RealTime IT News

Adobe Unleashes Internet Printing SDK, Cuts Staff

Looking to capture a slice of the Internet printing market, Adobe Systems Inc. , Tuesday unveiled a new software developer kit (SDK) that allows print shops to offer an Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF)-based service for customers to submit and manage print jobs.

The PDF Transit SDK is targeted at companies which build workflow solutions, and aims to improve the process of submitting, approving and printing documents for print service providers and in-plant corporate printing centers.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company has already secured two customers in AlphaGraphics and IKON Office Solutions, which are integrating PDF Transit technology into their printing products and services. Adobe said the incorporation of its new technology gives print providers the ability to offer streamlined, reliable Adobe PDF and Job Definition Format (JDF)-based workflows that begin at a customer's desktop and extends across the Internet to the final output printing device.

"Adobe PDF Transit will let print customers access the services of a remote print shop from within any desktop application," said Jim Hamilton, associate director, On Demand Printing & Publishing Consulting Services, CAP Ventures. "This removes a fundamental barrier and opens up new market opportunities. Professional users know the value of creating reliable and secure print-ready files in Adobe PDF. Now this capability will be available to a much wider range of users through an easy-to-use interface. Both print customers and print service providers will have much to gain from this development."

George Cacioppo, vice president of the Internet Printing Group at Adobe, added, "The process of working with printers and publishers used to be time consuming, error prone and costly because jobs had to be physically delivered to the printer for output and proofed in real time before final production. PDF Transit gives print providers the tools to redefine the process and reduce costs for their customers and themselves."

But Adobe is not alone in going after the Internet printing market. Last week, Xerox Corp. teamed with Electronics For Imaging (EFI), allowing Xerox to utilize EFI's PrintMe Internet printing solution in its office and production printers, as well as in mobile document products. The company also faces competition from Ontario-based PrinterOn, which offers a variety of Internet printing solutions, including a Global Printer Directory that allows members to printers and print service providers around the world.

In related news, Adobe Tuesday lowered its revenue and earnings per share targets for its fourth quarter, citing lower than anticipated revenue to date. The company also said it plans cut its staff by about 150 employees, about 5 percent, in the current quarter.

The company now says it expects Q4 revenue to come in between $275 million and $285 million, with pro forma EPS between 20 cents and 22 cents per share. Its previous targets of $310 million to $320 million in revenue and EPS of 27 cents to 28 cents, did not factor in the events of Sept. 11.

"At this point in the quarter, it is clear that the economic impact from events of the past two months is having an adverse effect on Adobe's business," said Bruce R. Chizen, president and chief executive officer of Adobe. "In particular, we have seen greater weakening in our business in October, especially in the U.S. and Japan."

Adobe will take a fourth quarter charge of between $8 million and $10 million due to the restructuring.

"We will continue to balance the need for short-term profitability with the necessary investment for long-term growth," Chizen said. "Although we will reduce our total headcount, we will continue to selectively hire in critical areas such as research and development to fuel future growth opportunities."