VARs Take Their Office 365 Success Into Adobe Creative Cloud


When Adobe rolled out its Creative Cloud earlier this year, there was a lot of confusion and criticism from consumers regarding the move. Now VARs are seeing the change as an opportunity to flex their skills developed with Office 365 and are getting similar successful results with the Creative Cloud.

Following its successful support model for Office 365 as one of the largest Microsoft partners, Tuesday En Pointe Technologies expanded its Creative Cloud offerings to include Adobe Creative Cloud for Teams, a program that scales the program for business.

"When Adobe jumped into the same model [as Office 365], there was a lot of speculation on how it will go and how the customer will react. We continued to see an opportunity," said Naveed Khan, director of vendor management at En Pointe.

Khan said that En Pointe will implement the same technology support as it has for Office 365, providing guidance, licensing procurement help and free troubleshooting. The model was extremely successful for the company, Khan said, and it hoped to replicate the results.

"Our Microsoft Office 365 team leads the market with a superior value-add. We've taken that business model and applied it to our new Adobe Creative Cloud for Teams," said Michael Rapp, president of En Pointe in a statement. "This pre- and post-sales support model greatly enhances the customer experience."

Khan said that the added support helps customers and allows them to transition to constantly updated software that helps them compete better in the marketplace. However, it is also very lucrative for both the channel as well as Adobe to be on the newer subscription-based model.

"I think with this model, at the end of the day, my feeling is that a lot of customers will adopt [Adobe's subscription model]," Khan said. "For us and Adobe, I think we will see a recurring revenue, which is good for both of us."

Adobe has seen a slow but increasing rate of adoption of its subscription-based software. It ended its second quarter with 700,000 subscriptions to the Creative Cloud, up 221,000 from the previous quarter.

Karl Bickmore, president of CCNS Consulting in Arizona, said that he especially appreciates the ease of support available through the Creative Cloud, similar to Office 365.

"I can't tell you how much time that saves us. What used to take an hour now takes five minutes," Bickmore said. "CC Suite is so much better from a systems standpoint."

En Pointe has already deployed the Creative Cloud for Teams to a number of its customers. Bickmore said that he is doing his best to stay on top of the evolving cloud technology, but thinks that many VARs are holding back because of fear, which he said is a mistake.

"There's just a huge tendency for people to continue to do what they have been doing," Bickmore said. "You want to be ahead of the curve -- that's where you get the best margin and what the company needs."

PUBLISHED ON AUG. 21, 2013