Adobe Systems Incorporated

Square Enix: Worldwide Gaming Entertainment

Using Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise as its foundation, digital entertainment content provider Square Enix Co., Ltd brings fantastic stories to fans around the world.

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Creating unforgettable experiences

“Spread happiness across the globe by providing unforgettable experiences” is the corporate philosophy of Square Enix. Building on this philosophy, the company delivers high-quality entertainment and services to fans around the world.
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From classic game series including Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy to popular comic series FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST and Black Butler, Square Enix is home to countless hits. And Adobe’s creative software, including Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator CC, are part of the backbone upon which these creations are built.

Square Enix deployed Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise across its creative teams. Creative Cloud gives all development staff access to the latest creative applications and the Adobe Enterprise Term License Agreement (ETLA) helps the company improve software asset management and compliance.

Managing large-scale software licenses

Square Enix supports more than 2,000 employees in its Tokyo headquarters alone. The vast majority of those employees are involved with creative development; each developer has two to three high-performance computers, each with a wide range of necessary applications. Managing software licenses associated with each of those systems is a complex task.

“We want our developers to use the latest software to produce the best entertainment possible,” says Daishiro Okada, general manager at Square Enix. “But, when we took cost into consideration, we couldn’t always provide every employee with the most recent updates. As a result, employees were sometimes working with different software versions than their co-workers as well as on each of their own machines. Keeping track of all of this took an inordinate amount of time and effort.”

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Helping train new employees

To create fantastic entertainment, Square Enix developers need the skills to get the most out of the latest technologies. “We want to provide training on the latest technologies to help our employees improve their skills, regardless of the software version they are using,” says Okada. “And, ideally, we want to provide knowledge that applies to all of our employees.”

Complying with standards

Square Enix considers compliance with software usage regulations to be of utmost importance. “As a company that deals with the creation and distribution of digital content, we strongly recognize the importance of licensing and compliance,” says Okada. However, in an environment with multiple types of software and versions, eliminating unauthorized software usage can be a much more laborious task.

Reducing license management

Square Enix signed an ETLA for Adobe Creative Cloud to help improve the creative environment, simplify license management, and strengthen compliance. “Working with the Adobe enterprise agreement dramatically reduced the amount of work required for license management,” says Okada. “The ability to manage the licenses for all of our software centrally, without needing to pay attention to versions, has led to unbelievable administrative efficiencies.”

Square Enix developed an environment where users can download and install whatever software applications they need from an internal server. Only the agreed number of licenses can be issued, which greatly contributes to better compliance. The system also eliminates the need to connect to an external server, which reduces the risk of access to unauthorized copies.

Improving skills with free access

By deploying Adobe Creative Cloud, development staff can download the software that they need, when they need it, from the internal server. All creators, from experts to beginners, share the same cutting-edge environment. As a result, development teams can improve their creative skills while working to produce unique products and services.

“Most employees jumped into using Adobe Premiere Pro CC right away,” says Tomoyuki Hiraoka, KSK procurement supervisor in the general affairs department at Square Enix. “Many people wanted Premiere Pro CC, but we previously limited access to keep costs down; now everyone can have the applications they want through Creative Cloud.”

“Creating the best entertainment ultimately requires not only the best possible output, but also the best possible processes,” says Okada. “Using the latest technologies in Creative Cloud, we’re providing our developers an environment where they can quickly create brand new entertainment.”

Reducing annual costs

While analyzing the new licensing model, cost was a primary concern for Square Enix. Even if the new model improved licensing management, the efficiencies would not be worth it if costs also increased. The company examined costs from all angles, including initial purchasing and upgrade fees.

“Compared to our previous licensing model, we calculated that Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise reduces our costs by an amount equivalent to two full-time staff per year,” says Hiraoka. “The cost savings were a major factor in our decision to work with Creative Cloud.”

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Shifting the focus to online content

The video game market is changing rapidly, expanding from traditional home console games to an increasing number of mobile games played on smartphones and tablets. Square Enix is also focusing on development and delivery of online and social games played over networks.

“New types of devices will continue to enter the market, and we want to provide the best content and services for all of those devices,” says Okada. “Creative Cloud already has an established reputation for use in developing content on multiple devices and we believe that it will form a strong backbone for building our mobile services.”

Developing for the global stage

In addition to offices in Tokyo, London, and Los Angeles, Square Enix has additional creative studios in Montreal, Copenhagen, Shanghai, and San Francisco for a total of more than 3,500 development staff. The company plans to grow international operations in the future.

