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Adobe Adds Scene7 To Its Hosted Services Picture

Keep your eye on this acquisition. It could be a turning point of Adobe's plans to build a services strategy, not to mention saving your mailman's back and kill off that 110-page L.L. Bean catalog.
Keep your eye on this acquisition. It could be a turning point of Adobe's plans to build a services strategy, not to mention saving your mailman's back and kill off that 110-page L.L. Bean catalog.Adobe on Thursday said it will acquire Scene7 for an undisclosed amount of cash. The company specializes in interactive publishing such as eCatalogs, targeted e-mail, video, and image management.

"Most of Scene7's employees are expected to join Adobe, with chief executive officer Doug Mack taking the position of vice president, Creative Solutions Services at Adobe...," or so goes the release.

When Adobe announced it would gobble up Macromedia in December 2005, the industry pontificated about what Bruce Chizen might be up to. The same minds will probably scratch their heads at this acquisition as well.

Think big picture. Think how this affects Adobe LiveCycle.

LiveCycle is a software platform to build dynamic XML form templates that can be rendered as PDF or HTML. Scene7 already is compatible with a lot of Adobe file formats, including Flash, as well as standard ones like DHTML. So merging the two products should be relatively painless.

Scene7's demos are pretty straightforward. They show how customers can use existing graphics and Web elements and create interactive presentations. Spin a baby bed around; mix and match combinations of logos and shirt colors; read an e-mail with a personal invitation showing how your monogram might look on a dress shirt.

Back to the big picture: This is a hosted service, which means that Adobe can continue to build out its LiveCycle platform -- an often ignored part of Adobe's business -- and bolster its hosted services revenue with some gusto. Scene7's clients include Sears, Macy's, Levi Strauss & Co., Zillow.com, Anthropologie, OTTO UK, Lands' End, and QVC.

With the transaction expected to close by the end of this month, I would expect Adobe to start integrating the technologies in its Creative Solutions Services product line by the Fall and introduce new services beginning next year.