Adobe Document Cloud seeks to end enterprise reliance on paper-based forms

Adobe plans to roll out a cloud-based digitised document hub to make it easier for enterprise users to manage and process forms

Adobe wants to reduce its users’ reliance on paper-based forms with its latest round of cloud services, which are designed to help them track, sign and manage digital documents from a central online hub.

The software giant hopes the Adobe Document Cloud, which is expected to go on general release within the next month, will simplify and speed up the way organisations distribute and process forms using digitisation.

As such, the range of services that feature in Adobe Document Cloud will allow users to create, alter, share, track and sign forms using mobile and desktop devices

These services include Mobile Link, which allows users to pick up where they left off when editing documents if they switch from a mobile device to a laptop.

This is complemented by the inclusion of Acrobat Mobile and Fill & Sign, which allows users to alter, scan and comment on documents using mobile devices.

Furthermore, documents that require digitisation and editing can be processed using the touch-enabled Adobe Acrobat Document Cloud, and signed for free, while Send & Track lets users keep tabs on how the documents they send are being processed, so they know when they've been opened.

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These services can either be purchased on a subscription basis or for a one-off fee, while Adobe Creative Cloud users will be able to access Document Cloud via Acrobat DC, which will be included from now on when they subscribe to the service.

Adobe senior vice-president of technology and corporate development Bryan Lamkin said the new service should help make processing documents more efficient for users.

“People and businesses are stuck in document-based processes that are slow, wasteful and fragmented,” he said. "While most forms of content have successfully made the move to digital, documents and the process of working with them have not, and that needs to change."

To emphasise this point, recent research from market watcher IDC suggests more than 80% of document work is still done on paper-based forms, which are time-consuming to process.

IDC programme vice-president of content and digtal media technologies Melissa Webster said the study shows organisations are suffering from "document disconnect".

“It afflicts organisations of all sizes in all industries around the world," she said. "It results in significant delays and errors across critical business functions such as sales contracting and quoting, procurement, talent acquisition and onboarding.

“And it is a serious impediment to business that – according to our respondents – negatively affects revenue, compliance, cost, productivity and customer experience.”

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