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The following news articles are geared toward students and other professionals.
Adobe CIO: Optimizing Our Employee Experience Print E-mail
Thursday, 20 July 2017 13:00

Very often, when someone takes on a new CIO role, they are handed a lot of problems. I’m happy to say that was not the case when I joined Adobe. IT was not broken, and that enabled me to hit the ground running on innovation. One of the areas that I was eager to tackle was the internal employee experience.

When you think about our offerings across Creative Cloud, Document Cloud, and Experience Cloud, Adobe is offering a phenomenal digital experience to customers. I wanted to make sure we were bringing those insights and the same world-class experience to our internal customers – our employees – because happy employees naturally lead to happier customers.

It wasn’t just about making their lives a little easier. The next-generation workforce has a new level of expectations. If their experience at work doesn’t match the personalized and design-led experiences they are used to in their daily life, they are likely to look around for another opportunity. To retain your best employees in today’s environment, you really need to think about their experience as a journey from the day an employee joins until the day they retire. How can you best equip them on their journey? In what ways can you give them the instantaneous response and concept of ease that is natural to them in their worldview?

Figuring this out can offer a number of benefits. If people find their work gratifying and are motivated by their environments, that’s going to show externally. For instance, if they have intuitive and powerful tools to work with internally, they can be more productive and provide better customer service. 

Personas Help Improve Employee Experience

As part of my IT re-organization, I took all the different components of functions, capabilities, everything that touches the employee, and put them in one group, which we call the “employee experience solutions group within IT.” This group is looking at the employee journey from the view of different personas, based on the type of work that an individual does.        

For example, one of our employee personas is a “builder” – anyone whose work is focused on creating experiences through building software. We also have a “leader” persona – anyone managing a team – and a “communicator” – one who influences and collaborates with others. If you think about personas in those terms, it’s easy to see that different types of tools are needed for the various ways these people work. How a builder uses our collaboration tools, for instance, is going to be very different than how a communicator uses them because of how they actually move around the company, travel, work remote, work in the office, or a number of other factors.

We’ve found that employees put a high premium on the design, ease of use of the experience, and the efficiency of their workflows. So, we are working to digitize as many of those employee experiences as possible.

Part of that is taking IT out of the equation. Not because IT isn’t needed, but rather, we are looking at IT as an enabler of self-service activities throughout the business – things that our employees can do for themselves without having to call the IT help desk. For instance, we are updating our intranet with easy-to-consume and informative knowledge documents around commonly asked questions. And we are enabling the ease-of-use of information and applications across mobile devices.  

Another part of digitizing the employee experience is going paperless. In HR, for example, 55 percent of new hire paperwork is signed with Adobe Sign and returned within 24 hours, closing candidates faster and saving time. We’ve also worked with the legal team on electronic workflows, which has helped them out tremendously with contract-processing and more accurate and secure documentation.

Unique Workspaces

Finally, we are challenging ourselves to create unique and standout workspace experiences. We are implementing more collaborative environments where people can use design thinking for ideation and problem-solving. We have a space within our corporate office in San Jose called Lab 82. The name is derived from the founding year of Adobe, 1982, and the fact that Adobe started with an idea in a lab. The company founders believed that good ideas come from everywhere in the company, and in that spirit Lab 82 was born. Within Lab 82, teams benefit from a creative well-designed space to help inspire innovation and creativity. 

Additionally, in Lab 82 we can observe how different people react to the new tools, whether they are a new employee or a more seasoned employee. And we’re learning some interesting things that are helping to shape how we put together the workplace and the tools of the future.  

We firmly believe that our customer success is dependent on the success of our employees. With digitization transforming businesses inside and out, we’ve reached an inflection point to re-imagine employee experiences. I encourage other CIOs to take similar steps to advance the inside of their organizations and empower their employees to take productivity and innovation to new levels.

This story originally appeared in The Enterprisers Project.


