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Review:  Using DPS/acrobat.com to create our first Sales Tool.  The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Aug 10, 2011 6:31 AM

First off, let me just say that while I've been hyper-critical at times of Adobe and elements of DPS, I love the entire toolset.  I've neglected praise where praise is due.

 

I've just rolled out my first sales tool on a fairly widespread level to reps in our company via the acrobat.com method, and the process so far has been great.  Salespeople and reps who now have the tool have been absolutely raving about it, and a few have already started to use it with clients - to great success and praise.  I cannot emphasize enough just how positive the rollout was...  Many of said that they have been waiting for just such a tool and that the entire platform is absolutely perfect.  Folks are ecstatic.  I can claim credit for the design and content of the piece, but Adobe: you folks deserve the lion's share of the credit for offering a unique platform that we designers can build upon.  Tnx for that.


Now, onto some comments:


The acrobat.com distribution method is the absolute best way so far to distribute the folio privately to not only people in your organization, but also to clients and other folks with whom you do business.  While I'm still a champion for bringing back some form of sideloading in order to avoid the need for a net connection and keep the folio secure within our own organization, the acrobat.com method works well.  'Privately' might be a bit misleading.  Obviously anyone with access to the email and username could get the folio - more on that later.

 

Sideloading for anyone outside of your company will be nothing but a PITA.  I had people struggling with even basic tasks like finding the Adobe Content Viewer on iTunes, so I shudder to think of how they might tackle sideloading.  Again, for internal use only sideload still has a lot of merit, but as a viable distribution method to dozens or hundreds of people it will never work.

 

Same with using iTunes.  We will be avoiding the use of iTunes at all costs; for a few different reasons.  1. Anything company related that we produce with DPS isn't exactly private, but putting it up on iTunes is just way to public.  2. The workflow involved with getting a folio up and running on iTunes seems like a PITA.  I've never done it, so I might be clueless here, but...  3. Distribution privately using the Enterprise iTunes method is all good and well for people that have access to the network, but what about clients/consultants/etc?  What about folks with a VPN connection who work remotely?  They are all out of luck with that method.

 

There's been various posts about how best to distribute your folio via acrobat.com; the most popular method listed being the SHARE technique.  You open an acrobat.com account, have people open their own accounts, then add them to work Workspace Share list. I can tell you that this is absolutely NOT the method to use.  What I found is that, while this works, every single time you add someone to the Share list the entire folio gets resent to everyone on your list via the Update notice on the iPad.  Obviously this isn't a workable situation.  What I ended up doing is simply creating a new acrobat.com account using an email and password that I then sent out to staff, and that's become my new defacto account that I use for the folio creation.  In this way, users only need to grab the Content Viewer App and then login.  Done!  (Maybe most of you knew about the share issue and that it wasn't the best way to distribute, but I didn't..)

 

The first day there we some apparent issues with the acrobat.com servers.  I had a few people get error messages on their iPads that the content wasn't available for the file wasn't valid, etc.  I know there's been some ongoing server problems and I can only hope that Adobe has smoothed those out.  Eventually of course the folks were able to download, but server reliability is of course very important - especially if its one of our clients that is needing access.  As expected, some folks were even challenged with finding the Adobe Content Viewer on iTunes and/or entering the correct email and username.  This is unavoidable, but just goes to show that any process of grabbing content must be as painless as possible.

 

Finally, the one negative comment that has cropped up quite a few times is the Blue Lightning Bolt.  People don't get why it's there and assume that it's part of MY design.  *groan*.  This is really an issue, and I would urge Adobe to come up with some kind of method in which a person can 'flag' a folio as in-progress (Blue lightning) or finished in the Folio Builder.  When we start sending out these tools to clients,  I truly cannot have that bolt...it's not part of our branding in any way and only causes confusion.

 

So, that's where I'm at so far.  We are going to do a bit more testing and then probably upgrade our acrobat.com account so that more folios can be hosted.  Bravo, Adobe.  You've really blazed a new trail here with DPS and, with the exception of a few snags that will hopefully get resolved, we really look forward to continued use.

