In a world of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and apps everywhere, we’re still dealing with documents the old fashioned way — downloading, printing, signing, scanning, faxing, emailing and even overnighting — according to Jon Perera, vice president of product management at Adobe.

Jon Perera
Today, Adobe is addressing these issues and more with a number of new features for its Document Cloud. They include an integration with Dropbox, as well as introduction of a drag-and-drop Workflow Designer, enhanced electronic signatures and Enterprise Mobility Management and Signature Capture.

The goal is "to modernize document experiences," Perera said.

Getting Busy with Dropbox

It goes without saying that Dropbox, which stores 18 billion PDFs, is an especially important partner for Adobe. Today, the two companies are integrating their applications and services on mobile devices, desktop and the web to provide their mutual users faster and more seamless access to content stored as PDF files.

The deal allows users of Adobe Acrobat DC or Adobe Acrobat Reader to open, edit and save changes to PDF documents stored in Dropbox directly from within the Adobe apps.

It will help users "be more productive with the documents at the center of their daily lives,” said Adobe senior VP and general manager of Document Cloud Kevin M. Lynch.

dropbox adobe integration

The new integration will help users of Adobe and Dropbox products to:

  1. Access and share PDF files stored in their Dropbox Basic, Pro and Dropbox for Business accounts.
  2. Edit and collaborate on PDF files from the Dropbox website, iPhone or iPad app, and edit with Acrobat DC on desktop or — soon we're told — Acrobat Reader mobile. These capabilities build on existing integration between Adobe eSign services and Dropbox, which lets users to access, track and sign PDF files stored in Dropbox.
  3. Sync changes made to PDF files in Adobe apps to Dropbox.

What’s Your E-Sign?

Adobe is also enhancing the e-signature capabilities in Document Cloud.

“Fundamentally, e-signing is a process,” Melissa Webster, an analyst at IDC Research, told to CMSWire. “It orchestrates who signs, in what order and more. It preserves the record of that transaction — and the signed document — so the history and intent are both clear,” she added.

Managing document workflows are key to success. According to Webster, the average document-centric business process still goes in and out of paper several times.

“That’s way too much friction,” she said, adding that it cuts into productivity, worker and customer experiences, accuracy and more.

To reduce this friction, Adobe is adding mobile-friendly drag and drop Workflow Designer capabilities into its product. The new capabilities can help customers visually create easy-to-follow workflow templates so senders can follow a consistent signing process every time.

It’s worth noting that advanced workflows can be created as well, for processes like finalizing sales contracts, before, during and after signing.

The addition of workflow capabilities both inform and provide visibility into the process, and prevent the possibility that someone will make changes to an agreement after it has been signed or approved.

And in the spirit of reducing friction, Adobe added further partner integrations with Workday, Salesforce and Ariba, bringing e-signatures and more advanced capabilities to their platforms.

Adobe has also incorporated changes that allow users to comply with the stricter signing requirements in the European Union. And to help assure customers that their documents reside within preferred geographic boundaries, Adobe is opening two new data centers in Germany and Ireland in 2016. “These are critical to ensure data sovereignty,” said Perera.

It's also adding enterprise class controls, such as the ability to correct documents ‘in flight’ — when the wrong document has been sent by mistake.