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Adobe Connect Marketing Analysis

Adobe Connect Marketing Analysis (test)

okay I added this too (Tuesday)

Company: Adobe
Product(s): Acrobat Connect & Connect Professional
Version: Acrobat Connect v1, Acrobat Connect Professional v6

Report Date: September 27, 2007

Rev Date: October 30th, 2007 (Rob Holowka)
Brio Added: December 14th (Rob Holowka)

Update (Brio Release Information)

Adobe Brio is codename for the next generation of Acrobat Connect. Brio is a web
meeting service built with collaboration in mind for individual professionals and small
business. With Brio, you can instantly communicate and collaborate through an easy-
to-use, easy-to-access online personal meeting room.

To start a meeting, just go to your meeting room and invite others to join you at the
same URL (example: https://connect.acrobat.com/robholowka ). No downloads are
needed except for a small flash plug-in if you want to share your screen.

Brio beta allows you to:

• Host unlimited online meetings with up to 3 meeting participants.

• Interact with easy-to-use screen sharing, chat and whiteboards.
• Access you meetings instantly with a personalized, easy-to-remember URL.
• Distribute documents and files to meeting participants.
• Use integrated VoIP, teleconferencing (free audio conferencing reservation-
less for up to 3 meeting participants.and multi-point video.

How is Brio different from Adobe Connect?

Brio is the next generation of Adobe Acrobat Connect. Additional features in Brio that
are no in Adobe Acrobat Connect include:

• Richer expression in the Chat Pod with sizes, colors, and emoticons
• Text layout controls in the Note Pod including bullets, size, and color.
(Considered the note taking part)
• Save as .doc file option for meeting Chat and Notes
• Upload files to distribute to your meeting participants.
• Voice over IP option as an alternative to teleconferencing.
• Right click menues
• Whiteboard Pod with option to save yoru work as a .png file
• Annotate over screen shating using whiteboarding tools with the option to
save as your work as a .png file
• Personalized display images in the meeting attendee list.
• New Role names (host, participant and audience) for attendees and more
capabilities for participants making it easy to collaborate during meetings.
participants can now share their screen, enter notes, whiteboard
automatically without being promoted to a presenter.

Why is Brio important for Adobe?

Well Brio is built using the publicly available CocomoSDK. View the chart below. An
example of this is the Whiteboard used in Brio is built for extensibility, so that any
Flex developer can make new tools for it.

1) How much of BRIO adobe shipped as part of the reusable Cocomo Flex SDK
2) How much of BRIO was built on the server

Currently Brio is free and will remain to be free while in beta. More specifics about
their planned offering will be announced when they come out of beta.

There has been a lot of questions raised about offerings like things from LDAP
integration to the ability for displaying shared content, like Adobe Presenter
presentations or JPG/PNG images being dropped. Adobe has been responding to
these questions by saying "Acrobat Connect Professional is designed specifically for
online learning, webinars and enterprise web conferencing and supports more
advanced workflows, such as uploading and displaying PowerPoint presentations from
the share pod and support for Adobe Presenter. The next major version of Acrobat
Connect Pro will be release in Spring, 2008".

For a Full Review: Robin Good Brio Review

Adobe Acrobat Connect & Adobe Acrobat Connect


Analyzing the app, what did you like the best and what did you dislike the

• Ability to change the page layout to suite the needs of your meeting (Sharing,
Discussion and Collaboration) You can also create your own and save it to a
• Audio Setup Wizard, walks you through the steps to configure your web-cam
and voice (Automatically adjusts volume and silence levels).
• User ability to control web-cam quality and size (Change resolution and
Aspect (Portrait, Standard and Landscape).
• Adjust Room Screen Resolution so everybody is seeing the exact same thing.
(Set screen sizes 1024x768 etc.)
• Screen sharing performance was great
• Ability to share content from online content libary
• Ability to have multiple Sharing Pod's (Share image in one pod, screen
sharing in the other)
• Conversion and ability to create PPT's that retain animations/transitions
• API/SDK lets developers create pods using mtx add-ons using flash


• Limited amount of file types supported (PPT, SWF, JPG, MP3, FLV)
• Meetings are only synchronous unless recorded
• Most users will be overwhelmed by options

Web Conferencing Landscape

1. What are they known for (expertise)?

Adobe Acrobat Connect (AAC) & Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional (AACP) is Flash-
based web conferencing software.

