2006.05.05 00:00:00
Susan Jackman

It's hard to imagine a product that would be appropriate for Adobe that they do not already have. However, with Adobe's recent purchase of Macromedia, there are a lot of opinions out there on how consumers want to see Adobe's products change, evolve and merge with Macromedia products. With the takeover of Macromedia, Adobe's products have very little competition, if any. Consumers are sitting on the edge of their seats and getting in hot debates waiting to see what will result. And now, by picking up the remaining applications in the Macromedia assemblage, Adobe has just bought its way into every niche in the design market. Digital imaging, motion graphics, desktop publishing, content management, presentations, documents, video editing, audio production, type. Adobe has a product for all of them.

The big trend in the publishing and design industry is the application suite -- a bundle of applications that can be purchased and installed together, providing interoperability and functionality. Adobe could create a seamless and endless web of developmental tools that cover every step of the every type of creative design process.

Adobe's largest marketing advantage is their name. They are the industry standard in desktop publishing and Digital Imaging.  Macromedia's marketing advantage is web design and interactive media products, with high-end technical features. Macromedia has concentrated mostly on multimedia, web technology and content development for mobile devices. Macromedia's Dreamweaver is the stronger application and has better market share. The same goes for Macromedia's Flash. Flash is un-rivaled in the motion graphics department.

Proposed New Products

#1 FileWorks

One application that can work with both bitmap and vector images. It's a new version of Fireworks that focuses on optimization for all output types and further develops it's abilities to import both bitmap and vector images; combined with another application called FlashPaper that converts documents into swf and pdf files.

There is a very large need and request from Adobe and Macromedia product users for one program that can work with both bitmap and vector images. An application that is suited for both vector and bitmap images to work in one app, with one type tool and one export feature.

Revamping Macromedia Fireworks would be the clear choice to fulfill this need. It has some basic capabilities to work with both vector and bitmap and works for web publishing but needs the extra levels of specialized depth that dedicated programs like Photoshop and Illustrator provide.


Integrate ImageReady's gif animation capabilities into Photoshop and discontinue ImageReady as a stand-alone optimization program. Make Fireworks the optimization program.

Now combine this new Fireworks with FlashPaper (Also addressed in Product #2), which is not a strong program on its own but adds the functionality of converting documents, presentations, spreadsheets and other file types into Macromedia Flash documents or PDF files. These two programs together would create one revolutionary product with the ability to convert, optimize and work together all file types.

#2 Re-align Similar Programs and their marketing and packaging

Do Adobe product users really need two programs for web publishing, two programs for vector image creation, two programs for image optimization and bitmap creation?  These programs need to be re-aligned.

New Version of Dreamweaver

Dreamweaver with the best of GoLive's features

The majority of customers are using Dreamweaver and have already discontinued GoLive or they plan to do so soon. I have been using GoLive since I started, I find it to be the most comfortable environment coming out of the graphic design field, but I am now trying to force myself to use Dreamweaver because of it's features. Dreamweaver gets GoLive's Smart Objects and refined UI.

New Version of Illustrator

Illustrator with the best of Freehand's features

Freehand is believed now to be easier for beginners to learn but Illustrator is the industry standard. Freehand currently integrates better with Flash but with Adobe's ability to now integrate pdf and swf into all programs, this will no longer be a relevant issue.  Issues of Freehand's interface can be resolved with the integration of Illustrators UI into Freehand, however Keeping freehand with Dreamweaver will be a more comfortable transition for users.  Freehand also has more advanced features than Illustrator.

New Version of Photoshop

Photoshop & ImageReady

Photoshop and Imageready integrated to become one bitmap imaging program.  Photoshop can already do almost everything ImageReady can with the exception of gif animation.  This would need to be incorporated, as it is ImageReady's best feature.

FileWorks

Fireworks & FlashPaper (new product #1 FileWorks)

Fireworks as One program that can work with both bitmap and vector images and optimize export to all output types, combined with Flash Paper which is not a strong program on its own but adds the functionality of converting documents, presentations, spreadsheets and other file types into Macromedia Flash documents or PDF files. These two programs together would create one revolutionary product with the ability to convert, optimize and work together all file types.

#3 New application Bundles

The trend in the publishing and design industry is the application suite -- a group of applications that can be purchased and installed together, providing interoperability and end-to-end functionality. Provided that Adobe continues with the development of the application suite, which it should most definitely do, the company then can create a seamless web of development tools that cover every step of the creative process.

