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Another acceptable solution model for Adobe CC

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Morten Ranmar
Another acceptable solution model for Adobe CC
on May 7, 2013 at 6:45:57 am

After the fall of FCP and expectations to a replacement with the announcement of Adobe "Next" - I decided that Adobe is the way to go in the future. We already had the Production Bundle, so the choice is obvious.

So why shouldn't I just embrace Adobe's new policy of software delivery?

- as several posts have implied, our cost will almost double. This is not an acceptable - because we will not be using the additional design programs that the full package offers.

The only solution I see is for Adobe to lower the overall subscription price, or to retain offering smaller bundles of their software, for a lower subscription price, that equals to a normal yearly CS update.

- Some will argus that it the current CC subscription price is fair in regards to all the extra services. But I do not agree on forcing customers to extra (unneeded) costs. If I rent a house with a pool, and don't use the pool - why should I be charged for pool cleaning?

- Certainly the design professionals who maybe just use 2 or 3 of Adobes programs must be feeling the same way as us. Now they have to pay for development of all the stupid video related programs as well!
Why should we all not be able to only select the programs that we need, and pay a subscription price that reflects our choices and needs as before?

Someone with influence who shares this opinion, should write an open letter to Adobe that we all can sign to revert their decision !

- No Parking Production -

2 x Finalcut Studio3, 2 x Prod. bundle CS6, 2 x MacPro, 2 x ioHD, Ethernet File Server w. X-Raid.... and FCPX on trial


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Peter Wiley
Re: Another acceptable solution model for Adobe CC
on May 7, 2013 at 12:46:12 pm

I have worked inside and for enough large organizations to know that high-level decision-making is often more political-emotional than it is rational. It's this experience that gives me pause about the whole CC business.

Once upon a time Adobe was a company whose principal business was to make software. It has slowly morphed into a company that's now also in the data services / data storage / network services business. One thing that is for sure is that the new businesses has required, and will require, new processes, procedures, personnel, management etc. -- huge and expensive changes for any organization to undertake. My gut suggests that Adobe ran the numbers and and did the research and found that it can't really make money with the "Cloud" (and it's not really a Cloud mind, its big datacenters, new engineers, and everything that goes with administering them) unless it herds customers in the direction of subscriptions.

Adobe's decision suggests that they were not willing to let the Cloud and the old model compete, which in turn suggests the business case for the Cloud may not have been what it should have been. My fear is that the Cloud tail will start wagging the software development dog with poor results all around for everyone concerned. Adobe is now very publicly committed to making the Cloud work and that is not necessarily the same thing as making software work.

Adobe could help itself by laying out its internal business case for the shift apart from the oh-brave-new-world-for-creatives marketing hyperbole, and they may yet have to do this for their shareholders.

Another thing that's nagging at me are the possible implications of the Cloud and access to previous work for chain-of-title and copyright issues. I haven't though it through much, but a suspect there may be trouble along those lines.


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Tim Kolb
Re: Another acceptable solution model for Adobe CC
on May 7, 2013 at 1:31:32 pm

[Peter Wiley] "Another thing that's nagging at me are the possible implications of the Cloud and access to previous work for chain-of-title and copyright issues. I haven't though it through much, but a suspect there may be trouble along those lines."

I think there are definitely issues that will have to evolve on this plan...the issue you bring up or some other issue may be the lever to have Adobe adopt some sort of cut-off/ownership system that some here are hoping for.

However, I really don't think that this is a irrational decision on their part. Once Adobe sync'd the release cycle of nearly every creative software application product they make to create the suites, the income spikes and expense chasms must be hell to navigate.

Whether it proves to be correct or incorrect...or the way of the future for all software, etc. is all still up for discussion. I do feel that some of the loud cries of "Thief!" are a bit over-the-top...and certainly not a contribution to any solution in any case.

TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,

Adobe Certified Instructor


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Peter Wiley
Re: Another acceptable solution model for Adobe CC
on May 7, 2013 at 3:48:40 pm

I didn't mean to suggest that CC decision was rational or irrational. No one can really answer the question at the moment because we don't have the data available to Adobe decision makers.

All I wanted to point out is that in human organizations, once the weight of consistency seeking within a decision group leans in a certain direction, it's possible to ignore reasonable counter cases and make a bad decision ( e.g. space shuttle challenger launch; the bay of pigs; new coke etc.). Time will tell.

For an interesting view that quotes Adobe's 10Q statements see: http://timelapse.org/2013/05/adobes-creative-monopoly/

I agree that theft is too strong a word, but it's hard to think the decision isn't a lot about increasing revenue to deflect shareholder criticisms.

If Adobe can make it all work bully for them. I wouldn't underestimate the risks, however.


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Tim Kolb
Re: Another acceptable solution model for Adobe CC
on May 7, 2013 at 7:59:54 pm

[Peter Wiley] "I didn't mean to suggest that CC decision was rational or irrational. "

I see...I completely misread your line: "I have worked inside and for enough large organizations to know that high-level decision-making is often more political-emotional than it is rational."

