Top 5 Myths of Creative Cloud ***IT Edition***

I’ve been retired from blogging for almost six months, which in Internet Years is like six millennia. This whole post should be simply a Vine clip, right? You probably missed my retirement party when I retired from blogging. The guys all chipped in on a gold-toned watch. The inscription on the back “Did you notice the green squiggly lines?” was particularly touching.

What could draw me out of retirement? The fame? The money? Well seeing how I saw neither of those while I was blogging I’d have to say no. It was actually a blog post that my esteemed and ridiculously talented co-worker Terry White wrote entitled “5 Myths About Adobe Creative Cloud” a couple of months ago.

It is a good post, and features a photo of Nessie, the famed cryptid from Scotland. Which instantly makes me think of the show “In Search Of” which I loved as I child and honestly, creeped me out as well. Myths about Bigfoot or UFOs are still cool in my book, but myths about products…not so much. I always considered myself more Mulder than Scully but here I am dispelling myths, shining my over-powered flashlight on the the dark shadows of misinformation and confusion that IT have about the Creative Cloud.

1) Creative Cloud is virtualized or streamed

Wait, isn’t that pretty much the same as Terry’s #1 myth “I don’t want to run my Applications in a web browser!”??? Yes, but mine is phrased slightly differently, which in the world of blogging is legit. Seriously though, this gets brought up continually and it is worth mentioning again that the Creative Cloud is a new method of distributing our creative desktop applications but they are still applications that are installed and run the old school way. They still take up GBs of your hard drive. Oh wait, I wasn’t supposed to highlight that fact. Shrug. But you get it. Our beefy products like Photoshop work best installed on systems with lots of RAM and a modern GPU. Now, it has to be stated that virtualization technology is rapidly evolving and advancements like virtualization of the GPU is just plain awesome. But, the Creative Cloud at present remains a way to download the software from the Cloud, not run the applications in a browser or thin client.

2) Creative Cloud can’t be deployed

What? After spending the last 3-4 years trying to do right by the IT community by making packaging tools like AAMEE, licensing tools like APTEE, and updating solutions like AUSST and RUM do you really think we’d roll out a major offering and forget about the IT deployment infrastructure your organization has invested in? Seriously?

Now let me explain, briefly, that we have three different types of the Creative Cloud and I believe some of the misconceptions about deployment have been rooted in the lack of clarity about the different types of the Creative Cloud. If you are an individual, a freelance designer or one-person video production shop, then you can buy the Creative Cloud for individuals. They are admins on their systems. They are their own IT, Procurement, Accounting, etc. No deployment needed, obviously.

Now the next offering is tailored for small businesses or small groups within a large organization, they might want to look at Creative Cloud for teams. An ideal number of folks would be like 5 to 30. Let’s say it is a small game developer that buys 25 seats of Creative Cloud for teams, and they have an IT guy who has setup a deployment solution to manage their Macs. The IT admin would log into the Creative Cloud for teams admin portal on the Creative Cloud website and they see an interface for inviting Team members via email. They’ll also see a Deployment section and they’ll be able to download the new Creative Cloud Packager 1.0. This new tool allows the IT admin to download the Creative Cloud desktop applications and their updates and package them. So unlike AAMEE, it doesn’t point to locally downloaded media like the ginormous Master Collection but rather the IT admin can cherry pick applications they want to download to package. See, better! I’d like to take credit for this but I am no longer over the IT tools, so hats off to Karl Gibson and the crew formally known as the “AAMEE crew!”

A 1.1 version of the Creative Cloud Packager is due shortly after the new set of Creative Cloud applications are released next month. The 1.1 version will work for both Creative Cloud for teams and for Creative Cloud for enterprise. The Creative Cloud for enterprise is the third type of the Creative Cloud and is meant for larger institutions who need higher levels of control.

3) Organizations can’t control the frequent updates

One of the coolest parts of the Creative Cloud is that we are no longer waiting for annual or 18 month cycles to get new functionality from the products. If the engineers have a cool new feature in Illustrator they release it to the Creative Cloud members as soon as it has gone through the regular QE process. That team doesn’t have to wait for a year to have it be a part of a new boxed copy of the Creative Suite or wait for a marketing event. Nope, bam! Into the hands of their users straight away. Sounds great for individuals or people in design studios with mohawks right? But what about my enterprise production environment? What about my strict policy of evaluating all updates before they are released? Nothing changes. The updates are available via the Creative Cloud Packager and can be packaged at the IT admin’s discretion. Same level of control.