“Currently, each international office handles its operations independently, but we are looking to unify the development environment and management system on a global level,” says Okada. “We want to pull in top talent from not just Japan, but around the world, and provide them all with an excellent work environment. Expanding use of Adobe Creative Cloud globally would be ideal. If we can consolidate global license management, we will improve administrative efficiency and improve compliance even further.

Read the Square Enix case study.

10:16 AM Permalink

Expanding A Creative Portfolio

Creative production agency Wellcom Worldwide accesses more applications and regular software updates with Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise.

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Leading creative content creation

Wellcom Worldwide is a leading global production agency, servicing clients with quality creative and innovative technology that make meaningful connections between brands and their customers. The company’s services include graphic design and cross-media adaptations, 3D and 2D illustration, photography and creative retouching, online and digital services, TVC production, video and animation, pre-media, image and asset libraries, and online workflow processes.

The company has transformed from a relatively small private company with 12 employees in 2000 to a global entity supported by a talented team of approximately 430 staff in 2014 with offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Auckland, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, London, Los Angeles, Columbus, and New York. Wellcom strives to be a leader in the creation and distribution of content quickly and easily in any part of the world and uses Creative Cloud for enterprise to support its vision.

A simple transition for global workforce

The switch to Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise was a natural progression for Wellcom. The company has used Adobe products to create its content since the early days of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, and has always paid attention when Adobe introduces new solutions. Today, Wellcom uses Adobe Premiere Pro CC and After Effects CC for video production, produces all page content with Adobe InDesign CC, and uses Adobe Illustrator CC for packaging design. Adobe Photoshop CC remains the primary application for retouching, adjusting color, and image editing.

While the creative products have always worked well, to control costs the company typically limited the number of products it purchased. When Adobe Creative Cloud was introduced, the additional benefits and access to the full collection of applications was very appealing. Based on the ability to more easily manage licenses and receive regular updates to Adobe products, the company made the decision to transfer its existing enterprise licenses to Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise.

“Adobe Creative Cloud was really too good to ignore, and it was a seamless transition to switch our existing licenses to Creative Cloud for enterprise,” says Shaun Gray, information technology, product and customer support manager at Wellcom.

It was a simple transition, managed internally with minimal disruption to the business. Wellcom purchased 450 seats across its international offices and has access to many more applications that it hadn’t traditionally used, such as Adobe Edge Animate CC for creating animated banners and Adobe Muse CC for designing websites.

Expanding skills with new tools

Since making the switch, Wellcom has enjoyed the additional benefits that Creative Cloud for enterprise offers. Using the Enterprise Dashboard, the company can more easily manage licenses, expand the number of seats as needed, and true-up on an annual basis.

“The significant difference with Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise is how much simpler it is to manage our licenses,” says Gray. “We’re always on the hunt for acquisitions, and with Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise we can easily add additional seats if and when we need them with a clear understanding of cost.”

The ability to pay an enterprise license fee for all of the applications in Creative Cloud gives Wellcom’s staff to access applications they have not traditionally used. By expanding their skills with new applications in Creative Cloud for enterprise and new technologies such as Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, the company is winning business in areas it didn’t previously support.

“We’re encouraging creativity through the exploration of alternate ways of creating content,” explains Gray. “With Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise, staff can access the applications from a secondary computer at home to continue to build their skills, and then apply their new knowledge to professional projects.”

Wellcom is also taking advantage of the storage and file syncing capabilities in Creative Cloud. “Being able to store and sync files to Creative Cloud, combined with the large storage per seat, gives us a powerful tool that we didn’t have before.”

Increasing efficiency across devices

Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise will continue to be a critical part of Wellcom’s business operations. The company uses the built-in Creative Cloud storage to enable employees to share and access content, such as imagery and photography, from anywhere on mobile devices. Designers also use applications in Creative Cloud to adapt traditional print content for viewing on tablets and smartphones.

“The ease of accessing content across devices using Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise will be great for staff out of the office,” said Gray. “Adobe Creative Cloud is a critical part of our business and will continue to be the enabler of our creative content development.”

Read the Wellcom Worldwide case study.

11:51 AM Permalink

Lime Pictures: Daily TV Production

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This UK serial drama and reality TV creator excels at meeting intense production demands with Adobe Story CC Plus and Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise.

