Sign of the times: how Adobe Document Cloud makes document management easy

Documents are one of the last bastions of these old ways of working. Web conferencing means you don't have to travel for a meeting just to show someone a presentation. Even market stalls use credit card swipe systems like Square so they don't lose customers. Grilli thinks having to post a form off to someone is about the go the same way.

"What will make companies change their minds is that they're going to start losing customers and they'll realise one reason business is slowing down is that competitors are doing things better, faster, cheaper. What we're hearing from customers is not, 'How does digital signing for documents work?' or 'Is that even legal?' – it's 'What's the best practice that someone else is doing that I need to worry about?'"

Making it easy to work with documents on the devices you want, including filling out and signing forms, can improve both employee productivity and customer satisfaction. "Often the problem is that the company systems don't talk to each other and the burden of making them talk to each other falls on me – or you put it on the customer. A connected customer experience is at the centre of all these things and that gets you the competitive advantage of customer support."

No big hassle

The idea with Document Cloud is to give you slicker tools you can pick up straight away but that can also fit in with what you already use. "We're deliberately not going the route of you having to rethink your entire platform to make it happen," Grilli explains. "If you want you can be up and running in minutes. Or you can, if you want to, figure some custom workflow and that would take maybe a week."

"We have a customer that is stuck using SharePoint. They have a lot of workflows, but the way they're using it, SharePoint hasn't enabled things to go outside of their company. Our ability with a few days' worth of setup to say 'I'm going to grab this file and make something happen and then put it back' has transformed these systems that they were viewing internally as something they had got to replace, but it would be really expensive and it would take six months or two years to do that, into something that can do what they need now."


Mary (Twitter, Google+, website) started her career at Future Publishing, saw the AOL meltdown first hand the first time around when she ran the AOL UK computing channel, and she's been a freelance tech writer for over a decade. She's used every version of Windows and Office released, and every smartphone too, but she's still looking for the perfect tablet. Yes, she really does have USB earrings.