New Focus on Web Products Fuels Adobe Turnaround in Sales, Stocks

By Szadkowski, Joseph | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), August 30, 1999 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

New Focus on Web Products Fuels Adobe Turnaround in Sales, Stocks


Szadkowski, Joseph, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


A year ago, Adobe Systems, Inc. was almost down for the count. In fact, by the third quarter of 1998 the design software giant's stock had plummeted 50 percent.

To make matters worse, Quark Inc., a chief competitor, almost bought the company.

This monster of graphics enhancement software was adrift, but then the Internet exploded.

"If you looked at the Adobe of one and a half years ago, you did not see a company with the focus we have today," said Bryan Lamkin, vice president of marketing for Adobe's Professional Publishing Solutions arm.

For Adobe to survive, it had to take the strength of its professional publishing applications, which served the print and broadcast mediums for the last decade, and retool them to include the World Wide Web designer.

That change of focus, with an overall restructuring, had an immediate impact for the company, reflecting a six month, 11 percent increase (ending June 4 of this year) in sales resulting in revenues of $472.8 million. The company's stock price had also escalated from a 52-week low of $23.62 in September to $103.75 last week.

The 17-year-old, San Jose, Calif., company with 2,600 employees found in the Internet a new market that needed familiar design tools. Long known for its postscript print products and graphic design software such as Illustrator and PhotoShop, Adobe has put together an impressive lineup of software to usher in the new millennium.

The latest version of PhotoShop (5.5), for example, now includes image-editing solutions for Web use.

Key features offer advanced graphic capabilities such as the ability to create Web site animation and slice and merge images, as well as giving Web designers more palette and design tools.

PhotoShop may be synonymous with Adobe, but it is far from the only product the company has developed. Seemingly overnight, Web watchers have seen a proliferation of sites sporting the Adobe Acrobat logo.

Though not originally conceived as an application for the then nonexistent Web, Acrobat quickly gained acceptance by cyber-communities as the standard for downloading and printing documents in a Portable Document Format (PDF).

Adobe Acrobat ensures that documents are always produced in the exact format intended by the creator - eliminating the need for the user to re-author, or format, the document possibly changing its appearance or message. Such capabilities can be important in many instances, such when an advertising agency presents a finished ad to a client or when a sensitive government document must be reviewed in its original format to understand its full intent.

"We have about 10 years of development invested in Acrobat, and though it was quickly and widely accepted, it can not be seen as an overnight success," Mr. Lamkin said. "The development of Acrobat is an example of how we saw the need for a product to meet a specific customer need, in this instance one that would allow a document to be ubiquitously communicated."

Another key to to Acrobat's Web acceptance came as Adobe offered its plug-in reader-free from its Web site (www.adobe.com) - more than 100 million Internet surfers have taken advantage of this - but still managed to make money by charging for the document authoring software.

A final piece of Adobe's present-day success is GoLive 4.0, which is being heralded as the newest cutting-edge tool for professional Web site creation. The developer purchased GoLive from a Hamburg, Germany-based company in a transaction that included getting the creators as well as the product.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

New Focus on Web Products Fuels Adobe Turnaround in Sales, Stocks
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?