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From Day to Adobe – How a local startup became the competence centre of a global player – An interview with Florian Schaulin, Siteleader Adobe Research (Schweiz) AG

Florian Schaulin

In our interview, Florian Schaulin, Siteleader Adobe Research (Schweiz) AG, unveils the software products currently being developed at Basel’s Barfüsserplatz and takes a look at the technologies that will change the way we work and our ways of life in the future.

Mr. Schaulin, you have been a part of this company since its very beginning. What was your experience in recent years, how have things changed?

We first got into web and software development in Basel all the way back in 1993. That’s the year when Bidule, the predecessor of Day, was founded. Looking back on the 25 years since, we’ve seen many highlights: our IPO, the acquisition by Adobe, our successful growth. But we had to go through some low points as well, for instance in 2002 after the bubble burst. Today we are an important site and a Centre of Excellence for Digital Marketing within the ecosystem of a major global corporation. Our teams of developers are collaborating with the industry’s best and brightest all over the world. They shape the ways in which content is created, managed and distributed today. Without Adobe products made in Basel, a digital Customer Journey is just not possible anymore.

Can you reveal some details about the actual software products and programs that are currently being developed in Basel? Or about any other exciting new projects?

Our Research & Development in Basel focuses mainly on the vast field of Enterprise Content Management. We strive to be a global innovation leader in Content Intelligence and Cloud Scaling to guarantee a unique customer experience. Other projects of our Research & Development divisions deal with automatic content recognition, generation and representation through machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data. Clearly, one of our core competences is digital content creation and representation through touchscreen technology. In addition to R&D, Adobe Basel is home to the group’s largest global enterprise customer support centre, to a team of consultants specializing in complex, project specific development tasks, and to Europe’s largest training centre for the Adobe Experience Manager.

Currently you employ a staff of around 140 at the Adobe sites in Basel and Zurich. What is it like to work at Adobe Schweiz?

At Adobe’s Basel location we employ specialists from more than 20 countries – developers, quality engineering professionals, digital marketing and security experts.

Basel is also Adobe’s point of contact for well-known Swiss and European customers as well as for clients with global operations; Chief Technical Officers (CTOs), Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) and Chief Digital Officers (CDOs) from companies such as Daimler, Deloitte, DHL, UBS, Swisscom or Franke Kitchen Systems are frequent visitors to our Barfüsserplatz offices. We closely collaborate with our international Adobe colleagues in Hamburg, Bucharest, Bangalore, Salt Lake City, San Francisco or San José, Adobe’s headquarters in Silicon Valley. They actually love to visit Basel, which I suspect is because of our unique meeting facility: a real Swiss cable-car gondola, with a capacity of 55 persons, sitting right on our roof terrace above Barfüsserplatz (unfortunately it is not accessible to the public).

In your opinion, what are the future technologies that will profoundly change the way we work?

The cloud is already changing the way we make use of technologies: flexibly and according to specific requirements. Big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning will soon help companies to customize their products and solutions and meet their clients’ demands in even faster, more individualized and personalized ways.

Last question: What do you like most about Basel as a business location?

Being located in the border triangle of Switzerland, Germany and France definitely is a major plus for Basel. National and international educational institutes close-by are famous for their high quality standards. The infrastructure is outstanding: the public transportation system is wide-ranging and sophisticated, the airport is practically in the city, and our international guests really appreciate the BaselCard.

Also, Basel is clearly emerging as a prime ICT location with plenty of activities and events on offer, among them hackathons and codefests, ICT conferences and tech client events, via the regional economic development organisation for instance. Cooperation with local authorities is easy and seamless; the departments and offices that are important for us are proactive and helpful. Altogether and overall, Basel provides us with the best possible conditions for further growth.


About Florian Schaulin

Florian Schaulin is Siteleader, Director Custom Engineering and Member of the Board at Adobe Research (Schweiz) AG. This Competence Centre of Excellence in Basel employs a staff of more than 120 and is responsible for developing the Adobe Experience Manager AEM, one of Adobe’s core products. In 2000 Schaulin had joined former Day Software AG which was acquired by Adobe in 2010. Before joining Day Software, he held senior positions at Ruf Datensysteme AG, Nixdorf Computer and Trivadis.


Adobe Research (Schweiz) AG

Logo Adobe

Located in Basel, Switzerland, Adobe Research (Schweiz) AG is home of the global Centre for Research & Development of Adobe’s core product Adobe Experience Manager (AEM). The foundations for Adobe Experience Manager were originally developed by software company Day Software AG, which was acquired by Adobe in 2010.

A spinoff from Basel-based startup Bidule (founded in 1993), Day Software AG was listed at the Swiss Stock Exchange from 2000 to 2010 and effectively embodies 25 years of successful software development in the heart of the city.  

In addition to Basel, Adobe has also a presence in Zurich where Adobe Systems (Schweiz) GmbH is primarily occupied with Customer Success. At this location, the company has 20 employees focusing on sales and marketing of Adobe products.

Adobe Global

Adobe creates solutions for people of all walks of life, from emerging artists to global brands, offering the ideal framework to create extraordinary experiences. Its integrated product portfolio includes Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe Experience Cloud and Adobe Document Cloud. Listed on NASDAQ and headquartered in San José, CA, the company employs a workforce of more than 17’000 worldwide.


Event review: Spotlight on the administration – „Blickpunkt Verwaltung“

On February 5th 2018, the Economic Development team of the Canton of Basel-Stadt organized the fifth edition of its annual internal administration networking event “Blickpunkt Verwaltung” (in English: Administration in the Spotlight). “Blickpunkt Verwaltung” is geared towards professionals working in the administration and for local authorities. This year, the event was dedicated to the subject of “Digitalization”, and was hosted by software company Adobe in Basel.

Thanks to its day-to-day interaction with local companies, the administration of the Canton of Basel-Stadt has become a key element of the benefits package the economic and business location Basel has to offer. With its event series “Blickpunkt Verwaltung”, the Economic Development unit intends to give a boost to networking within the cantonal administration.  The idea is to share experiences and to learn more about corporate culture to serve companies even better.


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Djurdja Röthlisberger
Financial Sector Manager

Areas of expertise
Manager Finance Sector, Head Office “Stiftung Finanzplatz Basel”, Corporate Support, Zürich meets Basel, Insurtech and Fintech promotion in Basel