Adobe Connect 9 Web Conferencing Software Ships

Adobe announced the availability of Adobe Connect 9, the latest version of its Web conferencing software.

Adobe Systems (NASDAQ: ADBE) has announced Adobe Connect 9, the latest version of the company€™s Web conferencing software for enterprises and government agencies.

Adobe Connect 9 delivers an all-in-one solution for producing webinars, as well as innovations in mobile-to-mobile collaboration and mobile learning. Adobe Connect 9 for webinars helps marketers reduce costs and dependency on IT when creating richly formatted, branded registration landing pages, and helps optimize event promotion through analytics capabilities. Last year, Adobe decided to focus on just two key areas: digital media and digital marketing. Adobe Connect 9 is a bit of a hybrid product in that it straddles both businesses.

Adobe Connect 9 is powered by Adobe CQ Web content management and Adobe SiteCatalyst online analytics. The product enables the development of customized event microsites and emails, the delivery of interactive events for up to 1,500 participants, and the measurement of campaign and speaker effectiveness, Adobe said in a press release.

€œWeb conferencing is now mainstream and mission-critical across enterprises and government agencies, with organizations counting on it for training, employee collaboration and citizen engagement,€ said Arun Anantharaman, vice president and general manager of Adobe. €œIn parallel, the ability to collaborate from mobile devices is becoming an imperative. Adobe Connect 9 supports forward-looking organizations by offering a unified solution for rich webinars, eLearning and Web meetings any time, anywhere and on any device.€

Along with the new Adobe Connect Mobile 2.0, Adobe Connect 9 also enables organizations to take their enterprise mobility strategies to the next level with mobile-to-mobile collaboration for tablets and smartphones. Users on Apple iOS, Android and BlackBerry PlayBook devices now have the flexibility and power to host and collaborate in online meetings just as they would on a desktop computer.

€œWith the rise of mobile and the expectation to go beyond simple screen sharing, Web conferencing requirements have evolved notably for enterprises today,€ said Melissa Webster, program vice president of Content & Digital Media Technologies at IDC. €œAdobe Connect has been used by organizations to improve communication and collaboration among employees, customers and constituents for several years. It is good to see Adobe respond to this ongoing evolution with the latest version, including through updates to its webinar solution.€

In addition, Adobe Connect 9 for eLearning delivers greater mobile learning capabilities, enabling instructors to deliver virtual classes directly from devices and learners to participate from a tablet or smartphone, the company said. The latest version supports HTML5 content, such as that generated with Adobe Creative Suite software, as well as SCORM 1.2 and 2004 content, widely used for Web-based learning.

Top new capabilities include customizable event landing pages and catalogs with templates that enable quick creation of landing pages, speaker information, registration pages and log-in pages. Templates can be customized using rich components, including images, tables, charts and carousels. The product also features template-based email content and triggers. Either standard or custom, email templates can be developed quickly and easily using new drag-and-drop capabilities. Email triggers can be created for specified registration groups at predefined times.

€œAdobe Connect 9 will save money and time when creating customized webinar landing pages with its rich, built-in microsite creation tools,€ Jana Kodel, development project manager at Mrs. Fields Famous Brands, said in a statement. €œIn addition, the new templates in Adobe Connect will enable my in-house team to create engaging, branded content for each event. This is a big benefit because it improves recruitment and the overall experience for our attendees.€

€œThe advanced analytics in Adobe Connect 9 enable us to get actionable information in real time,€ said Brian McFadden, general manager of technology services at MedPoint Communications. €œIt is so important to customize reporting, especially when measuring webinar effectiveness. With Adobe Connect, we can track from invitation to registration through attendance. With this information, we can easily improve participation, quality of sessions and lead management.€

Also with Adobe Connect 9, users can monitor event engagement in real time. A color-coded meter helps event hosts track message effectiveness. Critical information can be tracked to improve future events. Moreover, with the product€™s online analytics, event organizers can analyze participant engagement and identify the most effective meeting elements and topics. Dynamic analytics capabilities provide real-time insight into the performance of individual marketing promotions and programs as a whole.

Additionally, Adobe Connect 9 features advanced mobile support for meetings and training. Users can make presentations from mobile devices, leveraging whiteboard and annotation tools and the ability to share documents from tablets, as well as the cloud. Instructors can manage virtual classrooms from devices with the same presenter and sharing options, as well as breakout room controls, Adobe said.