Sept 8, 2017— Adobe (NASD “ADBE”) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq “MSFT”) are expanding their strategic alliance to cover Adobe Sign and Microsoft Teams to increase workforce productivity and drive more efficient business processes.
Beginning today, Adobe Sign is now Microsoft’s preferred e-signature solution across the company’s portfolio, including the 100 million monthly commercial active users of Microsoft Office 365. In addition, Microsoft Teams is now the preferred collaboration service for Adobe Creative Cloud, Document Cloud and Experience Cloud.
Adobe will also make Microsoft Azure its preferred cloud platform for Adobe Sign. In addition to the partnership announced today, the companies will explore opportunities to continue collaborating on artificial intelligence, analytics and intelligent document automation, taking productivity in the cloud to the next level.
“Adobe and Microsoft are working together to redefine what the modern enterprise experience looks like with collaboration, identity, data and intelligence at the core,” said Abhay Parasnis, chief technology officer, Adobe. “Together we will develop integrated cloud services with best-in-class solutions like Adobe Sign and Office 365 that help businesses digitally transform while delivering great experiences to their customers.”
“Together with Adobe, we’re committed to fostering creativity and a culture of teamwork for our shared customers, so they can unlock the opportunities of today’s rapidly evolving workplace,” said Peggy Johnson, executive vice president, Business Development, Microsoft. “We’re thrilled that our partnership with Adobe has now grown to span our three clouds —Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365 — providing customers with the powerful integrations they need to navigate digital transformation.”
The Adobe Sign & Microsoft Teams Partnership Details
The first integrations resulting from this partnership are expected to be available to customers in the coming weeks:
Integration between Microsoft Office 365 and Adobe Sign will deliver fast, secure electronic signing across Office 365, including Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Outlook, so that signing documents electronically, on any device, can become an everyday experience.
Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Stock integration with Microsoft Teams will give Adobe’s creative customers access to a world-class collaboration workspace that speeds up creative feedback, iteration and decision-making. Microsoft Teams integration will expand to Adobe Experience Cloud in the future.
Adobe Sign integration with Microsoft Teams will accelerate electronic agreement creation, approval and signature processes across teams. The Adobe Sign app in Microsoft Teams includes a tab to send documents for signature and a bot that allows team members to manage and track documents.
Adobe Sign integration with Microsoft Flow will allow users to build end-to-end digital workflows by adding Adobe Sign to any Microsoft Flow process. In the coming months, organizations will benefit from Flow integration with other Microsoft applications such as SharePoint, Dynamics and OneDrive.
Adobe Sign for Microsoft Dynamics and Microsoft SharePoint is already available. New Adobe Sign integrations for Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Flow, Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Outlook are expected to be available in the coming weeks.
Adobe Creative Cloud integration with Microsoft Teams is also expected to be available in the coming weeks with Experience Cloud integrations to follow.
Microsoft today unveiled findings of its Asia Workplace 2020 Study, where it found that employees in Malaysia do not feel empowered to embrace the demands of the digital workplace.
The Microsoft Asia Workplace 2020 Study Summarised
While 70% of Malaysian respondents consider themselves to be mobile workers and spend at least 20% of their time working outside of their offices, only 41% feel empowered by their organization’s culture and managers to be able to work together productively and collaboratively.
Here is an infographic that summarises the key findings of the Microsoft Asia Workplace 2020 Study.
After the launch of its Workplace 2020 study, Microsoft hosted an experiential event for its customers to test their collaborative skills using Microsoft Teams. The Amazing Teams Challenge was organized at Botanical Gardens and saw participants complete challenges across 4 pit stops located at different parts of the Gardens.
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The Microsoft Asia Workplace 2020 Study Key Findings
Microsoft’s Asia Workplace 2020 Study found that employees in Malaysia do not feel empowered to embrace the demands of the digital workplace.
70% of Malaysia respondents consider themselves to be mobile workers and spend at least 20% of their time working outside of their offices
Only 41% feel empowered by their organization’s culture and managers to be able to work together productively and collaboratively.
In addition, only 32% of respondents agree that their organization is committed at a leadership level to ensure every employee is included in closing the digital skills gaps within the workforce.
