and project intelligence data and tools services.

Updates to Adobe Document Cloud bring integrated PDF services to Office 365 – Microsoft 365 Blog

Last September, we expanded our strategic partnership with Adobe to focus on integrations between Adobe Sign and Office 365 products such as Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, Outlook, and more.

We’ve seen our customers make great use of the combination. For example, the State of Hawaii saved a significant amount of employee time while also improving document status versus paper-based processes—providing a double win over previous paper-based processes.

Building on this success, today the Adobe Document Cloud team announced new capabilities that deepen the integration with Office 365 and can save you and your team time. PDF services integrations provide new fidelity when working with PDF documents as part of Office 365. Once integrated by your administrator, PDF services provide rich previews of PDF documents right within OneDrive and your SharePoint sites.

A screenshot displays a non-disclosure agreement in the Adobe Document Cloud.

In addition to many reporting, sharing, and collaboration scenarios, PDF files are frequently used to create final or archived versions of content spanning across many different files. With PDF services and the newly introduced Combine Files by Adobe functionality, you can select several files and pull into one PDF with just a couple of clicks within SharePoint document libraries.

A screenshot displays a launch team group in SharePoint.

PDF services are now available in the ribbon for online versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint—making the creation of high-quality, full fidelity PDFs from these applications even easier.

PDF servicesalong with capabilities as part of Adobe Sign and upcoming Adobe Reader enhancements—are all part of Adobe Document Cloud. All share a commitment to productive integrations across Office 365—and we hope to see your team benefit from these integrations as well.

If you are an administrator, with Adobe Document Cloud, get started integrating with Office 365 with this guide. Adobe Document Cloud and Office 365 provide great complementary functionalities, and you can learn more about this and Adobe Sign integrations with Office 365. We look forward to seeing continued productivity improvements across the millions of joint customers that Adobe Document Cloud and Microsoft Office 365 share.

Adobe zero-day fix precedes June Patch Tuesday

An Adobe zero-day vulnerability in Flash Player that was actively exploited stirred up excitement for admins in the week leading up to June Patch Tuesday.

Adobe released a fix for the zero-day (CVE-2018-5002) and three other vulnerabilities for the Windows client operating system on June 7.

The zero-day exploit launched its attacks from Excel documents sent via email. Users who open these infected Excel attachments on unpatched systems could allow the execution of arbitrary code under the exploited user account.

Chris Goettl, director of product management, IvantiChris Goettl

After the Adobe zero-day issue, the patching workload for administrators is lighter than usual for June Patch Tuesday, with about 50 unique vulnerabilities to correct — including 11 rated critical.

“Our recommendation is the Flash patch — if it already hasn’t been pushed out, [give that] high priority,” said Chris Goettl, director of product management at Ivanti, based in South Jordan, Utah.

June Patch Tuesday closes about 50 vulnerabilities

Microsoft released an update for the only publicly disclosed vulnerability (CVE-2018-8267) for June Patch Tuesday, which affects the Microsoft scripting engine on all supported versions of Internet Explorer. Attacks can exploit this flaw through a compromised website, or user-contributed ads or content, to take control of the target machine.

On an unpatched system, attackers could execute arbitrary code as the hacked user. Organizations that follow least-privilege rules that restrict the use of higher full permissions will reduce the damage from a breach.

Jimmy Graham, director of product management at QualysJimmy Graham

Microsoft’s June Patch Tuesday fixes also closed a remote code execution vulnerability (CVE-2018-8225) that affects all supported versions of Windows. This vulnerability could allow an attacker to compromise systems through a domain name system (DNS) server.

“That would be higher risk for mobile workstations, where it’s likely the system will be accessing an untrusted DNS server through public Wi-Fi,” said Jimmy Graham, director of product management at Qualys, based in Redwood City, Calif.

A memory corruption vulnerability (CVE-2018-8229) in the Edge browser’s Chakra scripting engine would let an attacker exploit an unpatched system through specially crafted websites or user-provided content. The effects depend on the level of privilege on the system.

