Company Processes Go Green With New Adobe Portfolio

Now companies can save trees and money while maximizing efficiency for work-related procedures.

Software giant Adobe has rolled out its PDF (portable document format) Portfolio, which is part of Acrobat 9 and allows IT professionals and other knowledge workers to showcase a variety of projects in customized formats.

“The whole idea of going paperless and trying to remove paper from corporations has been an initiative for a long time,” said Dave Stromfeld, senior product manager for Acrobat. “[PDF provides] a way to move paper-based processes into an electronic environment [and make it] accessible to people all the time.”

In today’s work environment, knowledge workers — a group that includes general business users in a range of job functions such as IT, finance and HR — are constantly connected to each other and get bombarded with large amounts of information. Adobe capitalized on the opportunity to create a tool that would facilitate better communication and sharing among knowledge workers.

“Acrobat 9 [is] all about helping knowledge workers communicate and collaborate more effectively with their partners, customers [and] suppliers — whether that means they’re inside the organization or across organizations — and helping them span all these boundaries of time, distance and device,” Stromfeld said.

The new PDF Portfolio allows users to create and integrate a variety of documents — including word-processing documents, spreadsheets, e-mail messages, images, dynamic media and more — into a single PDF file. This prevents employees from having to compose and distribute e-mail messages with a dozen related attachments, and it also benefits the recipients, as they can read the information contained within the portfolio as a cohesive document using a single media player: Adobe Reader.

Each of the documents in the portfolio can be organized and customized to allow for a more interactive and engaging experience.

Take, for instance, one of its functional features: the ability to collaborate on a project with peers in remote locations. People across the globe can host a meeting using a particular document in the portfolio and navigate through the document together, while making changes and updates in real time.

“There are a lot of workflows within organizations where [knowledge workers, including IT professionals,] still traditionally have dealt with paper because they need to do something with that piece of paper, [such as] make comments, scribble, draw some lines,” Stromfeld said.

But the new application has tools that allow everyone in the collaboration workflow to electronically review and mark up documents, and even view each others’ comments and markups without ever having to print anything out. For this reason, even those who are traditionally more comfortable working with paper documents may consider going green.

“Getting people off paper and onto electronic means was the first step,” Stromfeld said. “The second step is taking those more involved hands-on workflows that people have traditionally done on paper and giving them corollaries to do that in the electronic world [while saving] them paper, time [and] money. Besides [fewer] trees being used, there are a lot of other ancillary benefits that organizations are realizing.”

– Deanna Hartley, dhartley@certmag.com

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Deanna Hartley

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