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Adobe adds Workfront integrations to creative, marketing apps

Adobe begins long task of integrating Workfront with its universe of popular creative collaboration cloud that includes Photoshop, Adobe XD, Adobe Experience Manager and more.

Now that it owns enterprise work management platform Workfront, Adobe can get under the hood and get to work integrating it with its creative and marketing applications. Adobe released the first round of these today.

Available today are integrations with Photoshop and Adobe Experience Manager Assets integration for enterprises. The former embeds workflow comments directly into Photoshop files and enables users to view tasks assigned to them, as well as issues they need to address. The latter can sync metadata between projects and final assets, and auto-publish content.

Also available are Workfront plug-ins for Adobe XD, an interface design tool for mobile and web experiences, as well as one for Marketo Engage. With the XD plug-in, experience designers can stay in XD and work with colleagues and clients, log time and view details on projects, tasks and documents while maintaining Workfront's version-control features in XD. Marketo Engage users can clone marketing programs for global rollouts or scaling to different market segments.

Coming in the future will be a department-level Adobe Experience Manager integration with Workfront, as well as deeper identity management features for collaborators. These are available for new customers now, but will come later for existing customers, said Steve Hammond, vice president of Experience Cloud at Adobe.

These integrations are just the start of what will likely be very deep hooks between Workfront, which Adobe acquired late last year for $1.5 billion, and Adobe technologies, said Forrester Research analyst Stephanie Liu. That will take time, because Adobe's clouds include many so many different applications and workflows.

Buying Workfront was the easy part. Actually integrating it into the Adobe ecosystem? That's the hard part.
Stephanie LiuAnalyst, Forrester Research

"Buying Workfront was the easy part. Actually integrating it into the Adobe ecosystem? That's the hard part," Liu said. "This is the beginning of a long road. I know I -- along with some of their customers that I've talked to -- am eager to see what comes next and how quickly it takes to actually integrate Workfront into the world of Adobe."

While Salesforce and Microsoft are competing against each other in the enterprise collaboration market with Slack and Teams, the Workfront acquisition fosters a different kind of collaboration, both Hammond and Liu said. Workfront handles complex workflows and digital asset management for large enterprises and can help enable marketing operations for teams working in geographically scattered offices or remotely.

Last year's pandemic disruptions didn't necessarily prompt Adobe to acquire Workfront, Hammond said. Adobe and Workfront had been close partners for years, and shared thousands of customers in common. But, Hammond added, the pandemic was a contributing factor to the acquisition's timing.

"We definitely have had requests for work management functionality for years, and we didn't know exactly what route we wanted to take early on," Hammond said. "When things became more challenging for businesses to do collaboration and to do work management effectively across the organization during the pandemic, it certainly accelerated the need for that functionality."

The Adobe Workfront integrations were released in conjunction with the Adobe Max 2021 virtual user conference.

Don Fluckinger covers enterprise content management, CRM, marketing automation, e-commerce, customer service and enabling technologies for TechTarget.

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