The Study involved 319 working professionals from Malaysia. It sought to understand shifting employee behaviours and gaps in the workplace when it came to productivity, collaboration and flexi-work practices.
A Digitally Savvy Workforce is Key to Digital Transformation
An earlier version of the Study conducted in 2015 found that 41 out of 100 respondents in Malaysia were ready for the New World of Work, whereby organizations had the right People, Place and Technology principles in place to enable a productive, collaborative and innovative workforce. This year, 48 out of 100 respondents felt so, indicating that organizations in the market are slightly more equipped, although more can be done to move the needle.
But beyond People, Place and Technology factors, the rise of the 4th industrial revolution has also accelerated the pace of transformation. A recent Microsoft Asia Digital Transformation Study conducted in late 2016 found that ‘Empowering Employees’ number two digital transformation priority among Malaysia’s business leaders. On the other hand, having a digital skilled workforce was one of the top barriers in their digital transformation journey.
New Work Styles and Organizational Conflicts Need to Be Addressed
It is evident that mobile professionals in the market are embracing flexi-work today, and organizations should look at new workplace practices, especially with the impeding influx of digital natives (born after 2000) entering the workforce for the first time.
More than half of the respondents (71%) value work-life integration today, where the boundaries of work and life have blurred, but have enabled mobile professionals to be able to collaborate and work virtually.
The Study also found that organizations need to address several structural challenges within the workplace to ready themselves for the digital age, as well as flexi-work practices:
Organization’s Leaders are a key enabler to drive flexi-work practices in the workplace: Only 32% agree that their organization’s leadership is committed in bridging the digital skills gap in the workplace.
Organizational culture is important: Only 26% agree that their organization has invested in culture development through training and development led by HR
Access to newer, data-centric technologies to enhance collaboration and productivity: Only 27% feel that their organization has invested in analytics and data tools to help them make informed and timely decisions; only 28% agree that their organization has given them tools to simplify workflows
New World of Teams Requires New Approaches
Workplace shifts have undeniably resulted in new ways of work, where technologies have enabled increased collaboration between individuals and teams across geographies and groups. However, the Study found that there were certain gaps today that hindered collaborative and productive outcomes from teams.
The top five challenges included:
Too many face to face meetings that are taking up productive time (34%);
Teams are not open to new initiatives to improve processes (26%);
Teams take too long to respond to internal issues (25%);
Teams are too rigid and not open to new ways of work (24%)
Team members are not accommodating with flexi-work schedules (20%)
However, respondents feel that strong leadership and vision (50%), access to technology tools for collaboration (48%), as well as an diverse team members across job functions (40%) can help build more collaborative teams.
Access to Newer, Collaborative Technologies will Enhance Productivity
The Study also found that respondents are seeking better devices to help them become more productive at work. Beyond hardware requirements, 33% hope to have access to information and data on mobile devices, 31% wish for cloud-based productivity tools and 24% hope for real-time collaboration capabilities.
When asked about emerging technologies that will help build better work environments by 2020:
45% think real-time intelligences will help them make informed decisions at work
45% believe Artificial Intelligence will be able to help perform tasks independently
37% look forward to virtual workspaces that support instant messaging and document sharing
The recently announced Microsoft Teams brings together people, conversations and content, along with the tools that teams need. It’s integrated with familiar Office applications and is built from the ground up on Office 365 and Microsoft’s global, secured cloud.
Chat for today’s teams. Microsoft Teams provides a modern conversations experience, with threaded, persistent chat to keep everyone engaged. Team conversations can be either private or visible to the entire team, and users can access multiple teams, making it easy to switch between projects.
A hub for teamwork. The Office 365 applications and services that teams use every day — Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote and PowerBI— are all built-in, so people have the information and tools they need.
Customization for every team. Microsoft Teams offers the ability to customize work spaces with tabs, connectors and bots from third-party partners as well as familiar Microsoft tools like Microsoft Planner and Visual Studio Team Services. Today, more than 150 integrations are available or coming soon, with companies like SAP, Trello, Hipmunk, Growbot and ModuleQ building on the platform.
Security teams trust. Microsoft Teams is built on the hyper-scale, enterprise-grade Office 365 cloud, delivering the advanced security and compliance capabilities our customers expect. Teams supports global standards including SOC 1, SOC 2, EU Model Clauses, ISO27001 and HIPAA.
