SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended November 29, 2019
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period fromto
Commission File Number: 0-15175
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
345 Park Avenue, San Jose, California95110-2704
(Address of principal executive offices)
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of Each Class
Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered
Common Stock, $0.0001 par value per share
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes☒No☐
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes☐No☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes☒No☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).Yes☒No☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer”, “accelerated filer”, “smaller reporting company”, and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer
Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes☐No☒
The aggregate market value of the registrant’s common stock, $0.0001 par value per share, held by non-affiliates of the registrant on May 31, 2019, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, was $102.25 billion (based on the closing sales price of the registrant’s common stock on that date). Shares of the registrant’s common stock held by each officer and director and each person who owns 5% or more of the outstanding common stock of the registrant have been excluded in that such persons may be deemed to be affiliates. This determination of affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes. As of January 10, 2020, 482,130,975 shares of the registrant’s common stock, $0.0001 par value per share, were issued and outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the Proxy Statement for the registrant’s 2020 Annual Meeting of Stockholders (the “Proxy Statement”), to be filed within 120 days of the end of the fiscal year ended November 29, 2019, are incorporated by reference in Part III hereof. Except with respect to information specifically incorporated by reference in this Form 10-K, the Proxy Statement is not deemed to be filed as part hereof.
In addition to historical information, this Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding product plans, future growth, market opportunities, strategic initiatives, industry positioning, customer acquisition and retention, the amount of annualized recurring revenue and revenue growth. In addition, when used in this report, the words “will,” “expects,” “could,” “would,” “may,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “seeks,” “targets,” “estimates,” “looks for,” “looks to,” “continues” and similar expressions, as well as statements regarding our focus for the future, are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements. Each of the forward-looking statements we make in this report involves risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements. Factors that might cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, those discussed in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in Part I, Item 1A of this report. You should carefully review the risks described herein and in other documents we file from time to time with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q to be filed in 2020. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. We undertake no obligation to publicly release any revisions to the forward-looking statements or reflect events or circumstances after the date of this document, except as required by law.
ITEM 1. BUSINESS
Founded in 1982, Adobe Inc. is one of the largest and most diversified software companies in the world. We offer a line of products and services used by creative professionals, marketers, knowledge workers, students, application developers, enterprises and consumers for creating, managing, delivering, measuring, optimizing, engaging and transacting with compelling content and experiences across personal computers, devices and media. We market our products and services directly to enterprise customers through our sales force and local field offices. We license our products to end users through app stores and our own website at www.adobe.com. We offer many of our products via a Software-as-a-Service (“SaaS”) model or a managed services model (both of which are referred to as hosted or cloud-based) as well as through term subscription and pay-per-use models. We also distribute certain products and services through a network of distributors, value-added resellers (“VARs”), systems integrators (“SIs”), independent software vendors (“ISVs”), retailers, software developers and original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”). In addition, we license our technology to hardware manufacturers, software developers and service providers for use in their products and solutions. Our products run on personal and server-based computers, as well as on smartphones, tablets and other devices, depending on the product. We have operations in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa (“EMEA”), and Asia-Pacific (“APAC”).
Adobe was originally incorporated in California in October 1983 and was reincorporated in Delaware in May 1997. Our executive offices and principal facilities are located at 345 Park Avenue, San Jose, California 95110-2704. Our telephone number is 408-536-6000 and our website is www.adobe.com. Investors can obtain copies of our SEC filings from this site free of charge, as well as from the SEC website at www.sec.gov. The information posted to our website is not incorporated into this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
For over 35 years, Adobe’s innovations have transformed how individuals, teams, businesses and governments engage and interact with their constituents in print and online. We help our customers create and deliver the most compelling experiences in a streamlined workflow and optimize those experiences for greater return on investment. Our solutions turn ordinary interactions into valuable digital experiences, across media and devices, anytime, anywhere.
While we continue to offer a broad portfolio of products, services and solutions, we focus our investments in two strategic growth areas:
Digital Media – providing products, services and solutions that enable individuals, teams and enterprises to create, publish and promote their content anywhere. Our customers include creative professionals like photographers, video editors, graphic and experience designers, and application and game developers; communicators like content creators, students, marketers and knowledge workers who create, collaborate on and distribute documents and creative content; and consumers. This is the core of what we have delivered for decades, and we have evolved our business model to provide our customers with a range of flexible solutions that allow them to reach their full creative potential anytime, anywhere, on any device on projects of all types.
Digital Experience – providing a comprehensive and integrated platform and set of applications and services through Adobe Experience Cloud that enables businesses and brands to create, manage, execute, measure, monetize and optimize customer
experiences that span from advertising to commerce. Our customers include marketers, advertisers, agencies, publishers, merchandisers, merchants, web analysts, data scientists, developers, marketing executives, information management and technology executives, product development executives and sales and support executives. Underpinning Adobe Experience Cloud is our Adobe Experience Platform, which provides businesses and brands with an open and extensible platform for customer experience management with real-time customer profiles that enable deep customer insights and the delivery of personalized digital experiences in milliseconds. By combining the creativity of our Digital Media business with the science of our Digital Experience offerings, we help our customers more efficiently and effectively make, manage, measure and monetize their content across channels and devices with an end-to-end workflow and feedback loop.
We believe we are uniquely positioned to be a leader in both the Digital Media and Digital Experience markets, where our mission is to change the world through digital experiences. By integrating products from each of these areas, our customers are able to utilize a comprehensive suite of solutions and services that no other company currently offers. In addition, our ability to deliver innovation and productivity improvements across customer workflows involving the creation, management, delivery, measurement and optimization of engaging content favorably positions Adobe as our customers continue to invest in delivering digital experiences.
Our business is organized into three reportable segments: Digital Media, Digital Experience and Publishing. These segments provide Adobe’s senior management with a comprehensive financial view of our key businesses. Our segments are aligned around our two strategic growth opportunities described above, placing our Publishing business in a third segment that contains some of our mature products and solutions.
This overview provides an explanation of our markets and a discussion of strategic opportunities in fiscal 2020 and beyond for each of our segments. See “Results of Operations” within Part II, Item 7 titled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and Note 2 of Part II, Item 8 titled “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements” for further segment information.
Digital Media Opportunity
Recent technology trends in digital communications continue to provide a significant market opportunity for Adobe in digital media. Everyone has a story to tell — from creative professionals, to students and knowledge workers, to immersive content and experience designers — and they need to tell those stories on an ever-increasing number of canvasses. In today’s world where the velocity of creation and consumption of digital content is constantly growing, design and creativity have never been more relevant and customers are looking for a way to meet demand with engaging online experiences. Adobe is in a strong position to capitalize on this opportunity with innovation that will accelerate the creative process across all platforms and devices, deepen engagement with communities and accelerate long-term revenue growth by focusing on cloud-based offerings, which are licensed on a subscription basis.
The flagship of our Digital Media business is Adobe Creative Cloud — a subscription service that allows members to use Adobe’s creative products integrated with cloud-delivered services across desktop, web and mobile devices. Creative Cloud members can download and access the latest versions of our creative products such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, Lightroom, InDesign, Adobe XD and many more creative applications. To expand our reach and improve the way we serve the needs of our customers, we create different combinations of these services, including our applications with free and paid tiers such as Adobe Lightroom Mobile that have brought new customers into our franchise and increased our footprint on mobile devices. In addition, members can access built-in templates and presets created by the Adobe user community to jumpstart designs and step-by-step interactive tutorials to sharpen their skills and get up to speed quickly. Through Creative Cloud, members can access online services to sync, store and share files across users’ devices, access marketplace, social and community-based features within our Adobe Stock and Behance services, and create apps and websites, all at affordable subscription pricing.
Adobe continues to redefine the creative process with Adobe Creative Cloud so that our customers can obtain everything they need to create, collaborate and be inspired. One part of our strategy is Adobe Sensei, a proprietary framework and set of intelligent services for dramatically improving the design and delivery of digital experiences. Adobe Sensei leverages Adobe’s massive content and data assets, as well as its deep domain expertise in the creative, marketing and document segments, within a unified artificial intelligence (“AI”) and machine learning framework to help customers discover hidden opportunities, reduce tedious processes and offer relevant experiences to every customer.
Adobe Creative Cloud addresses the needs of creative professionals such as artists, designers, developers, students and administrators, as well as knowledge workers, marketers, educators, hobbyists and consumers, who also use our products to create and deliver content. Our customers rely on our products for content creation, design, video and animation production, mobile app and gaming development and document creation and collaboration. End users of our creative products work in businesses of all sizes ranging from large publishers, media companies and global enterprises, to smaller design agencies and individual freelancers. Moreover, our creative products are used to create much of the printed and online information people see, read and interact with every day, including video, animation, mobile and advertising content. We have introduced new products, features and services to address emerging categories of content creation across devices and platforms, such as voice-based prototyping, refined content creation tools, 3D, augmented reality, virtual reality and user experience design. New projects announced and solutions offered include: Substance, a suite of applications for creating, mixing and applying textures and materials for 3D creations; Adobe Fresco, a mobile drawing and painting application, featuring live brushes that mimic natural media like oil paint and watercolors in amazingly lifelike ways; Adobe Aero, a free iOS application for viewing, building and sharing immersive and interactive augmented reality experiences; Photoshop Camera, an AI-driven mobile camera application launching in 2020 powered by Adobe Sensei featuring unique Photoshop lenses and camera effects right inside the camera; and both Illustrator on iPad, which will be available in 2020, and Photoshop on iPad to enable a seamless content creation experience across devices and attract a new, mobile-centric audience.
Adobe’s Digital Media segment includes our Adobe Document Cloud business, built around our Acrobat family of products, including Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Acrobat Reader, and a set of integrated, cloud-based document services, including Adobe Sign and Adobe Scan. Tens of millions of knowledge workers worldwide interact with documents daily. Across industries and across the world, business processes from contracting to invoicing to employee onboarding are making the change from paper to electronic documents. Cloud services and mobile devices are reshaping how we work in ways that are more ad hoc, collaborative, unstructured and on the go. For over 25 years, Acrobat has provided for the reliable creation and exchange of electronic documents, regardless of platform or application source type. Users can collaborate on documents with electronic comments and tailor the security of a file in order to distribute reliable Adobe PDF documents that can be viewed, printed or filled out utilizing our free Acrobat Reader on any device. Acrobat provides essential electronic document capabilities and services across desktop, mobile devices and the web to help knowledge workers accomplish a wide variety of tasks ranging from simple publications and forms to mission-critical engineering documentation and architectural plans. With our Acrobat product and its innovative cloud services, we have extended the capabilities of our document solutions, from view and create, to edit, secure, scan, review, embed, share and sign. Users can create a PDF with just the camera on their phone with Adobe Scan, edit PDFs on the go with Acrobat on iOS and Android, and turn slow, manual signing processes into automated experiences and collect signatures with Adobe Sign.
Digital Media Strategy
Our goal is to be the leading platform for creativity where we offer a range of products and services that allow individuals, teams and enterprises, and both professionals and enthusiasts, to design and deliver amazing digital content.
We believe there is significant opportunity for growth across all customer segments and expect Adobe Creative Cloud will drive sustained long-term revenue growth through a continued expansion of our customer base by using our products to enable everyone to create and tell their stories, expanding into new categories and technologies like immersive 3D and augmented reality, making the creative process more productive with cloud-enabled collaboration and workflows, delivering intelligent, time-saving features with Adobe Sensei’s artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, and acquiring new users by engaging with the creative community.
We will continue to deepen our relationship with existing users through meeting their needs holistically and delivering additional features and increased value, including through data-driven customer engagement, AI and machine learning through Adobe Sensei, and offering a true “multi-surface platform” that provides our customers with the ability to use our tools for creation wherever inspiration strikes, by enabling them to seamlessly access their assets in the cloud and work across mobile, tablet and desktop with new applications like Adobe Fresco and Photoshop for iPad. We are embracing new frontiers in technology and creativity such as immersive 3D and augmented reality (“AR”) experiences with Adobe Aero and our Substance suite of products. We are pursuing new ways to help our customers develop creative skills such as allowing creators to live-stream their creative process on Behance and allowing users to learn with step-by-step, in-app, interactive tutorials from experienced creators.
As appropriate, we plan to optimize our pricing strategy and move our customers to higher priced and better value offerings and continue to employ targeted promotions that attract past customers and potential users to try out and ultimately subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud. To target new customers and better address the needs of our existing customers, we will continue to invest in driving innovation to maintain the leadership position that we have established. We offer a marketplace for Creative Cloud subscribers to enable the delivery and purchase of stock content in our Adobe Stock service. Overall, our strategy with Creative Cloud is designed to enable us to increase our revenue with users, attract more new customers and grow a recurring and predictable revenue stream that is recognized ratably.
As part of our Adobe Creative Cloud strategy, we utilize a data-driven operating model and our Adobe Experience Cloud solutions to drive and optimize customer awareness, engagement and licensing of our creative products and services at every stop of the customer journey through our website and across other channels. Adobe.com is increasingly becoming the destination site where we engage individual and small business customers to sign up for and renew Creative Cloud subscriptions. We offer free apps and trials to attract new customers and through a data-driven model, we optimize conversion of these trialists to paid subscribers. We utilize channel partners to target mid-size creative customers with our Creative Cloud for teams offering. Our direct sales force is focused on building relationships with our largest customers and driving adoption of our Creative Cloud for enterprise offering.
We offer many of the products included in Adobe Creative Cloud on a standalone basis, including subscriptions to the Creative Cloud version of certain point products. We also offer a range of other creative tools and services, including our hobbyist products such as Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements, Adobe Fonts and mobile apps such as Photoshop Express, Photoshop Sketch, Adobe Capture, Premiere Rush and Adobe Spark. Further descriptions of our Digital Media products are included below under “Principal Products and Services.”
In our Adobe Document Cloud business, Adobe Acrobat has achieved strong market adoption and a leadership position in document-intensive industries such as government, financial services, pharmaceutical, legal, aerospace, insurance and technical publishing. Trillions of PDF documents are created every year and we believe there remain hundreds of millions of users in industries that engage with PDF files on a daily basis like legal, financial services or publishing, as well as a broader array of communicators, knowledge workers and Acrobat Reader users, who need the capabilities provided by our Acrobat applications and the document services platform found in Document Cloud. We expect to drive sustained long-term revenue growth in Adobe Document Cloud through a continued expansion of our customer base by delivering the best PDF experience on every platform and across platforms, expanding the number of actions and features in Acrobat, using Adobe Sensei to make both new and legacy documents more intelligent and responsive, and investing in embedded document services such as integrating Adobe Sign in third-party applications. As with our Adobe Creative Cloud strategy, we utilize a data-driven operating model to market our Document Cloud solutions to and optimize our subscription-based pricing for individuals as well as small and medium-sized businesses, large enterprises and government institutions around the world. We aim to increase our seat penetration in our key markets through the utilization of our corporate and volume licensing programs. We also intend to increase our focus on marketing and licensing Acrobat in targeted vertical markets such as education, financial services, telecommunications and government, as well as on expanding into emerging markets. We will continue to engage in strategic partnerships to help drive the enterprise business, including our partnership with Microsoft.
Our Document Cloud customers increasingly expect business processes to be seamless across desktop, web and mobile devices. Acrobat on mobile devices can be used to create, edit, export, combine, collaborate on and share PDFs on the go and the Adobe Scan app for mobile devices can be used to capture paper documents as images and transform them into full-featured PDFs via Document Cloud services that can be shared immediately, essentially putting scanning capabilities in the pocket of every person. We are delivering PDF document services on the web, such as allowing users to create, convert and compress PDFs on Adobe.com. Our Adobe Sign service also provides a green alternative to costly paper-based solutions, and is a more modern and convenient way for customers to digitally manage their documents, processes and contract workflows. We believe that by growing the awareness of electronic signatures in the broader contract delivery and signing market, utilizing Adobe Sensei to enhance customer experiences through machine learning and AI, and continuing to add new capabilities to our Adobe Scan and Adobe Sign offerings, we can help our customers migrate away from paper-based express mailing and adopt our solution to modernize and digitize document experiences, growing our revenue with this business in the process.
Digital Experience Opportunity
Digital transformation is a macro trend that affects every business, government and educational institution today - making every business a digital business. Consumers today buy experiences, not just products, and they demand compelling experiences in their digital interactions that are seamless across channels and devices. Enterprises and brands recognize that customers have more choices and lower switching costs than ever before. In this new hyper-connected digital environment, it is the customer experience that differentiates brands and ultimately determines customer loyalty. As a result, businesses must determine how to best attract, engage, acquire and retain customers in a digital world where the reach and quality of experiences directly impact success. Business customers are consumers too, and they increasingly have the same expectations, which are driving business-to-business (“B2B”) companies to deliver business-to-consumer (“B2C”) experiences with a “business-to-everyone” (“B2E”) strategy. Delivering the best experience to a consumer at a given moment requires the right combination of data, insights and content across multiple channels in real time. To deliver these multi-channel experiences that are personalized to every customer, executives are increasingly demanding solutions that optimize their consumers’ experiences in real time and deliver the greatest return on marketing and IT spend so they can demonstrate the business impact of their programs using objective metrics.