4) Adobe IDs aren’t for us

The way the Creative Cloud for individuals and teams versions work is that the applications, services and storage use a licensing/authentication process that involves an Adobe ID. For Creative Cloud for teams we have an admin portal that allows the IT admin or production manager the ability to send out email invites and those users have to create Adobe IDs in order to sign into the Creative Cloud (i.e. the applications or at creative.adobe.com.) The end users who are using Creative Cloud for teams have to obviously be online to authenticate with their Adobe IDs. Now that is the Creative Cloud for teams which stated above is ideal for small organizations.

Frankly, this doesn’t scale for large organizations for hundreds or thousands of users. It doesn’t work for organizations like video production places with offline workstations. Larger organizations want to use their own identity systems (like Active Directory or LDAP) and do not want to use Adobe IDs to identify their organization’s users who have access to the Creative Cloud. Of course. This is why the Creative Cloud for enterprise offering has this in mind. Presently if you purchase Creative Cloud for enterprise then the IT admin has the same flexibly to package and deploy the creative desktop applications without use of Adobe IDs. What? Yep. How are the applications licensed? A contract-defined expiring serial number. A serial number? Boring, right? Old school. Status quo. Status Quo.

Now there are a lot of great aspects of the Creative Cloud that go beyond just the core applications. It is essential that we provide this functionality to our enterprise customers. We are working on the ability for your organization to control login into the Creative Cloud using your authentication infrastructure by using Single Sign-On authentication via SAML 2.0. This will allow for the use of the cloud functionality including storage and services. I’ll come back and do an entire blog that outlines our strategy around supporting SSO and will separately write an entry explaining all the advantages you and your users will have once they are signing into the Creative Cloud for enterprise. Some really cool stuff. Are we aware that not every enterprise customer is ready to support SSO or use a different authentication method? Yes. Will we support other methods of authentication down the road? Yes. But we are presently working on Single Sign-On authentication via SAML 2.0 as a foundation of our authentication strategy.

5) Cloud storage isn’t for us, so neither is Creative Cloud

I have saved one of the most contentious myths for the end. First, there are always concerns from IT about files stored in the cloud and rightfully so. The “Adobe Creative Cloud Security FAQ for IT” doc covers a good portion of questions you or your organization might have about our cloud storage aspect of the Creative Cloud.

And for every CIO, CTO, or IT admin who tells me they are shrinking their data center and using more cloud services there is always a set of IT folks who tell me the opposite: My user’s data will never be in the cloud. To that I say: okay. No fight here. Seriously. You can’t turn off the cloud storage component for the Creative Cloud for teams, but there are ways of course for IT to control traffic and block ports. These are documented in the “Adobe Creative Cloud Network Endpoints”  and “Controlling Access to Adobe Creative Cloud Services” docs.

And restricting storage access is certainly an option for the Creative Cloud for enterprise. Presently there is no identity login component for the Creative Cloud for enterprise so hence no accessibility to the cloud storage. When your organization begins to have access to the Creative Cloud via SSO then the IT admin will have access to an admin panel which will include granular levels of control over who has access to what applications, services and storage. Want to turn off storage? Okay. Want to give more storage to the marketing group. Okay. High levels of control for IT, is at the heart of my personal vision of the Creative Cloud for enterprise.

We’ll be more than happy to squash some more myths and answer questions in the comments. Or we can discuss who would win in a fight between Chupacabra or Moth Man. Your call.

Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Creative Cloud for enterprise

36 Responses to Top 5 Myths of Creative Cloud ***IT Edition***

  1. Don Montalvo says:

    Thanks for the blog post Jody, very informative, with just the right touch of comic relief. :)
    Very much looking forward to new tools, so we can feed our loyal users the Adobe software they need.
    Are you and Karl coming to JNUC 2013?
    Don Montalvo, TX

    • Jody Rodgers says:

      Thanks Don!

      I hope they’ll have us at JNUC 2013. I’ve really enjoyed connecting to the community at those events and love Minneapolis. Hope to see you there!

      Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Creative Cloud for enterprise

  2. Obviously moth man. He just drops rocks on Chupacabra from above. Rocks fall, everyone dies.

  3. Anthony Reimer says:

    Thanks for the post, Jody. While we will almost certainly opt out of Cloud services here (since we are in Canada and all of our data would be subject to the USA Patriot Act), the biggest concern we have is with point #3. That is, Creative Cloud bundles features with bug fixes; you can’t get one without the other. We would much prefer the model that Mozilla is using, where you have a feature-fixed version for enterprise that gets bug fixes for a preset amount of time (but no new features) and the regular release version that gets both bug fixes and new features. Customers can then choose which one they want to deploy. This is also a solution that would work for the individual customer who wants to keep buying perpetual licenses, as Adobe could sell such a fixed-feature version like they currently sell CS. Because of this, we will continue to use CS (for at least the 2013-14 academic year) because Adobe has promised bug fixes, even though our campus has signed a licensing agreement with Adobe.

  4. Jody Rodgers says:

    Anthony,

    I think that Canadian organizations not being able to use American cloud services because of the Patriot Act falls into the category of another myth. Here is guidance on this front that we got from our Legal department:

    1. CANADIAN FEDERAL LAW DOES NOT PROHIBIT THE CANADIAN PRIVATE SECTOR
    FROM TRANSFERRING PERSONAL INFORMATION TO THE UNITED STATES. The Personal
    Information Protection and Electronic Document Act (“PIPEDA”), Canada’s federal
    private sector privacy law, is clear that organizations that are otherwise compliant with
    the law’s requirements are able to freely move personal information across the border if it
    makes business sense to do so. Findings by the Privacy Commissioner confirm this.

    2. CANADIAN FEDERAL LAW DOES NOT PROHIBIT CANADIAN FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
    FROM TRANSFERRING PERSONAL INFORMATION TO THE UNITED STATES. The
    Canadian laws and Commissioner’s decisions are equally clear that financial institutions
    may transfer personal information outside of Canada without obtaining additional consent
    of customers for such transfers so long as the financial institution provides notice to
    customers about its information practices and remains accountable for safeguarding the
    information.

    3. CANADIAN LAW DOES NOT PROHIBIT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FROM
    TRANSFERRING PERSONAL INFORMATION TO THE UNITED STATES. The Privacy Act,
    Canada’s federal public sector privacy law, like its private sector counterpart, does not
    prohibit the international transfer of personal information. The Treasury Board of
    Canada recognizes the practice is essential and cost effective in many situations and the
    government position is that the transfer is permitted so long as government institutions
    take certain precautions to ensure the personal information is appropriately safeguarded.

    4. Except in certain situations in British Columbia and Nova Scotia,CANADIAN
    PROVINCIAL LAWS DO NO PROHIBIT THE TRANSFER OF PERSONAL INFORMATION TO THE
    UNITED STATES. Public sector bodies and their private sector service providers located
    in most Canadian provinces are not prohibited from transferring personal information
    outside of Canada. While British Columbia and Nova Scotia have enacted legislation
    that limits a public body’s ability to outsource, every other province’s laws are clear that
    the transfer of personal information is permitted. Moreover, even in British Columbia
    and Nova Scotia, there are no restrictions on a third party service provider from accessing
    the information in Canada and therefore the continued benefits of economy and efficiency from
    service and support arrangements remains an option.
    _____________________
    I hope that clears things up. If not we can have further conversations on the topic offline between our Legal departments.

    We appreciate the feedback regarding separating bug fixes vs. feature updates. I will pass that on to the update team. Thanks!

    Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Creative Cloud for enterprise

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  6. Ben Tebent says:

    Thank you for the blog post, Jody. We have 60-70 users here in Oslo, Norway. Will the Creative Cloud for enterprise work the same way here, or are these solutions somehow geographically limited?

    Ben Tebent

  7. Randall says:

    The only decent feature of CC is that users don’t need to wait for new features, that said, there is no need to force CC down everyones neck to relase this feature, you could have just pushed out updates with the old model. Poor show again Adobe.

  8. Don Montalvo says:

    @Randall wrote:

    “The only decent feature of CC is that users don’t need to wait for new features”

    Features? Or bug fixes? ;)

  9. Mike Cumbee says:

    Can this be deployed to a closed network that is not connected to the WWW? If not, is Adobe working on such a solution?

    • Eric Wilde says:

      It is possible to purchase an ETLA (Enterprise Term License Agreement) through your sales rep that supports workflows where the computers are not connected to the internet.

  10. Michael Joyce says:

    Myth or truth? While Adobe has been marketing Creative Cloud to users for two years, there still is not an enterprise product available for purchase.

    • Eric Wilde says:

      Myth.

      Creative Cloud for Enterprise has been available since late 2012. It is possible to purchase Creative Cloud for Enterprise as an ETLA (Enterprise Term License Agreement) through your sales rep.

