5 Ways Adobe’s Bold Move with Creative Cloud Impacts Your Organization [UPDATED]

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**Updated July2014: Adobe Releases Creative Cloud 2014**

**Updated March 21st, 2014: Important changes to CS6 have been announced**

In December 2012, Adobe introduced Creative Cloud for Teams – its first foray into cloud-based subscription to license its creative suite of products.

This week Adobe announced it’s done with boxed software and is betting big on SaaS – and a future entirely in the cloud. Moving forward, Creative Suite and Creative Cloud for Teams will be known simply as Creative Cloud.

If you’ve invested in any previous version of Creative Suite, you’ll need to understand how Adobe’s Creative Cloud model affects licensing and support moving forward.

While it’s early days and we’re still gathering the facts and reactions (check back here regularly for updates), here are the top 5 points our team has already identified that will impact on your organization.

1. This is the new normal for software distribution from Adobe

Adobe clearly made a calculation – and it’s probably right about it over the long term – that the days of distributing software via boxed software, continual upgrades and perpetual plans are done. Adobe said it was surprised by how popular Creative Cloud Team has been over the last year and decided to make a bold move in that direction rather than continue offering both traditional licensing and cloud versions of its applications.

Moving forward, the only way to buy Adobe software will be through Creative Cloud. That said, Adobe has decided that Acrobat, Lightroom and Elements will continue to be offered as stand-alone versions.

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According to Adobe, single product subscriptions will also be available via Creative Cloud later this year. This is good news for organizations that only need one or two applications, and don’t need the full suite of Creative Cloud.

Having said that, if you end up needing three or more applications, it will be economically advantageous to license the whole Creative Cloud – and gain access to the other products in the suite.

And for those wondering – Creative Cloud apps will continue to be installed and run locally on your Mac & PC. While there are features that leverage the cloud in new ways (we talk about later in the post), this remarkable shift to SaaS is more about sourcing and licensing than anything else. In other words, you don’t have to worry about trying to work with 4Gb PSD files in the cloud.

2. The economics of Creative Cloud should work to your advantage

We’ve spoken at length here about the pros and cons of subscriptions. While some see this as a way for companies to squeeze customers, many see it as a smart move and, frankly, a downright bargain.

For instance, a year’s list price subscription of Creative Cloud’s team product is about $840 per user – $480 for the first year for old Creative Suite 3 and up users – and gives customers access to the entire suite of continuously updated apps.

The most apples-to-apples comparison would be between clients who’ve purchased Creative Suite Master Collection with active maintenance and renewed annually. For example, check out this chart:

Creative Cloud Comparison Chart

From an IT perspective, procurement and accounting points of view, monthly subscriptions are a no-brainer – they make things a lot easier, more efficient and cheaper.

UPDATED (July 24th, 2013)

On Monday July 22ndAdobe revealed a new purchasing model of Creative Cloud forusers that don’t require the full suite of applications – Creative Cloud for teams single app. You now have the ability to select and purchase one of the brand new CC apps [i.e. Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, etc.] that meet your needs. Your single app subscription will also entitle you to 20GB of storage, sync capabilities, and seamlessly collaboration options with storage and sharing. For more information on Creative Cloud for teams single app, contact your Softchoice Account Manager or post your question in the comments section.

3. Subscriptions mean 100% compliance – and less risk

This isn’t just about renting software. With Adobe moving to a 100% subscription model for Creative Cloud, the implications for your software license management is significant. With Creative Cloud subscriptions, you also reduce the risk of software piracy within your organization.

4. Collaboration in the cloud will change how your team works

Clearly, cloud integration will be enhanced between all Adobe’s Creative Cloud applications, allowing designers to explore, create, publish and share work more easily than ever before. A cloud-based clipboard will make doing work on any device seamless, moving assets from one device to another with ease.

Collaboration also gets a boost thanks to Adobe’s integration of Behance, a site that allows creatives to show off their work and solicit feedback. Adobe acknowledges that this (and some other public cloud features) won’t be appropriate or allowed for government, education and other customers, so it’s creating SKUs and versions of Creative Cloud to meet their specific needs.

For a complete overview of all the team features of Creative Cloud, check out this PDF from Adobe.

5. Effective June 1, 2014, CS6 will no longer be available for purchase under the TLP or CLP licensing programs

Adobe informed us that they will no longer sell CS6 products, suites, and collections under the Transactional Licensing Program (TLP)  and Cumulative Licensing Program (CLP) for commercial and government customers.

Adobe will continue to support and offer security updates and patches for now, but for how much longer is unclear.

If you have questions about this change, you can view the official Adobe CS6 policy change FAQ or contact your Softchoice Account Manager directly.

UPDATED (June 19th, 2013)

On Monday June 17th, Adobe announced 15 new apps now available through Adobe Creative Cloud. These program updates are only available to users of Creative Cloud, therefore labeling CS6 as ‘out dated’ technology.

UPDATED – Introducing Adobe Creative Cloud 2014

On Wednesday, July 18th, 2014, Adobe released the 2014 version of Creative Cloud.

This second edition version of Creative Cloud features:

  • 14 brand new app versions including Photoshop CC and Illustrator
  • New Creative Cloud-Connected Mobile Apps – work on the go directly on your iPad
  • Improved Admin Console enables designated administrators to quickly add, assign, or transfer seats – all while maximizing your IT and procurement budget


For those who have already made the move to Adobe Creative Cloud, you’ll get these feature updates automatically.

Our team is working directly with our counterparts at Adobe to understand the broader implications of this announcement to our clients. As we learn new things, we’ll update this post. In the meantime, please leave your comments, critical questions and concerns below and we’ll address them as quickly as possible. You can also learn more about Creative Cloud on our microsite.

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About Robyn Eddison

Robyn is one of Softchoice's Product Marketing Managers focused on Business Software.