• The software offers a wide range of features, including integrated VoIP and
video support, strong performance, flexible presentation management and
user interface customization.
• The software is offered as both a premise-based and hosted solution.
• Connect ranks as #3 in the web conferencing software sector, with
approximately 10% market share, behind market leader Cisco WebEx (64%
market share) and Microsoft Office Live Meeting (20% market share). Source:
Forrester & Gartner analyst reports.

2. What direction are they heading? (messaging)

Adobe's tag-line for Acrobat Connect is An Easier Way To Web Conference.

• Adobe Acrobat Connect is positioned as the next generation of web

conferencing software
• Connect enables individuals and small businesses to instantly communicate
and collaborate through easy-to-use, easy-to-access online personal meeting
• An emphasis is made on reducing travel costs, saving time, and increasing

Adobe's tag-line for Acrobat Connect Pro is Beyond Web Conferencing. No Technical

• Connect Pro is positioned as the complete web communications solution for

corporate departments and large enterprises
• Connect Pro enables organizations to conduct rapid training, marketing and
enterprise web conferencing
• An emphasis is made on removing the technology barriers of traditional web
• Acrobat Connect Professional is positioned in â€Å“Leadersâ€ï¿½ Quadrant in
the 2007 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Conferencing report

Further Integration with other software vendors

Example: DreamFactory (DreamTeam)

• Project Management
• Collaborative Calendaring
• Document Management

3. Who is their target market?

Adobe promotes Acrobat Connect to individuals and small businesses that are looking
to instantly communicate and collaborate through easy-to-use, easy-to-access online
personal meeting rooms.

Acrobat Connect Professional is geared to corporate departments and large

enterprises that want to rapidly create, deploy and tracking online meetings, training
sessions and on-demand presentations and engage customers and colleagues with
rich multi-media content.

4. What are their top 5 features?

Adobe Acrobat Connect

1. Unlimited always-on personal meeting rooms with up to 15 participants

2. Application and desktop sharing
3. White-boarding and annotation tools
4. Text chat, web-cam video and telephone audio conferencing
5. Full Apple Macintosh support

Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional

1. Application and desktop sharing (with remote control)

2. PowerPoint viewing with full support for animations, video, audio and hires
3. Support for web-cam video and VoIP audio conferencing
4. Document viewing and file sharing
5. Custom Branding

Note: Summarize the differences between AC ACP

4a. How do we respond or combat that?

In response to Adobe Acrobat Connect

1. Octopz also allows for an unlimited number of rooms to be created with an

unlimited number of defined users (only 5 at a time can participate in an
Octopz session or meeting but they all have full access to the features and
functionality of the room)
2. Octopz does not currently support application and desktop sharing. That
feature is being considered for a future version of the application
3. Octopz has a full set of markup and annotation tools that can be used on any
files that are shared in a room. Octopz also has white-boarding functionality
built in. (All views, markups, etc are saved)
4. Octopz has integrated support for text chat, web-cam video AND VoIP audio
5. Octopz supports multiple platforms ( full Apple Macintosh support, Linux and
Solaris Unix through the Flash plug-in)

In response to Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional

1. Octopz does not currently support application and desktop sharing and
remote control capabilities. That feature is being considered for a future
version of the application
2. Octopz does not support viewing of PowerPoint files that have animations,
video and audio embedded in them. Currently there is no plan to support this
feature, as it would require downloading an additional piece of software. This
may change in the future if Adobe provides a way for the Flash player to
support PowerPoint files with embedded rich-media through extensibility
3. Octopz has built in support for web-cam video and VoIP audio conferencing at
no extra cost. This feature is an optional upgrade in the hosted version of
Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro, and costs an additional $99/mo on top of the
$375/mo for the 5-user license pack
4. Octopz imports and converts a wide range of documents including Microsoft
Office files for sharing within Octopz rooms. However shared documents
cannot be downloaded out of an Octopz room. That feature may be enabled in
a future release of Octopz
5. Octopz also has a custom branding feature for a company logo or other

Note: Highlight the fact that Octopz saves documents, markups and views

5. What are their strengths?

The integration of Acrobat with Connect provides a natural launching point for
document-based web conferences.

Adobe is the creator of the Acrobat PDF standard and, with the acquisition of
Macromedia in 2005, now the owner of Flash and Breeze, the foundation technology
behind Acrobat Connect & Pro. These technologies and Adobe's name recognition
gives them a tremendous amount of clout in both enterprise and creative
professional environments.