For the past decade, Adobe Experience Cloud has helped businesses provide exceptional experiences to their customers via a comprehensive suite of solutions. We believe there is now a significant opportunity to address these challenges of customer experience management and help our customers transform their businesses into “Experience Businesses.” The world’s leading brands are increasingly steering their marketing, advertising and development budgets toward digital experiences. As enterprises make this move to digital, our opportunity is accelerating as brands seek vendors to help them navigate this transition. Enterprises have a mandate to deliver meaningful experiences to their consumers across digital channels and in areas such as sales, support and product interactions where consumers expect experiences to be consistent and personalized.
Our Adobe Experience Cloud business targets this large and growing opportunity to help companies deliver the most engaging customer experiences by providing an integrated, comprehensive set of solutions for customer experience management. Together, our applications, services and platforms provide real-time data and insights, deliver content and personalization, enable customer journey management and provide platforms for commerce and advertising management. Our solutions address analytics, targeting, advertising optimization, digital experience management, marketing automation and engagement, cross-channel campaign management, content management, creative asset management, audience management, digital commerce enablement, order management, predictive intelligence and monetization. Collectively, these comprehensive solutions enable marketers to measure, personalize and optimize digital experiences across all channels and touch points to drive stronger business performance throughout the customer journey.
We believe the market for Adobe Experience Cloud is large and rapidly growing as more businesses and enterprises invest in solutions that aid their goals to transform how they engage with their customers and constituents digitally.
Digital Experience Strategy
Our goal is to be the leading provider of cloud-based solutions for delivering digital experiences and enabling digital transformation. The Adobe Experience Cloud applications, services and platform are designed to manage customer journeys, enable shoppable experiences and deliver intelligence for businesses of any size in any industry. Our differentiation and competitive advantage is strengthened by our ability to use the Adobe Experience Platform to connect our comprehensive set of solutions.
Adobe Experience Cloud delivers the following sets of solutions for our customers:
Data and insights. Our solutions deliver real-time customer profiles and intelligence across the customer journey. Adobe Analytics provides an experience system of intelligence for real-time cross-channel data, insights and activations across every channel. Adobe Audience Manager, our data management platform, helps digital publishers build unique audience profiles to identify the most valuable segments and use them across any digital channel. Adobe Experience Platform ingests, processes and stitches data across sources, channels and customer interactions in real time to create unified customer profiles. Adobe’s Real-time Customer Data Platform service, built on Adobe Experience Platform, enables brands to bring together known and unknown customer data, to activate customer profiles across channels and leverage intelligent decision-making throughout the customer journey. Our Customer Journey Analytics service brings a powerful set of analytics tools to omnichannel data in Adobe Experience Platform, providing brands viewing data across channels an easy, interactive way to dig deeper and uncover new insights, while making analytics more accessible across their organization.
Content and commerce. We offer solutions to help customers manage, deliver, test, target and optimize content delivery and enable shopping experiences that scale from mid-market to enterprise businesses. Our leading digital experience management solution, Adobe Experience Manager, helps customers organize, create, manage and deliver creative assets and other content across digital marketing channels, including web, mobile, email, communities and video, enabling customers to improve their market and brand perception and provide a personalized experience to their consumers. Adobe Target is a personalization engine that lets our customers test, target and optimize content using machine learning across multiple apps and the web. Magento Commerce, which integrates with Adobe Experience Manager, enables our customers to create content and promotions for storefronts on every platform and provides a highly customizable and scalable end-to-end platform to manage, personalize and optimize the commerce experience across every touchpoint by bringing together digital commerce, order management and predictive intelligence to enable engaging shopping experiences.
Customer journey management. Our solutions help businesses manage, personalize and orchestrate campaigns and customer journeys across B2E use cases. Adobe Campaign enables marketers to manage the B2C customer journey and use rich customer data to create, coordinate and deliver dynamic, personalized experiences that are synchronized across multiple channels and determined by each consumer’s behaviors and preferences. Marketo Engage is a complete customer experience management solution optimized for B2B, cross-channel campaigns requiring lead management, account-based marketing and revenue attribution technology by bringing together planning, engagement and measurement capabilities into an integrated marketing platform. Our Journey Orchestration service, built on Adobe
Experience Platform, enables businesses to design, orchestrate and measure event-driven, customer-led journeys across the entire customer lifecycle at the individual level to intelligently anticipate every individual’s needs across their personal journey.
Advertising. Adobe Advertising Cloud delivers an end-to-end platform for managing advertising across traditional TV and digital formats, and simplifies the delivery of video, display and search advertising across channels and screens. Adobe Sensei enables machine learning and predictive intelligence and helps automate digital media buying to traditional TV advertising as well as ad creation. Adobe Advertising Cloud integrates with Adobe Creative Cloud products and combines capabilities from the Adobe Advertising Cloud Demand-Side Platform, Adobe Advertising Cloud Search, Adobe Advertising Cloud TV and Adobe Advertising Cloud Creative offerings.
We believe the AI and machine learning framework enabled by our strategy with Adobe Sensei enhances the delivery of digital experiences. Adobe Experience Cloud offers domain-specific AI services powered by Adobe Sensei that work with Adobe Experience Platform to augment existing Experience Cloud product offerings. These AI services help provide domain-specific intelligence in areas such as attribution and automated insights, customer journey management, lead management, sentiment analysis, one-click personalization, enhanced anomaly detection and more. By building on existing features and these AI-powered services, we believe Adobe Sensei will increase the value we provide our customers and create a competitive differentiation in the market.
Adobe Experience Cloud also offers an open platform and ecosystem through its multi-cloud foundation, the Adobe Experience Platform, AI services powered by Adobe Sensei, and developer services through Adobe I/O. Adobe Experience Platform standardizes data into an easily sharable format consumable by Adobe Sensei and provides an open and extensible cloud infrastructure for Adobe Experience Cloud that allows data to flow freely within the Adobe Experience Platform and between Adobe Experience Cloud solutions and third-party software. This open architecture offers scalability with a wide variety of supporting products and services, empowers users to quickly develop innovative applications to interact with consumers, and enables a broad industry ecosystem through our Open Data Initiative, an open alliance among Adobe, Microsoft, SAP and others.
To drive growth of Adobe Experience Cloud, we are focused on delivering the best customer experience management solutions for B2E, enterprise and mid-market through our applications, services and platform. We also intend to focus on customer engagement, growing within existing customer accounts, and product differentiation. We are expanding our customers to include Chief Information Officers and continuing to invest in Adobe Experience Platform integrations with Adobe Analytics and Adobe Audience Manager, as well as new services such as Customer Journey Analytics and our Real-time Customer Data Platform, to create a truly comprehensive customer data and insights offering. To give our customers increased flexibility and expand our reach, we are also delivering new functionality through additional services delivered on the Adobe Experience Platform such as Journey Orchestration. We utilize a direct sales force to market and license our Experience Cloud solutions, as well as an extensive ecosystem of partners, including marketing agencies, SIs and ISVs that help license and deploy our solutions to their customers. Strategic partnerships, such as the one we have formed with Microsoft, continue to increase our market reach. We have made significant investments to broaden the scale and size of all of these routes to market and believe these investments will result in continued growth in revenue in our Digital Experience segment in fiscal 2020 and beyond.
Our Publishing segment contains legacy products and services that address diverse market opportunities including eLearning solutions, technical document publishing, web conferencing, document and forms platform, web application development and high-end printing. Graphics professionals and professional publishers continue to require quality, reliability and efficiency in production printing, and our Adobe PostScript and Adobe PDF printing technologies provide advanced functionality to meet the sophisticated requirements of this marketplace. As high-end printing systems evolve and transition to fully digital, composite workflows, we believe we are well positioned to be a supplier of software and technology based on the Adobe PostScript and Adobe PDF standards for use by this industry.
We generate revenue by licensing our technology to OEMs that manufacture workflow software, printers and other output devices. In fiscal 2019, we maintained a relatively consistent annual revenue run-rate with the mature products we market and license in our Publishing business.
The markets for our products and services are characterized by intense competition, new industry standards, evolving distribution models, disruptive technology developments, frequent product introductions, short product life cycles, price cutting with resulting downward pressure on gross margins and price sensitivity on the part of consumers. Our future success will depend on our ability to enhance and better integrate our existing products, introduce new products on a timely and cost-effective basis, meet changing customer needs, provide best-in-class information security to build customer confidence and combat cyber-attacks, extend our core technology into new applications and anticipate emerging standards, business models, software delivery methods and other technological changes.
No single company has offerings that match the capabilities of our Adobe Creative Cloud products and services, but we face collective competition from a variety of point offerings, free products and downloadable apps. Our competition includes offerings from companies such as Apple, Autodesk, Avid, Corel, Microsoft, Affinity and others, as well as from many lower-end offerings. We believe our greatest advantage in this space is the performance and scope of our integrated solutions, which work together as part of Creative Cloud. With Creative Cloud, we compete favorably on the basis of features and functionality, ease of use, product reliability, value and performance characteristics.
Professional digital imaging, drawing and illustration products are characterized by feature-rich competition, brand awareness and price sensitivity. Competition in this space is also emerging with drawing and illustration applications on tablet and smartphone platforms. The demand for professional web page layout and professional web content creation tools is constantly evolving and highly volatile. In this area, we face direct and indirect competition from desktop software companies and various proprietary and open source web-authoring tools.
We face competition from device, hardware and camera manufacturers as they try to differentiate their offerings by bundling, for free, their own digital imaging software or those of our competitors. Similarly, we face potential competition from operating system manufacturers as they integrate or offer hobbyist-level digital imaging and image management features with their operating systems. We also face competition from smartphone and tablet manufacturers that integrate imaging and video software into their devices to work with cameras that come as part of their smartphone and tablet offerings. In addition, social networking platforms such as Facebook (including Instagram), Snapchat, Twitter, TikTok and Pinterest, as well as portal sites such as Google and Bing are becoming a direct means to post, edit and share digital media, bypassing the step of using image editing and sharing software. Online storage and synchronization are becoming free and ubiquitous. Consumers will be encouraged to use the image and video editing software offered by those storage products, thus competing with our software.
In addition, the needs of digital imaging and video editing software users are constantly evolving due to rapid technology and hardware advancements in digital cameras, digital video cameras, printers, personal computers, tablets, smartphones and other new devices. Our imaging and video offerings, including Photoshop, Lightroom, After Effects, Premiere Pro and Premiere Rush, face competition from established and emerging companies offering similar products.
New image editing applications for mobile devices and tablets with features that compete with our professional tools are also emerging as adoption of these devices grows. Our consumer digital imaging and video editing offerings are subject to intense competition, including customer price sensitivity and competitor brand awareness. We face direct and indirect competition in the consumer digital imaging space from a number of companies whose market software competes with our offerings.
Applications and tools for experience and interface design and prototyping are still emerging and evolving as adoption of these tools by designers, design teams and larger organizations grows. Competitors to Adobe XD include Figma, Invision and Sketch. Partnerships and integrations between these companies and third parties create an increasingly competitive landscape in this space.
The universe of applications for 3D texturing and material authoring as well as other applications and tools in the areas of 3D, augmented reality and immersive design are still developing and advancing as adoption grows and new use cases emerge. Adobe’s Substance suite of applications and Adobe Aero face competition from both hardware and software players in these nascent fields and competitors include Autodesk, Foundry, Quixel and Unity.
The stock content marketplace has significant competition, especially in the microstock segment, where Adobe primarily operates today with our Adobe Stock offering. Key competitors in this segment include Shutterstock, Getty Images and a number of smaller companies. Deep product integration with Adobe Creative Cloud and superior reach and relationships with creative professionals around the world differentiate our Adobe Stock offerings.
The nature of traditional digital document creation, storage, collaboration and signing has been rapidly evolving as knowledge workers and consumers shift their behavior increasingly to non-desktop workflows. Competitors like Microsoft, Google, Box, Dropbox and DocuSign all offer competitive alternatives to our Adobe Document Cloud business for creating and managing PDFs and e-signatures. In addition, other PDF creation solutions can be found at a low cost or for free on the web or via mobile applications. To address these competitive threats, we are working to ensure our Document Cloud applications stay at the forefront of innovation in emerging opportunities such as PDF document generation, document collaboration and document security, document workflow management, easeful software integrations, enablement of paper to digital transformations, and accessibility and usability on multiple devices, including mobile and desktop.
The markets in which our Digital Experience business unit competes are growing rapidly and characterized by intense competition. Our Adobe Experience Cloud solutions face competition from large companies such as Google, Oracle, salesforce.com, SAP, SAS, Shopify, Sitecore and others, in addition to point product solutions and focused competitors. Additionally, new competitors are constantly entering these markets. Some of these competitors provide SaaS solutions to customers, generally through a web browser, while others provide software that is installed by customers directly on their servers. In addition, we compete at times with our customers’ or potential customers’ internally developed applications. Of the competitors listed above, no single company has products identical in breadth and depth to our Adobe Experience Cloud offerings. Adobe Experience Cloud competes in a variety of areas, including: reporting and analytics; cross-channel marketing and optimization; online marketing; audience management; advertising and real-time bidding technology; marketing automation; customer data platforms; digital commerce enablement; order management; web experience management; customer experience management and others.
Large software, internet and database management companies have expanded their offerings in the digital experience area, either by developing competing services or by acquiring existing competitors or strategic partners of ours. We believe competitive factors in our markets include the proven performance, security, scalability, flexibility and reliability of services; the strategic relationships and integration with third-party applications; the intuitiveness and visual appeal of user interfaces; demonstrable cost-effective benefits to customers; pricing; the flexibility of services to match changing business demands; enterprise-level customer service and training; perceived market leadership; the usability of services; real-time data and reporting; independence from portals and search engines; the ability to deploy the services globally; and success in educating customers in how to utilize services effectively. We believe we compete favorably with both the enterprise and low-cost alternatives based on many of these competitive factors including our strong feature set, the breadth of our offerings, our focus on global, multi-brand companies, our superior user experience, tools for building multi-screen, cross-channel applications, standards-based architecture, scalability and performance and leadership in industry standards efforts.
Creative and digital agencies, as well as SIs, are increasingly investing in acquiring their own digital experience technology to complement their creative services offerings. Adobe may face competition from these agencies and SIs as they come to market with best-of-breed offerings in one or more digital experience capabilities, or if agencies attempt to create a more complete technology platform offering. We believe our creative tools heritage differentiates us from our competitors. We have worked closely with marketing and creative customers for over 30 years. We also believe we have leadership in this space, with current customers representing leading global brands. Our comprehensive solutions extend more broadly than any other company in serving the needs of marketers and addressing this market opportunity; we integrate content and data, analytics, personalization, digital experience management, marketing automation, cross-channel campaign management, digital commerce, audience management and customer intelligence in our Adobe Experience Cloud. Most importantly, we provide a vision for our Digital Experience customers as we engage with them across the important aspects of their business, extending from their use of Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Document Cloud to how they manage, deliver, measure and monetize their content, participate in digital commerce, and create highly personalized and engaging shoppable experiences with our Experience Cloud.
Our Publishing product offerings face competition from large-scale publishing systems, XML-based publishing companies, as well as lower-end desktop publishing products. Similarly, our web conferencing product faces competition from a number of established products from other companies, including Cisco, Citrix and Microsoft. Competition involves a number of factors, including: product features, ease-of-use, printer service support, the level of customization and integration with other publishing system components, the number of hardware platforms supported, service and price. We believe we can successfully compete based upon the quality and features of our products, our strong brand among users, the widespread adoption of our products among printer service bureaus, and our extensive application programming interfaces.
In printing technologies, we believe the principal competitive factors for OEMs in selecting a page description language or a printing technology are product capabilities, market leadership, reliability, price, support and engineering development assistance. We believe that our competitive advantages include our technology competency, OEM customer relationships and our intellectual property portfolio.
PRINCIPAL PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
Digital Media Offerings
Adobe Creative Cloud is a cloud-based subscription offering that enables creative professionals and enthusiasts alike to express themselves with apps and services for video, design, photography and the web that connect across devices, platforms and geographies. Members have access to a vibrant creative community, publishing services to deliver apps and websites, cloud storage to easily access their work, the ability to sync their files to virtually any device, collaboration capabilities with team members, and new products and exclusive updates as they are developed. Creative Cloud members can build a Creative Profile which persists wherever they are. A user’s Creative Profile moves with them via Creative Cloud services from app to app and device to device, giving them immediate access to their personal files, photos, brushes, graphics, colors, fonts, text styles, desktop setting customizations and other important assets. All of the applications listed below and many more are available through subscriptions to Creative Cloud.
Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom
Adobe Photoshop is the world’s most advanced digital imaging and design app. It is used by photographers, designers, animators, web professionals and video professionals, and is available to Adobe Creative Cloud subscribers on both desktop and iPad. Lightroom, our cloud-based photo service for editing, organizing, storing and sharing photos, is also available to Creative Cloud subscribers on desktop, tablet and mobile devices. Customers can also subscribe to Photoshop or Lightroom as individual cloud-enabled subscription products, or through our Photography Plan, which is a cloud-enabled offering targeted at photographers and photo hobbyists and includes Photoshop, Lightroom, integrated cloud services, and Lightroom Classic, a desktop-only version of the photo service app.
We also offer Photoshop Elements, which is targeted at consumers who desire the brand and power of Photoshop through an easy-to-use interface. For tablet and smartphone users, we offer several mobile apps including Photoshop Sketch, Photoshop Mix, Photoshop Express and Photoshop Fix – all of which enable sophisticated photo editing and content creation using a touch-based interface on tablet and mobile devices.