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How Corporate Responsibility Can Address Systemic Barriers to Diversity Print E-mail
Tuesday, 18 July 2017 13:00

The role of Corporate Responsibility (CR) in the enterprise has changed significantly over the years. The original role of CR was to direct philanthropic funds and manage employee volunteer programs. Next came a more strategic approach, which sought to understand the effect of specific business practices on society, with the goal of minimizing harm. This evolved and enlarged the mission of CR to include employee attraction and retention, more ethical supply chains, and the reduction of carbon footprints. For CR to continue to be relevant in the coming decade, the next generation of CR must involve taking on the ongoing challenge of diversity in the enterprise.

The topic of diversity has been hotly debated, especially here in Silicon Valley. Minorities are underrepresented in tech by 16 to 18 percentage points compared with their presence in the US labor force overall. Diversity itself has been broadened to include not only gender and racial diversity, but also workers with disabilities, LGBTQIA communities, and other underrepresented populations. The advantages to diversity in business are well documented, as studies show that diverse organizations can outperform their peers. A McKinsey study showed that companies in the top quartile for ethnic diversity were 35% more likely to see financial performances above the national median. A report from Intel found that a diverse workforce increases revenues, profits, and market value. A 2016 study found that 81% of tech founders acknowledge that a diverse workforce enhances creativity and innovation. And yet, the lack of diversity persists.

How can this be changed? Today, “organizational health” indices and checklists can determine how diverse a company really is, and tie that data back to the overall health of a company. These measurements track improvements as companies implement diversity programs. The tools allow organizations to discover and analyze “diversity gaps,” which are often a result of unconscious bias and can be diminished over time as more hiring managers get to know people from different backgrounds. Armed with this information, companies can then create an actionable strategy to address the issue.

Here are three ways the enterprise can enact diversity initiatives that provide a long-term payoff:

Focus Locally.

12 years ago, I helped launch Warner Bros. Entertainment’s Reach Program. After a survey of the local community revealed that Warner Bros. was perceived (quite literally) as an impenetrable fortress, we developed the Reach Program. The program was designed to enable local youth to access job opportunities in the entertainment business, a traditionally difficult field to enter. We focused our efforts on creating opportunities for underrepresented groups within the Burbank area, by recruiting underserved high school juniors interested in the entertainment business. Reach offered high school summer internships, then college scholarships, and finally entry level jobs. This was a successful endeavor that still operates today. By focusing locally, we systematically integrated the local talent pool into the Warner Brothers workforce, and simultaneously strengthened the ties between business and community.

Source Creatively.

For years, enterprise corporations have sourced talent from the same short list of top universities. Microsoft broke that pattern by creating a program specifically targeting individuals on the autism spectrum, providing an entry to employment for individuals who were often invisible to tech recruiters. While autistic candidates frequently possess the aptitude for high-level tech jobs, a lack of social skills holds them back. Recruiters miss the obvious and innate talents of these candidates, due to an over-reliance on interview performance. By incorporating a wide variety of interview techniques designed to measure people differently, such as combining workshops and interviews to help put job candidates at ease, Microsoft now enjoys the benefits of a talented group of employees who provide fresh perspectives and diverse skillsets. This program opened career avenues to underrepresented populations, while increasing the neurodiversity of the overall organization.

Commit Relentlessly.

Most corporate programs provide training or internships, but not both, yet it’s a long-term commitment that will bring about real change. It’s important to bring in underrepresented recruits, but even more important to provide ongoing professional development and the social support system to ensure success. The Adobe Digital Academy provides end-to-end candidate development and continuous on-the-job learning and growth opportunities for employees. We offer immersive training for underrepresented candidates in a supportive learning environment. After participating in an immersive technical training, students are eligible for a three-month internship embedded with a technical team. They receive hands-on job experience, ongoing feedback, mentorship, and peer support. Many of our interns are hired full-time and become a part of our creative community. This long-term focus allows Adobe to move the needle on diversity while enriching our workforce and culture.

If companies are to be a positive transformative force in society, they must embrace diversity as a core tenet of their charters. To create true social impact, the next generation of leaders must take a more comprehensive approach to CR, which includes a commitment to breaking down the systemic barriers to diversity in the enterprise. At Adobe, we are proud to join more than 150 leading companies in signing the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace. By providing opportunities to underrepresented minority populations, companies use their economic might to financially lift the communities in which they do business. At the same time, successful implementation enables organizations to increase their competitive edge in a global marketplace. The fundamental and far-reaching implications of true commitment to increasing diversity will be the enrichment of the organizational culture, and the strengthening of the global workforce.

