As companies the world over aim at delivering a variety of experiences to people, global software major Adobe is investing in new-age tools like deep machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) to enhance its product portfolio….writes Nishant Arora
The research work on infusing these tools into Adobe’s three growth pillars — Creative Cloud, Marketing Cloud and the game-changing Document Cloud — is quietly happening at one of its biggest engineering research and development labs outside of the US — in Bengaluru.
Adobe’s in-demand Creative Cloud business offers tools and services for creating digital media. The other two — Document Cloud, which provides a modern way to manage documents across devices, and Marketing Cloud, which delivers solutions for data-driven marketing — are witnessing a steep adoption rate among Indian enterprises.
“Creative Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Document Cloud are bringing a lot of enhancement for our customers with the incorporation of deep machine learning and AI, like fonts in Photoshop and messages based on predicted audience segment in Marketing Cloud,” Kulmeet Bawa, Managing Director, South Asia, Adobe, said.
The next big thing is Document Cloud which is going to eradicate major customer dissatisfaction, i.e., the paper problem.
“Adobe has tried to solve the paper issue by digitalising e-signatures. We are also working with the government for Aadhaar card digitisation. Document Cloud is an interesting product which is built based on futuristic approach and customer experience,” Bawa emphasised.
Driven by an increased adaptation of Creative Cloud and Marketing Cloud, Adobe global sales jumped 17 per cent to $4.8 billion in fiscal 2015 and 22 per cent to $5.85 billion in 2016.
Adobe’s India R&D centres are an integral part of the company’s overall innovation focus and significant contributors to its global efforts towards creating, developing and supporting products and innovations across products.
“When I talk with Telcos, banks, e-commerce founders, entertainment and newspaper companies, they tell me that their users are now looking for instant gratification. From Adobe’s perspective, we call it the experience era. Businesses today are actually calling themselves experience businesses or experience brands,” Bawa noted.
Adobe started off four years ago with e-commerce, media and telecom. It then went into the next set of industry verticals — travel and hospitality. Then came the Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) sector.
“Banks today are a definite focus for us. To answer your question on focus on manufacturing companies, I won’t club it as just manufacturing. Today, from a tyre company to movie theatres, everyone is digitising. People want to quickly move on to a digital brandwagon. Manufacturing is also moving very quickly for us,” Bawa said.
When it comes to “Smart Cities”, Adobe is involved in states like Gujarat where its technologies have bridged the digital divide across more than 18,000 villages so far. “Adobe has always been there. Whether it was villages in Gujarat or the Passport Sewa Project, we have always been present,” Bawa added.
Today, more and more customers are writing about the advantages of Adobe in market. “Digital heads, marketing heads and founders are coming to us because Adobe solutions are working for them. We have created value for clients and they have seen the return generated from the digital world,” the top executive said.
India is the second-largest establishment for Adobe after the US with nearly 4,200 people working here.
When it comes to Digital Marketing, HDFC Bank, MakeMyTrip, SpiceJet, Airtel, IDFC, Taj Group, Snapdeal, Flipkart, FabFurnish, Kotak Bank, Manipal Education and online streaming service Hotstar are using Adobe solutions.
Companies that have embraced Document Cloud are MakeMyTrip, Capegemini, Tata Motors, Reliance Industries Limited, ITC, Wipro, MindTree, Jaguar, PwC, Hero Motors and L&T, among others.
“Every technology we are talking have IP [Intellectual property] typically created in India. We have a pool of global delivery centres in India. Beside the partner strategy, these technology and delivery pool are the major factor for Adobe’s exponential growth,” Bawa stated.
Bawa is bullish on more investments coming in. “Yes, investment is growing along with growth in business team, consultancy, research facility, delivery and service parts, etc.”
Most of us have not heard it yet “Adobe Sensei” — a new framework and set of intelligent services that improve the design and delivery of digital experiences – is now around us.
Using deep earning and AI, Adobe “Sensei” — which means “master” or “teacher” in Japanese — tackles complex experience challenges, including image matching across millions of images, understanding the meaning and sentiment of documents and finely targeting important audience segments.
“Adobe Sensei” includes a unified AI/machine learning framework that power Creative Cloud, Adobe Document Cloud and Adobe Marketing Cloud and automates mundane tasks, drive predictive and personalisation capabilities and boost productivity.
“India is growing and it is strategic for Adobe too,” Bawa said.