Adobe Illustrator is our industry-standard vector graphics app used worldwide by designers of all types who want to create digital graphics and illustrations from web icons and product packaging to book illustrations and billboards, and for all kinds of media: print, web, interactive, video and mobile. Illustrator is available to Adobe Creative Cloud subscribers, and customers can also subscribe to use it as an individual subscription product. Users can also utilize mobile apps such as Illustrator Draw to gain access to Illustrator capabilities on their tablets and mobile devices, and seamlessly sync their work across apps and devices through Adobe CreativeSync technology, including for use with Illustrator on their desktop. Illustrator will also be available on iPad starting in 2020.
Adobe Fresco (formerly Project Gemini) is an illustration app designed for the latest stylus and touch devices that brings together the world’s largest collection of vector and raster brushes, plus revolutionary new Live Brushes, to deliver a completely natural painting and drawing experience for artists, illustrators, animators, sketchers and anyone who wants to discover - or rediscover - the joy of drawing and painting. Live Brushes, powered by Adobe Sensei, look, feel and act just like real watercolors that bloom and bleed in real time or oil that can be swirled and smudged on canvas. Tight integration with Adobe Creative Cloud enables customers to start their projects on tablet devices and move seamlessly to desktop, with all files, brushes, fonts and assets synced across devices through Adobe Creative Cloud. A free version of Adobe Fresco is available and a premium version is offered as part of Adobe Creative Cloud, as part of an Adobe Photoshop subscription plan, or as a standalone subscription for individuals, teams, education or enterprises. Adobe Fresco is available for iPad, Microsoft Surface computers and Wacom Mobile Studio devices.
Adobe InDesign is the industry-leading design and layout app for print and digital media. Our customers use it to create, preflight and publish a broad range of content including newspapers and magazines for print, online and tablet app delivery. From
stationery, fliers and posters to brochures, annual reports, magazines and books with professional layout and typesetting tools, customers can create multicolumn pages that feature stylish typography and rich graphics, images and tables. Tight integration with other Adobe offerings such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat enables customers to work productively in print and digital workflows. InDesign integrates seamlessly with Adobe InCopy, so customers can work on layouts simultaneously with writers and editors. Customers can also access Adobe digital publishing capabilities from within InDesign to create and publish engaging apps for a broad range of devices, including iOS, Android and Amazon-based devices. InDesign is available to Adobe Creative Cloud subscribers, and customers can also subscribe to use InDesign as an individual cloud-enabled subscription product.
Adobe Stock provides designers and businesses with access to millions of high-quality, curated, royalty-free photos, vectors, illustrations, videos, templates and 3D assets, for all their creative projects. Adobe Stock is built into Adobe Creative Cloud apps, including Photoshop , Illustrator and InDesign, enabling users to search, browse, and add images to their Creative Cloud Libraries, and obtain instant access to assets across desktop and mobile devices. Adobe Stock assets may be licensed directly within the Creative Cloud desktop apps, through stock.adobe.com or as a multi-asset subscription.
Adobe XD is our all-in-one experience design (XD) solution used to build user experiences (UX) and user interfaces (UI) when designing websites, mobile apps and more; Adobe XD enables users to go from concept to prototype faster. Adobe XD brings design and prototyping together with fast, intuitive tools that deliver precision and performance using timesaving features like Responsive Resize, Repeat Grid, Auto-Animate and flexible artboards to create everything from low-fidelity wireframes to fully interactive prototypes for any size screen in minutes. Adobe XD also makes it easy to, with a single click, share and collaborate on designs and prototypes with teammates and allow multiple colleagues on multiple devices to simultaneously make changes to the same document in real time, with support for version control. Adobe XD offers prototyping capabilities that no other design tools offer by allowing designers to design, prototype and share digital experiences that extend beyond the screen, including keyboard and gamepad triggers for desktop and console-based experiences, and voice prototyping to create audio interactions for voice-based smart assistants and other similar platforms. Adobe XD also enables users to share and reuse assets with design systems that can scale as teams and organizations grow. Adobe XD is available to Adobe Creative Cloud subscribers, and individuals and teams can also subscribe to use it as an individual cloud-enabled subscription product. A free version is also available.
Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Premiere Rush
Adobe Premiere Pro is a leading nonlinear video editing tool used by filmmakers, TV editors, YouTubers and videographers. Customers can import and combine various types of media, from video shot on a smartphone to 8K to virtual reality, and then edit in its native format without transcoding. Premiere Pro supports a vast majority of formats, and customers can use multiple graphics cards to accelerate, render and export times. Premiere Pro is the only nonlinear editor that lets users have multiple projects open while simultaneously collaborating on a single project with their team. Automated tools powered by Adobe Sensei like Auto-Reframe save time and workflows for color, graphics, audio and immersive 360/VR in Premiere Pro take customers from first edit to final credits faster than ever. Adobe Premiere Rush (formerly Project Rush) is an all-in-one, easy-to-use video editing app that simplifies video creation and sharing on platforms including YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, while delivering professional quality video results. Premiere Rush is uniquely positioned toward social media marketers, video bloggers and video enthusiasts who are looking for an all-in-one app to create and directly share online videos. Premiere Pro and Premiere Rush tightly integrate with other Adobe creative applications and are available to Adobe Creative Cloud subscribers, and customers can also subscribe to use Premiere Pro and Premiere Rush as individual cloud-enabled subscription products, or they can download the free Premiere Rush starter plan.
Adobe After Effects
Adobe After Effects is our industry-standard motion graphics and visual effects app used by a wide variety of animators, designers and compositors to create cinematic movie titles, remove objects from videos, apply countless effects and create animations. It offers superior control, a wealth of creative options and integration with other post-production applications. After Effects works together seamlessly with other Adobe apps such as Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator, Adobe XD and Adobe Audition. After Effects is available to Adobe Creative Cloud subscribers, and customers can also subscribe to use it as an individual cloud-enabled subscription product.
Adobe Dimension is designed to make it easy for graphic designers to compose, adjust and render high-quality, photorealistic 3D images. Users can composite 2D and 3D assets to create product shots, craft photorealistic scenes and visualize branding, packaging and logo designs in 3D with photorealistic renderings. Dimension integrates well with other Adobe apps. Users can
drag and drop background images from Photoshop, geometry from Substance Painter and 3D models from Adobe Stock - without leaving Dimension. Dimension is available to Adobe Creative Cloud subscribers, and customers can also subscribe to use it as an individual cloud-enabled subscription product.
Adobe Aero (formerly Project Aero) is our free iOS application for viewing, building and sharing immersive and interactive augmented reality experiences. Users can directly import 2D and 3D assets created in Adobe applications like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Dimension and Substance by Adobe, as well as third-party applications like Cinema4D, and bring them to life with animations and interactive triggers. Adobe Aero automatically optimizes these assets for augmented reality and uses machine learning technology to mimic real-world lighting on objects without the need for complex models or time-consuming manual rendering. Adobe Aero is available for free on the iOS App Store.
Substance by Adobe
On January 23, 2019, Adobe acquired Allegorithmic, a privately held 3D editing and authoring software company for gaming and entertainment, and began integrating it into Adobe Creative Cloud as Substance by Adobe. Substance by Adobe is a suite of tools, comprised of Substance Painter, Substance Source, Substance Alchemist and Substance Designer, for 3D texturing and materials authoring that enables users to get all the details just right in their 3D creations. Substance Painter allows users to nondestructively paint 3D textures on models in real time with smart materials that adjust to any object to show realistic wear and tear. Substance Source is a 3D materials library from which users can import professional quality 3D textures into their projects and generate infinite texture variations. Substance Alchemist allows users to create collections of 3D textures and materials, mix and tweak existing materials and even create new materials from the real world using photographs and high-resolution scans. Substance Designer is the industry standard texture authoring tool for precisely creating custom materials with complete nondestructive authoring control. Substance integrates well with other Adobe apps like Dimension, as well as game engines like Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4, Unity, Autodesk’s Maya and 3ds Max and more. Customers can also subscribe to use Substance as an individual subscription product.
Adobe Fonts brings thousands of fonts from foundry partners into one library for quick browsing, easy use on the web or on the user’s desktop and endless typographic inspiration. Our full library of commercially-licensed fonts is offered through Adobe Creative Cloud. In addition, customers may subscribe to the standalone Adobe Fonts portfolio plan, or license individual fonts from the Adobe Fonts Marketplace.
Behance is the leading social community to showcase and discover creative work online. Adobe Portfolio allows users to quickly and simply build a fully customizable and hosted website that seamlessly syncs with Behance.
Adobe Spark is our integrated web and mobile software for creating and sharing impactful visual stories. Designed for everyday communication, Adobe Spark empowers users to transform text, photos and videos into dynamic web stories, video stories or professional-looking graphics for social media that engage audiences across multiple channels and on any device. The Adobe Spark web app seamlessly syncs with the Spark Post, Spark Page and Spark Video iOS mobile apps (with Spark Post also available as an Android app), allowing users to create, edit and share their story from any location regardless of their design experience. Adobe Spark with premium features allows users to apply custom branding to anything they create; the premium product is offered as part of any Adobe Creative Cloud plan or as a standalone subscription for individuals, teams, education or enterprises. A free version is also available.
Acrobat and Adobe Document Cloud
Adobe Document Cloud is a cloud-based subscription offering that enables complete, reliable and automated digital document and signature workflows across desktop, mobile, web and third-party enterprise applications to drive business productivity for individuals, teams, small businesses and enterprises. With Document Cloud, users can create, review, approve, sign and track documents, and store them in Document Cloud for easy access and sharing, whether on a desktop or mobile device. Document Cloud includes Adobe Acrobat DC, Adobe Sign, Adobe Scan and other Document Cloud apps and services that work standalone or integrate with users’ existing productivity apps, processes and systems.
At the heart of Adobe Document Cloud is Adobe Acrobat DC, the industry standard for PDF creation and conversion. Acrobat enables users to create secure, reliable and compact Adobe PDF documents from authoring applications such as Microsoft
Office software, graphics applications and more. Acrobat enables automated collaborative workflows with a rich set of commenting tools and review tracking features and includes everything needed to create and distribute rich, secure electronic documents that can be viewed easily within leading web browsers or on computer desktops via the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Adobe Acrobat is available to both Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Document Cloud subscribers. Customers can also license Acrobat Pro DC or Acrobat Standard DC (which has a subset of Acrobat Pro DC features) as individual point products available through a cloud-enabled subscription. Adobe Acrobat Reader, our free software for reliable viewing, annotating and printing of Adobe PDF documents on a variety of desktop and mobile platforms, offers additional features for subscribers to Adobe Document Cloud or Adobe Acrobat DC that enables subscribers to create, edit, export, combine, share and collaborate on PDF documents on mobile devices. Users of both Acrobat and Acrobat Reader can also access, edit and save changes to their PDF files stored in the Adobe Document Cloud, or other third-party cloud storage services, including Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive.
Adobe Scan can be used for free on mobile devices to provide scanning capabilities in the pocket of every person. It captures paper documents as images and transforms them into full-featured and versatile PDFs via Adobe Document Cloud services for instant sharing with others.
Our Adobe Sign cloud-based e-signature service allows users to securely electronically send and sign any document from any device. As well as being available on the web, Adobe Sign has a mobile app that allows users to e-sign documents and forms, send them for signature, track responses in real time and obtain instant signatures with in-person signing. Adobe Sign also integrates with users’ enterprise systems through a comprehensive set of applicable programming interfaces, and Adobe Experience Manager Forms and Advanced Workflows for Adobe Sign, to create forms and provide seamless experiences to customers across web and mobile sites. Adobe Sign is Microsoft’s preferred e-sign solution and is integrated into Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft SharePoint.
Digital Experience Offerings
Adobe Experience Cloud is a comprehensive collection of best-in-class solutions for advertising, analytics, marketing and commerce, all integrated on a cloud platform, along with service, support and an open ecosystem. Experience Cloud is comprised of the following sets of solutions for our customers: Data and Insights, Content and Commerce, Customer Journey Management and Advertising, which are each described below.
Data and Insights
Our Data and Insights solutions deliver real-time customer profiles and intelligence across the customer journey with a unified, purpose-built platform for customer experience management, a data management platform and cross-channel analytics. The following is a brief description of our solutions for Data and Insights.
Adobe Experience Platform
Adobe Experience Platform is the industry’s first purpose-built platform for customer experience management that helps users ingest, process and stitch together known and unknown customer data from every customer interaction across multiple channels in real time into unified customer profiles. Adobe Experience Platform standardizes data into an easily sharable format consumable by Adobe Sensei and provides an open and extensible cloud infrastructure which allows that data to flow freely within the Adobe Experience Platform and between Adobe applications and services and third-party software. This open architecture offers scalability with a wide variety of supporting products and services, empowers users to quickly develop innovative applications to interact with consumers and enables a broad industry ecosystem through our Open Data Initiative, an open alliance among Adobe, Microsoft and SAP. Adobe Experience Platform also offers Query Service and Data Science Workspace, which enable users to gain deeper insights from stored datasets, and customer journey intelligence, which leverages predefined data-driven operational best practices, AI and business intelligence to enable and optimize real-time decisions, actions and business processes. Users are able to leverage Adobe Experience Platform to activate insights across all Adobe Experience Cloud applications.
Adobe Analytics is our industry leading solution that helps our customers create a holistic view of their business by turning consumer interactions into actionable insights. Adobe Analytics enables web, social, video, mobile, attribution and predictive analytics to continuously improve the performance of marketing activities and better direct our customers’ marketing spend. From attribution and predictive modeling to contribution analysis and propensity scoring, Adobe Analytics is immersed in machine learning and AI. With intuitive and interactive dashboards and reports, our customers can sift, sort and share real-time information to provide insights that can be used to identify problems and opportunities and to drive conversion and relevant consumer experiences. Our Analysis Workspace provides a robust, flexible canvas for creating and curating reusable analysis projects that
are customized to their needs. Adobe Analytics lets users capture, analyze and integrate data from virtually any source, both online and offline, from web, email and CRM to voice, IoT and connected car data.
Adobe Audience Manager
Adobe Audience Manager is a data management platform that helps digital publishers build unique audience profiles to identify the most valuable segments and use them across any digital channel. Adobe Audience Manager consolidates audience information from all available sources. It then identifies, quantifies and optimizes high-value target audiences, which can then be offered to advertisers via an integrated, secure, privacy-friendly management system that works across all advertising distribution platforms. Adobe Audience Manager provides access to multiple data sources, offering digital publishers the ability to use a wide variety of third-party data as well as Audience Manager’s private data co-op.
Customer Journey Analytics
Our Customer Journey Analytics service, built on Adobe Experience Platform, brings a powerful set of analytics tools that stitch and analyze cross-channel data to deliver comprehensive customer journey insights that allow our customers to more easily deliver consistent experiences regardless of channel. This service provides brands viewing data across channels with an easy, interactive way to dig deeper and uncover new insights with omnichannel data analysis, while making analytics more accessible across their organization. The Customer Journey Analytics interface democratizes data analysis by allowing users to creatively and intelligently visualize their customer data and gather collections of insights for different audiences in real time by manipulating layers of data.
Real-Time Customer Data Platform
Our Real-time Customer Data Platform, built on Adobe Experience Platform, uses customer data to instantly personalize experiences. It does so by activating Adobe Experience Platform’s unified customer profiles across channels to leverage intelligent decision making throughout the customer journey and deliver hyper-personalized experiences across all known channels and devices. The Real-time Customer Data Platform utilizes an open and extensible architecture that allows integration with a variety of data sources and activation touchpoints and provides continuous data refreshes to keep customer profiles updated in real time.
Content and Commerce
Our Content and Commerce solutions help customers manage, deliver, test, target and optimize content delivery and enable shopping experiences that scale from mid-market to enterprise businesses. The following is a brief description of our solutions for Content and Commerce.
Adobe Experience Manager
Adobe Experience Manager is a leading digital experience management solution that uses AI tools to help customers organize, create and manage the delivery of creative assets and other content across digital marketing channels, including web, mobile, email, communities and video. It enables customers to manage content on premise or host it in the cloud, delivering agile and rapid deployment. With this ultimate control of content and campaigns, our customers can deliver real-time and personalized experiences to their consumers that help build customers’ brands, drive demand and extend reach. Adobe Experience Manager includes digital asset management, web content management, digital publishing and enterprise-level forms management. These tools enable customers to improve their market and brand perception and provide a personalized experience to their consumers.
Adobe Target is a personalization engine that lets our customers test, target and optimize content using machine learning across multiple apps and the web. With Adobe Target, our customers have the tools they need to quickly discover what gets noticed and what increases conversion and engagement. It paves a path from simple testing to targeting to true segmentation and optimization through A/B and multivariate testing, AI-powered automation at scale, content targeting and automated decision making. Adobe Target capabilities also enable our customers to test and target adaptive or responsive mobile web experiences.
Magento Commerce offers digital commerce enablement and order orchestration for both physical and digital goods across a range of industries, including consumer packaged goods, retail, wholesale, manufacturing and the public sector. Magento Commerce brings together digital commerce, order management and predictive intelligence to enable shopping experiences that scale from mid-market to enterprise businesses. Based on an open-source ecosystem, Magento Commerce extends beyond the web shopping cart to every shoppable experience, including email, mobile, in-store and marketplaces. Magento Commerce also
integrates with Adobe Experience Manager to enable the user-friendly creation and deployment of content and promotions for shopping experiences that integrate seamlessly across mobile, social or in-store.
