Adobe Summit in Review

Taking stock of where the Adobe Clouds are headed in 2018

We're a week out from Adobe Summit now, the dust is settling, the laundry is done, and any sunburns some were lucky enough to get have faded into a whisper of a tan.

Products in motion

The feeling I got this year from Summit is that Adobe is settling in and branching out into every corner of the stage it set last year with the introductions of Adobe Sensei, the Adobe + Microsoft Partnership, and the firm push of revolutionizing the customer experience.  This year built upon those early introductions, moving far past the promise of powerful integrations and sleek, 'this is the future' presentations.  At Summit 2018 we saw Sensei embedded into every Adobe product, from helping Campaign select the right customer journey to assisting in Assets with selecting the right image for the right market.  The future is here, and Adobe is putting it to work.

Experience is Everything

Adobe also doubled down on The Experience this year, too, creating its Experience League enablement program to help customers get the most out of the Adobe Experience Cloud, and having the main stage full of celebrities and companies, like J.J. Watt with his hurricane relief project and Sir Richard Branson with the ever-evolving story of his Virgin brand that started with records and may very well end up in space.  These people and brands built their success on being the very Experience Makers Adobe is heralding, instead of just experience thinkers - or worse, those that aren't focused on the customer experience at all.  If you haven't felt these winds shift already, take notice, because we're approaching gale-force.

Data Privacy

It was hard to ignore the undercurrent of privacy and data protection that seemed to infiltrate every session.  With high profile breaches and the fallout from Facebook's recent disclosures on everyone's minds, more questions than normal were raised - of how to protect user data, how to control it, and even more moral quandaries that don't yet have fully-formed answers, such as, what is Adobe's moral obligation to its licensees who are working with user data? Or, how do customers take control of their own data?  Perhaps the most existential question I heard raised was at a press briefing, asked by a Gen Z conference ambassador - how does data make our everyday lives better?  I think as technologists and marketers we've often avoided that question or answered it with glib jargon without truly considering it outside of our work lives and how this data obsession is changing the real world around us.  The current instances of data leaks should give us pause to thoroughly answer these tough questions.

All in all, I thought Adobe Summit was a powerful show this year.  Their Sneaks were compelling, the interactive data collection in the Community Pavillion was fun and well-timed with the NCAA Men's tournament, and there were puppies to cuddle when the potential of the Adobe Clouds got too much to handle.  The future promised to us last year is here, and we're ready to deliver it to our clients.