A top heritage and conservation architectural firm gains competitive edge with Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise.
The Hyde Dillington House, Somerset. © Will Pryce
Proud heritage, cutting edge
For more than six decades, Purcell has been involved in the care and development of some of the best-loved buildings and places in the United Kingdom and abroad. Its team of expert architects, heritage consultants, and surveyors share a passion for the thoughtfully designed evolution of buildings, places, and communities. From start to finish, the company’s expertise includes funding and planning advice, heritage consultancy, conservation, and architectural design, delivered from sixteen offices in the United Kingdom and one in Hong Kong.
Whether marketers are generating eye-catching proposals for winning new business or technical staff are crafting and visualizing intelligent, sustainable, and creative architectural solutions, employees at Purcell turn day in and day out to Adobe creative software. Providing employees with the latest Adobe applications is now easier with Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise, purchased through an Enterprise Term License Agreement (ETLA).
“Our specialty is heritage architecture and conservation, and we’re at the top of the game,” says Gary Dalton, head of ICT for Purcell. “We have more of an edge because we are now all using Adobe Creative Cloud.”
Adobe from start to finish
Adobe creative software is widely used throughout the firm, from project bidding through to reporting with clients during the course of each project to completion. Marketers use Adobe InDesign CC to generate three to four 50- to 200-page project proposals weekly, replete with graphics generated in Adobe Illustrator CC and imagery finessed in Adobe Photoshop CC. Graphic designers rely on Illustrator CC to create posters, advertisements, and other marketing materials.
Once a project is awarded and underway, architects employ Photoshop CC to color hand-sketched mockups of buildings and environments. Administrators, architects, and other professionals at the firm collaborate using a combination of Adobe software to generate image-rich progress reports. All of these materials must be visually beautiful and feature impeccable quality to reflect positively on Purcell as a design and architecture leader with an eye for aesthetics.
Leighton House Museum, London. © Will Pryce
Wowing potential clients
For decades, Purcell has been the go-to firm for the heritage and conservation segment of the architecture market in the United Kingdom and abroad. In recent years, the firm has seen increasing competition from larger firms offering lower prices, but lacking the specialized expertise and quality Purcell offers. To win against these larger players, Purcell redoubled its bidding and communication efforts to rise above the crowd. That required upping the ante on bids to put the right information in the right format and make proposals exceptionally striking.
“Although the building market has picked up over the last few years, we still have to outdo ourselves to win business,” says Emily Seldon, bid manager at Purcell. “We must create bids that are beautiful and make potential clients feel special. This points to the need to have the latest features and functionality in Adobe Creative Cloud so we can push our creativity limits.”
Moving to the cloud
Until recently, Purcell was using various versions of Adobe Creative Suite software, and needed to upgrade Adobe software across all offices. The ICT team struggled with figuring out how to move and track software licenses as offices and teams expanded.
In one instance, ICT needed to install more Creative Suite licenses for new users in a particular office to accommodate expansion. Facing budgetary limitations, purchasing new upgraded licenses for the entire department was not an option. But purchasing the most current version of Creative Suite for just a few users meant that ICT had to set up a dedicated machine to back-save files to earlier versions, causing productivity losses because staff found it difficult to collaborate on files.
With the availability of Creative Cloud, the firm had several priorities in mind. ICT wanted better flexibility to equip employees with the right software to deliver their best work in the context of business growth and employee additions. Additionally, putting everyone on the same version to avoid the cumbersome process of back-saving files to earlier versions for sharing was a top priority.
“We need to be leaders, especially in the ability to work collaboratively,” says Dalton. “Overall, any type of efficiency is worth it to us—it’s about working smarter, not harder.”
When he saw Adobe’s ETLA for purchasing Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise, Dalton realized it would allow Purcell to manage company growth spurts in a very straightforward way. “The flexibility of the Adobe enterprise agreement helps us plan for now and the future,” says Dalton. “It’s straightforward, as we now know who is using what and I can just add licenses as we go—everyone is always on the most current version.”
Purcell deployed licenses of Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise, starting with the communications group, where Seldon and seven others in marketing tested the new software. The team was tasked with discovering new features and potential stumbling blocks before initiating a company-wide deployment across seventeen offices. After one month, the communications team had found many advancements in functionality.
After the successful pilot, ICT rolled out Creative Cloud for enterprise company-wide. The ICT team used Creative Cloud Packager to deploy applications based on different languages and operating systems. Dalton put together a custom software package for Purcell that includes the firm’s core applications: Illustrator CC, InDesign CC, Photoshop CC, and Adobe Acrobat XI Pro. He created another package tailored for a smaller team that required a specific feature set.
“The Creative Cloud Packager is truly brilliant in terms of easily pushing out software,” says Dalton. “I can take all the applications and features people need and deploy everything as an update to help ensure consistency.”
Stowe House, Buckinghamshire. © Jerry Hardman-Jones
Feature-rich, easily learned
The move to Creative Cloud for enterprise has benefited staff seeing projects through from bidding to completion. For creative and technical teams, Creative Cloud for enterprise offers the ability to access the latest features in the context of a familiar interface and tools.
The marketing team especially appreciates new features in Acrobat Pro such as the ability to save PDF files to Microsoft PowerPoint for presentation to clients, or to convert images in PDF files to a format suitable for editing in Photoshop CC. Within InDesign CC, they appreciate the ability to create alternate page sizes without requiring extra plug-ins.
“We’ve found Adobe Creative Cloud easy to learn and use,” says Seldon. “With productivity gains and new features available through Adobe Creative Cloud, we are now able to generate proposals that are more image-rich and engaging, and that’s a big differentiator for us.”
Trouble-free for ICT
In the future, Purcell plans to tap Adobe Expert Services to help end users delve into new features and get their own questions answered and to use the Creative Cloud Enterprise Dashboard to administer and manage user accounts.
“Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise has a tremendous positive impact on our ability to present ourselves professionally, remain competitive, and continue growing our business,” says Dalton.
Read the Purcell case study.