Given Adobe's large R&D and engineering resources, they can continue to innovate
and extend Acrobat Connect and Pro at a much faster rate and scale than Octopz

5a. What are their weaknesses?

Adobe Acrobat Connect and Connect Pro lack integration with standard productivity
application suites such as Microsoft Office.

The availability of multiple options increases complexity and training effort.

The configurable user interface of Acrobat Connect Pro can lead to confusion and
degrade ease-of-use, especially among infrequent users.

5b. How do we say that Octopz is better and why?

Compared to Octopz, Acrobat Connect has a limited feature set and limited file
format support.

Compared to Octopz, Acrobat Connect Pro is much more expensive to license and
use. A five-user starter pack of Acrobat Connect Pro is US $375/mo with integrated
VoIP and video conferencing costing an additional US $99/mo. Put another way,
Octopz offers more than 3/4 of the functionality of Acrobat Connect Pro at less than
1/4 the price.

Acrobat Connect and Connect Pro also lack the peer-to-peer functionality of Octopz
which enables any one of the participants in a room to take full control and use all
the Octopz features.

Notes: Reference the cost of acquiring Acrobat Pro for writing PDFs
6. What is their market share?

According to Gartner and Forrester analyst estimates, Adobe Acrobat Connect has
approximately a 10% share of market in web conferencing, which puts them in 3rd
place behind WebEx (64%) and Microsoft Office Live Meeting (20%).

7. What is their pricing strategy?

Acrobat Connect is available by subscription only at US $35/mo per subscriber.

Acrobat Connect Pro is available by monthly subscription, staring at US $375/mo for

a 5 user license pack. VoIP and video conferencing costs an extra US $95/mo for a 5
user license pack. Teleconferencing is also available at an additional cost.
A 5 user license pack with VoIP and Video conferencing capability costs US $474/mo

Acrobat Connect Pro is also available on a pay-per-use basis at US $0.32


• A 1 hour meeting with 5 participants using Acrobat Connect Pro costs US $96.
A single Octopz license only costs $3 more and it can be used for an unlimited
number of meetings among an unlimited number of users (a maximum of 5 at
a time per room) for a whole month.

7a. Product Offerings: Lite vs SMB vs Enterprise

Acrobat Connect enables professionals to conduct interactive online personal

meetings with up to 15 participants, for a flat monthly or annual price.

Acrobat Connect Professional enables scalable, interactive web conferencing for small
or large teams, as well as web seminars, sales presentations, and online training for
up to 2,500 participants.

7b. Do they offer a free trial – if so, what is the length?

Adobe Acrobat Connect and Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro are both available for free
15-day trials.

8. What is their customer service strategy?

Adobe provides toll-free telephone support and online customer support through
online FAQs, technical documents, user forums and web-based support ticket
submissions for Acrobat Connect and Acrobat Connect Professional.

In addition Adobe offers Bronze, Silver and Gold support Plans for Adobe Acrobat
Connect Pro. For details see

Adobe recently established ConnectUsers.com, a new user community that provides

Acrobat Connect Professional users with valuable forums, tutorials and local

Here is an Acrobat Connect customer service discussion on ConnectUsers.com:


Note: articulate toll-free telephone support

9. What is their level of security?

All transaction- and account management-related interactions use Secure Socket

Layer (SSL) encryption.

For a future release, Adobe is considering adding an option for SSL-enabled

video/data streams as well for subscribers. This would result in slightly slower
performance, so it will be an individual preference whether a customer chooses
added security at the expense of performance.

Acrobat Connect is also DCTS JITC certified.

Defense Collaboration Tool Suite (DCTS) is a flexible, integrated set of

applications providing interoperable, synchronous, and asynchronous collaboration
capability to agencies of the United States Department of Defense, Combatant
Commands, and military services.

Joint Interoperability Test Command(JITC) - Interoperability testing for

collaboration tools.

Basically with both of these certifications you can use the product over the
Department of Defence (DoD) networks.
Examples of users: All goverment machines, Enterprise Users (Works within the most
demanding and complex IT systems

Other competitors certified: Groove, InfoWorkspace, eRoom, IBM/Lotus, OpenText

(LiveLink Meeting Zone), Microsoft (Microsoft Secure Collaboration Enviroment
(MSCE)), WebEx, ClicktoMeet, CollabWorx, Meeting Place,

10. What is the company reputation?

Adobe is one of the world’s largest and most diversified software companies with
6,068 employees and annual revenues of US $2.5 billion as of January 2007.

