If there’s one adage Adobe Systems understands, it’s that image is everything. The company’s suite of creativity tools is proof of its comprehension. Lately, Adobe has also realized that when it comes to understanding customers, perception is indeed reality.

If that sounds somewhat esoteric, then think of that statement in terms of social media. The way a company presents itself in any medium – in print, on a web page, on social networking sites – can have a powerful impact on its customers’ perception of the company. That’s why Adobe has come up with a platform and set of solutions designed to help enterprises deliver a cohesive customer experience that encompasses all end-user touchpoints, from design and delivery to tracking and CRM.

The Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform features a platform and set of solutions aimed at both the IT end of an organization and the marketing end – two groups that traditionally don’t work together. It’s a ground-up approach to building and managing a customer experience, enabling Adobe-developed and third-party tools to integrate to provide a full picture of a customer campaign or media experience.

“Adobe has a strong heritage in design and delivery of content and media, and this marks the first time we’ve brought them all together from an enterprise perspective,” said Ben Watson, principal customer experience manager at Adobe. “We have measurement products and server products that are usable together but they’ve not integrated until now.”

The platform addresses the need by IT to provide the necessary information for gauging the customer experience – an activity that’s become even-more important in this era of social media and mobility.

“IT these days is focusing a lot on the consumerization of IT, and one trend is the explosion of user experience in part by the significant investment it takes to be successful in mobile space,” he said. “If you think about the 5 [p.m.] to 9 [a.m.] customer experience with our smartphones, our computers and other mobile devices, it’s much richer and vastly different than the 9 [a.m.] to 5 [p.m.] experience. IT has not made significant investments in the enterprise community. And adding a social media component is like putting lipstick on a pig – it doesn’t change the workflow or the experience.”

On the toolset side, Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform includes:
  • Integrated Content Review, which improves the workflow and processes required to create, review, store and adapt digital content through different target segments;
  • Web Experience Management, a solution for creating, managing and publishing rich content across Web, social, mobile and e-mail;
  • Customer Communications, which centralizes and manages the creation, assembly and multi-channel delivery of secure, personalized, interactive correspondence and statements – also useful in meeting compliance requirements;
  • Social Brand Engagement, which facilitates engagement with new and existing customers on both enterprise-owned digital properties and  public social media sites;
  • Selection and Enrollment, which enables business users to quickly set up and launch online enrollment experiences; and
  • Unified Workspace, which provides customer-facing agents access to critical customer information, enabling them to resolve inquiries and cases with accuracy and efficiency.
The tools are available as part of a package or sold as separate pieces with links to the platform for later integration, Watson said.

Channel partners would do well to not pigeonhole Adobe’s offerings into the design or creative vertical. A growing number of enterprises are looking for ways to monetize their social media presence, and tools such as the Digital Enterprise Platform – especially those that ease the pain for both IT and marketing -- will be welcomed.

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