In this, the digital age, we’re still using paper, and a whole lot of it. About 80 percent of document-based processes are at least partly dependent on paper, according to research by the IDC.

“People are still being forced to print, scan, fax and/or mail documents at some point in the process,” said Mark Grilli, vice president of product marketing at Adobe.

It slows the pace of business to a snail’s crawl because we’re living in an increasingly mobile world. People aren’t tethered to their desks waiting to fill out forms and sign things, let alone fax them back or put them in an envelope in need of postage. And when it comes to circulating documents, forget about it.

It's a Digital World

As we wrote earlier this month, the print, pass around, sign, scan cycle has to be stopped —it’s so 1990.

Ditto for entering the same tired information, like name, phone number, address, email on form after form, over and over again.

Not only does it impact productivity, customer and worker satisfaction, and your brand, but also your top and bottom lines.

There has to be a better way. And now there may be.

“We took a good, hard look at what working with documents might look like in a digital, mobile world,” said Grilli. And while things like Adobe Reader and EchoSign (eSign) are great and have been available mobile for a while, they weren’t game changers.

Today Adobe introduces its Adobe Document Cloud (DC), a revolutionary way to work with documents in the Cloud Mobile era. It includes:

  • An all-new Adobe Acrobat DC, which takes the best of what Acrobat has to offer and gives it an intuitive, mobile-like, touch-enabled interface. It also features a tool center that provides simplified and speedy access to the tools you use most. And when it comes to importing documents, it leverages Photoshop’s imaging “magic” to convert any paper document into a digital, editable file that can be sent for signature.
    For example, when your kid comes home from school with a permission slip for a trip to the zoo, you can take a picture of it, apply “Adobe magic” to clean up the form, fill in the blanks with things like CAUTION “Melissa is allergic to peanuts, so please keep her from feeding them to the elephants at the zoo,” apply your digital signature and then e-mail it back to the teacher so that it doesn’t get lost on your kid’s way to school. It matches the font along the way too. And when it comes to signing documents, you can use your finger.
  • Adobe E-sign Services. Remember Adobe EchoSign? It's changed its name and not only allows you to electronically send and sign any document from any device. Better yet, it has a new Fill and Sign feature which includes smart auto fill across devices.
  • Mobile Link and New Mobile Apps Access which lets you access your work and puts you exactly where you left off as you move between desktop and devices– your files, settings and signatures stay with you. With two new mobile apps, Acrobat Mobile and Fill and Sign, you can create, edit, comment and sign documents directly on your mobile phones and tablets. Plus, you can use the camera on your device as a portable scanner to easily convert any paper documents to digital, editable files that can be sent for signature.
  • Document Management and Control Services such as Send and Track provide visibility into where critical documents are along their process, including who has opened them and when. Control features also help to protect sensitive information, both inside and outside the firewall, for business or personal use.

This Is Different

And yes, we have heard about things like digital signatures and collaborating in the cloud with solutions like Box, Dropbox, Citrix ShareFile, EMC Syncplicity. But Adobe with its brand new Adobe Document Cloud leverages Acrobat to offer something entirely different.

It doesn’t compete with Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) solutions said Lisa Croft, senior product marketing manager, Adobe, it’s complementary. Not only that but it already works with SharePoint (which offers some of these services internally, but not externally) and, according to Grilli, it will work with many EFSS vendors as well.

When it comes to document dependent services within the Enterprise, the Adobe Document Cloud for the Enterprise has you covered with introductory solutions for Workforce Productivity, Sales Acceleration, HR Efficiency and Procurement Contracting.

Companies who use Adobe’s Creative Cloud and Document Cloud for the Enterprise helps can centrally manage user accounts and licenses with single sign-on (SSO) in the Adobe Enterprise Dashboard.

Time for Revolution?

As Bryan Lamkin, senior vice president of technology and corporate development at Adobe, pointed out, it’s prime time for us to be able to work with documents digitally. Books, music and movies went this direction years ago.

“Adobe Document Cloud will revolutionize and simplify how people get work done with critical documents,” he said.

We’ve got our fingers crossed.