Adobe today announced it has extended the range of workflow management capabilities it provides in collaboration with Microsoft into more advanced business processes, including the ability to now integrate Adobe Sign electronic signature software within Microsoft Dynamics 365 workflows in addition to being able to access customer information stored in the LinkedIn Sales Navigator cloud service in real time. Microsoft formally acquired LinkedIn to bolster its customer relationship management (CRM) portfolio last year.
Microsoft and Adobe last year signed a pact to more closely integrate their respective software portfolios. Today, Adobe revealed that all new Adobe Sign customers will have their applications and data hosted by the Microsoft Azure cloud, while existing customers will continue to have their applications and data hosted on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud.
Extensions to the Adobe Cloud platform announced today also include the ability to access Adobe PDF services directly from the ribbon interface employed in the online versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint to convert documents into PDF files in a way that preserves fonts, formatting, layouts and associated password credentials. Adobe is also making it possible to access Adobe PDF services within SharePoint and OneDrive in the same way. That capability also makes it possible to combine multiple file types into a single PDF and convert PDFs into editable Word, Excel, PowerPoint or RTF files.
Finally, Adobe also announced today that Adobe Scan is now taking advantage of Adobe Sensei machine learning algorithms to more accurately capture data from business cards in a digital format that can be stored on Apple iOS or Android devices.
Lisa Croft, group product marketing manager for Adobe, says organizations are trying to flexibly embrace digital business process transformation. That means being able to dynamically create and adjust workflows using applications that are well integrated with systems of record such as Microsoft Dynamics ERP applications. In most cases, those processes will still need to span both electronic and paper documents.
“Paper in a lot of cases is still the last mile,” says Croft.
Croft notes that PDF files have been in use now for 25 years. The widespread adoption of PDF files creates a foundation for driving digital business transformation using electronic documents. Working closely with Microsoft will enable organizations to integrate those documents across a wide variety of backend business processes in a way that doesn’t require organizations to standardize on a single overly rigid platform, says Croft.
Digital business transformation typically manifests itself one process at a time versus being driven as a single overarching initiative from the top down. As such, organizations looking to modernize their processes would be well-advised to start with a ubiquitous electronic document format to get a better handle on precisely how to simplify all the byzantine processes that surround it.