Customer Journey Management
Our Customer Journey Management solutions enable our customers to manage and orchestrate individual cross-channel campaigns that encourage meaningful customer experiences; personalize content and deliver optimized experiences at scale that are meaningful to each of their customers; and plan, orchestrate and measure engagement with their prospects and customers at every stage of the customer journey, across B2E use cases. The following is a brief description of our solutions for Customer Journey Management.
Adobe Campaign is optimized for B2C experiences involving high volume email and cross-channel campaign management. Adobe Campaign enables marketers to manage the customer journey and use rich customer data to create, coordinate and deliver dynamic, personalized experiences that are synchronized across multiple channels and determined by each consumer’s behaviors and preferences. As part of its feature set, Adobe Campaign provides visual campaign orchestration, allowing for intuitive design and automated consumer experiences across channels, from one-off campaigns to triggered messages, with a graphically rich interface. Marketers can also integrate consumer data from across marketing channels to develop and deliver more relevant marketing experiences to their consumers through email, mobile, offline channels and more. Features also include targeted segmentation, multilingual email execution, real-time interaction, in-app messaging and operational reporting to easily see how well campaigns are performing.
Marketo Engage is a complete customer experience management solution optimized for B2B, cross-channel campaigns requiring lead management, account-based marketing and revenue attribution technology by bringing together planning, engagement and measurement capabilities into an integrated marketing platform. Marketo Engage simplifies how companies plan, orchestrate and measure engagement with prospects and customers at every stage of their experience and allows companies to better align marketing and sales at every touchpoint to engage high priority accounts. It offers a feature-rich and cloud-native platform with a set of solutions for delivering transformative customer experiences across industries and companies of all sizes.
Our Journey Orchestration service, built on Adobe Experience Platform, enables businesses to design, orchestrate and measure event-driven, customer-led journeys across the entire customer lifecycle at the individual level to intelligently anticipate every individual’s needs across their personal journey. It allows businesses to trigger individual journeys, apply conditions in real time to qualify events and personalize journeys, as well as visually map individual journeys across all systems in an intuitive workflow-based interface. Journey Orchestration also allows businesses to track detailed performance of executed journeys and how individuals are progressing in real time, with data automatically sent to Adobe Experience Platform to allow full-funnel analysis.
Adobe Advertising Cloud is an end-to-end, independent platform for managing advertising that unifies and automates all media, screens, data and creativity at scale. With Adobe Advertising Cloud and its use of Adobe Sensei AI and data integrations, customers can identify and amplify their high-value audiences for more personal and accurate targeting; seamlessly unite creative, data and media buying across all screens and formats; protect their brand by preventing their campaigns from mixing with content and properties that do not align with their image; scale bidding and optimization strategies; implement programmatic creative management using automated advertisement creation for both prospecting and retargeting customers; generate advertisements at scale using Adobe Creative Cloud apps; and use data insights that reveal customers’ interests and past behaviors to create relevant, targeted ads. Adobe Advertising Cloud includes Adobe Advertising Cloud Demand Side Platform, Adobe Advertising Cloud Search, Adobe Advertising Cloud TV and Adobe Advertising Cloud Creative offerings.
Adobe Advertising Cloud DSP is the first independent, omnichannel demand-side platform that brings cross-screen and cross-channel integrations for planning, buying, measurement and optimization and supports all forms of TV (linear, addressable and connected), video, display, native, audio, social and search campaigns. It builds identities, finds optimal mixes to reach audiences and manages tactics that span multiple sites simultaneously, effortlessly and nearly instantly. Adobe Advertising Cloud Search brings customers the most comprehensive search management through the automation of search, shopping and retargeting campaigns by offering model transparency and accuracy reports that give insight into actual performance rather than just forecasts for clicks, cost and revenue. With intuitive navigation and time-saving workflows, it delivers powerful, real-time integration with
Adobe Analytics, Adobe Audience Manager and Adobe Campaign and connects users’ data, audience segments and other marketing channels to get a bird’s-eye view of their performance. Adobe Advertising Cloud TV uses data and automation to help customers make smarter TV buying decisions, deliver precision against their audiences and increase the impact of their TV advertising with access to over 30,000 audience data attributes. As part of the Adobe Advertising Cloud DSP, Adobe Advertising Cloud Creative uniquely brings together designers and marketing professionals in a self-serve, intuitive interface with direct integration with Adobe Creative Cloud apps that enhances collaboration between customers’ ad production and media teams and enables users to automatically create thousands of ads at scale.
Other Products and Services
We also offer a broad range of other enterprise and digital media products and services. Information about other products not referenced here can be found on our corporate website, www.adobe.com.
Marketing and Sales
We market and license our products directly using our sales force and certain local offices and through our own website at www.adobe.com. We also market and distribute our products through sales channels, which include distributors, retailers, software developers, SIs, ISVs and VARs, as well as through OEM and hardware bundle customers.
Our local field offices include locations in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Moldova, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
We sell the majority of our products through a software subscription model where our customers purchase access to a product for a specific period of time during which they always have rights to use the most recent version of that product. We also license perpetual versions of our software with maintenance and support, which includes rights to upgrades, when and if available, support, updates and enhancements.
For fiscal 2019, 2018 and 2017, there were no customers that represented at least 10% of net revenue. As of fiscal year end 2019 and 2018, no single customer was responsible for over 10% of our trade receivables.
Services and Support
We provide expert consulting, customer success management, technical support and learning services across all our customer segments, including enterprises, small and medium businesses, creative professionals and consumers. With a focus on ensuring sustained customer success and realized value, this comprehensive portfolio of services is designed to help customers and partners maximize the return on their investments in our cloud solutions and licensed products. Our service and support revenue consists primarily of consulting fees, software maintenance, technical support fees and training fees.
We have a global professional services team dedicated to designing and implementing solutions for our largest customers. Our professional services team uses a comprehensive, customer-focused methodology that has been refined over years of capturing and analyzing best practices from numerous customer engagements across a diverse mix of solutions, industries and customer segments. Increasingly, our customers seek to integrate across Adobe’s products and cloud solutions, and engage our professional services teams to share their expertise in leading customers’ digital strategies, multi-solution integrations and in running customer platforms. Using our methodology, our professional services teams are able to accelerate customers’ time to value, and maximize the return customers earn on their investment in Adobe solutions.
A key component of Adobe’s strategy is developing a large partner ecosystem to expand the reach and breadth of Adobe solutions in the global marketplace. In order to assist partners in building their respective digital practices, Adobe Global Services provides a comprehensive set of deliverables through Adobe’s Solution Partner Program. The breadth of services described in the program provides system integrators, agencies and regional partners the tools required to develop core capabilities for positioning and building with Adobe technology, as well as implementing and running customer platforms. We believe that through these programmatic services and support, our joint customers benefit greatly from the combination of Adobe technology and the deep customer context that our global partners represent.
Adobe Customer Solutions provides Customer Success Managers, who work with enterprise and commercial customers on an ongoing basis to understand their current and future business needs, promote faster solution adoption, and align product capabilities to customers’ business objectives to maximize the return on their investment in Adobe’s offerings. We engage customers to share innovative best practices, relevant industry and vertical knowledge, and proven success strategies based on our extensive engagements with leading marketers and brands. The performance of these teams is directly associated with customer-focused outcomes.
Adobe provides enterprise maintenance and support services to customers of subscription products as part of the subscription entitlement, and to perpetual license customers via annual fee-based maintenance and support programs. These offerings provide:
technical support on the products they have purchased from Adobe;
“how to” help in using our products; and
product upgrades and enhancements during the term of the maintenance and support or subscription period, which is typically one to three years.
We provide product support through a global support organization that includes several regional and global support centers, supplemented with outsourced vendors for specific services. Customers can seek help through multiple channels including phone, chat, web, social media and email, allowing quick and easy access to the information they need. These teams are responsible for providing timely, high-quality technical expertise on all our products.
Certain consumers are eligible to receive Getting Started support, to assist with easy adoption of their products. Support for some products and in some countries may vary. For enterprise customers with greater support needs, we offer personalized service options through Premium Services options, delivered by global support centers and technical account managers who can also provide proactive risk mitigation services and on-site support services for those with business-critical deployments.
Lastly, we also offer delivery assurance, technical support and enablement services to partners and developer organizations. Through the Adobe Partner Connection Reseller Program, we provide developers with high-quality tools, software development kits, information and services.
Digital Learning Services
Adobe Customer Solutions offers a comprehensive portfolio of learning and enablement services to assist our customer and partner teams in the use of our products, including those within Digital Experience, Digital Media and other legacy products and solutions. Our training portfolio includes a large number of free online self-service learning options on www.training.adobe.com. Adobe Digital Learning Services also has an extensive portfolio of fee-based learning programs including a wide range of traditional classroom, virtual and on-demand training and certifications delivered by our team of training professionals and partners across the globe.
These core offerings are complemented by our custom learning services, which support our largest enterprise customers and their unique requirements. Solution-specific skills assessments help our enterprise customers objectively assess the knowledge and competencies within their marketing teams and tailor their learning priorities accordingly. Finally, aligned with our cloud strategy, we have introduced a new learning subscription service that enables customers to access both business and technical Digital Experience training over a 12-month period, which is a scalable approach to supporting long-term learning.
From time to time we make direct investments in privately held companies. We enter into these investments with the intent of securing financial returns as well as for strategic purposes, as they often increase our knowledge of emerging markets and technologies and expand our opportunities to provide Adobe products and services.
A continuous high level of investment is required for the enhancement of existing solutions and the development of new solutions due to the speed of technological change that characterizes the software industry. We develop our software internally, as well as acquire products or technology developed by others by purchasing the stock or assets of the business entity that owns the technology. In other instances, we have licensed or purchased the intellectual property ownership rights of programs developed by others with license or technology transfer agreements that may obligate us to pay a flat license fee or royalties, typically based on a dollar amount per unit or a percentage of the revenue generated by those programs.
PROTECTING AND LICENSING OUR PRODUCTS
We protect our intellectual property through a combination of patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets, foreign intellectual property laws, confidentiality procedures and contractual provisions. We have United States and foreign patents and pending applications that relate to various aspects of our products and technology. Although our patents have value, no single patent is essential to any of our principal businesses. We have also registered, and applied for the registration of, U.S. and international trademarks, service marks, domain names and copyrights.
Our enterprise customers license our hosted offerings as SaaS or Managed Services, and consumers primarily use our desktop software and mobile apps. We license our desktop software to users under ‘click through’ or signed license agreements containing restrictions on duplication, disclosure and transfer. Similarly, cloud products and services are provided to users under ‘click through’ or signed agreements containing restrictions on access and use.
Despite our efforts to protect our proprietary technology and our intellectual property rights, unauthorized parties may attempt to copy or obtain and use our technology to develop applications with the same functionality as our application. Policing unauthorized use of our technology and intellectual property rights is difficult. We believe that our transition from perpetual-use software licenses to a subscription-based business model combined with the increased focus on cloud-based computing has and may continue to improve our efforts to combat the pirating of our products.
As of November 29, 2019, we employed 22,634 people. We have not experienced work stoppages and believe our employee relations are good.
Our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to reports filed or furnished pursuant to Sections 13(a) and 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, are available free of charge on our Investor Relations website at www.adobe.com/adbe as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the SEC. The information posted on our website is not incorporated into this report.
Adobe’s executive officers as of January 21, 2020 are as follows:
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Narayen currently serves as our Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer. He joined Adobe in January 1998 as Vice President and General Manager of our engineering technology group. In January 1999, he was promoted to Senior Vice President, Worldwide Products, and in March 2001 he was promoted to Executive Vice President, Worldwide Product Marketing and Development. In January 2005, Mr. Narayen was promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer, and effective December 2007, he was appointed our Chief Executive Officer and joined our Board of Directors. In January 2017, he was named our Chairman of the Board. Mr. Narayen serves as lead independent director on the board of directors of Pfizer, a multinational pharmaceutical corporation. Mr. Narayen holds a B.S. in Electronics Engineering from Osmania University in India, a M.S. in Computer Science from Bowling Green State University and an M.B.A. from the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley.
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Murphy currently serves as our Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. He joined Adobe in March 2017 and served as our Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Corporate Controller until April 2018. Prior to joining Adobe, Mr. Murphy served as Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Corporate Controller of Qualcomm Incorporated from September 2014 to March 2017. He previously served as Senior Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer of DIRECTV Inc. from November 2007 until August 2014, and Vice President and General Auditor of DIRECTV from October 2004 to November 2007. Prior to joining DIRECTV he worked at several global companies, including Experian, Nestle, and Atlantic Richfield (ARCO), in a variety of finance and accounting roles. He served as Director of DirecTV Holdings LLC from November 2007 until August 2014. Mr. Murphy serves on the Corporate Advisory Board of the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. He holds an MBA from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, a B.S. in Accounting from Fordham University.
Chief Product Officer and Executive Vice President, Creative Cloud
Mr. Belsky joined Adobe in December 2017 as Chief Product Officer and Executive Vice President, Creative Cloud. Prior to joining Adobe in December 2017, Belsky was a venture investor at Benchmark in San Francisco from February 2016 to December 2017. Prior to Benchmark, Belsky led Adobe's mobile strategy for Creative Cloud from December 2012 to January 2016, having joined the company through the acquisition of Behance. Belsky co-founded Behance in 2006 and served as its CEO for over 6 years. He is an early advisor and investor to Pinterest, Uber and Warby Parker among other early-stage companies, and co-founded and serves on the board of Prefer, a referrals platform that empowers the careers of independent professionals. Mr. Belsky also serves on the advisory board of Cornell University's Entrepreneurship Program and as President of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum board of trustees.
Executive Vice President and General Manager, Digital Experience
Mr. Chakravarthy joined Adobe in January 2020 as Executive Vice President and General Manager, Digital Experience. Prior to joining Adobe, he served as Informatica’s Chief Executive Officer from August 2015 to January 2020 and Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer from September 2013 to August 2015. Prior to joining Informatica, for over nine years, Mr. Chakravarthy held multiple leadership roles at Symantec Corporation, most recently serving as its Executive Vice President, Information Security from February 2013 to September 2013. Prior to Symantec, he was a Director of Product Management for enterprise security services at VeriSign. Mr. Chakravarthy began his career as an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company. Mr. Chakravarthy holds a Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science and Engineering from the Institute of Technology, Varanasi, India and Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Executive Vice President, Strategy and Growth
Ms. Chen joined Adobe in 1997 and currently serves as Executive Vice President, Strategy and Growth. In her more than 20 years at Adobe, she has held senior leadership positions in worldwide sales operations, customer service and support, and strategic planning. In October 2009, Ms. Chen was appointed Vice President and Chief of Staff to the Chief Executive Officer. In March 2018, she was promoted to Senior Vice President, Strategy and Growth and in November 2019, she was elevated to Executive Vice President, Strategy and Growth. Prior to joining Adobe, Ms. Chen was an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company. Ms. Chen holds a BS in electrical engineering from the University of Washington, an MS in electrical and computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Executive Vice President and General Manager, Digital Media
Mr. Lamkin currently serves as Executive Vice President and General Manager, Digital Media. He rejoined Adobe in February 2013 as Senior Vice President, Technology and Corporate Development. From June 2011 to May 2012, Mr. Lamkin served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Clover, a mobile payments platform. Prior to Clover, Mr. Lamkin co-founded and served as the Chief Executive Officer of Bagcheck, a sharing and discovery platform, from June 2010 to May 2011. From April 2009 to June 2010, Mr. Lamkin served as Senior Vice President of Consumer Products and Applications at Yahoo!, a global technology company providing online search, content and communication tools. From May 2008 to April 2009, Mr. Lamkin served as Executive in Residence at Sutter Hill Ventures. Mr. Lamkin previously was with Adobe from 1992 to 2006 and held various senior management positions including Senior Vice President, Creative Solutions Business Unit.
Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer
Ms. Lewnes joined Adobe in November 2006 and currently serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. Prior to joining Adobe, Ms. Lewnes spent 20 years at Intel Corporation, where she was Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Ms. Lewnes is a board member of Mattel and the Adobe Foundation.
Chief Human Resources Officer and Executive Vice President, Employee Experience
Ms. Morris currently serves as Chief Human Resources Officer and Executive Vice President of Adobe's Global Customer and Employee Experience organization. Ms. Morris joined Adobe as Senior Director of Global Talent Management in April 2002 through the acquisition of Accelio Corporation, a Canadian software company, where she served as Vice President of Human Resources and Learning. In December 2005, Ms. Morris was promoted to Vice President Global Human Resources Operations and subsequently to Senior Vice President Human Resources in March 2007. Ms. Morris is a director of Marvell Technology Group Limited and the Adobe Foundation.
Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer
Mr. Parasnis joined Adobe in July 2015 as Senior Vice President of Adobe's Cloud Technology & Services organization and Chief Technology Officer. Prior to joining Adobe, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer at Kony, Inc. from March 2013 to March 2015. From January 2012 to November 2013, Mr. Parasnis was a Senior Vice President and later Strategic Advisor for the Oracle Public Cloud at Oracle. Prior to joining Oracle, he was General Manager of Microsoft Azure AppFabric at Microsoft from April 2009 to December 2011.
Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Mr. Rao currently serves as our Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. He joined Adobe in April 2012 and served as our Vice President, Intellectual Property and Litigation where he spearheaded strategic initiatives including the company’s litigation efforts, and its patent, trademark and copyright portfolio strategies until June 2018. Prior to joining Adobe, Mr. Rao was with Microsoft Corporation for 11 years, serving in a variety of roles including Associate General Counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing, where he oversaw all patent matters for Microsoft’s entertainment and devices division as well as the company-wide patent acquisition team. From 1997 until March 2001, he served as a patent attorney at Fenwick & West. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Villanova University and a J.D. from George Washington University.
