The Need to Transform is Front and Center for Every C-Level Executive, Says Adobe CEO

May 15

“When people look at what’s happening with Amazon trying to get into their businesses, the need to transform is also front and center for every c-level executive,” says Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen. “Given that Adobe’s been through our own transformation and has software they want to hear from us and they want to experience that same benefit that we have been able to see.”

Shantanu Narayen, CEO of Adobe, discusses how Adobe is helping companies large and small through their digital transformation in an interview on CNBC:

Adobe Helping Businesses Transform

When we talk about helping businesses transform we do every aspect of it. We help them create that experience and help them understand how to attract customers. That last mile of transacting with customers is so critical. Adobe was a company that actually innovated tremendously but we had a two-tier distribution channel. We have two businesses. We have the creative business and we have the enterprise business. If you look at what we’ve been able to accomplish in the long run and the two tailwinds that we have, we continue to be really optimistic about Adobe’s prospects.

When we completely moved to the cloud we recognized that every other company would go through what we did. Namely, how do you engage with your customers digitally? Do you understand how to acquire them and how do they use your software? I think sharing our learnings with other people gives us incredible credibility in the enterprise and we learn from these customers.

Creating a Real-Time Customer Profile is So Critical

In enterprise software, this third generation, which is all about customer experience management, I think it’s the companies who recognize that you have to partner with an entire ecosystem to create this real-time customer profile that’s absolutely so critical. That’s why our partnerships, whether they be with ServiceNow or Microsoft or the other cloud kings is so critical in enabling our customers to completely transform themselves.

What we have been able to do is create this real-time customer profile. People are really within an enterprise saying how do I create native applications? ServiceNow is clearly the leader in IT Service Management. What John (Donahoe) has done is truly special. I think partnering with them to enable IT professionals within an enterprise to use Adobe’s Customer Experience Management with ServiceNow’s IT Service Management, that was a natural.

The Need to Transform is Front and Center for Every C-Level Executive

Design and creativity have never been more important. Everything has a screen. So people are creating content, whether that’s a car, whether that’s a retail experience, whether it’s a basketball stadium. Adobe is the content provider that enables all of these screens to be delivered with incredible content. Given design is more important and given mobile devices are in every single place, that’s a tremendous tailwind.

Secondly, when people look at what’s happening with Amazon trying to get into their businesses, the need to transform is also front and center for every c-level executive. Given that Adobe’s been through our own transformation and has software they want to hear from us and they want to experience that same benefit that we have been able to see.

I’ve talked about how video is explosive. II think what Disney is doing both with their own service as well as with more control of Hulu is really saying people are consuming more and more content digitally. So providing the analytics for that, providing the digital rights management for that, the right ability to audience segment in terms of who you are attracting, a lot of that is what Adobe powers. This is not just for Disney but for frankly all the major media companies in the world.

Adobe Powering Big CPG Companies Through a Digital Transformation

The big CPG companies are going through the following question. They have sometimes hundreds of millions or billions of people using their products and they just don’t necessarily know who they are. Giving them that insight into how they create this incredible customer database, how they understand usage patterns, and how they understand what these people want. If we can provide that insight to companies then all the CPG companies can recognize that this direct relationship will enable them to innovate at a faster pace.

For example, what Unilever is trying to do is really say we have this tremendous distribution network but what they’ve tried to do even with Dollar Shave Club is really say, “How do we create an incredible customer database?” But the same thing is happening across Colgate or Procter & Gamble. We are partnering very heavily with Unilever as they embark on this digital transformation and understanding customer patterns and customer sentiments across the world.

The Need to Transform is Front and Center for Every C-Level Executive, Says Adobe CEO

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