One of the biggest complaints about these application bundles is that when purchasing multiple bundles there is commonly overlap (end up with multiple copies of the same program) As Interactive Media designers who use programs from many varied media types, we are very familiar with this problem.  This new proposed product is creating new bundles that work together to expand the consumer's capabilities rather than try to cover all their needs in one bundle.  I would also like to expand the amount or and categories of the bundles to include more of their offered products.

Another downside to the current bundles is that they target only the professional.  The addition of smaller, more basic bundles will bring new business to Adobe from small businesses and consumers who want to do some type of creative work from home of for fun.

Their current products cover the following categories:

  • Players, readers, and viewers
  • Acrobat family
  • Print publishing
  • Web design, development and publishing
  • Communication and collaboration tools
  • Server products
  • Developer tools
  • eLearning and technical communications
  • Mobile and devices
  • Digital imaging
  • Video and audio

Their current bundles include:

Adobe Design Bundle

The Adobe's  Design Bundle offers the unified design environment of Adobe Creative Suite 2 Premium software with Macromedia - Flash - Professional 8 software, the industry's choice for creating advanced interactive content.

Adobe Web Bundle

The Adobe Web Bundle offers Macromedia Studio 8, the essential solution for web design and development, with the unified design environment of Adobe Creative Suite 2 Premium software.

Adobe Video Bundle

The Adobe Video Bundle brings together Adobe Production Studio Premium software, the complete audio and video post-production solution, with Macromedia Flash Professional 8 software, the industry's choice for creating advanced interactive content.

Proposed new bundles:

These bundles are meant to be built on top of each other to expand your capabilities rather than overlap each other, with the exception of the Standard vs. Pro core bundles.

Core Bundles:

Digital Photography Basic Bundle:

This bundle would target consumers interested in digital photography and video, it would be a smaller, less expensive version for consumers Market Trends indicate the worldwide consumer digital camera market growing at 13% CAGR through 2009 and an Increasing convergence of imaging and video on digital cameras. Adobe Marketing research, http://www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/invrelations/2006_analyst_mtg/pdfs/narayen_cpbu.pdf

  • Premiere Elements (upgradeable to Premiere)
  • Photoshop Elements (upgradeable to Photoshop)

Adobe Print Publishing Basic Bundle:

A simpler, less expensive version of their current design bundle to bring in more of the consumer market rather than just targeting pros.

  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • PageMaker

Adobe Print Publishing Pro Bundle:

Creative suite without the web design based applications

  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • InDesign
  • InCopy
  • Acrobat
  • Stock Photos

Adobe Web Design Basic Bundle:

  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • FileWorks (Fireworks/FlashPaper)
  • Dreamweaver
  • Flash Lite

Adobe Web Design Pro bundle:

  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • FileWorks (Fireworks/FlashPaper)
  • Dreamweaver
  • Flash Professional

Ad-on Bundles:

Development/Authoring Bundle:

  • Authorware or Director
  • Captivate
  • ColdFusion
  • Flex
  • RoboHelp

Mobile and Devices Bundle:

Rapid growth of devices capable of engaging digital experiences, 92% of all online users engage with some form of rich media each month andTotal WW Internet advertising spend estimated at $19 billion in 2005. http://www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/invrelations/2006_analyst_mtg/pdfs/narayen_cpbu.pdf

  • FlashCast
  • FlashLite
  • FlahPlayer for PocketPC
  • FlashPlayer SDK
  • Adobe Reader LE

Workflow and Productivity

  • Version Cue
  • Bridge
  • Acrobat

Communication and Collaboration

  • Acrobat Capture
  • Breeze
  • Contribute

Adobe Server Bundle

  • Breeze
  • ColdFusion
  • Contribute Publishing Server
  • Flash Media Server
  • Flash Remoting
  • Flex
  • FrameMaker Server
  • Graphics Server
  • Jrun
  • Livecycle

Adobe Audio Bundle

  • Audition
  • Future Products to be added here

Video Bundle: (Production Studio Standard)

This bundle would be a smaller, less expensive bundle for consumers. Worldwide broadband subscribers growing to 250 million by 2007, Web-based video streams rose by 48% in 2005 to over 21 billion and Worldwide HDTV households growing from14 million in 2005 to 87 million by 2010. Adobe Marketing research, http://www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/invrelations/2006_analyst_mtg/pdfs/narayen_cpbu.pdf

  • After Effects
  • Premier Elements
  • Photoshop Elements

Adobe Video-Pro Bundle: (Production Studio Premium)