Executive Vice President, Worldwide Field Operations
Mr. Thompson currently serves as Executive Vice President, Worldwide Field Operations. Mr. Thompson joined Adobe in January 2007 as Senior Vice President, Worldwide Field Operations. In January 2013, he was promoted to Executive Vice President, Worldwide Field Operations. Prior to joining Adobe, Mr. Thompson served as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales at Borland Software Corporation, a software delivery optimization solutions provider, from October 2003 to December 2006. Prior to joining Borland, Mr. Thompson was Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Field Operations for Marimba, Inc., a provider of products and services for software change and configuration management, from February 2001 to January 2003. From July 2000 to January 2001, Mr. Thompson was Vice President of Worldwide Sales for Calico Commerce, Inc., a provider of eBusiness applications. Prior to joining Calico, Mr. Thompson spent six years at Cadence Design Systems, Inc., a provider of electronic design technologies. While at Cadence, from January 1998 to June 2000, Mr. Thompson served as Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales and Field Operations and from April 1994 to January 1998 as Vice President, Worldwide Professional Services. Mr. Thompson is a board member of NCR Corporation.
Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Corporate Controller
Mr. Garfield currently serves as our Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Corporate Controller. Prior to joining Adobe in December 2018, Mr. Garfield served as the Vice President of Finance of Cloudflare, Inc. commencing in November 2017. He served as Senior Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer at Symantec Corporation from March 2014 to October 2017. Prior to joining Symantec, he was at Brightstar Corporation where he served primarily as Senior Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer from January 2013 to February 2014. Mr. Garfield served as Director of Finance at Advanced Micro Devices from August 2010 to December 2012. Prior to Advanced Micro Devices, Mr. Garfield also served in senior level finance roles at LoudCloud and Ernst and Young. Mr. Garfield holds a B.A. in Business Economics from University of California at Santa Barbara.
As previously discussed, our actual results could differ materially from our forward-looking statements. Below we discuss some of the factors that could cause these differences. These and many other factors described in this report could adversely affect our operations, performance and financial condition.
Our competitive position and results of operations could be harmed if we do not compete effectively.
The markets for our products and services are characterized by intense competition, new industry standards, evolving distribution models, limited barriers to entry, disruptive technology developments, short product life cycles, customer price sensitivity and frequent product introductions (including alternatives with limited functionality available at lower costs or free of charge). Any of these factors could create downward pressure on pricing and gross margins and could adversely affect our renewal and upsell and cross-sell rates, as well as our ability to attract new customers. Our future success will depend on our continued ability to enhance and integrate our existing products and services, introduce new products and services in a timely and cost-effective manner, meet changing customer expectations and needs, extend our core technology into new applications, and anticipate emerging standards, business models, software delivery methods and other technological developments. Furthermore, some of our competitors and potential competitors enjoy competitive advantages such as greater financial, technical, sales, marketing and other resources, broader brand awareness and access to larger customer bases. As a result of these advantages, potential and current customers might select the products and services of our competitors, causing a loss of our market share. In addition, consolidation has occurred among some of our competitors. Further consolidations in these markets may subject us to increased competitive pressures and may harm our results of operations.
If we cannot continue to develop, acquire, market and offer new products and services or enhancements to existing products and services that meet customer requirements, our operating results could suffer.
The process of developing and acquiring new technology products and services and enhancing existing offerings is complex, costly and uncertain. If we fail to anticipate customers’ rapidly changing needs and expectations or adapt to emerging technological trends, our market share and results of operations could suffer. We must make long-term investments, develop, acquire or obtain appropriate intellectual property and commit significant resources before knowing whether our predictions will accurately reflect customer demand for our products and services. If we misjudge customer needs in the future, our new products and services may not succeed and our revenues and earnings may be harmed. Additionally, any delay in the development, acquisition, marketing or launch of a new offering or enhancement to an existing offering could result in customer attrition or impede our ability to attract new customers, causing a decline in our revenue, earnings or stock price and weakening our competitive position.
We offer our products on a variety of hardware platforms. Consumers continue to migrate from personal computers to tablet and mobile devices. If we cannot continue adapting our products to tablet and mobile devices, or if our competitors can adapt their products more quickly than us, our business could be harmed. Releases of new devices or operating systems may make it more difficult for our products to perform or may require significant costs in order for us to adapt our solutions to such devices or operating systems. These potential costs and delays could harm our business.
Introduction of new technology could harm our business and results of operations.
The expectations and needs of technology consumers are constantly evolving. Our future success depends on a variety of factors, including our continued ability to innovate, introduce new products and services efficiently, enhance and integrate our products and services in a timely and cost-effective manner, extend our core technology into new applications, and anticipate emerging standards, business models, software delivery methods and other technological developments. Integration of our products and services with one another and other companies’ offerings creates an increasingly complex ecosystem that is partly reliant on third parties. If any disruptive technology, or competing products, services or operating systems that are not compatible with our solutions, achieve widespread acceptance, our operating results could suffer and our business could be harmed.
The introduction of certain technologies may reduce the effectiveness of our products. For example, some of our products rely on third-party cookies, which are placed on individual browsers when consumers visit websites that contain advertisements. We use these cookies to help our customers more effectively advertise, gauge the performance of their advertisements and detect and prevent fraudulent activity. Consumers can block or delete cookies through their browsers or “ad-blocking” software or applications. The most common Internet browsers allow consumers to modify their browser settings to prevent cookies from being accepted by their browsers, or are set to block third-party cookies by default. Increased use of methods, software or applications that block cookies could harm our business.
Security breaches in data centers we manage, or third parties manage on our behalf, may compromise the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of employee and customer data, which could expose us to liability and adversely affect our reputation and business.
We process and store significant amounts of employee and customer data, a large volume of which is hosted by third-party service providers. A security incident impacting our own data centers or those controlled by our service providers may compromise the confidentiality, integrity or availability of this data. Unauthorized access to or loss or disclosure of data stored by Adobe or our service providers may occur through physical break-ins, breaches of a secure network by an unauthorized party, software vulnerabilities or coding errors, employee theft or misuse or other misconduct. It is also possible that unauthorized access to or disclosure of employee or customer data may be obtained through inadequate use of security controls by customers or employees. Accounts created with weak or recycled passwords could allow cyber-attackers to gain access to employee or customer data. Additionally, failure by Adobe or our customers to remove the accounts of their own employees, or the granting of accounts in an uncontrolled manner, may allow for access by former or unauthorized individuals. If there were an inadvertent disclosure of customer data, or unauthorized access to the data we possess on behalf of our customers, our operations could be disrupted, our reputation could be damaged and we could be subject to claims or other liabilities, regulatory investigations, or fines. In addition, such perceived or actual unauthorized loss or disclosure of the information we collect, process, or store or breach of our security could damage our reputation, result in the loss of customers and harm our business.
We rely on data centers managed both by Adobe and third parties to host and deliver our services, as well as access, collect, process, use, transmit and store data, and any interruptions or delays in these hosted services, or failures in data collection or transmission could expose us to liability and harm our business and reputation.
Much of our business relies on hardware and services that are hosted, managed and controlled directly by Adobe or third-party service providers, including our online store at adobe.com, Creative Cloud, Document Cloud and Experience Cloud solutions. We do not have redundancy for all of our systems, many of our critical applications reside in only one of our data centers, and our disaster recovery planning may not account for all eventualities. If our business relationship with a third-party provider of hosting or content delivery services is negatively affected, or if one of our content delivery suppliers were to terminate its agreement with us, without adequate notice, we might not be able to deliver the corresponding hosted offerings to our customers, which could subject us to reputational harm, costly and time-intensive notification requirements, and cause us to lose customers and future business. Occasionally, we migrate data among data centers and to third-party hosted environments. If a transition among data centers or to third-party service providers encounters unexpected interruptions, unforeseen complexity, or unplanned disruptions despite precautions undertaken during the process, this may impair our delivery of products and services to customers and result in increased costs and liabilities, which may harm our operating results and our business.
It is also possible that hardware or software failures or errors in our systems (or those of our third-party service providers) could result in data loss or corruption, cause the information that we collect or maintain to be incomplete or contain inaccuracies that our customers regard as significant, or cause us to fail to meet committed service levels or comply with regulatory notification requirements. Furthermore, our ability to collect and report data may be delayed or interrupted by a number of factors, including access to the Internet, the failure of our network or software systems, security breaches or significant variability in visitor traffic on customer websites. In addition, computer viruses, worms, or other malware may harm our systems, causing us to lose data, and the transmission of computer viruses or other malware could expose us to litigation or regulatory investigation, and costly and time-intensive notification requirements.
We may also find, on occasion, that we cannot deliver data and reports to our customers in near real time because of a number of factors, including significant spikes in customer activity on their websites or failures of our network or software, or the failure of our third-party service providers’ network or software. If we fail to plan infrastructure capacity appropriately and expand it proportionally with the needs of our customer base, and we experience a rapid and significant demand on the capacity of our data centers or those of third parties, service outages could occur, and our customers could suffer impaired performance of our services. Such a strain on our infrastructure capacity could subject us to regulatory and customer notification requirements, violations of service level agreement commitments, financial liabilities, result in customer dissatisfaction, or harm our business. If we supply inaccurate information or experience interruptions in our ability to capture, store and supply information in near real time or at all, our reputation could be harmed and we could lose customers as a result, or we could be found liable for damages or incur other losses.
Increasing regulatory focus on privacy and security issues and expanding laws could impact our business models and expose us to increased liability.
As a global company, Adobe is subject to global data privacy and security laws, regulations and codes of conduct that apply to our various business units. These laws and regulations may be inconsistent across jurisdictions and are subject to evolving and differing (sometimes conflicting) interpretations. Government officials and regulators, privacy advocates and class action attorneys
are increasingly scrutinizing how companies collect, process, use, store, share and transmit personal data. This increased scrutiny may result in new interpretations of existing laws, thereby further impacting Adobe’s business. Globally, new and emerging laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and the Network and Information Systems Directive (“NISD”) in Europe, state laws in the U.S. on privacy, data and related technologies, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act, as well as industry self-regulatory codes create new compliance obligations and expand the scope of potential liability, either jointly or severally with our customers and suppliers. While we have invested in readiness to comply with applicable requirements, these new and emerging laws, regulations and codes may affect our ability (and our enterprise customers’ ability) to reach current and prospective customers, to respond to both enterprise and individual customer requests under the laws (such as individual rights of access, correction and deletion of their personal information), and to implement our business models effectively. These new laws may also impact our innovation and business drivers in developing new and emerging technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence and machine learning). These requirements, among others, may impact demand for our offerings and force us to bear the burden of more onerous obligations in our contracts. Any perception of our practices, products or services as a violation of individual privacy rights may subject us to public criticism, class action lawsuits, reputational harm, or investigations or claims by regulators, industry groups or other third parties, all of which could disrupt our business and expose us to increased liability. Additionally, we collect and store information on behalf of our business customers and if our customers fail to comply with contractual obligations or applicable laws, it could result in litigation or reputational harm to us.
Transferring personal information across international borders is becoming increasingly complex. For example, European data transfers outside the European Economic Area are highly regulated. The mechanisms that we and many other companies rely upon for European data transfers (e.g., Privacy Shield and Model Clauses) are being contested in the European court system. We are closely monitoring developments related to requirements for transferring personal data outside the European Union and other countries that have similar trans-border data flow requirements. These requirements may result in an increase in the obligations required to provide our services in the European Union or in sanctions and fines for non-compliance. Several other countries, including Australia and Japan, have also established specific legal requirements for cross-border transfers of personal information. Other countries, such as India, are considering requirements for data localization (e.g., where personal data must remain in the country). If the mechanisms for transferring personal information from certain countries or areas, including Europe to the United States, should be found invalid or if other countries implement more restrictive regulations for cross-border data transfers (or not permit data to leave the country of origin), such developments could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Security vulnerabilities in our products and systems, or in our supply chain, could lead to reduced revenue or to liability claims.
Maintaining the security of our products and services is a critical issue for us and our customers. Security threats to our information systems, end points and networks have the potential to impact our customers as well. Security researchers, criminal hackers and other third parties regularly develop new techniques to penetrate our end points, information systems and network security measures. And, as we have previously disclosed, certain unauthorized parties have in the past managed to gain access to and misuse some of our systems and software in order to access our end users’ authentication, payment and personal information. In addition, cyber-attackers also develop and deploy viruses, worms, credential stuffing attack tools and other malicious software programs, some of which may be specifically designed to attack our products, services, information systems or networks. Hardware, software and operating system applications that we develop or procure from third parties may contain defects in design or manufacture, including bugs, vulnerabilities and other problems that could unexpectedly compromise the security of the system or impair a customer’s ability to operate or use our products. The costs to prevent, eliminate, mitigate, or alleviate cyber- or other security problems, bugs, viruses, worms, malicious software programs and security vulnerabilities are significant, and our efforts to address these problems, including notifying affected parties, may not be successful or may be delayed and could result in interruptions, delays, cessation of service and loss of existing or potential customers. It is impossible to predict the extent, frequency or impact these problems may have on us.
Outside parties have in the past and may in the future attempt to fraudulently induce our employees or users of our products or services to disclose sensitive, personal, or confidential information via illegal electronic spamming, phishing or other tactics. Unauthorized parties may also attempt to gain physical access to our facilities in order to infiltrate our information systems or attempt to gain logical access to our products, services, or information systems for the purpose of exfiltrating content and data. These actual and potential breaches of our security measures and the accidental loss, inadvertent disclosure or unauthorized dissemination of proprietary information or sensitive, personal or confidential data about us, our employees, our customers or their end users, including the potential loss or disclosure of such information or data as a result of hacking, fraud, trickery or other forms of deception, could expose us, our employees, our customers or the individuals affected to a risk of loss or misuse of this information. This may result in litigation and liability or fines, our compliance with costly and time-intensive notice requirements, governmental inquiry or oversight or a loss of customer confidence, any of which could harm our business or damage our brand and reputation, possibly impeding our present and future success in retaining and attracting new customers and thereby requiring time and resources to repair our brand and reputation. These risks will likely increase as we expand our hosted offerings, integrate our products and services and store and process more data, including personal information.
These problems affect our products and services in particular because cyber-attackers tend to focus their efforts on popular offerings with a large user base, and we expect them to continue to do so. Critical vulnerabilities may be identified in some of our applications and services and those of our third-party service providers. These vulnerabilities could cause such applications and services to crash and could allow an attacker to access our or our users’ confidential or personal information or take control of the affected system, which could result in liability to us or limit our ability to conduct our business and deliver our products and services to customers. We devote significant resources to address security vulnerabilities through engineering more secure products, enhancing security and reliability features in our products and systems, code hardening, conducting rigorous penetration tests, deploying updates to address security vulnerabilities, reviewing our service providers’ security controls, reviewing and auditing our hosted services against independent security control frameworks (such as ISO 27001, SOC 2 and PCI), and improving our incident response time, but these security vulnerabilities cannot be totally eliminated. The cost of these steps could reduce our operating margins, and we may be unable to implement these measures quickly enough to prevent cyber-attackers from gaining unauthorized access into our systems and products. Despite our preventative efforts, actual or perceived security vulnerabilities in our products and systems may harm our reputation or lead to claims against us (and have in the past led to such claims), and could lead some customers to stop using certain products or services, to reduce or delay future purchases of products or services, or to use competing products or services. If we do not make the appropriate level of investment in our technology systems or if our systems become out-of-date or obsolete and we are not able to deliver the quality of data security customers require, our business could be adversely affected. Customers may also adopt security measures designed to protect their existing computer systems from attack, which could delay adoption of new technologies. Further, if we, our supply chain, or our customers are subject to a future attack, or our technology is used in a third-party attack, we could be subject to costly and time-intensive notice requirements, and it may be necessary for us to take additional extraordinary measures and make additional expenditures to take appropriate responsive and preventative steps. Any of these events could adversely affect our revenue or margins. Moreover, delayed sales, lower margins or lost customers resulting from disruptions caused by cyber-attacks or preventative measures could adversely affect our financial results, stock price and reputation.
Some of our enterprise offerings have extended and complex sales cycles, which can make our sales cycles unpredictable.
Sales cycles for some of our enterprise offerings, including our Adobe Experience Cloud and Adobe Experience Platform solutions and Enterprise Term License Agreements (“ETLAs”) in our Digital Media business, are multi-phased and complex. The complexity in these sales cycles is due to several factors, including:
the need for our sales representatives to educate customers about the use and benefit of large-scale deployments of our products and services, including technical capabilities, security features, potential cost savings and return on investment;
the desire of organizations to undertake significant evaluation processes to determine their technology requirements prior to making information technology expenditures;
the need for our representatives to spend a significant amount of time assisting potential customers in their testing and evaluation of our products and services;
intensifying competition within the industry;
the negotiation of large, complex, enterprise-wide contracts;
the need for our customers to obtain requisition approvals from various decision makers within their organizations due to the complexity of our solutions touching multiple departments within customers’ organizations; and
customer budget constraints, economic conditions and unplanned administrative delays.