Spectre vulnerabilities continue

Just when it seemed the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities were winding down, security researchers uncovered another CPU bug. The vulnerability, called Spectre variant 4, is similar to the other speculative execution side-channel vulnerabilities disclosed in January, but they are rated with moderate severity.  

Jann Horn, a security researcher at Google’s Project Zero, and Ken Johnson, of the Microsoft Security Response Center, discovered Spectre variant 4 (CVE-2018-3639). This exploit enables malicious actors to read privileged data across trust boundaries.

Microsoft released its ADV180012 advisory in January to assist administrators with closing the exploits from the speculative execution side-channel vulnerabilities. The company continues to update the site, and it added further mitigation instructions to address Spectre variant 4. There are still no active attacks on Meltdown or Spectre, but administrators should install the patches and microcode updates when the CPU manufacturers release them.

For more information about the remaining security bulletins for June Patch Tuesday, visit Microsoft’s Security Update Guide.

Why you should bet on Azure for your infrastructure needs, today and in the future

I love all the amazing things our partners and customers are doing on Azure! Adobe, for example, is using a combination of infrastructure and platform services to deliver the Adobe Experience Manager globally. HP is using AI to help improve their customer experiences. Jet is using microservices and containers on IaaS VMs to deliver a unique ecommerce experience. These three customers are just a few examples where major businesses have bet on Azure, the most productive, hybrid, trusted and intelligent cloud.

For the last few years, Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) has been the primary service hosting customer applications. Azure VMs are the easiest to migrate from on-premises while still enabling you to modernize your IT infrastructure, improve efficiency, enhance security, manage apps better and reduce costs. And I am proud that Azure continues to be recognized as a leader in this key area.

As you are considering your movement and deployment in the cloud, I want to share a few key reasons you should bet on Azure for your infrastructure needs.

Infrastructure for every workload

We are committed to providing the right infrastructure for every workload. Across our 50 Azure regions, you can pick from a broad array of virtual machines with varying CPU, GPU, Memory and disk configurations for your application needs. For HPC workloads that need extremely fast interconnect, we have InfiniBand and for supercomputing workloads, we offer Cray hardware in Azure. For SAP HANA, we provide virtual machines up to 4 TB of RAM and provide purpose-built bare metal infrastructure up to 20 TB of RAM. Not only do we have some of the most high-powered infrastructure out there, but we also provide confidential computing capabilities for securing your data while in use. These latest computing capabilities even include quantum computing. Whether it’s Windows Server, Red Hat, Ubuntu, CoreOS, SQL, Postgres or Oracle, we support over 4,000 pre-built applications to run on this broad set of hardware. With the broad set of infrastructure we provide, enterprises such as Coats are moving their entire datacenter footprint to Azure.

Today, I am announcing some exciting new capabilities:

  • Industry leading M-series VM sizes offering memory up to 12 TB on a single VM, the largest memory for a single VM in the public cloud for in-memory workloads such as SAP HANA. With these larger VM configurations, we are not only advancing the limits of virtualization in the cloud but also the performance of SAP HANA on VMs. These new sizes will be based on Intel Xeon Scalable (Skylake) processors, with more details available in the coming months.
  • Newer M-series VM sizes with memory as low as 192 GB, extending M-series VM range from 192 GB to 4 TB in RAM, available now, enabling fast scale-up and scale-down with 10 different size choices. M-series VMs are certified for SAP HANA and available worldwide in 12 regions. Using Azure ARM template automation scripts for SAP HANA, you can deploy entire SAP HANA environments in just minutes compared to weeks on-premises.
  • New SAP HANA TDIv5 optimized configurations for SAP HANA availability on Azure Large Instances with memory sizes of 6 TB, 12 TB, 18 TB. In addition to this, we now offer the industry-leading public cloud instance scale for SAP HANA with our new 24TB TDIv5 configuration. This extends our purpose-built SAP HANA offering to 15 different instance choices. With these new configurations, you can benefit from a lower price for TDIv5 configuration with an unparalleled 99.99% SLA for SAP HANA infrastructure and the ability to step up to larger configurations.
  • New Standard SSDs provide a low-cost SSD-based Azure Disk solution, optimized for test and entry-level production workloads requiring consistent performance and high throughput. You will experience improved latency, reliability and scalability as compared to Standard HDDs. Standard SSDs can be easily upgraded to Premium SSDs for more demanding and latency-sensitive enterprise workloads. Standard SSDs come with the same industry leading durability and availability that our clients expect from Azure Disks. Learn more about Standard SSDs.

