M&E Daily

Adobe CEO: Company Continues to ‘Accelerate’ Cloud, AI Innovation

Adobe continued to step up innovation across its Creative Cloud, Document Cloud and Experience Cloud offerings, as well as its Adobe Sensei artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning platform, in 2018 and plans more of the same for 2019, according to Shantanu Narayen, Adobe CEO and president.

For example, “we continue to accelerate our pace of innovation with Document Cloud, investing to modernize the PDF experience on every device and surface, and building on the document intelligence available from the billions of PDFs in market to power AI-driven experiences,” he said Dec. 13 on an earnings call for Adobe’s fourth quarter (ended Nov. 30).

New innovations, powered by Sensei, inside of the company’s Adobe XD software, include new technology for “prototyping experiences and applications for voice-enabled devices, such as Amazon Echo,” he pointed out.

On the Creative business front, Adobe ended the quarter and fiscal year on a strong note, he said, telling analysts Black Friday and Cyber Monday represented “two of the largest single selling days in company history.”

Adobe recently shipped a new version of Acrobat Document Cloud with connected mobile apps including Adobe Scan and Acrobat Reader Mobile to “create, share and collaborate with PDFs across smartphones and tablets,” he also noted.

Its Adobe Sign e-signature solution, meanwhile, “continues to gain momentum across businesses through new integrations and partnerships,” including Dropbox, Microsoft Dynamics and ServiceNow, he said.
Key Experience Cloud customer wins in the quarter included Unilever, The Home Depot, Telegraph Media Group, Geico, Heathrow Airport and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, he said.

“Digital transformation continues to be the mandate for CEOs across the globe,” he also said, adding: “To compete and win today, both B2C and B2B businesses must provide a world-class, end-to-end customer experience across every touchpoint.”

In October, Adobe completed its acquisition of B2B company Marketo and “we’re off to a great start,” he said, adding: “Marketo strengthens our offering to customers – combining Experience Cloud’s analytics, personalization, commerce and content capabilities with Marketo’s B2B marketing engagement platform – helping customers automate and orchestrate mission critical marketing campaigns and activities from lead management and customer engagement to account-based marketing and revenue attribution.”

Adobe said in September it was buying Marketo for $4.75 billion.

The addition of Marketo, as well as its recently-integrated commerce capabilities via the Adobe purchase of Magento, “widens Adobe’s lead in customer experience management across both B2B and B2C in all industries,” he said. Adobe bought e-commerce company Magento earlier this year for $1.68 billion.

Adobe is “well-positioned to continue capitalizing on this growing opportunity that we estimate to have a total addressable market of more than $71 billion by 2021,” he said.

Those strategic acquisitions that “expanded our offerings and addressable markets,” along with the “key partnerships” Adobe forged in 2018 provide it with increased scale, he noted, adding: “As we enter 2019, Adobe is well-positioned to build on this momentum.” The company expects 2019 will be “another year of strong product innovation and financial results,” he told analysts.

“Long-term expectations” for Adobe are “on track,” according to Brian Wieser, senior research analyst for advertising at Pivotal Research Group. “We continue to look at the marketing technology sector favorably given the myriad of ways marketers are looking to use related products to drive their own revenue growth,” he said in a research note Dec. 14, adding: “Adobe itself is well-positioned within this space because of its capacity to bundle related and integrated products to its customers, even if most customers will only choose to use a subset of those products alongside others from Adobe’s competitors.”