Adobe teams with IBM iX on design system as a service offering

The DSaaS platform aims to help enterprises implement and manage a design system.

Adobe announced Monday that it's partnering with IBM iX, IBM's design studio, to offer joint customers a design system as a service (DSaaS). The offering, part of Adobe's user experience design platform Adobe XD, aims to help enterprises implement and manage a design system and improve workflows.

IBM has been an Adobe partner for several years, leveraging Adobe Experience Cloud applications, and serving as a huge systems integrator for Adobe's design software. The companies say this is the first time the partnership will extend into the creative and design side of their businesses. 

The expanded partnership takes aim at organizations with distributed design and marketing operations, capitalizing on the need for digital transformation within creative teams. For customers, the DSaaS offering will provide design system setup, a modular construction kit, and dedicated support teams. 

"Considering our long standing partnership on Experience Cloud, this is our first foray on the Creative Cloud side and the benefit is connecting the dots for our clients, showing how we can improve workflow basically end to end, from design to deployment to managing marketing and technology," said Billy Seabrook, global chief creative officer for IBM iX. "That is the next horizon -- to show that value of connecting those two clouds and our capabilities on both sides of the fence."  

In another aspect of the partnership, Adobe XD will enable clients to customize IBM's open-source Carbon design system. Built by IBM in 2015, Carbon is used across many of IBM's products and external brands. The companies will now offer a UI Kit for Carbon that ships with Adobe XD, with IBM managing consulting and maintenance services from Carbon. 

The IBM iX partnership is part of a barrage of updates from the Adobe MAX conference. New capabilities in Adobe XD aim to make the design process more collaborative, efficient and scalable. Additionally, new updates to Creative Cloud are designed to help customers address multiple screens, improve collaboration, leverage artificial intelligence via Adobe Sensei and address new mediums such as 3D and augmented reality.

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