Truly consistent hybrid capabilities

When I talk with many of our customers about their cloud strategy, there is a clear need for choice and flexibility on where to run workloads and applications. Like most customers, you want to be able to bridge your on-premises and cloud investments. From VPN and ExpressRoute to File Sync and Azure Security Center, Azure offers a variety of services that help you enable, connect and manage your on-premises and cloud environments creating a truly hybrid infrastructure. In addition, with Azure Stack, you can extend Azure services and capabilities to on-premises and the edge, allowing you to build, deploy and operate hybrid cloud applications seamlessly.

Today, I’m happy to announce that we are expanding the geographical coverage of Azure Stack to meet the growing demand of the customers globally. Azure Stack will now be available in 92 countries throughout the world. Given your excitement over Azure Stack, we continue to expand opportunities for you to deploy this unique service. For a full list of the supported countries, please visit the Azure Stack overview page.

Liquid Telecom, a leading data, voice and IP provider in eastern, central and southern Africa, plans to use Azure Stack to deliver value to its customers and partners in some of the most remote parts of the world.

“We have a long history of delivering future-focused and innovative services to our customers. Microsoft Azure Stack strengthens this mission while also enabling us to deliver value to a new set of customers and partners in some of the most remote parts of Africa. By using Azure Stack, alongside Azure and ExpressRoute over our award-winning pan-African fiber network, we can now guide our customers through increasingly complex business challenges, such as data privacy, compliance and overall governance in the cloud. This helps not only us, but our entire channel of distribution and value-added partners in enhancing the customer experience on their digital journey.” David Behr, Chief Product Officer, Liquid Telecom

Built-in security and management

I frequently get asked about best practices for security and management in Azure. We have a unique set of services that make it incredibly easy for you to follow best practices whether running a single VM or 1,000s of VMs, including built-in backup, policy, advisor, security detection, monitoring, log analytics and patching. This will help you proactively protect your VMs and detect potential threats to your environment. These services are built upon decades of experience at Microsoft in delivering services across Xbox, Office, Windows and Azure with thousands of security professionals and more than 70 compliance certifications. We have also taken a leadership position on topics such as privacy and compliance to standards such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), ISO 27001, HIPAA and more. Last week we announced the general availability of Azure Policy which is a free service to help you control and govern your Azure resources at scale.

Today, I’m excited to announce a few additional built-in security and management capabilities:

  • Disaster recovery for Azure IaaS virtual machines general availability: You likely need disaster recovery capabilities to ensure your applications are compliant with regulations that require a business continuity plan (such as ISO27001). You also may need your application to run continuously in the unlikely event of a natural disaster that could impact an entire region. With the general availability of this new service, you can configure disaster recovery within minutes, not days or weeks, with a built-in disaster recovery as a service that is unique to Azure. Learn more about how to get started by visiting our documentation.

“ASR has helped Finastra refine our DR posture through intuitive configuration of replication between Azure regions. It’s currently our standard platform for disaster recovery and handling thousands of systems with no issues regarding scale or adherence to our tight RPO/RTO requirements.” Bryan Heymann, Director of Systems & Architecture, D+H

  • Azure Backup for SQL in Azure Virtual Machines preview: Today we are extending the Azure backup capability beyond virtual machines and files to also include backup of a SQL instance running on a VM. This is a zero-infrastructure backup service that provides freedom from managing backups scripts, agents, backup servers or even backup storage. Moreover, customers can perform SQL log backups with 15-minute intervals on SQL Servers and SQL Always On Availability groups. Learn more on the key benefits of this capability and how to get started.
  • VM Run command: Customers can easily run scripts on an Azure VM directly from the Azure portal without having to connect to the machine. You can run either PowerShell scripts or Bash scripts and you can even troubleshoot a machine that has lost connection to the network. Learn more about Run Command for Windows and Linux.