Adobe has an enviable reputation for excellence and a portfolio of many of the most
respected and recognizable software brands including Postscript, Photoshop and
Adobe was established in 1982 and is headquartered in San Jose, California.

Clips from their corporate profile:

• Adobe revolutionizes how the world engages with ideas and information.
• Their award-winning software and technologies have redefined business,
entertainment, and personal communications by setting new standards for
producing and delivering content that engages people virtually anywhere at
• From rich images in print, video, and film to dynamic digital content for a
variety of media, the impact of Adobe solutions is evident across industries
and felt by anyone who creates, views, and interacts with information.

11. What is their sales strategy?

Adobe, is the first large provider of web conferencing / online collaboration tools that
has understood and deployed a marketing / sales strategy that understands that to
sell to the large enterprise, you need to give a tool that first convinces, empowers
and pre-sells your technology offering to small guy too.

Adobe has been leveraging the popularity of the Adobe Acrobat product family,
available in hundreds of millions installed copies around the world. Adobe introduced
a new button to the Acrobat Reader toolbar and file menu 'Start Meeting....' At first
glance you would think it would start a meeting with the document that you are
currently viewing but it simply logs you into your account.

12. Where do they advertise?

Most of the advertising is done through reseller's and link back to a few video's
adobe has put together.
* See how Acrobat Connect Professional enhances your sales strategies
* See how Acrobat Connect Professional delivers training solutions.
* See how Acrobat Connect Progessional enables engaging meetings.

Example of reseller page:


Any ideas on where to grab this information?

13. Who are their key customers?

Everybody ranging from enterprise to the SOHO and consumer / Professional


14. What have they used to develop their RIA?

The product is entirely Adobe Flash based. All meeting workspaces are organized into
'pods' with each pod performing a specific role (i.e chat, whiteboard, note, etc.)
The recommended database for backend support is MS SQL

15. Do they have API Intergration?

The developer community is quite large and companies have come to exist
integrating databases, building custom pods etc.

Adobe Connect is extensible and enables IT professionals and developers to support

and extend the functionality of the following:

Directory Services Integration: Supports out-of-the-box integration with an

organization's existing user management system directory (Active Directory, LDAP)
Allows you to manage users and groups in a single location

Single sign-on: Supports direct integration with corporate authentication systems.

Comprehensive APIs and SDKs: Organizations can use the comprehensive web
services framework in Adobe Connect Enterprise Server to integrate with existing
enterprise applications and systems such as enterprise portals, CRM or ERP systems.
Developers can also extend the capabilities through the Collaboration builder SDK,
which enables them to enhance web communication experiences through interactive

Examples of API's available

• Audio Conference Bridge Integration - Using this API, developers, in

conjunction with our partners or customers, will be able to integrate call
control features (similar to those made available through the Premiere
integration) with other conference server providers (CSPs) and enterprise
audiobridge vendors.
• Sync SWF - allows developers to use Breeze Meeting (now Acrobat Connect
Professional) as a platform to build multi-user applications and content so
that meeting attendees can collaborate on them in real-time. Via an MXP
extension, ActionScript developers can use the Sync SWF SDK to rapidly
create custom collaborative applications for use in Breeze without leaving the
Flash authoring environment. What's more is that the easy to use APIs allow
you to concentrate on client side functionality while the Breeze Server handles
the collection and dispatch of events to each meeting client for you. This
means turning any existing Flash content or application into a Sync SWF is as
easy as implementing a few API calls.
• Customization Allows companies to brand the entire breeze experience
• XML-based Web Services API- Integrate Connect with you custom or existing
• Collaboration Builder SDK - Sychronize content for all attendees

Examples Apps (Ice Breakers, Commercials, Attendance Tracker, Countdown Timer,

Sound Maker, Note Taking Applications, Photo Album Sharing, Mapping Applications
and others.)

More examples can be found at the Connect Developer Center:


17. Analyst & Media review links


Turbo Screen Sharing: Turbo Screen Sharing is the ability to screen share fast
moving multimedia and video at a very low bandwidth consumption rate, while
maintaining a superior user experience including high fidelity, smoothness and
minimal dropped frames.

link to whitepaper:

Side Note - 2 day courses for learning Adobe Connect $836


Robin Good Review -


General notes: (done by Rob) explain (Done by Rob) api, sdk, (Done by Rob)turbo screen mode, SP3

Top Ten Takeway addition