Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions: What IT needs to know

Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions: What IT needs to know

Wave goodbye to the Adobe Creative Suite. On Monday at its MAX conference, Adobe announced that it’ll abandon updates to perpetual licensing for CS and push all its chips behind its Creative Cloud applications.

Creative Cloud, introduced last year, delivers all the applications from Creative Suite, eliminating the shrink wrap and box, and replacing perpetual licenses with a subscription-based model. Here’s everything you need to know about Creative Cloud, what the change means for you, and what you can do about it.

What the shift to Creative Cloud means for customers

  • CS6 products will remain available via perpetual licensing (i.e. a Cumulative Licensing Program and Transactional Licensing Program), but perpetual licensing customers will see no future release of the Creative Suite. Subscribing to Creative Cloud will be the only way to get the new version and receive updates going forward.
  • A major release of Adobe’s Creative applications arrives on June 17 and includes updates to 15 of the applications: Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, InDesign CC, InCopy CC, Flash Pro CC, Dreamweaver CC, Premiere Pro, CC, After Effects CC, Audition CC, SpeedGrade CC, Prelude CC, Adobe Muse CC, Adobe Edge Animate CC, Adobe Bridge CC, and Adobe Media Encoder CC. This release will be exclusive to customers who have a Creative Cloud subscription.
  • Customers using CS3 or higher can purchase a one-year subscription to Creative Cloud for Teams at a promotional retail price of $39.99 per month good through August 30. (This can be used in place of the current promo price of $49.99 per month, which will still be good through December).
  • In the second half of 2013, Adobe will also offer a subscription to Creative Cloud Single App for $29.99 per month (retail) for customers that only want to use Photoshop, for example.
  • The above changes only apply to the Creative Cloud applications. Acrobat will continue to be available via perpetual licensing.
  • For Education customers, Student & Teacher Licensing will be discontinued on June 6, and a new Education Enterprise Agreement (EEA) program will become available to offer one- to two-year term-based licensing for the Creative Cloud apps and other Adobe software.
  • Term-based licensing will also become available for government customers in July. More details will follow.

What Creative Cloud means for IT

The shift toward a subscription licensing model is good news for customers. Adobe can now instantly update the software, adding and updating features on the fly instead of waiting to release them as part of yearly updates or every 18 to 24 months with a new release of the Creative Suite. By subscribing to Adobe’s applications through the cloud, customers can deploy the applications immediately and always have instant access to the latest version of the software.

Subscription-based licensing makes for a more predictable budget than perpetual licensing, as the steady-stream model of subscription eliminates the spikes in spending around the latest Creative Suite release. The subscription model, using Adobe’s Value Incentive Plan (VIP), also makes it easier to administer seats, monitor storage, and track who’s using which seats and when they were purchased.

What IT can do about Creative Cloud

Reach out to an SHI sales rep to identify the appropriate pricing and enroll in Adobe’s VIP, the licensing program needed to subscribe to Creative Cloud. We can provide the promotional pricing that lasts through August, and by enrolling with SHI as your reseller, you can simplify Adobe license and subscription management. We can notify you when new seats are added before an order has been placed for them, as well as when subscriptions are coming up for renewal to ensure continuous coverage.

In the long run, the rates and benefits of Creative Cloud should keep it a good value, as companies gain instant access to the latest versions of so many programs. So unless you’re going to miss the box, Adobe’s leap into the cloud should be a welcome milestone.