adobe-logo_2009.gif
Do you like the idea of offering your customers interactive online statements that drill down into the details? Would you like to kick off automated workflow processes when your customers use those statements? Maybe the idea of mobile-enabled business processes makes you sit up and pay attention? Adobe's (newssite) latest version of its Livecycle Enterprise Suite offers all that and more. Here's a look at what's new.

Managing the Experience 

When you are developing business applications there are two groups you really need to consider -- the customer and your employee. If your customer facing applications are complicated for the customer, they aren't going to use them, which means they aren't going to buy products and/or services from you. 

Likewise, if you make the background processes difficult for your employees, productivity is going to be low and frustrations will run high. Not a good situation if these employees also deal with your frustrated customers. 

Adobe's Customer Experience Suite is a platform that unites all of Adobe's capabilities for building and deploying customer-face applications that make it easier to do business, which in turn drives more businesses.

Adobe_CEM.jpg

Adobe Customer Experience Management

Adobe's Livecycle Enterprise Suite 2.5 is one component of this platform, offering the ability to design and build business applications that provide the best user experience for the customer, while at the same time making the work of your employees less complicated.

Livecycle ES 2.5

Livecycle ES2 was unveiled at Adobe Max 2009, so it only makes sense that this latest version was unveiled yesterday at the opening of Adobe Max 2010. Livecycle ES2.5 offers some new modules to support building engaging experiences -- including mobile -- and a new/updated set of Solution Accelerators that can be deployed much easier.

New Mobile Clients

In the previous version of Livecycle there was mobile capability. But it has been expanded to offer more capabilities and support more mobile platforms

In addition to the ability to browse for content and view/approve tasks, with Adobe Livecycle Mobile ES2, users can now also initiate requests and tasks from their mobile device and they can complete forms. 

There's been a bit of work on the mobile client front as well. Adobe is providing mobile clients for the the major mobile platforms including Android, Blackberry, iPhone, WebOS and soon, Windows Phone 7. So it doesn't matter what device you prefer, mobile access is at your fingertips.

For Android users, there is an added bonus: you also have voice search and the ability to capture live photos. 

Android_CapturePhotos.jpg

Capture photos for your business process on the Android
 

New Solution Accelerators

Adobe's Solutions Accelerators for Livecycle ES2.5 are no longer free. They are now supported frameworks that provide an upgrade path for future releases. Accelerators also now have a single price and single package, so you don't have to figure out what ES modules you need to purchase to run the framework.

ES2.5 offers a few new and improved set of accelerators including:

  • Managed Review and Approval: this is an existing SA that has been updated to the supported framework. It provides multi-stages, deadlines, approvals and requirements tracking of tasks.
  • Correspondence Management: this is a completely re-architected version of the old correspondence management solution, including ad-hoc and batch personal communications, digital signatures and it can include interactive forms.
  • Interactive Statements: a completely new solution that offers an interactive experience for users to view their statements online. You can drill down into the details of your statement, even kick off automated business processes such as requesting a review of a particular item on your statement. Targeted interactive advertising is another capability, as is a payment calculator.

New Connectors

SharePoint 2010: Livecycle ES 2.5 can now connect to SharePoint 2010. View and act on Livecycle tasks from within SharePoint, or initiate Livecycle tasks to get processes started. In addition you can find, render and prepopulate forms and guides.

Customer Experience Management Today

According to Adobe, Customer Experience Management (CEM) is about how you make it easier for people to do business with you. And that's the key, making the user experience the best it can be so that your customers want to continue to work with you. Livecycle ES 2.5 is a unique platform that you don't really see duplicated in other applications today.

That doesn't mean that there isn't competition out there. Both Oracle and IBM have widely talked about their CEM platforms, IBM just recently announcing theirs. Adobe brings a wide mix of capabilities to the table that includes their strong focus on client tools and technologies that support richer interfaces (Adobe Reader 8.0 -- used with Interactive Statements -- is one of these).

It will be interesting to see how Day's Web Content Management platform and other capabilities fit into Adobe's CEM framework going forward. The added capabilities should only make the framework that stronger. It won't be too long before we know for sure..