      Thanks,
      –Eric

      • Ben Tebent says:

        We are being told Creative Cloud for enterprise does not exist yet by an Adobe rep here in Norway

        • Markus J says:

          You can purchase ETLA already, but some of the very cool announced enterprise features will come a tiny bit later. So for now you get the installers via ESD and you can pack and deploy them already and in the future thee will be integration of directory services like LDPA and AD, dedicated cloud server space and so on… ask your rep again ;-) Vennlig hilsen

  11. Jeff Bernstein says:

    Just so we can get all the buzzkills out of the way…

    You can not purchase Cash Cow For Enterprise from your favorite integrator who’s made it all work seamlessly for years.

    The minimum purchase agreement for Enterprise is $100,000 over a 3 year period.

    Party Time!!!

  12. CTSupport says:

    Does anyone know how to do this? I’ve searched the Adobe site and haven’t found any clues. Links to online resources would also be appreciated.

  13. Xaver says:

    As I suggested all rules and terms and even the explanation “The Top 5 Myth…” confirm my suggestion to be true: Once again customers are asked to open their pockets – that’s all. The Cloud Service have to be downloaded to the Personal Computer and mainly the ONLY thing happens is the electronic registration and licensing. This makes it extremely comfortable for the industry to earn even MORE money. They do not have to sell anything or ship anything and every time a client logs on the industry gets aware where we are, what we are doing and what we are talking about…
    I’m really shocked and sad that the world is going in this direction and men do follow…

    • Markus J says:

      so, you never try to make more money out of what you do for life? Very altruistic ;-)

      • Larry Towers says:

        Making money is fine as long as you don’t do so via virtual extortion. Adobe offers no way to own a license of current software anymore. Period.
        There is a good reason for this. Not only the obvious benefit of a constant revenue stream. Once purchasing a license is not an option there is no way to compare the cost of renting vs owning so it is impossible to do a cost benefit analysis.

  14. Don Montalvo says:

    > “Cash Cow For Enterprise”

    Adobe employees with LinkedIN profiles bragging about Creative Cloud being “more revenue healthy” speaks volumes. ;)
    Don

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  17. A bit late to the party, but a terrific read !
    There are so many advantages to using CC, that it would be sad to let all these myths spoil the good stuff. Adobe is moving mountains here, both product- and business-wise. Okay, there are some technical glitches that need improvement. Granted, software subscriptions are a bold step away from what we’ve been used to for almost 30 years. But it’s the future, and the price should be no big deal for a pro.

  18. Tom A says:

    We purchased CS-6 a little over a year ago. We have a closed network — no Internet access on those machines where CS-6 is loaded and used for design/layout, etc. The move to the Cloud essentially cuts support (updates, patches, etc.) of the latest edition of CS. Having used CS since its inception, and Adobe products 20 years, this is disheartening. I am exploring the options for entering an enterprise licensing scheme, which I just found out about, but which also may be too expensive. The team licensing apparently does not have the functionality we would need to pull updates from the Cloud and separately package/deploy them to our users. I have also not found an answer to whether there is any other way to update CS-6 applications, particularly for Camera Raw. I hate to consider a possible inability of PS to open the latest camera’s files. From what I can tell, there really is no alternative other than Enterprise to update off-line computers. Another question I have is will our perpetual CS-6 license “accept” the updates I acquire from the Cloud, and if I should go that direction and then later opt-out of the Cloud, does my CS-6 then revert to some earlier state or not work or do I need to reload my perpetual license and return to where I was before the Cloud update and there after be unable to open files made with features acquired through CC? What ARE the options for machines that are not on-line, on a separate secure network? Is the only option the Enterprise solution? I saw the May 29, 2013 Jody Rodgers post, and this did answer many of my questions, but more remain unanswered. There are probably more questions I have not yet thought of or contingencies I have not foreseen. Any answers?

    • Eric Wilde says:

      Tom,

      I’ll answer for Karl, since he’s out on paternity leave for a few weeks. But it sounds like there is some misunderstanding about what Adobe has to offer here and how products are updated. It might be best to reach out to your sales rep or support rep for better answers. I’ll also send you privately Karl’s email address so that you and he can connect when he returns from paternity leave.

      Many CS6-era products will continue to get bug fix updates in the near future. How those products are updated and how the patches are deployed hasn’t changed. AAMEE can still be used to package products and updates, as can CCP (Creative Cloud Packager). There is also the RUM tool for hosting patches internally.