More ways to save money, manage costs and optimize infrastructure

Given the agility offered by cloud infrastructure, I know you not only want freedom to deploy but also want tight control on your costs. You want to optimize your spending as you transition to the cloud. We can help drive higher ROI by reducing and optimizing infrastructure costs.

Azure offers innovative products and services to help reduce costs, like low priority VMs, burstable VMs, vCPU-constrained VMs for Oracle and SQL databases, and archive storage so customers can choose the right cost optimized infrastructure option for their app. Azure also uniquely offers free Cost Management so customers can manage and optimize their overall budget better.

With Azure Reserved VM Instances (RIs), you can save up to 72 percent. By combining RIs with Azure Hybrid Benefit, you can save up to 80 percent on Windows Server virtual machines, and up to 73* percent compared to AWS RIs for Windows VMs – making Azure the most cost-effective cloud to run Windows Server workloads. Customers like Smithfield Foods have been able to slash datacenter costs significantly, reduce new-application delivery time and optimize their infrastructure spend.

I hope you enjoyed this overview of some of the coolest new capabilities and services in Azure. We are constantly working to improve the platform and make a simpler and easier infrastructure service for you! Please let us know how we can make it even better.

Get started today with Azure IaaS. You can also register now to the Azure IaaS webcast I am hosting on June 18, 2018 on many of these topics.

Thanks,

Corey

*Disclaimer:

  1. Sample annual cost comparison of two D2V3 Windows Server VMs. Savings based two D2V3 VMs in US West 2 Region running 744 hours/month for 12 months; Base compute rate at SUSE Linux Enterprise rate for US West 2. Azure pricing as of April 24, 2018. AWS pricing updated as of April, 24, 2018. Price subject to change.
  2. The 80 percent of saving is based on the combined cost of Azure Hybrid Benefit for Windows Server and 3-year Azure Reserved Instance. It does not include Software Assurance cost.
  3. Actual savings may vary based on location, instance type, or usage.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Adobe Experience Cloud selected by 24 Hour Fitness to transform customer engagement

REDMOND, Wash., and SAN JOSE, Calif. — April 25, 2018 — Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Adobe (Nasdaq: ADBE) on Wednesday announced an agreement with 24 Hour Fitness, one of the nation’s largest privately owned and operated fitness chains, to deploy Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Adobe Experience Cloud across its network of more than 420 clubs nationwide. This will enable 24 Hour Fitness to dramatically enhance its ability to offer more personalized and unified digital experiences for members throughout every touch point in their fitness journey. With technology integrations across Microsoft business applications and Adobe Experience Cloud, 24 Hour Fitness is investing in a combined cloud platform to engage its members and prospects with highly personalized experiences (see video).

“We have an opportunity to establish a new bar across the industry by delivering personalized digital interactions to our members that are available 24 hours a day, at home, on the road or in the gym,” said Frank Napolitano, president, 24 Hour Fitness. “It’s not an easy feat to achieve this with nearly 4 million members. Adobe is empowering us to create mass consumer personalization that scales, all utilizing the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform. In doing so, we are better positioned to serve our members the workouts and health and fitness guidance they truly want and need.”

24 Hour Fitness is undertaking a journey to digitally transform its operations by combining functional departments to provide a single view of members and guests, messaging, and performance. Integrated cloud solutions from Adobe and Microsoft will help 24 Hour Fitness with scale, security and outreach along with AI and machine learnings to streamline its business and connect more deliberately to its members.

“Adobe and Microsoft are at the center of how we bring in relevant data, draw intelligent insights, and then how we act upon those insights across all our channels holistically,” said Tom Lapcevic, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, 24 Hour Fitness. “Our mission is to help people improve their lives every day through fitness, both inside and outside our clubs. So, whether it be email communications with a member, a mobile push notification or an SMS communication, we make sure that all our channels are in sync with what the needs of that individual are. It’s about giving every one of our members and guests a better and more personalized experience — and ultimately the results they desire.”

