As part of an ongoing effort to shift workflow into the cloud, Adobe today announced an alliance with Dropbox under which users will be able to access files stored in the cloud directly from within Adobe Acrobat software.
At the same time, Adobe announced that it is making it simpler to sign electronic documents created and stored inside the Adobe Document Cloud. Other enhancements planned for future updates to Adobe Document Cloud include being able to add tabbed views to processes as well as borrowing capabilities often associated with Adobe Photoshop software to enable the conversion of images into PDF documents.
Mark Grilli, vice president of product marketing for Adobe Document Cloud, says the integration with Dropbox represents an extension of the Adobe approach to managing workflow that recognizes that end users have broadly adopted file and synchronization software services in the cloud such as Dropbox. While Adobe would not commit to integrating with any other service just yet, Grilli says that Adobe is committed to making the cloud a seamless extension of almost any workflow process. At present, Grilli says roughly 18 billion PDF documents are stored in Dropbox, so in terms of integration priorities, that particular file synchronization and sharing service made the most sense.
In general, Grilli says organizations are taking two paths toward eliminating paper-based processes. The first is directly via Adobe Document Cloud, which provides a rich set of tools that can be extended to millions of devices capable of running Adobe software. The other is to create a more end-to-end workflow application by invoking application programming interfaces (APIs) that Adobe exposes in Adobe Document Cloud.
In either scenario, Grilli says that as mobile and cloud computing continue to alter the way work is managed both inside and out of the enterprise, just about any process can now be extended to enable employees and the customers they are trying to serve to collaborate in ways many thought would be unimaginable not too long ago.