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Adobe rises to Document Cloud

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Adobe has announced Adobe Document Cloud, a new way to manage critical documents at home, in the office and across multiple devices.

At the heart of Document Cloud is the all-new Adobe Acrobat DC, which will take e-signatures mainstream by delivering free e-signing as part of the integrated solution.

Adobe Document Cloud consists of a set of integrated services that use a consistent online profile and personal document hub.  People will be able to create, review, approve, sign and track documents whether on a desktop or mobile device. Acrobat DC, with a touch-enabled user interface, will be available both via subscription and one-time purchase.

“People and businesses are stuck in document-based processes that are slow, wasteful, and fragmented. While most forms of content have successfully made the move to digital (books, movies, music), documents and the process of working with them have not, and that needs to change,” said Bryan Lamkin, senior vice president of technology and corporate development at Adobe. “Adobe Document Cloud will revolutionize and simplify how people get work done with critical documents.”

A study by Adobe titled Paper Jam: Why Documents are Dragging Us Down, has exposed how antiquated business processes and outdated ways of working with documents are having a dramatic impact on productivity, efficiency and worker satisfaction. The findings show that 83% of workers feel their success and ability to be productive at work are slowed down by outdated ways of working with documents, and 61% said they would change jobs if the only benefit was dramatically less document and administrative work. It’s a problem that businesses can no longer afford to ignore.

Adobe Document Cloud will include:

·         All-new Acrobat DC
With Acrobat DC, Adobe is taking the world’s best PDF solution to an entirely new level. With an intuitive, touch-enabled interface, Acrobat DC delivers powerful new functionality to get work done anywhere. The new Tool Center offers simplified and quick access to the tools you use most.  And, Acrobat DC uses Photoshop imaging magic to convert any paper document into a digital, editable file that can be sent for signature. Read to discover more about Acrobat DC

·         E-signing Anywhere, for Everyone

eSign Services (formerly Adobe EchoSign) will be included with every subscription of Acrobat DC, which is part of both Document Cloud and Adobe Creative Cloud.  Now you can electronically send and sign any document from any device.  New Fill & Sign makes signing anything fast and easy, including smart autofill across devices.

·         Introducing Mobile Link and New Mobile Apps
Access your work as you move between desktop and devices, and pick up that form or document where you left off with new Mobile Link – your files, settings and signatures stay with you. With two new mobile apps, Acrobat Mobile and Fill & Sign, people can create, edit, comment and sign documents directly on their mobile phones and tablets. Plus, use the camera on your device as a portable scanner to easily convert any paper documents to digital, editable files that can be sent for signature.

·         Document Management & Control
Services such as Send & Track let you manage, track and control your documents.  With intelligent tracking, you gain visibility into where critical documents are along their process, including who has opened them and when.  Control features also help to protect sensitive information, both inside and outside the firewall, for business or personal use.

Integration with Adobe Creative Cloud and Marketing Cloud

Acrobat has been central to Adobe Creative Cloud and its massive success – enabling creative mock-ups, markup and response, pre-press support, and more. Adobe Document Cloud will extend that use, allowing creatives to work with PDFs anywhere, and adding e-signing capabilities and the ability to synch with Creative Cloud. Adobe Creative Cloud customers will have access to Document Cloud through Acrobat DC, which will be included with a membership to Creative Cloud.

Today, Adobe Document Cloud e-Sign services integrates with Adobe Experience Manager Forms to provide seamless experiences to customers across web and mobile sites.  In the future, Adobe will integrate key components of Adobe Marketing Cloud to help businesses test, measure and manage documents, providing the same visibility into usage and interactions with documents that marketers already have with digital marketing assets today.

Document Cloud for the Enterprise
According to a recent survey by IDC*, disconnected document processes are pervasive and negatively impact all areas of business. More than 80% of document work is still not digital, with documents often making one or more transitions into and out of paper, especially when signatures are involved. Each time that happens, valuable time is lost.  In addition, workers are spending more than one-third of their time on administrative process instead of core work.

“Our study shows that organizations of all kinds are suffering from what we call the ‘document disconnect’,” said Melissa Webster, Program Vice President, Content and Digital Media Technologies, IDC.  “It afflicts organizations of all sizes in all industries around the world.  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.”

Document Cloud for the enterprise addresses this disconnect by providing departments and entire organizations with services, including enterprise-class e-sign services, that bring speed and efficiency to business document workflows, both inside and outside the organization. Document Cloud for the enterprise offers solutions for industries including healthcare and insurance, financial services, media and entertainment, government, and schools and universities. In addition, enterprises can centrally manage Document Cloud and Creative Cloud user accounts and licenses with single sign-on (SSO) in the Adobe Enterprise Dashboard.

According to the IDC survey, business leaders have estimated that the potential benefits of addressing the ‘document disconnect’ would increase revenue by 36%, reduce costs by 30% while reducing compliance risks by 23%. It’s an upside that any business should embrace.

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA

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Samsung unleashes the beast

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Most new smartphone releases of the past few years have been like cat-and-mouse games with consumers and each other. It has been as if morsels of cheese are thrown into the box to make it more interesting: a little extra camera here, a little more battery there, and incremental changes to size, speed (more) and weight (less). Each change moves the needle of innovation ever-so-slightly. Until we find ourselves, a few years later, with a handset that is revolutionary compared to six years ago, but an anti-climax relative to six months before.