      CS6 perpetual licenses do not entitle the user to feature updates. I’m not sure about whether you’d have to go back to a prior build or not after including a feature update (under the Creative Cloud license) after letting the subscription lapse. That’s a good question for Karl’s return as well.

      The Creative Cloud for Enterprise offering is indeed the only one which will work with offline computers.

      Thanks,
      –Eric

  19. Tom A says:

    Thanks, Eric, and now I have a few more data in the mix. I will get in touch with Karl when he returns. Congratulations are in order!

  20. seb says:

    hi, a few questions, we have an ADOBE EDUCATION ENTERPRISE AGREEMENT, and I need some clarifications, hopefully someone can help=)
    with creative cloud packager 1.1 out, is the documentation available here http://wwwimages.adobe.com/www.adobe.com/content/dam/Adobe/en/devnet/creativesuite/pdfs/CCT_IT_Deployment_Guide.pdf and in the post obsolete now?
    how do we link the admin account via creative.adobe.com to “see” the enterprise/education agreement?
    Currently I’ve downloaded CCP through LWS website, but in creative.adobe.com I don’t see antything.
    If we create differents packages (some with x / y /z software the other only with x/ y) is there a way not to re download everything each time?

    thanks!

    • Karl Gibson says:

      Hi,
      Documentation for CCP can be found here
      CCP caches applications and so if you have downloaded a product you do not need to download again.
      For your type of agreement you should be using LWS rather than creative.adobe.com

      Cheers
      Karl Gibson | Product Manager | Enterprise IT Tools.

  21. Identigral says:

    Is there an ETA on SAML support?

  22. Scott Miller says:

    I may be missing something, but the OP seems to imply that CC can easily be configured so that users can be denied the ability to use cloud storage for corporate content, but to allow all other features to work. After reviewing the two linked pdf documents, particularly the “Creative Cloud” core services description in “Network Endpoints”, it is not at all clear to me that this is possible as implied, let alone easily accomplished: “Blocking this URL blocks access to most or all sync/store/share services, the administrative control panel for users and teams, and other facilities accessed via the creative.adobe.com website… In order to block access to sync/store/share and NOT block access to managing user accounts, make sure that administrators are exempted from the block.” Not exactly a “set and forget” proposition for the company concerned about cloud content security, but light on IT staff. NTM it precludes the possibility of a small workgroup administered by a departmental manager who has no cloud storage privileges. I would have thought that such companies would be a prime market for CC for Teams. It would have been much easier for the customer to manage to have a “restrict cloud content storage” control, and I can’t imagine it would have been much more difficult or costly to develop.

    • GaryO says:

      Scott I’ve got over 15 years experience as a network administrator, I’ve followed the adobe docs to the letter, all this achieves is blocking access to the storage area from a web browser. If you try to access the storage location from within any of the applications then this gets straight through. I’ve spoken to Adobe support and after a month of trying to get them to come up with a solution I’ve been told there is nothing they can do or will do. I’ve even asked them to reduce the amount of storage available to us to 1MB to get around the problem but still nothing. Looks like i’ll have to log in as each user and fill up some of adobe’s storage with useless docs to stop my users uploading, it’s about 2.5TB but if they want to pay for it that’s their problem, I suggest you do the same

  23. Gary says:

    Any possibility of packaging CC updates for SCUP like you do Adobe Pro/Adobe Reader? That would be simply amazing.

  24. Mike Mason says:

    The corporate world is one thing, but what about the poor amateur at home – playing around with his lifetime’s photos. Photoshop was always the goto software of choice. LR is brilliant. The (implicit) threat that LR will also go this way is embedded in the cheap rate deal for photographers that expires 31st May. Then what??

    We don’t need every new feature – we make our way around bugs, and we want to upgrade from time to time but can’t afford every release cycle. Please can we have some re-assurance that LR won’t be subscription based, and that we might get a way to display LR photos on mobile devices without the kilobucks needed for CC subscriptions.

  25. rhey says:

    Dear all
    Im IT admin and using CCT as we know CC can work at 2 different machine.
    i want my user just can access at office computer only. because if i give adobe id has assigned he can install at his computer at home use that adobe id. if im using my adobe id just to activate after installing, as far i know cc need log in once per month, and is not flexible cause i must control every month to login
    Any idea to help me?
    regards

    rhey

  26. Kyle Vanderzanden says:

    Did you ever launch SAML 2.0? Does Adobe ID support Single Sign-on? My customer would like to allow their customers to leverage Adobe ID for sign in.

    Thanks,

    Kyle

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