Creative Cloud: The New Wave of Software Delivery and File Access
As you learned in Jerry’s post last week, I am a designer by trade. I was excited when Adobe announced Creative Cloud last April because as most designers can attest, that although you work for another company you may do freelance or charity projects in your off time which utilize your design skills.
I decided to take advantage of the Adobe offer to existing customers to migrate over to the Creative Cloud for a low monthly or yearly price. I have been a perpetual license holder (I owned the software and then upgraded when the next version came out) since 1985, when I began in desktop publishing. I viewed the promises of the Creative Cloud offering as appealing, especially always current.
Here’s what I can attest to personally since owning my own Individual Creative Cloud subscription…
I found that staying current and updating is really easy to install and painless. I also love the fact that now I get Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Muse as part of my subscription. I was already paying for Lightroom so to get it as part of my subscription, well that was an unexpected financial bonus. Adobe Muse allowed me to take my InDesign skills and start doing a little HTML website creation in a tool that looked and acted like InDesign. Then Adobe started adding new features to Illustrator, Muse and Photoshop and I was current without having to pay for an upgrade. When they added the Digital Publishing Suite Single Edition as a benefit, that was fantastic because it was an additional $395 value that I got for free as part of my subscription. When Acrobat XI came out, I didn’t have to wait until the next version of Creative Suite, I had it immediately. To sum up, I have loved always being current, managing the software is a breeze and access to software I could get as part of my subscription price was a bonus. My accountant tells me that writing this off as a monthly expense in operating expenses is a bonus as well. So personally this is a winner and I would encourage anybody who uses our software at home or individually to look at this option.
The previous section helps explain some of the benefits of Creative Cloud. Now on to what will be of interest to more of our government customers. Adobe introduced Creative Cloud Team and Enterprise in December. The Team version gives you the ability to have all the same great software as Individual, but to manage it as part of a business. Creative Cloud Individual is what it says, ownership belongs to the individual and it is tied to my personal Adobe ID. Team, on the other hand, belongs to an agency or a team within an agency. Which means that if a team member leaves or takes a different job, the license can be reassigned to another or new team member. Team is meant for agencies or departments that have admin rights to their computers as they have to install the software themselves (just like Individual, but it is very easy). I work with state and local governments, and there are places where team members do have admin rights. This type of purchasing could work well for those departments because a designated person will purchase and manage the team members. Thus, it’s easy for them to track compliance and easy for the end users to stay current.
Another benefit I haven’t spoken about yet is the ability to store files in the cloud if you choose. With a Team subscription, the storage option jumps to 100 GB per user, whereas the Individual limit is 20 GB. There is also some sync capability if you are working with Photoshop Touch on a tablet then you can sync your files to the desktop version of Photoshop. This is available today, but the future offering of team collaboration will be something to look forward to as well. Today we can share but it is not exclusive to a “team”.
For larger government agencies, the Enterprise version will really be the software of choice. It will offer the benefits of all the software and updates and storage I have talked about earlier, but with enterprise deployment options so it mirrors how they typically deploy software. In the months ahead I will talk more about these options but this is still a work in progress so I will hold off going down this path.
What I’d like is for everyone to consider acquiring your software via subscription, meaning you are paying for it monthly or yearly. You are always current and have access to the latest tools. Adobe embraces this model sincet technology such as HTML5, mobile, tablets and digital publishing are really evolving so fast that old software cycles of 18-24 months are no longer reasonable. Subscription allows our product teams to be responsive in software delivery that meets the speed at which technology is changing. Yes, it is a shift in how we as consumers have bought and managed our software in the past, but technology is really pushing all of us to look at alternative options and this is one where I can attest it has delivered. Overall, I think will only get better for enterprises as they adopt and shift their thinking models. Let me know what you think.