24 Hour Fitness already leverages Adobe Campaign for email, SMS and mobile push messaging, and Adobe Target for personalization across channels. Integration with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales will enable 24 Hour Fitness to leverage sales data for member and guest insights, providing a single view of the customer that can be used to personalize experiences. For example, 24 Hour Fitness can customize offers, such as personal training recommendations based on loyalty, interests and geography. In addition, the 24 Hour Fitness 24GO custom coaching platform, powered by Adobe Experience Manager for content management and delivery, combined with Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides custom workouts, at-home programming, progress and goal tracking, and class schedules — all within a single dashboard. As well, the monthly digital magazine 24Life offers experts to help you think, eat, move and recover better.

“24 Hour Fitness is at the forefront of delivering exceptional personalized customer experiences across new customer acquisition all the way through delivering ongoing member services,” said Alysa Taylor, general manager, Microsoft Business Applications & Industry Group. “Together with Adobe, we’re dedicated to empowering digital transformation with 24 Hour Fitness and are proud to join them in their efforts to develop amazing experiences that can revolutionize their industry and further engage their members.”

“Delivering personalization at scale is the holy grail when it comes to how fitness companies engage with members,” said Dave Welch, vice president, Microsoft Solutions, Adobe. “24 Hour Fitness is able to achieve precisely this by harnessing the unique advantages of Adobe and Microsoft’s joint solutions. This can be a game-changer that truly transforms the member experience.”

At Adobe Summit 2018 last month, Microsoft and Adobe outlined new native technology integrations between Adobe Experience Manager and Microsoft Azure, Adobe Campaign and Microsoft Dynamics 365, and Adobe Analytics and Microsoft Power BI. The companies together serve more than 60 global brands today, empowering enterprises to compile customer insights, creating a single view of the customer that can be used to personalize experiences across marketing touchpoints. More information on these joint solutions can be found here.

About Adobe

Adobe is changing the world through digital experiences. For more information, visit www.adobe.com.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777,

[email protected]

Melissa Chanslor, (415) 832-5489, [email protected]

 

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

 

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Adobe and Microsoft expand partnership with Adobe Experience Manager and Dynamics 365 integration

Adobe and Microsoft expanded their continuing partnership today when they announced that they are making it easy to share data between Adobe Experience Manager, a website marketing tool and Dynamics 365, Microsoft’s CRM tool.

For a sales person that means seeing the latest sales activity and customer interactions from the company website right in the customer record. From a customer experience perspective, it means that if you are on a website and filling in a form to join a service or make purchase, Adobe can pull your customer information like name, address and phone number from the CRM record and fill in much of the information for you automatically, making it more likely that you’ll complete the transaction, while providing a better overall experience.

Dave Welch, vice president or Microsoft Solutions at Adobe says that from his company’s perspective, it’s really about streamlining the experience on the company website to turn that shopper into a buyer. “The more personal we can make that based on what we know about you, it makes the experience more integrated for a customer,” he said.

Dina Apostolou, director of Microsoft Business Applications Group says for her company, it’s about giving salespeople more complete data to work with to understand the customer better. The more information you can pull into a single customer view in Dynamics 365, the better you can understand their needs and sell to that.

Ultimately, this is a combining of sales and marketing data. Traditionally, sales and marketing, two departments that need to work together, for whatever reason have often had difficulty communicating. By integrating the marketing and sales information together at the data level in this manner, it puts the information in the hands of the people who need it without any politics involved. It just happens.

The companies have previously provided APIs that would allow customers to do this kind of integration if they were willing to put in the work to make it happen, but with the new agreement, the two vendors are doing all of the heavy lifting for them making it a simple configuration to share the data.

When you combine this with the Dynamics 365 partnership announcement around Adobe Sign announced last month and Adobe Campaign integration from last year, the two companies are looking for ways to work together by combining various types of sales and marketing information that play to their various strengths.

Featured Image: Adobe