We spend substantial time and expense on our sales efforts without assurance that potential customers will ultimately purchase our solutions. As we target our sales efforts at larger enterprise customers, these trends are expected to continue and could have a greater impact on our results of operations. Additionally, our enterprise sales pattern has historically been uneven, where a higher percentage of a quarter’s total sales occur during the final weeks of each quarter, which is common in our industry. Our extended sales cycle for these products and services makes it difficult to predict when a given sales cycle will close.
If our customers fail to renew subscriptions in accordance with our expectations, our future revenue and operating results could suffer.
Our Adobe Experience Cloud, Creative Cloud and Document Cloud offerings typically involve subscription-based offerings pursuant to product and service agreements. Revenue from our subscription customers is generally recognized ratably over the term of their agreements, which typically range from 1 to 36 months. Our customers have no obligation to renew their subscriptions for our services after the expiration of their initial subscription period, and customers may not renew their subscriptions at the same or higher level of service, for the same number of seats or for the same duration of time, if at all. Moreover, under certain
circumstances, some of our customers have the right to cancel their agreements prior to the expiration of the terms. Our varied customer base combined with the flexibility we offer in the length of our subscription-based agreements complicates our ability to precisely forecast renewal rates. Therefore, we cannot provide assurance that we will be able to accurately predict future customer renewal rates.
Our customers’ renewal rates may decline or fluctuate as a result of a number of factors, including their level of satisfaction with our services, our ability to continue enhancing features and functionality, the reliability (including uptime) of our subscription offerings, the prices of offerings and those offered by our competitors, the actual or perceived information security of our systems and services, decreases in the size of our customer base, reductions in our customers’ spending levels or declines in customer activity as a result of economic downturns or uncertainty in financial markets. If our customers do not renew their subscriptions or if they renew on terms less favorable to us, our revenue may decline.
We face various risks associated with our operating as a multinational corporation.
As a global business that generates approximately 42% of our total revenue from sales to customers outside of the Americas, we are subject to a number of risks, including:
foreign currency fluctuations and controls;
international and regional economic, political and labor conditions, including any instability or security concerns abroad and the United Kingdom’s vote to exit the European Union (Brexit);
tax laws (including U.S. taxes on foreign subsidiaries);
increased financial accounting and reporting burdens and complexities;
changes in, or impositions of, legislative or regulatory requirements;
changes in laws governing the free flow of data across international borders;
failure of laws to protect our intellectual property rights adequately;
inadequate local infrastructure and difficulties in managing and staffing international operations;
delays resulting from difficulty in obtaining export licenses for certain technology, tariffs, quotas and other trade barriers;
the imposition of governmental economic sanctions on countries in which we do business or where we plan to expand our business;
costs and delays associated with developing products in multiple languages;
operating in locations with a higher incidence of corruption and fraudulent business practices; and
other factors beyond our control, such as terrorism, war, natural disasters and pandemics.
Some of our third-party business partners have international operations and are also subject to these risks and if our third-party business partners are unable to appropriately manage these risks, our business may be harmed. If sales to any of our customers outside of the Americas are reduced, delayed or canceled because of any of the above factors, our revenue may decline.
Our business could be harmed if we fail to effectively manage critical strategic third-party business relationships.
As our offerings expand and our customer base grows, our relationships with strategic partners become increasingly valuable. If our contractual relationships with these third parties were to terminate, or if we were unable to renew on favorable terms, our business could be harmed. This is especially the case when the third party’s offerings are integrated with our products and services, or where the third party’s offerings are difficult to substitute or replace. Alternative arrangements for such products and services may not be available to us, or on commercially reasonable terms, and we may experience business interruptions upon a transition to an alternative partner. The failure of third parties to provide acceptable products and services or to update their technology may result in a disruption to our business operations and those of our customers, which may reduce our revenues and profits, cause us to lose customers and damage our reputation.
We may not realize the anticipated benefits of past or future investments or acquisitions, and integration of acquisitions may disrupt our business and management.
We may not realize the anticipated benefits of an investment or acquisition of a company, division, product or technology, each of which involves numerous risks. These risks include:
inability to achieve the financial and strategic goals for the acquired and combined businesses;
difficulty in, and the cost of, effectively integrating the operations, technologies, products or services, and personnel of the acquired business;
entry into markets in which we have minimal prior experience and where competitors in such markets have stronger market positions;
disruption of our ongoing business and distraction of our management and other employees from other opportunities and challenges;
inability to retain personnel of the acquired business;
inability to retain key customers, distributors, vendors and other business partners of the acquired business;
inability to take advantage of anticipated tax benefits;
incurring acquisition-related costs or amortization costs for acquired intangible assets that could impact our operating results;
elevated delinquency or bad debt write-offs related to receivables of the acquired business we assume;
increased accounts receivables collection times and working capital requirements associated with acquired business models;
additional costs of bringing acquired companies into compliance with laws and regulations applicable to a multinational corporation;
difficulty in maintaining controls, procedures and policies during the transition and integration;
impairment of our relationships with employees, customers, partners, distributors or third-party providers of our technologies, products or services;
failure of our due diligence processes to identify significant problems, liabilities or other challenges of an acquired company or technology;
exposure to litigation or other claims in connection with, or inheritance of claims or litigation risk as a result of, an acquisition, such as claims from terminated employees, customers, former stockholders or other third parties;
incurring significant exit charges if products or services acquired in business combinations are unsuccessful;
inability to conclude that our internal controls over financial reporting are effective;
inability to obtain, or obtain in a timely manner, approvals from governmental authorities, which could delay or prevent such acquisitions;
the failure of strategic investments to perform as expected or to meet financial projections;
delay in customer and distributor purchasing decisions due to uncertainty about the direction of our product and service offerings; and
incompatibility of business cultures.
Mergers and acquisitions of technology companies are inherently risky. If we do not complete an announced acquisition transaction or integrate an acquired business successfully and in a timely manner, we may not realize the benefits of the acquisition to the extent anticipated, and in certain circumstances an acquisition could harm our financial position.
We are subject to risks associated with compliance with laws and regulations globally, which may harm our business.
We are a global company subject to varied and complex laws, regulations and customs, both domestically and internationally. These laws and regulations relate to a number of aspects of our business, including trade protection, import and export control, data and transaction processing security, payment card industry data security standards, records management, user-generated content hosted on websites we operate, privacy practices, data residency, corporate governance, anti-trust and competition, employee and third-party complaints, anti-corruption, gift policies, conflicts of interest, securities regulations and other regulatory requirements affecting trade and investment. The application of these laws and regulations to our business is often unclear and may at times conflict. For example, in many foreign countries, particularly in those with developing economies, it is common to engage in business practices that are prohibited by U.S. regulations applicable to us, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. We cannot provide assurance that our employees, contractors, agents and business partners will not take actions in violation of our internal policies or U.S. laws. Compliance with these laws and regulations may involve significant costs or require changes in our business practices that result in reduced revenue and profitability. Non-compliance could also result in fines, damages, criminal sanctions against us, our officers or our employees, prohibitions on the conduct of our business, and damage to our reputation.
In addition, approximately 48% of our employees are located outside the United States. Accordingly, we are exposed to changes in laws governing our employee relationships in various U.S. and foreign jurisdictions, including laws and regulations regarding wage and hour requirements, fair labor standards, employee data privacy, unemployment tax rates, workers’ compensation rates, citizenship requirements and payroll and other taxes, which likely would have a direct impact on our operating costs.
Uncertainty about current and future economic conditions and other adverse changes in general political conditions in any of the major countries in which we do business could adversely affect our operating results.
As our business has grown, we have become increasingly subject to the risks arising from adverse changes in economic and political conditions, both domestically and globally, including trends toward protectionism and nationalism. Uncertainty about the effects of current and future economic and political conditions on us, our customers, suppliers and partners makes it difficult for us to forecast operating results and to make decisions about future investments. If economic growth in countries where we do business slows, customers may delay or reduce technology purchases, advertising spending or marketing spending. This could result in reductions in sales of our products and services, more extended sales cycles, slower adoption of new technologies and increased price competition. Among our customers are government entities, including the U.S. federal government, and our revenue could decline if spending cuts impact the government’s ability to purchase our products and services. Deterioration in economic conditions in any of the countries in which we do business could also cause slower or impaired collections on accounts receivable, which may adversely impact our liquidity and financial condition.
A disruption in financial markets could impair our banking partners, on which we rely for operating cash management and affect our derivative counterparties. Any of these events would likely harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Political instability or adverse political developments in or around any of the major countries in which we do business would also likely harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Subscription offerings could create risks related to the timing of revenue recognition.
We generally recognize revenue from subscription offerings ratably over the terms of their subscription agreements, which typically range from 1 to 36 months. As a result, most of the subscription revenue we report in each quarter is the result of subscription agreements entered into during previous quarters. Any reduction in new or renewed subscriptions in a quarter may not be reflected in our revenue results until a later quarter. Declines in new or renewed subscriptions may decrease our revenue in future quarters. Lower sales, reduced demand for our products and services, and increases in our attrition rate may not be fully reflected in our results of operations until future periods. Our subscription model could also make it difficult for us to rapidly increase our revenue from subscription-based or hosted services through additional sales in any period, as revenue from new customers will be recognized over the applicable subscription term.
Additionally, in connection with our sales efforts to enterprise customers and our use of ETLAs, a number of factors could affect our revenue, including longer-than-expected sales and implementation cycles, potential deferral of revenue and alternative licensing arrangements. If any of our assumptions about revenue from our subscription-based offerings prove incorrect, our actual results may vary materially from those anticipated.
Changes in accounting principles, or interpretations thereof, could have a significant impact on our financial position and results of operations.
We prepare our consolidated financial statements in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”). These principles are subject to interpretation by the SEC and various bodies formed to interpret and create appropriate accounting principles. A change in these principles, how the principles are interpreted, or the adoption of new accounting standards can have a significant effect on our reported results, and could even retroactively affect previously reported transactions, and may require that we make significant changes to our systems, processes and controls.
Changes resulting from these new standards may result in materially different financial results and may require that we change how we process, analyze and report financial information and that we change financial reporting controls. For additional information regarding these new standards, see the section titled “Recent Accounting Pronouncements Not Yet Effective” within Part II. Item 8, Note 1. Basis of Presentation and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies.
Such changes in accounting principles may have an adverse effect on our business, financial position and income, or cause an adverse deviation from our revenue and profitability targets, which may negatively impact our financial results.
Changes in tax rules and regulations, or interpretations thereof, may adversely affect our effective tax rates.
We are a United States-based multinational company subject to tax in multiple U.S. and foreign tax jurisdictions. A significant portion of our foreign earnings for the current fiscal year were earned by our Irish subsidiaries. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, enacted into law on December 22, 2017, changed existing U.S. tax law applicable to us and included certain international provisions effective for us starting in fiscal 2019. The applicability and impact of these new tax provisions, and of other international tax law changes effective for fiscal 2020 and beyond, will likely require us to respond by making change(s) to our international trading structure. The net impact of such change(s) is uncertain but is anticipated to adversely affect our effective income tax rate and cash flows in years beyond fiscal 2020.
Our income tax expense has differed from the tax computed at the U.S. federal statutory income tax rate due primarily to discrete items including, but not limited to, the effects of tax credits, stock-based compensation and settlements of tax examinations, and to tax on earnings from foreign operations. Unanticipated changes in our tax rates could affect our future results of operations. Our future effective tax rates are likely to be unfavorably affected by changes in the tax rates in jurisdictions where our income is earned, by changes in our repatriation policy, by changes in or our interpretation of tax rules and regulations in the jurisdictions in which we do business, by unanticipated decreases in the amount of earnings in countries with low statutory tax rates, by unexpected negative changes in business and market conditions that could reduce certain tax benefits, or by changes in the valuation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities.
In addition, in countries where we conduct business and in jurisdictions in which we are subject to tax, including those covered by governing bodies that enact tax laws applicable to us, such as the European Commission of the European Union, we are subject to potential changes in relevant tax, accounting and other laws, regulations and interpretations, including changes to tax laws applicable to corporate multinationals such as Adobe. These countries, other governmental bodies and intergovernmental economic organizations such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, have or could make unprecedented assertions about how taxation is determined in their jurisdictions that are contrary to the way in which we have interpreted and historically applied the rules and regulations described above in our income tax returns filed in such jurisdictions. In the current global tax policy environment, any changes in laws, regulations and interpretations related to these assertions could adversely affect our effective tax rates or result in other costs to us which could adversely affect our operations and financial results.
Moreover, we are subject to the continual examination of our income tax returns by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and other domestic and foreign tax authorities. These tax examinations are expected to focus on our intercompany transfer pricing practices as well as other matters. We regularly assess the likelihood of outcomes resulting from these examinations to determine the adequacy of our provision for income taxes and have reserved for adjustments that may result from these examinations. We cannot provide assurance that the final determination of any of these examinations will not have an adverse effect on our operating results and financial position.
If our products or platforms are used to create or disseminate objectionable content, particularly misleading content intended to manipulate public opinion, our brand reputation may be damaged, and our business and financial results may be harmed.
We believe that our brands have significantly contributed to the success of our business. Maintaining and enhancing the brands within Adobe increases our ability to enter new categories and launch new and innovative products that better serve the needs of our customers. We also believe that maintaining and enhancing our brands is critical to expanding our base of customers. Our brands may be negatively affected by the use of our products or services to create or disseminate newsworthy content that is deemed to be misleading, deceptive, or intended to manipulate public opinion (e.g. “DeepFakes”), by the use of our products or
services for illicit, objectionable, or illegal ends, or by our failure to respond appropriately and expeditiously to such uses of our products and services. Such uses of our products and services may also cause us to face claims related to defamation, rights of publicity and privacy, illegal content, misinformation and personal injury torts. Maintaining and enhancing our brands may require us to make substantial investments and these investments may not be successful. If we fail to appropriately respond to objectionable content created using our products or services or shared on our platforms, our users may lose confidence in our brands and our business and financial results may be adversely affected.
The success of some of our product and service offerings depends on our ability to continue to attract and retain customers of and contributors to our online marketplaces for creative content.
The success of some of our product and service offerings, such as Adobe Stock, depends on our ability to continue to attract new customers and contributors to these online marketplaces for creative content, as well as our ability to continue to retain existing customers and contributors. An increase in paying customers has generally resulted in more content from contributors, which increases the size of our collection and in turn attracts new paying customers. We rely on the functionality and features of our online marketplaces, the size and content of our collection and the effectiveness of our marketing efforts to attract new customers and contributors and retain existing ones. New technologies may render the features of our online marketplaces obsolete, our collection may fail to grow as anticipated or our marketing efforts may be unsuccessful, any of which may adversely affect our results of operations.
Our intellectual property portfolio is a valuable asset and we may not be able to protect our intellectual property rights, including our source code, from infringement or unauthorized copying, use or disclosure.
Our intellectual property portfolio is a valuable asset. Infringement or misappropriation of our patents, trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights and other intellectual property rights could result in lost revenues and ultimately reduce their value. Preventing unauthorized use or infringement of our intellectual property rights is inherently difficult. We actively combat software piracy as we enforce our intellectual property rights, but we nonetheless lose significant revenue due to illegal use of our software. If piracy activities continue at historical levels or increase, they may further harm our business. We apply for patents in the U.S. and internationally to protect our newly created technology and if we are unable to obtain patent protection for the technology described in our pending patent, or if the patent is not obtained timely, this could result in revenue loss, adverse effects on operations and harm to our business. We offer our products and services in foreign countries and we may seek intellectual property protection from those foreign legal systems. Some of those foreign countries may not have as robust or comprehensive of intellectual property protection laws and schemes as those offered in the U.S. In some foreign countries, the mechanisms to enforce intellectual property rights may be inadequate to protect our technology, which could harm our business.
If unauthorized disclosure of our source code occurs through security breach, cyber-attack or otherwise, we could lose future trade secret protection for that source code. The loss of future trade secret protection could make it easier for third parties to compete with our products by copying functionality, which could cause us to lose customers and could adversely affect our revenue and operating margins. We also seek to protect our confidential information and trade secrets through the use of non-disclosure agreements with our customers, contractors, vendors and partners. However, there is a risk that our confidential information and trade secrets may be disclosed or published without our authorization, and in these situations, enforcing our rights may be difficult or costly.
We may incur substantial costs defending against third parties alleging that we infringe their proprietary rights.
We have been, are currently, and may in the future be, subject to claims, negotiations and complex, protracted litigation relating to disputes regarding the validity or alleged infringement of third-party intellectual property rights, including patent rights. Intellectual property disputes and litigation are typically costly and can be disruptive to our business operations by diverting the attention of management and key personnel. We may not prevail in every lawsuit or dispute. Third-party intellectual property disputes, including those initiated by patent assertion entities, could subject us to significant liabilities, require us to enter into royalty and licensing arrangements on unfavorable terms, prevent us from licensing certain of our products or offering certain of our services, subject us to injunctions restricting our sale of products or services, cause severe disruptions to our operations or the markets in which we compete, or require us to satisfy indemnification commitments with our customers, including contractual provisions under various license arrangements and service agreements. In addition, we may incur significant costs in acquiring the necessary third-party intellectual property rights for use in our products, in some cases to fulfill contractual obligations with our customers. Any of these occurrences could significantly harm our business.
We may incur losses associated with currency fluctuations and may not be able to effectively hedge our exposure.
