Adobe may have upset a segment of its user base by shifting to a SaaS-only software model, but the company known mostly for what was formerly known as the Creative Suite of products may have gained some brownie points—not only with customers but also with its reseller partners.
A change in licensing will make single Creative Cloud applications (Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, InDesign CC, etc.) available for a subscription fee, whereas things have been a little more complicated since launch. Adobe now has two team pricing plans for Creative Cloud—the complete package of 14 applications or a single app plan that comes equipped with 20GB of cloud storage and access to the Behance creative community.
This new single app pricing scheme is a little easier to swallow for organizations that may have little or no use for Illustrator or InDesign, but that could really use Photoshop, for instance. Being surrounded by photographers and graphic designers on a regular basis, I can tell you there has been a lot of discussion around the benefits and drawbacks of Adobe Creative Cloud's subscription plans, and at least a segment of the Adobe user base has started making plans to find an alternate creative software provider. This change might be enough to get some of those naysayers to stick around.
Under the new pricing plan, end users will pay $29.99 per user per month, but customers already using CS3 or later versions are eligible for a single-app membership for $19.99 per user per month. The new pricing plan will be available as of Aug. 15. Adobe and its reseller partners are taking pre-orders now.
Despite the challenge of getting point product software purchasers to switch to a cloud model (and believe me, as a Photoshop user myself, I'm struggling with it), there are some really great things about Creative Cloud. Instead of buying a new piece of software every couple of years, updates roll down to users as they come out, so there's no capital expenditures and a learning curve to upgrade to the next version. End users always have the most up-to-date version. And it's pushed down to the desktop without prompting.
For Adobe's resellers, the new single-app pricing plan should make it easier for them to sell the SaaS offerings to teams that only need one or two specific apps from the Adobe Creative Cloud library.