And then came Samsung. Probably stung by the “incremental improvement” phrase that has become almost a cliché about new Galaxy devices, the Korean giant chose to unleash a beast last week.

The new Galaxy Note 9 is not only the biggest smartphone Samsung has ever released, but one of the biggest flagship handsets that can still be called a phone. With a 6.4” display, it suddenly competes with mini-tablets and gaming consoles, among other devices that had previously faced little contest from handsets.

It offers almost ever cutting edge introduced to the Galaxy S9 and S9+ smartphones earlier this year, including the market-leading f1.5 aperture lens, and an f2.4. telephoto lens, each weighing in at 12 Megapixels. The front lens is equally impressive, with an f1.7 aperture – first introduced on the Note 8 as the widest yet on a selfie camera.

So far, so S9. However, the Note range has always been set apart by its S Pen stylus, and each edition has added new features. Born as a mere pen that writes on screens, it evolved through the likes of pressure sensitivity, allowing for artistic expression, and cut-and-paste text with translation-on-the-fly.

(Click here or below to read more about the Samsung Galaxy S Pen stylus) Samsung Galaxy S9 Features)

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SA ride permit system ‘broken’

Despite the amendments to the National Land Transport Act, ALON LITS, General Manager, Uber in Sub Saharan Africa, believes that many premature given that the necessary, well-functioning systems and processes are not yet in place to make these regulatory changes viable.

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The spirit and intention of the amendments to the National Land Transport Act No 5  (NLTA), 2009 put forward by the Ministry of Transport are to be commended. It is especially pleasing that these amendments include ridesharing and e-hailing operators and drivers as legitimate participants in the country’s public transport system, which point to government’s willingness to embrace the changes and innovation taking place in the country’s transport industry.

However, there are aspects of the proposed amendments that are, at best, premature given that the necessary, well-functioning systems and processes are not yet in place to make these regulatory changes viable.

Of particular concern are the significant financial penalties that will need to be paid by ridesharing and e-hailing companies whose independent operators are found to be transporting passengers without a legal permit issued by the relevant local authority. These fines can be as high as R100 000 per driver operating without a permit. Apart from being an excessive penalty it is grossly unfair given that a large number of local authorities don’t yet have functioning permit issuing systems and processes in place.

The truth is that the operating permit issuance system in South Africa is effectively broken. The application and issuance processes for operating licenses are fundamentally flawed and subject to extensive delays, sometimes over a year in length.  This situation is exacerbated by the fact that it is very difficult for applicants whose permit applications haven’t yet been approved to get reasons for the extensive delays on the issuing of those permits.

Uber has had extensive first-hand experience with the frustratingly slow process of applying for these permits, with drivers often having to wait months and, in some cases more than a year, for their permits.

Sadly, there appears to be no sense of urgency amongst local authorities to prioritise fixing the flawed permit issuing systems and processes or address the large, and growing, backlogs of permit applications. As such, in order for the proposed stringent permit enforcement rules to be effective and fair to all role players, the long-standing issues around permit issuance first need to be addressed. At the very least, before the proposed legislation amendments are implemented, the National Transport Ministry needs to address the following issues:

  1. Efficient processes and systems must be put in place in all local authorities to allow drivers to easily apply for the operating permits they require
  2. Service level agreements need to be put in place with local authorities whereby they are required to assess applications and issue permits within the prescribed 60-day period.
  3. Local authorities need to be given deadlines by which their current permit application backlogs must be addressed to allow for faster processing of new applications once the amendments are promulgated.

If the Transport Ministry implements the proposed legislation amendments before ensuring that these permit issuance challenges are addressed, many drivers will be faced with the difficult choice of either having to operate illegally whilst awaiting their approved permits and risking significant fines and/or arrest, or stopping operations until they receive their permits, thereby losing what is, for many of them, their only source of income.

As such, if the Ministry of Transport is not able to address these particular challenges, it is only reasonable to ask it to reconsider this amendment and delay its implementation until the necessary infrastructure is in place to ensure it does not impact negatively on the country’s transport industry. The legislators must have been aware of the challenges of passing such a significant law, as the Amendment Bill allows for the Minister to use his discretion to delay implementation of provisions for up to 5 years.

Fair trade and healthy competition are the cornerstones of any effective and growing economy. However, these clauses (Section 66 (7) and Section 66A) of the NLTA amendment, as well as the proposal that regulators be given authority to define the geographic locations or zones in which vehicles may operate, are contrary to the spirit of both. As a good corporate citizen, Uber is committed to supplementing and enhancing South Africa’s national transport system and contributing positively to the industry. If passed into law without the revisions suggested above, these new amendments will limit our business and many others from playing the supportive roles we all can, and should, in growing the SA transport and tourism industries as well as many other key economic sectors.

What’s more, if passed as they currently stand, the amendments will effectively limit South African consumers from having full access to the range of convenient transport options they deserve; which has the potential to harm the reputation and credibility of the entire transport industry.

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