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 10, 2011 7:20 AM   in reply to landrvr1

    To Landrvr1,   Thanks for this detailed information on acrobat.com    Regards  Vividi

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 10, 2011 9:57 AM   in reply to landrvr1

    Thank you for the detailed report. I will look into modifying the lightning bolt. One question...Did you try sharing via the UI in the folio builder panel instead of through acrobat.com's workspace sharing? Sharing via the UI in the folio builder panel will not resend updates to all users when you add a new user to the share list.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 10, 2011 4:00 PM   in reply to landrvr1

    Great post landrv1 thanks for sharing your workflow with us. I'm with you on the lighing bolt it's got to go!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 10, 2011 4:02 PM   in reply to John J Metzger

    metz123 wrote:

    I will look into modifying the lightning bolt.

    Hi Metz123, in this post http://forums.adobe.com/message/3831969#3831969 I proposed some conditions whereby the "bolt" would appear or disappear are any of these possible?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 11, 2011 8:01 AM   in reply to landrvr1

    To Landrv1,  Did you look into publishing to the apple app store is it possible through the paid acrobat.com service, any further details on the process you went through to get your content out to viewers would be of great help.  Regards  Vividi

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 11, 2011 10:01 AM   in reply to landrvr1

    Landrvr1 -

     

    This is great info and a decent enough workaround to Adobe's self-imposed restrictions.

     

    I would add one minor qualification. Once you create the Adobe ID, and validate that email address, you also need to go to the digitalpublishing.acrobat.com (or perhaps acrobat.com) and log in with the newly created Adobe ID.

     

    Agree to the the Acrobat.com legalese...and then the new log in will work via Adobe Content Viewer. If you do not take the step to sign into acrobat.com and approve the boilerplate..the Adobe log in will not work in Content Viewer.

     

    In your workflow, that is a simple, one-time task, you can take on behalf of all your staffers when you do the initial setup.

     

    However, I am pitching a client on new business; and I want them to download Adobe Content Viewer and log in via their own iPad to see the campaign. So it isn't sufficent for me to ask them to create an Adobe ID and then validate that ID on Acrobat.com

     

    I would probably lose them if they merely had to create an Adobe ID. The extra step of agreeing on acrobat.com makes it nearly impossible.

     

    Adobe has got to understand that DPS - though useful to large consumer magazine publishers - is far more valuable as a general robust digital delivery platform a la PDF. By making Acrobat Reader freely available and not restricting (let alone charging) for the creation, transmission, and sharing of PDF files, PDF became the Universal Standard it is today.

     

    DPS will never get far out of the blocks if the kinds of restrictions we all now face with DPS each day remain in place.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 11, 2011 10:33 AM   in reply to michaellipson

    To Michaellipson,   "However, I am pitching a client on new business; and I want them to download Adobe Content Viewer and log in via their own iPad to see the campaign. So it isn't sufficent for me to ask them to create an Adobe ID and then validate that ID on Acrobat.com"  "I would probably lose them if they merely had to create an Adobe ID. The extra step of agreeing on acrobat.com makes it nearly impossible."   How do you then advertise your content if users will not download the adobe content viewer, or create an ID on Acrobat.com surely this is only suitable for in house content and not suitable for public viewing any further thoughts anyone.  Regards   Vividi

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 11, 2011 11:06 AM   in reply to vividi

    V -

     

    You are absolutely right..We are using DPS tools to produce ads for customers to run in our DPS publications.

     

    We need to be able to give customers access to content before it is published and made public.

     

    Essentially, they need to review and approve their ad.

     

    Asking them to download Adobe Content Viewer from the iTunes store, isn't too difficult.

     

    Asking them to sign into Adobe Content Viewer with a pre-set log in and password is a bit of a bump in the road...