  • After Effects Professional
  • Premiere Pro
  • Photoshop
  • Audition
  • Encore - DVD 2.0
  • Dynamic Link
  • Flash Professional 8

Product Introduction

Adobe has a long standing tradition/practice of 12 to 18 months regularly scheduled product upgrade cycles. Initially the new applications and bundles will be introduced in Press releases and in the Adobe Press Room http://www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/pressroom/pressreleases/
and questions will be answered continuously through Adobe's PR contacts. http://www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/pressroom/prcontacts.jsp

A public beta will be released before product launch for Product #1 and product #2

Additional Product Marketing

The following marketing will be on going throughout the next 12 to 18 months until the release of any future versions of the same products:

Announcements of products and product updates to National associations and press organizations. (Like NAB) http://www.nab.org/
Web casts and interviews to answer consumer questions and address feedback.
Tradeshows, (Adobe is sponsoring the The High-Def Desktop at the World's Largest Electronic Media Show  http://www.nabshow.com/
and Dave Trescot, Senior Director, Adobe Digital Video Group, Adobe Systems, Inc. is the Keynote speaker for that session) These platforms are also used to feature new products.
City Tours to explain new features, answer questions and offer tutorials
E-Seminars.
Discounts to educational institutions
Press Releases on Updates and to give feedback to consumers and analysts

Product performance measures

Design Process and short-term metrics

  • Staffing (hours) vs. plan
  • Turnover rate
  • Man-hours per 1,000 software lines of code (KSLOC)
  • Man-hours per function point
  • Errors per 1,000 lines of code (KSLOC)
  • Percentage of requirement/objective deficiencies at qualification testing
  • Software problem reports (SPR's) before release per 1,000 software lines of code (KSLOC)
  • SPR's after release per KSLOC
  • Design review errors per KSLOC
  • Code review errors per KSLOC
  • Number of software defects per week
  • SPR fix response time

Program/Project metrics

  • Schedule performance
  • Program/project cost performance
  • Average training hours per person per year or % of payroll cost for training annually
  • IPT/PDT turnover rate or average IPT/PDT turnover rate
  • Percent core team members physically allocated
  • Actual staffing (hours or headcount) vs. plan
  • % of milestone dates met
  • Personnel ratios
  • Milestone or task completion vs. plan
  • On-schedule task start rate
  • Phase cycle time vs. plan
  • Time-to-market or time-to-volume

Product metrics effectiveness in meeting product objectives and technical performance measures

  • Weight
  • Range
  • Mean time between failure (MTBF)
  • Unit production costs
  • Unit production cost / target cost
  • Labor hours or labor hours / target labor hours
  • Material cost or material cost / target material cost
  • Product performance or product performance / target product performance or technical performance measures (e.g., power output, mileage, weight, power consumption, mileage, range, payload, sensitivity, noise, CPU frequency, etc.)
  • Mean time between failures (MTBF)
  • Mean time to repair (MTTR)
  • System availability
  • Number of parts or number of parts / number of parts for last generation product
  • Defects per million opportunities or per unit
  • Production yield
  • Field failure rates or failure rates per unit of time or hours of operation
  • Engineering changes after release by time period
  • Design/build/test iterations
  • Production ramp-up time
  • Product ship date vs. announced ship date or planned ship date
  • Product general availability (GA) date vs. announced GA date or planned GA date
  • % of parts or part characteristics analyzed/simulated
  • Net present value of cash outflows for development and commercialization and the inflows from sales
  • Breakeven time
  • Expected commercial value (This equals the net present value of product cash flows multiplied by the probability of commercial success minus the commercialization cost. This is multiplied by the probability of technical success minus the development costs)
  • Percent of parts that can be recycled
  • Percent of parts used in multiple products
  • Average number of components per product

Enterprise and long-term metrics

  • Analyst's reviews
  • Consumer feedback
  • Monitoring and analyzing Shareholdings price value
  • Percentage of market share in comparison to competitors (Adoption rate)
  • Breakeven time (time-to-profitability)
  • Percent of revenue from products developed in last 4 years
  • Proposal win %
  • Development cycle time trend (normalized to program complexity)
  • Number of post-design release changes / total terminations or connections
    Development cycle time trend (normalized to program complexity)
  • Current year percent of revenue from products developed in the last "X" years (where "X" is typically the normal development cycle time or the average product life cycle period)
  • Percent of products capturing 50% or more of the market
  • Percent of R&D expense as a percent of revenue
  • Average engineering change cycle time
  • Total patents filed/pending/awarded per year
  • R&D headcount and percent increase/decrease in R&D headcount

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