Our operating results are subject to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates due to the global scope of our business. Global economic events, including trade disputes, economic sanctions and emerging market volatility, and associated uncertainty may cause currencies to fluctuate. We attempt to mitigate a portion of these risks through foreign currency hedging based on our
judgment of the appropriate trade-offs among risk, opportunity and expense. We regularly review our program to partially hedge our exposure to foreign currency fluctuations and make adjustments as necessary. Our hedging activities may not offset more than a portion of the adverse financial impact resulting from unfavorable movement in foreign currency exchange rates, which could adversely affect our financial condition or results of operations.
Failure of our third-party customer service and technical support providers to adequately address customers’ requests could harm our business and adversely affect our financial results.
Our customers rely on our customer service support organization to resolve issues with our products and services. We outsource a substantial portion of our customer service and technical support activities to third-party service providers. We depend heavily on these third-party customer service and technical support representatives working on our behalf, and we expect to continue to rely heavily on third parties in the future. This strategy presents risks to our business due to the fact that we may not be able to influence the quality of support as directly as we would be able to do if our own employees performed these activities. Our customers may react negatively to providing information to, and receiving support from, third-party organizations, especially if these third-party organizations are based overseas. If we encounter problems with our third-party customer service and technical support providers, our reputation may be harmed, our ability to sell our offerings could be adversely affected, and we could lose customers and associated revenue.
Revenue, margin or earnings shortfalls or the volatility of the market generally may cause the market price of our stock to decline.
In the past, the market price for our common stock experienced significant fluctuations and it may do so in the future. A number of factors may affect the market price for our common stock, such as:
shortfalls in, or changes in expectations about, our revenue, margins, earnings, Annualized Recurring Revenue (“ARR”), sales of our Digital Experience offerings, or other key performance metrics;
changes in estimates or recommendations by securities analysts;
whether our results meet analysts’ expectations;
compression or expansion of multiples used by investors and analysts to value high technology SaaS companies;
the announcement of new products or services, product enhancements, service introductions, strategic alliances or significant agreements by us or our competitors;
the loss of large customers or our inability to increase sales to existing customers, retain customers or attract new customers;
recruitment or departure of key personnel;
variations in our or our competitors’ results of operations, changes in the competitive landscape generally and developments in our industry;
general socio-economic, political or market conditions; and
unusual events such as significant acquisitions by us or our competitors, divestitures, litigation, regulatory actions and other factors, including factors unrelated to our operating performance.
In addition, the market for technology stocks or the stock market in general may experience uneven investor confidence, which may cause the market price for our common stock to decline for reasons unrelated to our operating performance. Volatility in the market price of a company’s securities for a period of time may increase the company’s susceptibility to securities class action litigation. Oftentimes, this type of litigation is expensive and diverts management’s attention and resources which may adversely affect our business.
Contracting with government entities exposes us to additional risks inherent in the government procurement process.
We provide products and services, directly and indirectly, to a variety of government entities, both domestically and internationally. Risks associated with licensing and selling products and services to government entities include more extended sales and collection cycles, varying governmental budgeting processes and adherence to complex procurement regulations and other government-specific contractual requirements. We may be subject to audits and investigations relating to our government contracts and any violations could result in various civil and criminal penalties and administrative sanctions, including termination
of contracts, payment of fines, and suspension or debarment from future government business, as well as harm to our reputation and financial results.
If we are unable to recruit and retain key personnel, our business may be harmed.
Much of our future success depends on the continued service, availability and performance of our senior management. These individuals have acquired specialized knowledge and skills with respect to Adobe. The loss of any of these individuals could harm our business, especially if we have not been successful in developing adequate succession plans. Our business is also dependent on our ability to retain, hire and motivate talented, highly skilled personnel across all levels of our organization. Our efforts to attract, develop, integrate and retain highly skilled employees with appropriate qualifications may be compounded by intensified restrictions on travel, immigration, or the availability of work visas. Experienced personnel in the information technology industry are in high demand and competition for their talents is intense in many areas where our employees are located. We may experience higher compensation costs to retain senior management and experienced personnel that may not be offset by improved productivity or increased sales. If we are unable to continue to successfully attract and retain key personnel, our business may be harmed.
We continue to hire personnel in countries where exceptional technical knowledge and other expertise are offered at lower costs, which increases the efficiency of our global workforce structure and reduces our personnel related expenditures. Nonetheless, as globalization continues, competition for these employees in these countries has increased, which may impact our ability to retain these employees and increase our expenses resulting from competitive compensation. We may continue to expand our international operations and international sales and marketing activities, which would require significant management attention and resources. We may be unable to scale our infrastructure effectively or as quickly as our competitors in these markets, and our revenue may not increase to offset these expected increases in costs and operating expenses, causing our results to suffer.
We believe that a critical contributor to our success to date has been our corporate culture, which we have built to foster innovation, teamwork and employee satisfaction. As we grow, including from the integration of employees and businesses acquired in connection with previous or future acquisitions, we may find it difficult to maintain important aspects of our corporate culture, which could negatively affect our ability to retain and recruit personnel who are essential to our future success.
Failure to manage our sales and distribution channels effectively could result in a loss of revenue and harm to our business.
We contract with a number of software distributors and other strategic partners, none of which are individually responsible for a material amount of our total net revenue for any recent period. Nonetheless, if any single agreement with one of our distributors were terminated, any prolonged delay in securing a replacement distributor could have a negative impact on our results of operations.
Successfully managing our indirect distribution channel efforts to reach various customer segments for our products and services is a complex process across the broad range of geographies where we do business or plan to do business. Our distributors and other channel partners are independent businesses that we do not control. Notwithstanding the independence of our channel partners, we face legal risk and potential reputational harm from the activities of these third parties including, but not limited to, export control violations, workplace conditions, corruption and anti-competitive behavior.
We cannot be certain that our distribution channel will continue to market or sell our products and services effectively. If our distribution channel is not successful, we may lose sales opportunities, customers and revenue. Our distributors also sell our competitors’ products and services, and if they favor our competitors’ products or services for any reason, they may fail to market our products or services effectively or to devote resources necessary to provide effective sales, which would cause our results to suffer. We also distribute some products and services through our OEM channel, and if our OEMs decide not to bundle our applications on their devices, our results could suffer. In addition, the financial health of our distributors and our continuing relationships with them are important to our success. Some of these distributors may be unable to withstand adverse changes in economic conditions, which could result in insolvency, the inability of such distributors to obtain credit to finance purchases of our products and services, or a delay in paying their obligations to us.
We also sell some of our products and services through our direct sales force. Risks associated with this sales channel include more extended sales and collection cycles associated with direct sales efforts, challenges related to hiring, retaining and motivating our direct sales force, and substantial amounts of ongoing training for sales representatives. Moreover, recent hires may not become as productive as we would like, as in most cases it takes a significant period of time before they achieve full productivity. Our business could be seriously harmed if our expansion efforts do not generate a corresponding significant increase in revenue and we are unable to achieve the efficiencies we anticipate. In addition, the loss of key sales employees could impact our customer relationships and future ability to sell to certain accounts covered by such employees.
If our goodwill or amortizable intangible assets become impaired, then we could be required to record a significant charge to earnings.
GAAP requires us to test for goodwill impairment at least annually. In addition, we review our goodwill and amortizable intangible assets for impairment when events or changes in circumstances indicate the carrying value may not be recoverable. Factors that may be considered a change in circumstances indicating that the carrying value of our goodwill or amortizable intangible assets may not be recoverable include declines in stock price, market capitalization or cash flows, and slower growth rates in our industry. Depending on the results of our review, we could be required to record a significant charge to earnings in our consolidated financial statements during the period in which any impairment of our goodwill or amortizable intangible assets were determined, negatively impacting our results of operations.
We have issued $1.9 billion of notes in debt offerings and have a $2.25 billion term loan, and may incur other debt in the future, which may adversely affect our financial condition and future financial results.
We have $1.9 billion in senior unsecured notes and a $2.25 billion senior unsecured term loan outstanding. We also have a $1 billion senior unsecured revolving credit agreement, which is currently undrawn. This debt may adversely affect our financial condition and future financial results by, among other things:
increasing our vulnerability to adverse changes in general economic and industry conditions;
requiring the dedication of a portion of our expected cash flow from operations to service our indebtedness, thereby reducing the amount of expected cash flow available for other purposes, including capital expenditures and acquisitions; and
limiting our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and our industry.
Our senior unsecured notes and senior unsecured credit agreements impose restrictions on us and require us to maintain compliance with specified covenants. Our ability to comply with these covenants may be affected by events beyond our control. If we breach any of the covenants and do not obtain a waiver from the noteholders or lenders, then, subject to applicable cure periods, any outstanding indebtedness may be declared immediately due and payable.
In addition, changes by any rating agency to our credit rating may negatively impact the value and liquidity of both our debt and equity securities, as well as the potential costs associated with a refinancing of our debt. Under certain circumstances, if our credit ratings are downgraded or other negative action is taken, the interest rate payable by us under our revolving credit facility and Term Loan could increase. Downgrades in our credit ratings could also affect the terms of any such financing and restrict our ability to obtain additional financing in the future.
Catastrophic events may disrupt our business.
We are a highly automated business and rely on our network infrastructure and enterprise applications, internal technology systems and website for our development, marketing, operations, support, hosted services and sales activities. In addition, some of our businesses rely on third-party hosted services, and we do not control the operation of third-party data center facilities serving our customers from around the world, which increases our vulnerability. A disruption, infiltration or failure of these systems or third-party hosted services in the event of a major earthquake, fire, flood, tsunami or other weather event, power loss, telecommunications failure, software or hardware malfunctions, pandemics, cyber-attack, war, terrorist attack or other catastrophic event that our disaster recovery plans do not adequately address, could cause system interruptions, reputational harm, loss of intellectual property, delays in our product development, lengthy interruptions in our services, breaches of data security and loss of critical data. Any of these events could prevent us from fulfilling our customers’ orders or could negatively impact a country or region in which we sell our products, which could in turn decrease that country’s or region’s demand for our products. Our corporate headquarters, a significant portion of our research and development activities, certain of our data centers and certain other critical business operations are located in the San Francisco Bay Area, and additional facilities where we conduct significant operations are located in the Salt Lake Valley Area, both of which are near major earthquake faults. A catastrophic event that results in the destruction or disruption of any of our data centers or our critical business or information technology systems could severely affect our ability to conduct normal business operations and, as a result, our future operating results could be adversely affected.
Climate change may have a long-term impact on our business.
While we seek to partner with organizations that mitigate their business risks associated with climate change, we recognize that there are inherent risks wherever business is conducted. Access to clean water and reliable energy in the communities where we conduct our business, whether for our offices or for our vendors, is a priority. Our major sites in California, Utah and India are vulnerable to climate change effects. For example, in California, increasing intensity of drought throughout the state and annual periods of wildfire danger increase the probability of planned power outages in the communities where we work and live. While
this danger has a low-assessed risk of disrupting normal business operations, it has the potential impact on employees’ abilities to commute to work and to stay connected. Climate-related events, including the increasing frequency of extreme weather events and their impact on U.S., India and other major regions’ critical infrastructure, have the potential to disrupt our business, our third-party suppliers, and/or the business of our customers, and may cause us to experience higher attrition, losses, and additional costs to maintain or resume operations. To accurately assess and take potential proactive action as appropriate, Adobe is aligned with the guidelines of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures recommendations and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board environmental metrics.
Our investment portfolio may become impaired by deterioration of the financial markets.
Our cash equivalent and short-term investment portfolio as of November 29, 2019 consisted of asset-backed securities, corporate debt securities, money market mutual funds, municipal securities, time deposits and U.S. Treasury securities. We follow an established investment policy and set of guidelines to monitor and help mitigate our exposure to interest rate and credit risk. The policy sets forth credit quality standards and limits our exposure to any one issuer, as well as our maximum exposure to various asset classes.
Should financial market conditions worsen in the future, investments in some financial instruments may pose risks arising from market liquidity and credit concerns. In addition, any deterioration of the capital markets could cause our other income and expense to vary from expectations. As of November 29, 2019, we had no material impairment charges associated with our short-term investment portfolio, and although we believe our current investment portfolio has little risk of material impairment, we cannot predict future market conditions, market liquidity or credit availability, and can provide no assurance that our investment portfolio will remain materially unimpaired.
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
ITEM 2. PROPERTIES
The following table sets forth the location, approximate square footage and use of our material properties during fiscal 2019:
Owned / Leased
Approximate Square Footage
San Jose, California
Owned & leased
Research, product development, sales, marketing and administration
San Francisco, California
Owned & leased
Research, product development, sales, marketing and administration
Owned & leased
Research, product development, sales and administration
Owned & leased
Research, product development, sales and administration
Greater London Area, United Kingdom
Product development, sales, marketing and administration
We own approximately 989,000 square feet of our San Jose properties where our headquarters is located.
We own approximately 346,000 square feet of our San Francisco properties
We own approximately 250,000 square feet of our Bangalore properties.
We own our Noida properties except for a land lease for one of our buildings. The term for the land lease is until 2091.
We lease or sublease the properties we occupy under operating leases. Such leases expire at various times through 2031, with the exception of our ground lease in Noida.
In general, all facilities are in good condition, suitable for the conduct of our business and are operating at an average capacity of approximately 95%.
In connection with disputes relating to the validity or alleged infringement of third-party intellectual property rights, including patent rights, we have been, are currently and may in the future be subject to claims, negotiations or complex, protracted litigation. Intellectual property disputes and litigation may be very costly and can be disruptive to our business operations by diverting the attention and energies of management and key technical personnel. Although we have successfully defended or resolved past litigation and disputes, we may not prevail in any ongoing or future litigation and disputes. Third-party intellectual property disputes could subject us to significant liabilities, require us to enter into royalty and licensing arrangements on unfavorable terms, prevent us from licensing certain of our products or offering certain of our services, subject us to injunctions restricting our sale of products or services, cause severe disruptions to our operations or the markets in which we compete, or require us to satisfy indemnification commitments with our customers including contractual provisions under various license arrangements and service agreements.
In addition to intellectual property disputes, we are subject to legal proceedings, claims and investigations in the ordinary course of business, including claims relating to commercial, employment and other matters. Some of these disputes and legal proceedings may include speculative claims for substantial or indeterminate amounts of damages. We consider all claims on a quarterly basis in accordance with GAAP and, based on known facts, assess whether potential losses are considered reasonably possible, probable and estimable. Based upon this assessment, we then evaluate disclosure requirements and whether to accrue for such claims in our financial statements. This determination is then reviewed and discussed with the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors and our independent registered public accounting firm.
We make a provision for a liability when it is both probable that a liability has been incurred and the amount of the loss can be reasonably estimated. These provisions are reviewed at least quarterly and adjusted to reflect the impacts of negotiations, settlements, rulings, advice of legal counsel and other information and events pertaining to a particular case. Unless otherwise specifically disclosed in our Consolidated Financial Statements and notes thereto, we have determined that no provision for liability or disclosure is required related to any claim against us because: (a) there is not a reasonable possibility that a loss exceeding amounts already recognized (if any) may be incurred with respect to such claim; (b) a reasonably possible loss or range of loss cannot be estimated; or (c) such estimate is immaterial.
All legal costs associated with litigation are expensed as incurred. Litigation is inherently unpredictable. However, we believe that we have valid defenses with respect to the legal matters pending against us. It is possible, nevertheless, that our consolidated financial position, cash flows or results of operations could be negatively affected by an unfavorable resolution of one or more of such proceedings, claims or investigations.
In connection with our piracy conversion efforts, conducted both internally and through organizations such as the Business Software Alliance, from time to time we undertake litigation against alleged copyright infringers. Such lawsuits may lead to counter-claims alleging improper use of litigation or violation of other laws. We believe we have valid defenses with respect to such counter-claims; however, it is possible that our consolidated financial position, cash flows or results of operations could be negatively affected in any particular period by the resolution of one or more of these counter-claims.
ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
Market Information for Common Stock
Our common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “ADBE.”
According to the records of our transfer agent, there were 993 holders of record of our common stock on January 10, 2020. Because many of such shares are held by brokers and other institutions on behalf of stockholders, we are unable to estimate the total number of stockholders represented by these record holders.
We do not anticipate paying any cash dividends in the foreseeable future.
In May 2018, the Board of Directors granted authority to repurchase up to $8 billion in common stock through the end of fiscal 2021.
In September 2019, we entered into a structured stock repurchase agreement with a large financial institution whereupon we provided them with a prepayment of $750 million. As of November 29, 2019, approximately $229.2 million of the prepayment remained under this agreement.
The following selected consolidated financial data is derived from our Consolidated Financial Statements. As our historical operating results are not necessarily indicative of future operating results, this data should be read in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements and notes thereto, and with Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
(in thousands, except per share amounts and employee data)
Income before income taxes
Net income per share:
Shares used to compute basic net income per share
Shares used to compute diluted net income per share
Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments
On December 1, 2018, the beginning of our fiscal year 2019, we adopted the requirements of the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s Accounting Standards Update No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, Topic 606, utilizing the modified retrospective method of transition. Prior period information has not been restated and continues to be reported under the accounting standard in effect for those periods.
As of November 29, 2019, working capital was in a deficit primarily due to the reclassification of our $2.25 billion term loan due April 30, 2020 and $900 million4.75% senior notes due February 1, 2020 to current liabilities. We intend to refinance our Term Loan and 2020 Notes on or before the due dates.
Our fiscal year is a 52- or 53-week year that ends on the Friday closest to November 30. Fiscal 2016 was a 53-week fiscal year compared with the other periods presented which were 52-week fiscal years.
ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The following discussion should be read in conjunction with our Consolidated Financial Statements and Notes thereto. Discussion regarding our financial condition and results of operations for fiscal 2018 as compared to fiscal 2017 is included in Item 7 of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended November 30, 2018, filed with the SEC on January 25,2019.
During fiscal 2019, we acquired the remaining interest in Allegorithmic SAS (“Allegorithmic”), a privately held 3D editing and authoring software company for gaming and entertainment, for approximately $106.2 million in cash consideration, and integrated it into our Digital Media reportable segment.
During fiscal 2018, we completed our acquisitions of Marketo, a privately held marketing cloud platform company, for $4.73 billion and Magento, a privately held commerce platform company, for $1.64 billion, and integrated them into our Digital Experience reportable segment.
During fiscal 2017, we completed our acquisition of TubeMogul, a publicly held video advertising platform company, for $560.8 million, and integrated it into our Digital Experience reportable segment.
We also completed other immaterial business acquisitions during the fiscal years presented.
In preparing our Consolidated Financial Statements in accordance with GAAP and pursuant to the rules and regulations of the SEC, we make assumptions, judgments and estimates that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenue and expenses, and related disclosures of contingent assets and liabilities. We base our assumptions, judgments and estimates on historical experience and various other factors that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances. Actual results could differ materially from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions. On a regular basis, we evaluate our assumptions, judgments and estimates. We also discuss our critical accounting policies and estimates with the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors.
We believe that the assumptions, judgments and estimates involved in the accounting for revenue recognition, business combinations and income taxes have the greatest potential impact on our Consolidated Financial Statements. These areas are key components of our results of operations and are based on complex rules requiring us to make judgments and estimates, and consequently, we consider these to be our critical accounting policies. Historically, our assumptions, judgments and estimates relative to our critical accounting policies have not differed materially from actual results.
Our contracts with customers may include multiple goods and services. For example, some of our offerings include both on-premise and/or on-device software licenses and cloud services. Determining whether the software licenses and the cloud services are distinct from each other, and therefore performance obligations to be accounted for separately, or not distinct from each other, and therefore part of a single performance obligation, may require significant judgment. We have concluded that the on-premise/on-device software licenses and cloud services provided in our Creative Cloud and Document Cloud subscription offerings are not distinct from each other such that revenue from each offering should be recognized ratably over the subscription period for which the cloud services are provided. In reaching this conclusion, we considered the nature of our promise to Creative Cloud and Document Cloud customers, which is to provide a complete end-to-end creative design or document workflow solution that operates seamlessly across multiple devices and teams. We fulfill this promise by providing access to a solution that integrates cloud-based and on-premise/on-device features that, together through their integration, provide functionalities, utility and workflow efficiencies that could not be obtained from either the on-premise/on-device software or cloud services on their own.
Cloud-based features that are integral to our Creative Cloud and Document Cloud offerings and that work together with the on-premise/on-device software include, but are not limited to: Creative Cloud Libraries, which enable customers to access their work, settings, preferences, and other assets seamlessly across desktop and mobile devices and collaborate across teams in real time; shared reviews which enable simultaneous editing and commenting of PDFs across desktop, mobile, and web; automatic cloud rendering of a design which enables it to be worked on in multiple mediums; and Sensei, Adobe’s cloud-hosted artificial intelligence and machine learning framework, which enables features such as automated photo-editing, photograph content-awareness, natural language processing, optical character recognition, and automated document tagging.
We allocate the purchase price of acquired companies to tangible and intangible assets acquired and liabilities assumed based upon their estimated fair values at the acquisition date. The purchase price allocation process requires management to make significant estimates and assumptions with respect to intangible assets and deferred revenue obligations. Although we believe the assumptions and estimates we have made are reasonable, they are based in part on historical experience, market conditions and information obtained from management of the acquired companies and are inherently uncertain. Examples of critical estimates in valuing certain of the intangible assets we have acquired or may acquire in the future include but are not limited to:
future expected cash flows from software license sales, subscriptions, support agreements, consulting contracts and acquired developed technologies and patents;
historical and expected customer attrition rates and anticipated growth in revenue from acquired customers;
the acquired company’s trade name and trademarks as well as assumptions about the period of time the acquired trade name and trademarks will continue to be used in the combined company’s product portfolio;
the expected use of the acquired assets; and
In connection with the purchase price allocations for our acquisitions, we estimate the fair value of the deferred revenue obligations assumed. The estimated fair value of these obligations is determined utilizing a cost build-up approach. The cost build-up approach determines fair value by estimating the costs related to fulfilling the obligations plus a normal profit margin.
Unanticipated events and circumstances may occur which may affect the accuracy or validity of such assumptions, estimates or actual results.
Accounting for Income Taxes
We use the asset and liability method of accounting for income taxes. Under this method, income tax expense is recognized for the amount of taxes payable or refundable for the current year. In addition, deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the expected future tax consequences of temporary differences between the financial reporting and tax bases of assets and liabilities, and for operating losses and tax credit carryforwards. Management must make assumptions, judgments and estimates to determine our current provision for income taxes and also our deferred tax assets and liabilities.
Our assumptions, judgments and estimates relative to the current provision for income taxes take into account current tax laws, our interpretation of current tax laws and possible outcomes of current and future audits conducted by foreign and domestic tax authorities. We have established reserves for income taxes to address potential exposures involving tax positions that could be challenged by tax authorities. In addition, we are subject to the continual examination of our income tax returns by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and other domestic and foreign tax authorities. We expect future examinations to focus on our intercompany transfer pricing practices as well as other matters. We regularly assess the likelihood of outcomes resulting from these examinations to determine the adequacy of our provision for income taxes and have reserved for potential adjustments that may result from such examinations. We believe such estimates to be reasonable; however, the final determination of any of these examinations could significantly impact the amounts provided for income taxes in our Consolidated Financial Statements.
For fiscal 2019, we reported strong financial results consistent with the continued execution of our long-term plans for our two strategic growth areas, Digital Media and Digital Experience, while continuing to market and license a broad portfolio of products and solutions.
On December 1, 2018, the beginning of our fiscal year 2019, we adopted the requirements of the new revenue standard utilizing the modified retrospective method of transition, and began to report our financial results under the new revenue standard. The impact of the adoption was not significant to our results of operations.
In our Digital Media segment, we are a market leader with Creative Cloud, our subscription-based offering which provides desktop tools, mobile apps and cloud-based services for designing, creating and publishing rich and immersive content. Creative Cloud delivers value with deep, cross-product integration, frequent product updates and feature enhancements, cloud-enabled services including storage and syncing of files across users’ machines, machine learning and artificial intelligence, access to marketplace, social and community-based features with our Adobe Stock and Behance services, app creation capabilities, tools which assist with enterprise deployments and team collaboration, and affordable pricing for cost-sensitive customers.
We offer Creative Cloud for individuals, students, teams and enterprises. We expect Creative Cloud will drive sustained long-term revenue growth through a continued expansion of our customer base by acquiring new users as a result of low cost of entry and delivery of additional features and value to Creative Cloud, as well as keeping existing customers current on our latest release. We have also built out a marketplace for Creative Cloud subscribers to enable the delivery and purchase of stock content in our Adobe Stock service. Overall, our strategy with Creative Cloud is designed to enable us to increase our revenue with users, attract more new customers, and grow our recurring and predictable revenue stream that is recognized ratably.
We continue to implement strategies that will accelerate awareness, consideration and purchase of subscriptions to our Creative Cloud offerings. These strategies include increasing the value Creative Cloud users receive, such as offering new desktop and mobile applications, as well as targeted promotions and offers that attract past customers and potential users to try out and ultimately subscribe to Creative Cloud. Because of the shift towards Creative Cloud subscriptions and Enterprise Term License Agreements (“ETLAs”), revenue from perpetual licensing of our Creative products has been immaterial to our business.
We are also a market leader with our Adobe Document Cloud offerings built around our Adobe Acrobat family of products, including Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, and a set of integrated cloud-based document services, including Adobe Sign. Acrobat provides reliable creation and exchange of electronic documents, regardless of platform or application source type. Document Cloud, which we believe enhances the way people manage critical documents at home, in the office and across devices, includes Adobe Acrobat DC and Adobe Sign, and a set of integrated services enabling users to create, review, approve, sign and track documents whether on a desktop or mobile device. Adobe Acrobat DC, with a touch-enabled user interface, is offered both through subscription and perpetual licenses.
Annualized Recurring Revenue (“ARR”) is currently the key performance metric our management uses to assess the health and trajectory of our overall Digital Media segment. ARR should be viewed independently of revenue, deferred revenue, unbilled backlog and remaining performance obligation as ARR is a performance metric and is not intended to be combined with any of these items. We adjust our reported ARR on an annual basis to reflect any material exchange rates changes. Our reported ARR results in the current fiscal year are based on currency rates set at the beginning of the year and held constant throughout the year. We calculate ARR as follows:
Annual Value of Creative Cloud Subscriptions and Services
Annual Creative ETLA Contract Value
Document Cloud ARR
Annual Value of Document Cloud Subscriptions and Services
Creative ARR exiting fiscal 2019 was $7.31 billion, up from $5.92 billion at the end of fiscal 2018. Document Cloud ARR exiting fiscal 2019 was $1.09 billion, up from $791 million at the end of fiscal 2018. Total Digital Media ARR grew to $8.40 billion at the end of fiscal 2019, up from $6.71 billion at the end of fiscal 2018. Revaluing our ending ARR for fiscal 2019 using currency rates at the beginning of fiscal 2019, our Digital Media ARR at the end of fiscal 2019 would be $8.33 billion or approximately $66 millionlower than the ARR reported above.
Our success in driving growth in ARR has positively affected our revenue growth. Creative revenue in fiscal 2019 was $6.48 billion, up from $5.34 billion in fiscal 2018 and representing 21% year-over-year growth. Document Cloud revenue in fiscal 2019 was $1.22 billion, up from $981.8 million in fiscal 2018 and representing 25% year-over-year revenue growth. Total Digital Media segment revenue grew to $7.71 billion in fiscal 2019, up from $6.33 billion in fiscal 2018 and representing 22% year-over-year growth.
We are a market leader in the fast-growing category addressed by our Digital Experience segment. Our Digital Experience business provides comprehensive solutions that include analytics, targeting, media optimization, digital experience management, cross-channel campaign management, marketing automation, audience management, commerce, premium video delivery and monetization. These comprehensive solutions enable marketers to measure, personalize and optimize marketing campaigns and digital experiences across channels for optimal marketing performance.
During fiscal 2019, our hierarchy of solutions in the Digital Experience segment consisted of the following cloud offerings:
Adobe Advertising Cloud—delivers an end-to-end platform for managing advertising across traditional TV and digital formats, and simplifies the delivery of video, display and search advertising across channels and screens.
Adobe Analytics Cloud—enables businesses to move from insights to actions in real time by uniquely integrating audiences as the core system of intelligence for the enterprise; makes data available across all Adobe clouds through the capture, aggregation, rationalization and understanding of vast amounts of disparate data and then translating that data into singular customer profiles; includes Adobe Analytics and Adobe Audience Manager.
Adobe Marketing Cloud—provides an integrated set of solutions to help marketers differentiate their brands and engage their customers, helping businesses manage, personalize, and orchestrate campaigns and customer journeys; includes Adobe Experience Manager (“AEM”), Adobe Campaign, Adobe Target, Marketo Engage and Adobe Primetime.
Adobe Commerce Cloud—provides digital commerce, order management and predictive intelligence based on a unified commerce platform enabling shopping experiences across a wide array of industries; includes Magento Commerce.
In addition to chief marketing officers, chief revenue officers and digital marketers, users of our Digital Experience solutions include advertisers, campaign managers, publishers, data analysts, content managers, social marketers, marketing executives and information management and technology executives. These customers often are involved in workflows that utilize other Adobe products, such as our Digital Media offerings. By combining the creativity of our Digital Media business with the science of our Digital Experience business, we help our customers to more efficiently and effectively make, manage, measure and monetize their content across every channel with an end-to-end workflow and feedback loop.
We utilize a direct sales force to market and license our Digital Experience solutions, as well as an extensive ecosystem of partners, including marketing agencies, systems integrators and independent software vendors that help license and deploy our solutions to their customers. We have made significant investments to broaden the scale and size of all of these routes to market, and our recent financial results reflect the success of these investments.
We achieved record Digital Experience revenue of $3.21 billion in fiscal 2019, up from $2.44 billion in fiscal 2018 which represents 31% year-over-year growth. Driving this increase was the increase in subscription revenue across our offerings which grew to $2.67 billion in fiscal 2019 from $1.95 billion in fiscal 2018, representing 37% year-over-year growth. Largely contributing to the increase in Digital Experience subscription revenue was revenue associated with Marketo Engage. To a lesser extent, subscription revenue associated with Magento Commerce and Adobe Experience Manager also contributed to the overall increase. We expect that continued demand across our portfolio of Adobe Experience Cloud solutions, including new offerings and enhancements to existing solutions, will drive revenue growth in future years.
Total Digital Media ARR of approximately $8.40 billion as of November 29, 2019increased by $1.69 billion, or 25%, from $6.71 billion as of November 30, 2018. The change in our Digital Media ARR was primarily due to stronger new user adoption of our Creative Cloud and Adobe Document Cloud offerings.
Creative revenue of $6.48 billion increased by $1.14 billion, or 21%, during fiscal 2019, from $5.34 billion in fiscal 2018. The increase was primarily due to the increase in subscription revenue associated with our Creative Cloud offerings.
Digital Experience revenue of $3.21 billionincreased by $762.4 million, or 31%, during fiscal 2019, from $2.44 billion in fiscal 2018. The increase was primarily due to the increase in subscription revenue driven by the addition of Marketo and Magento, which we acquired in the later part of fiscal 2018.
Our total deferred revenue of $3.50 billion as of November 29, 2019increased by $447.1 million, or 15%, from $3.05 billion as of November 30, 2018. The increase was primarily due to increases in new contracts and the timing of renewals for offerings with cloud-enabled services and hosted services.
Cost of revenue of $1.67 billionincreased by $477.7 million, or 40%, during fiscal 2019, from $1.19 billion in fiscal 2018. The increase was primarily due to increases in amortization of intangibles from our acquisition of Magento and Marketo in the later part of fiscal 2018. To a lesser extent, increases in hosting services and data center costs also contributed to the overall increase in cost of revenue.
Operating expenses of $6.23 billionincreased by $1.24 billion, or 25%, during fiscal 2019, from $4.99 billion in fiscal 2018. The increase was primarily due to increases in base compensation and related benefits costs and stock-based compensation expense associated with headcount growth, including additions from the acquisitions of Magento and Marketo in the later part of fiscal 2018. To a lesser extent, increases in marketing spend also contributed to the overall increase in operating expenses.
Net income of $2.95 billionincreased by $360.7 million, or 14%, during fiscal 2019 from $2.59 billion in fiscal 2018 primarily due to increases in revenue and offset in part by the increases in operating expenses and cost of revenue.
Net cash flow from operations of $4.42 billion during fiscal 2019increased by $392.5 million, or 10%, from $4.03 billion during fiscal 2018 primarily due to higher net income adjusted for the net effect of non-cash items. This increase was offset in part by comparatively lower increases in income taxes payable and higher increases in prepaid expenses and other assets.
(dollars in millions)
% Change 2019-2018
Percentage of total revenue
Percentage of total revenue
Services and support
Percentage of total revenue
Subscription Revenue by Segment
Our subscription revenue is comprised primarily of fees we charge for our subscription and hosted service offerings including Creative Cloud and certain of our Digital Experience and Document Cloud services. We recognize subscription revenue ratably over the term of agreements with our customers, beginning with commencement of service.
We have the following reportable segments: Digital Media, Digital Experience and Publishing. Subscription revenue by reportable segment for fiscal 2019, 2018 and 2017 is as follows:
(dollars in millions)
% Change 2019-2018
Total subscription revenue
(*) Percentage is less than 1%.
Our product revenue is primarily comprised of revenue from distinct on-premise software licenses recognized at a point in time and certain of our OEM and royalty agreements. Our services and support revenue is comprised of consulting, training and maintenance and support, primarily related to the licensing of our enterprise offerings and the sale of our hosted Digital Experience services. Our support revenue also includes technical support and developer support to partners and developer organizations related to our desktop products. Our maintenance and support offerings, which entitle customers to receive desktop product upgrades and enhancements or technical support, depending on the offering, are generally recognized ratably over the term of the arrangement.
In fiscal 2019, we categorized our products into the following reportable segments:
Digital Media—Our Digital Media segment provides tools and solutions that enable individuals, teams and enterprises to create, publish, promote and monetize their digital content anywhere. Our customers include content creators, experience designers, app developers, enthusiasts, students, social media users and creative professionals, as well as marketing departments and agencies, companies and publishers. Our customers also include knowledge workers who create, collaborate on and distribute documents and creative content.
Digital Experience—Our Digital Experience segment provides products, services and solutions for creating, managing, executing, measuring, monetizing and optimizing customer experiences from advertising to commerce. Our customers include marketers, advertisers, agencies, publishers, merchandisers, merchants, web analysts, data scientists, developers, marketing executives, information management and technology executives, product development executives, and sales and support executives.
Publishing—Our Publishing segment addresses market opportunities ranging from the diverse authoring and publishing needs of technical and business publishing to our legacy type and OEM printing businesses. It also includes our web conferencing and document and forms platforms.