Customers worldwide are choosing Microsoft Teams to enable collaboration within their organizations. Since announcing the preview in November, more than 50,000 organizations have started using Microsoft Teams, including Alaska Airlines, ConocoPhillips, Deloitte, Expedia, J.B. Hunt, J. Walter Thompson, Hendrick Motorsports, Sage, Trek Bicycle and Three UK. In Asia, customers such as Amicus, Blackmores, Graincorp, Objective Corporation, Readify and RSL Queensland have adopted Microsoft Teams for their workplace.
The tight integration of Office 365 and Microsoft Teams means that when a group is working on a project everyone is assured that the most current artefacts and content are available immediately.
 The Microsoft Asia Workplace 2020 Study was conducted between February and March 2017 involving 4.175 respondents in 14 Asia markets. The 14 markets include Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. All respondents were pre-qualified as at least spending 30 hours per week in a full-time role, or spending at least 20 hours per week in a part time role.
 The Microsoft Asia Digital Transformation Study was conducted between October to November 2016 involving 1,494 business leaders in 13 Asia Pacific markets. The 13 markets include Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. All respondents were pre-qualified as being involved in shaping their organisations’ digital strategy, and are working in firms with more than 250 employees.
Redmond, Wash. 2 November 2016 — Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday unveiled Microsoft Teams, a new chat-based workspace that further enhances the collaboration capabilities in Microsoft Office 365, the cloud-based productivity offering with more than 85 million monthly active commercial users. Microsoft Teams brings together people, conversations, content and the tools teams need to collaborate.
“At Microsoft we aim to empower every person and organization with the technology to be more productive as individuals and in groups,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “Office 365 is the broadest toolkit and platform for creation, communication and collaboration. Microsoft Teams adds a new experience to Office 365 as the chat-based workspace designed to empower the art of teams.”
Microsoft Teams is Built on Four Core Promises:
Chat for today’s teams. Microsoft Teams provides persistent, threaded chat to keep everyone engaged and informed. Team conversations are visible to the entire team by default, and the experience also offers private chat capabilities. A library of emojis, GIFs, custom stickers and memes gives people a fun way to express personality within their digital workspace.
A hub for teamwork. Microsoft Teams brings together the full breadth and depth of Office 365. People can start voice and video meetings, as well as work with Microsoft Office documents, directly within the Microsoft Teams experience. The Microsoft Graph enables intelligence to help with information relevance, discovery and sharing. Microsoft Teams is also built on Office 365 Groups, the cross-application membership service that makes it easy for people to move naturally from one collaboration tool to another, preserve their sense of context and share with others.
Customizable for each team. Because every team is unique, Microsoft Teams offers the ability for teams to customize the experience to meet their specific needs. Team members can create channels to organize conversations by topic. They can customize channels with a feature called Tabs, which provide quick access to frequently used documents and applications. Tabs can be created for Office 365 services like OneNote, SharePoint and Planner, or third-party solutions, such as Zendesk and Asana coming soon. Microsoft Teams supports the same Connector model as Exchange to bring notifications and updates from third-party services, such as Twitter or GitHub available Wednesday, directly into the experience. In addition, it supports the Microsoft Bot Framework to bring intelligent first- and third-party services into the team environment. The preview of the Microsoft Teams Developer Preview, also announced today, gives developers the opportunity to start building integrations with Microsoft Teams right away.
Security that teams trust. As part of Office 365, Microsoft Teams offers the global scale and advanced security and compliance capabilities provided by the Microsoft Cloud. Data is encrypted at all times and covered by a transparent operational model with no standing access to customer data. Multifactor authentication provides enhanced identity protection to help ensure data stays safe within the team. In addition, Microsoft Teams will support key compliance and data protection standards, such as the data processing terms with European Union Model Clauses, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act business associate agreement (HIPAA BAA), ISO 27001, ISO 27018, and SSAE 16 SOC 1 and 2 report.
Starting Nov 2nd, the preview of Microsoft Teams is available to Office 365 commercial customers with Office 365 Enterprise or Business plans. The preview is available in 181 countries and 18 languages. Office 365 IT administrators can enable Microsoft Teams for their organization from the Office 365 admin center.