November 05, 2020

7 ways that Adobe extends the value of your Microsoft investment

Scott Gosling
National Practice Manager - Microsoft at Data#3
Freddie Mercury and Queen. Wine and cheese. Burgers and fries. Some things are simply better together. Now, you can add Adobe and Microsoft to the list: a perfect match providing a simpler, faster way to do business.

The challenges of 2020 have made the pairing of these two tech platforms even more significant. With more people working from home than ever before, organisations are scrambling to adopt digital workflows and productivity tools that enable business-as-usual operations from anywhere.

Let’s take a look at how this powerful integration is helping businesses big and small meet the challenges of remote working.

Accelerating the trend towards digitisation

At the start of the pandemic, 91% of businesses switched their operating model to remote work1, requiring their employees to work from home. Back in the early days of remote working, this change was substantial from a technology delivery perspective, as well as the personal connection to colleagues. Yet it’s now predicted that for some businesses and staff, some of these changes will be permanent: 48% of employees will continue to work remotely, compared to 30% pre-pandemic2.

This emerging hybrid work model presents a new set of challenges. On one hand, remote workers need access to productivity and collaboration tools to get work done. On the other, it’s hard to upskill workers on new technologies and solutions, particularly if face-to-face training is not practical.

It’s why many organisations are looking for ways to get more from the productivity tools their teams already use and know inside-out, and it’s why Adobe and Microsoft’s collaboration is ticking so many boxes.

An example of how Adobe and Microsoft work better together

So what does this look like inside your business? Let’s look at one department that has had significant considerations added due to the pandemic: human resources. To allow HR to focus on the health of your staff, let’s look at how we can make their life simplier by transforming manual, time-consuming processes by using Adobe and Microsoft tools together. HR’s mandate is to find, recruit, retain and support exceptional employees. To do this, they lean heavily on forms. And, in many businesses, these forms are still manually produced, paper-based, error-prone and slow.

There’s a huge opportunity for HR teams to streamline and digitise processes, thereby allowing them to focus on their core mission. And, while many may have a freeze on new hires right now, it won’t be long before things pick up pace again. HR teams will need to be prepared to act fast.

To accelerate operations and free up time to focus on people, HR teams can use Adobe and Microsoft to digitise their most commonly-used forms and contracts. By integrating Adobe Sign into forms prepared using O365, for example, it becomes as easy as ‘click and sign’ on everything from onboarding paperwork to employee retention surveys. In fact, that’s exactly what we do here at Data#3: not only does it reduce the time spent by HR on repetitive tasks, it also reduces the risk of missing out on top talent simply because of the time required to create, print and post employment contracts.

Key benefits of the integration

1. Seamlessly extend your Microsoft ecosystem

When you subscribe to Adobe Document Cloud (DC) you can easily deploy Adobe’s best-in-class PDF and electronic signature solution within the Microsoft apps you use every day. You can create, edit, share and combine PDFs directly in Microsoft Sharepoint, Onenote and Teams, sign important documents, securely trace interactions with a document, and more: no coding, switching apps or development fees required.

2. Boost workforce productivity

Integrating Adobe with Microsoft productivity tools helps you achieve the paperless productivity that modern businesses require in the ‘new normal.’ There’s no need to print, scan, fax or post documents. Forrester estimates that up to 65 hours per year can be saved when using Adobe Document Cloud with Microsoft 365 apps3, removing the challenge of jumping between different applications. It’s a simple, streamlined digital workflow to help your teams work faster and more effectively.

3. Improve security

With the rush to get teams working remotely, security may not have been a consideration at the time. This is now being addressed by many organisations, and there is a real focus on endpoint security due to the continued increase in malicious attacks. Home Wi-Fi networks are generally less secure than their corporate counterparts, and employees may be using personal devices (again, less secure) while working from home. This more complex attack surface, coupled with more sophisticated and severe attacks has forced security to be pushed to the top of IT’s agenda.

Together, Microsoft and Adobe offer some of the industry’s leading security resources to protect your data, your documents and your company. Password-protect PDFs directly in Microsoft 365 to safeguard confidential information, and benefit from the integrated reliability of Microsoft 365 cloud security. You can even enable users to open PDFs protected by Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) solutions from Windows and macOS.

4. Collaborate from anywhere

Got an important pitch or proposal that needs to be accessible from remote team members for collaboration? Create and edit PDF documents in SharePoint or Teams, with easy tracking of comments and feedback – there’s even the ability to add audio files. Plus, Adobe Document Cloud makes it simple to collaborate, share, review and sign PDFs from any device, solving the challenge of remote workers logging in from personal devices.

5. Replace ink signatures

Adobe Sign is Microsoft’s preferred electronic signature solution, enabling the fast, secure signing of the documents and agreements at the core of most businesses. Employees can quickly and securely sign and send documents, contracts and digital forms from their preferred Microsoft application – Outlook, OneNote, Sharepoint or Teams.

6. Tick off on compliance

The enterprise-grade capabilities of Adobe Sign make it easier to address compliance obligations. Not only is it fast and secure, but it meets the most demanding laws and industry-specific regulations – giving you complete confidence that your digital solution adheres to the rigour of any rules that guide your business processes.

7. Reduce the burden on IT

According to a recent Forrester report, Adobe Document Cloud reduces IT help desk tickets by 95%3. In an organisation that logs 1,000 tickets of this nature a year, that’s an annual saving of $27,550!4  While this represents a huge cost savings, the savings are further amplified as the solution frees up IT’s time to focus on new digital initiatives.

With Adobe DC and Microsoft O365 working together, a whole range of benefits surface:

  • Deploy in minutes
  • Do away with manual ETL tasks that previously required updating every time something is changed in underlying data structures or apps
  • Easily assign, reassign, remove and track licenses with just a few clicks in the web-based Admin Console
  • Keep software costs predictable
  • Get ongoing access to new features and security updates, at no additional charge.

IT also gains greater visibility into software usage via the Adobe Admin Console, eliminating the need for arduous internal audits.

Want to know more?

It’s clear that the integration between Microsoft and Adobe delivers some compelling benefits to businesses of all shapes and sizes – in today’s business climate, these benefits matter more than ever.

Contact one of our licensing specialists today to discuss how you can maximise the value of your software assets.

1. Gartner Research. March 2020. Gartner Coronavirus in Mind: Make Remote Work Successful!
2. Gartner. June 2020. Gartner Says Worldwide End-User Spending on Cloud-Based Web Conferencing Solutions Will Grow Nearly 25% in 2020
3. Forrester Research. August 2019. The Total Economic Impact of Adobe Acrobat DC
4. Assuming that the average help desk ticket takes 30 minutes to resolve and the average salary for a help desk employee is $58/hour