26 Replies Latest reply on Jan 16, 2012 12:06 PM by Frans van der Geest

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

    landrvr1 Level 2

      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.