This story originally appeared on Michelle Crozier’s LinkedIn page.

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Converge Returns to Europe: Product Creators to Explore the Intersection of Design and Technology at Converge 2017 in Essen, Germany Print E-mail
Tuesday, 18 July 2017 00:00
Innovators in design, engineering, and architecture to meet again as Converge 2017 returns to the SANAA-Building in Essen on October 17th, 2017 Add a comment
Adobe Unveils Plans for U.S. Site Growth Print E-mail
Thursday, 13 July 2017 18:00

Adobe is growing. Over the past two years, our global employee base has grown by more than 30%. This growth includes our successful transformation to a cloud-based business, our expansion to lead the digital marketing category, and several acquisitions including advertising technology leader TubeMogul. 

To position Adobe for even greater success and growth in the future, today we unveiled our plans to expand our California and Utah facilities. This is a major investment in our U.S. presence and will add capacity for approximately 5,000 employees. Through construction of the new buildings, Adobe will also be able to increase the percentage of our employees in LEED/Green-certified buildings, which currently stands at 78%.

“Our people are our most valuable assets,” said Donna Morris, executive vice president of Customer & Employee Experience at Adobe. “Expanding our facilities will allow us to hire additional talent to research and build products, serve our customers and continue to grow across virtually every part of our business. We’re moving forward on the planning and building process as quickly as we can.”

Major San Jose Expansion

For our San Jose headquarters, we are under contract to buy additional land at 333 West San Fernando St. Once the land assessment and purchase is complete, we intend to build a fourth tower with capacity for approximately 3,000 employees. 

As an early pioneer to downtown, we are excited to continue our investment in the community. Adobe was the first major technology company to invest in downtown San Jose real estate, more than 20 years ago, building urban high-rise towers on Park Ave. rather than a typical sprawling tech campus. We have since grown to 2,500 employees and 900,000 square feet. The proposed new building will more than double our San Jose employee capacity to approximately 5,500.

“We’re thrilled to see many months of work with Adobe and its partners culminate in this announcement of Adobe’s bold expansion of their global headquarters in San Jose, further enhancing Downtown’s burgeoning momentum as Silicon Valley’s urban center,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo. “We applaud Adobe for its catalytic role in driving innovation in the Valley over the last quarter century, and we thank its employees for their strong ethos of corporate responsibility which has made the company a wonderful community partner, and a global leader in sustainability.” 

Specifics of our San Jose plans are still in development and we will share more details in early 2018.

New Building in Lehi, Utah

We first moved into Utah when we acquired Orem-based Omniture in 2009, and we built our marquee Lehi building in 2012. We are now embarking on a “phase 2” building in Lehi, adding capacity for approximately 1,000 employees. With working space expansion within our existing Lehi building, we expect to add capacity for approximately 1,260 employees altogether.

The state of Utah has approved Adobe for a post-performance tax incentive of approximately $25.6 million to support the expansion efforts.

“Adobe has been a pivotal asset to the strategic development of Utah’s Silicon Slopes,” said Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert. “They are an important influence in the community, and we are grateful for their continued investment in the state of Utah.”

Expanding Other Bay Area Sites

To keep up with our San Francisco and East Bay growth, we are expanding our leased space in San Francisco and Emeryville. In San Francisco, we are leasing the entire office space being developed at 100 Hooper St., with expected capacity for 1,200 employees. Expected completion of this new space is fall 2018.  In the East Bay, we intend to maintain our Emeryville facility acquired through TubeMogul and have increased our space capacity there to over 400 seats.

“There is really no comparison to working alongside your colleagues in a beautiful and cutting-edge space. These buildings are going to be the foundation for a lot of exciting work to come,“ said Morris.

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Presenting V-Ray 3.5 for Revit Print E-mail
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 19:21
Revit 2018 support + Adaptive Lights for faster renders Add a comment
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