Adobe Systems Emergence and Growth Story in the US
"Adobe Systems, a leading provider of desktop publishing solutions, was incorporated in 1982 and is headquartered at San Jose, California. Founded by John Warnock and Charles Geschke, Adobe has investments in 20 technology companies and is involved in 2 venture capital partnerships. It also sells print technology to OEMs and its first product PostScript page description language became the industry standard for the imaging and printing of electronic documents.
Over the years Adobe has followed the strategy of marketing and licensing technology to OEMs such as Apple, Canon, Lotus, Kodak and others. This policy helped the company spread quickly, both locally and globally.
As competition intensified and it was faced with the challenges of diversification, Adobe adopted a new acquisitive strategy. It started out by acquiring Aldus in 1994 to solidify its position in the desktop publishing market and Frame Technology Corp, Ceneca Communications, Ares Software and Swell Software in the following years.
However, the company faced a severe downturn in revenues in 1998 and announced a major restructuring process to eliminate 12% of its workforce, streamline operations and increase profitability. It also faced a hostile takeover bid by Quark that was successfully thwarted. The company's restructuring efforts paid off and for the first time ever its sales exceeded $1 billion in 2000 and it was named one of the top 100 companies to work for in America by Fortune.
In 2002, CEO Bruce Chizen, led Adobe through a marketing and financial transition of providing enterprise platform technology, in addition to its already popular desktop software. It also acquired Macromedia, in December 2005, which added newer software products and platforms such as Coldfusion, Dreamweaver, Flash and Flex to its product portfolio. During 2007-09 it acquired Buzzword, Business Catalyst and Omniture to strengthen and expand its market.
Adobe has historically focused upon the creation of multimedia and creativity software products, but its most recent foray has been towards rich Internet application software development to take advantage of the growing online gaming sector. Its product Adobe Flash is one example of such software.
Its major new initiative is the Adobe Creative Cloud that will become a hub for viewing, sharing and syncing of files created by Adobe Touch Apps and Adobe Creative Suite and includes 20GB cloud storage. It also introduced six Adobe Touch Apps for Android and iOS tablet devices and acquired TypeKit and Nitobi to take this initiative forward.
In a market scenario where the US economy is just beginning to come out of the worst effects of global recession and the software industry is characterized by M&As, partnerships and strategic alliances between business software vendors, intense competition from free, low-cost or rental-based cloud computing service providers like Google and Salesforce.com and the consumerization of technology, Adobe must think and act fast. If it does not continue to innovate and create cutting-edge technologies, it may fall behind its competitors very quickly."