Great stories, brilliantly told

Lime Pictures knows all too well the demanding scheduling and production requirements of daily television. The largest operating group within All3Media, the top UK Ltd indie known for multi-award-winning, long-running TV productions, Lime Pictures produces headline-grabbing programs including Hollyoaks (C4), Rockets Island (CBBC), The Only Way Is Essex (ITV2), and Geordie Shore (MTV).

Each series requires a tightly-orchestrated effort involving syncing shooting schedules with scripts, as well as lock-step coordination among camera crews, sets, and talent. Shows also hinge on great creative, graphics, and video that extend across both TV and online media.

With the popularity and number of programs increasing, the production company’s needs had continued to intensify, and its aging in-house system was struggling to keep up. Lime Pictures needed a more capable, progressive solution and chose Adobe Story CC Plus and Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise.

“We were using legacy applications for scripting and scheduling that were no longer meeting our needs,” says Gary Winn, IT manager for Lime Pictures. “We wanted to modernize our infrastructure and processes and Adobe Story CC Plus and Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise gave us that opportunity.

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Advanced scripting and scheduling

Lime Pictures was aware that ITV had adopted Adobe Story CC Plus with great success and the broadcaster’s positive experience factored into Lime Pictures’ decision to adopt: “The solution did 80% of what we needed it to do ‘out of the box’ and we were able to customize the rest to meet our specific needs,” says Winn. “Adobe Story CC Plus was the only product we found that supported continuing series—that functionality was a real jewel for us.”

Adobe Story CC Plus has strong scripting and scheduling capabilities, complemented by product updates delivered through Creative Cloud. The ability to access information at any time and on any device allows teams to easily collaborate, even when they aren’t sitting side by side; it also offers comprehensive reporting, delivering insights that allow Lime Pictures to continually streamline its processes.

“Adobe Story CC Plus is more flexible and open than other scripting and scheduling options on the market,” says Winn. “Because it’s a cloud-based environment, our writers and schedulers can use the software on mobile devices with complete visibility and synchronicity. We have virtually eliminated the need to print scripts by using electronic versions and everyone can tap into the latest amendments to scripts or schedules at any time, from anywhere.”

Improved software access

Another priority for Lime Pictures was to equip employees with world-class creative apps from Adobe in the easiest way possible. Lime Pictures traditionally had a mixture of different Adobe software products and suites with individual boxes and serial numbers. Maintaining the right number of licenses and keeping versions current was often challenging. When Winn learned about Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise, he saw how it would streamline IT and budgeting efforts, simplify deployment, and centralize software management. In addition, the enterprise license enabled Lime Pictures to access additional Adobe Story CC Plus reporting functionality.

“We’re already seeing the benefits of engaging more closely with Adobe through an enterprise arrangement,” says Winn. “The Adobe team is brilliant and has been instrumental in helping us advance the business.” By purchasing Creative Cloud through an enterprise term license agreement, Lime Pictures now has a single source for licensing and support, as well as access to multiple tools. The company’s Creative Cloud for enterprise licenses are used by graphics and digital departments, as well as its post-production facility in Liverpool, England.

Some team members only need Adobe Photoshop CC, while others might need Adobe After Effects CC or Adobe Acrobat XI Pro. Some need almost all of the Adobe creative products. To tailor each user’s environment, Winn is using the Creative Cloud Packager (which provides custom access to software among various team members) to create standard software packages for different groups.

“Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise allows us to control our environment,” Winn says. “The ability to package and deliver specific products to different users saves us time and makes the software easier to track.” Adoption of Creative Cloud for enterprise has also driven the use of new tools across various workflows: For example, the production team is experimenting with new products such as Adobe Prelude CC for ingest, with plans to introduce it into the live environment. The company also has the freedom to begin
using products such as Adobe Premiere Pro CC to support its video production needs.

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Streamlined licensing, management, and updates

The company has complete visibility into which licenses employees have and use and budgets are easier to manage. With Creative Cloud for enterprise, Lime Pictures can provide employees with everything they need and track licenses with ease.

“We’re able to keep our stakeholders on the latest software and eliminate version inconsistencies by providing Adobe Creative Cloud updates from a central location and at a regular cadence,” says Winn. “On the business side, Adobe Creative Cloud has given everyone—from IT to finance—a more streamlined approach to software purchasing.”

“Our main driver in moving to Adobe Story CC Plus and Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise was to move the business forward, which we’ve definitely accomplished,” says Winn. “The flexibility, visibility, cost savings, and other benefits that come with an enterprise agreement are tremendous bonuses.”

Read the Lime Pictures case study.

12:22 PM Permalink