     

    Anything beyond is a real obstacle.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 10, 2011 7:38 AM   in reply to landrvr1

    So this seems like a great post about how to share your folios with others but what about distributing? I work at a small design firm and I have a lot of exciting clients who would like to use this solution as a sales/marketing tool to highlight their products etc. It is a great solution for salespeople in the field but what if they wanted to make it availalbe for customers, just like they would a brochure?

     

    We previously created a standalone app that was "marketing-focused" and it got rejected from the apple app store for that specific reason. I would assume any clients' marketing materials would be rejected as well, so how do you get it out there?

     

    Anyone found a solution to this yet? Any thoughts would be very helpful.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 15, 2011 11:04 AM   in reply to sacdznTristan

    Any word on distribution? I too have clients who would like to create small enterprise apps and distribute them without going through the app store.

     

    Does anyone know if you can require a password to download a free app on the app store? And if you can, is this possible with an app created via Adobe DPS, or Aquafadas?

     
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  • Casey Jensen
    293 posts
    May 4, 2011
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 16, 2012 2:54 AM   in reply to landrvr1

    Lndrvr1, thanks for the great detailed post. I'm also interested in creating sales tools for a client of mine with Adobe's DPS. One question:

     

    Does the sales team need to have an Internet connection to view/present the .folio file while on the sales call?

     

    In my case there is no guarantee that the sales person will have an Internet connection during the sales call. The process would be for them to load the .folio onto their iPad in the office (with an Internet connection) and then head out on sales calls (without an Internet connection).

     

    Thank you,

     

    -Roy

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 16, 2012 3:37 AM   in reply to landrvr1

    Landvr1, you are aware that the limit of 1 folio for the free account is lifted? The free account now has onlimited folios!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 16, 2012 4:18 AM   in reply to Frans van der Geest

    That was written quite some time ago…much has changed.

     

     

     

    The sales team will only need an internet connection if you have live web connections in the folio.

     

     

     

    Bob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 16, 2012 9:17 AM   in reply to Bob Levine

    Bob, I've noticed that you are very much an expert in this forum. Your input is greatly appreciated by all here.

     

    Can I trouble you to direct me to a current/updated online resource for how to go about sharing .folios as landrvr1 has done in this post?

     

    Thanks a bunch!

     

    -Roy

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 16, 2012 9:42 AM   in reply to Tony Redhead

    I find myself humming the title song from Queen's Flash Gordon soundtrack when I see the lighning bolt. So, you know, it's not completely negative.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 16, 2012 10:47 AM   in reply to landrvr1

    You don't even need to create a free acrobat.com account any more. Just create an Adobe ID and use it to sing into either the folio builder panel in InDesign or the folio builder web client. Signing in to either of those services will upgrade your account to a DPS acocunt.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 16, 2012 11:13 AM   in reply to John J Metzger

    " sing into either the folio builder panel in InDesign or the folio builder web client.

     

     

    Is this new to Indesign, or can I put in a feature request.

     

     

    Regards

     

     

    Vividi

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 16, 2012 11:24 AM   in reply to John J Metzger

    I've seen a few "magazine" apps, but no "sales presentaions" created with Adobe DPS? Anyone willing to share an example of their "sales presentaion" created with Adobe DPS?

     

    A client of mine is wanting to use iPads to do "sales presentations"  -- without an Internet connection. In otherwords, the presentation must be able to run local/native on the iPad. Their initial thinking is to use  MS PowerPoint (their current tool of choice since they are all on PCS). My research has determined that they either need an internet connection to use something like CloudOn -- which allows most if not all of PowerPoint's bells and whistles (SmartArt, transitions, hyperlinks, etc.); OR use something like SlideShark but not be able to use the bells and whistles (SmartArt, transition, hyperlinks).

     

    I'm considering Adobe DPS as an alternative workflow since I would prefer to use InDesign over PowerPoint any day of the week.

     

    Thanks,

    Roy

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 16, 2012 12:06 PM   in reply to landrvr1

    Acrobat.com account

     
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