:-)

I think that it's revenue-motivated without a doubt...what company makes decisions that hurt revenue? However, the actual change in cost comparisons I've seen graphed out and whatnot across the web compare the CC fees to upgrading every other release...and then call it price gouging.

The observations I've seen that seem on point to me are that:

1. The utility of the entire Adobe catalog does not add value to most users who don't even completely utilize the suite they now own completely. So even some arrangement to license a smaller grouping of applications, similar to the suite groupings now would be beneficial to many users.

2. By selling the entire catalog as a unit, it is definitely a more company-centered approach instead of customer-centered. (web guys don't need Prelude...I'm lost in Dreamweaver...etc). No doubt some of us will discover that gem that's been on the other side of the wall up until now, but even the existing suites have very few users who are expert across all the included applications.

3. The maintenance of the license is still unclear to many when it comes to how often they need to be online to maintain the license, how much of a behemoth of a download this will be for slower web connections, etc. Those businesses with restrictive web access policies will also need to hear how their needs will be met.

4. I personally don't have a grip on the enterprise pricing. Typically if you buy in quantity, you get a discount...I assume there are services like Adobe Anywhere that are bundled to justify the additional expense. (I'm not endorsing it...just examining it.) Some multi-seat facilities will likely be better off buying a bucket of individual licenses if Adobe Anywhere adds no value for them at this point.

As far as Adobe ceasing to innovate, I dunno...in a way, this will definitely trigger some new players to see an opportunity, and may cause Adobe to work a bit harder to justify the new arrangement.

I'd watch for the likes of Corel to dust off their IP and mount up to come in after the art/illustration and image editing users...NLE users have lots of other options of course...AE has a few competitors that can definitely muscle in to that area with some marketing effort and a little development.

I see this thing as a two-sided coin. Adobe needs to find a way to continue to stay in business honing and refining products, some that are best-in-class and several somewhat mature...what would it really take to get a CS6 user to upgrade to CS6.5 or 7 if there was such a thing? If you're Adobe, then you try to re-package the whole thing in a way that you intend to show added value (the whole product line) in exchange for a change in the fundamental customer relationship (subscription as opposed to versioning with perpetual licenses).

Is it right or wrong? It's a little early to tell, and the people who are on Creative Cloud now are generally OK with how things work...I have several colleagues who have been using it for CS6.

As many have pointed out, these are tools that we all depend on for our livelihood, and it's important to feel that they can't be pulled from underneath you. On the other hand, If Adobe cannot make a move that satisfies the business part of the equation, then we all lose (footnote: Discreet *edit), so the answer is somewhere in the middle.

I think that pointing out the problems in the arrangement is legitimate. It's the whole "Big Corporate Robber Baron so-and-so's" thing that doesn't accomplish much...as much as I was amused by the whole FCPX debacle, the amount of vitriol didn't advance any solutions for users.

If enough people simply point out what will keep them from buying Adobe products...Adobe is a business and they will take notice.

TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,

Adobe Certified Instructor


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Peter Wiley
Re: Another acceptable solution model for Adobe CC
on May 9, 2013 at 1:44:15 pm

"Often" does mean the same thing as "always". ;)

That said, look at, say, HP over the last three years: TouchPad, Autonomy etc. It may be that it is only a matter of time until Windows tablets dominate the market as Bill Gates has predicted (just as soon Windows 8 gets rewritten, I guess) . . . on the heels of their Zune successes. Companies make mistakes. Revenue-inspired plans don't always generate revenue. The next great thing often isn't. 3D cinema/video revolution?

I spent some of the day yesterday reading Adobe's most recent (March 2013) 10Q statement in some detail. It's clear from the statement of risks that Adobe understands and has gamed-out most of the objections that have been raised about the subscription model. Consequently, I suspect Adobe's plan is to wait the firestorm out and use their considerable market power to compel as many current customers as they can to join the Cloud. Adobe has said as much in the 10Q.

The real issue at this point is can Adobe scale the Cloud as needed and deliver on promised services. What will be the impact on people's businesses if they can't? If inflating the Cloud has proved controversial, think about what deflating it would mean.

Some of the companies singing the praises of the Cloud now, maybe singing a different tune when its collaborative features make it even easier to send work to cheaper labor markets. Such a disruption of the creative services marketplace may, in the long run, cost most of the money businesses think the Cloud/subscription model will save in the long run. As I said before, it would be unwise to underestimate the risks.

I'll be using my CS6 Master Suite for as long as I can until this whole business plays out or until I have a client that requires I join the Cloud.


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Tom Daigon
Re: Another acceptable solution model for Adobe CC
on May 7, 2013 at 2:48:15 pm

Nicely said Morten. Lots of folks feel the same way.

Tom Daigon
PrP / After Effects Editor
HP Z820 Dual 2687
64GB ram
Dulce DQg2 16TB raid
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com


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