Adobe Halts Packaged Software Development, Tells Partners To Embrace The Cloud


Adobe Systems is discontinuing the boxed version of its flagship Creative Suite application set and will only continue developing its cloud-based Creative Cloud applications.

Adobe's channel chief, in an interview with CRN, said the vendor's 20,000 partners worldwide would play "an absolutely critical role" in helping customers migrate to Creative Cloud.

"Our channel partners are going to be as important as ever as we migrate our customers to the cloud," said Stephen Snyder, Adobe vice president of worldwide channel sales. "Now we've got to lead [partners] to where they get all of their revenue from the cloud."

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Adobe will continue to sell Creative Suite 6, the current packaged version of the product, "for the foreseeable future," Snyder said. But that will be the last packaged release, with no enhancements or new functionality offered. All future development efforts will be focused on the subscription-based Creative Cloud, which was launched one year ago.

"If you want the latest and greatest features from this point moving forward, you're going to have to be in the cloud," Snyder said. "We want to get all of our customers onto the cloud as quickly as possible."

Adobe is counting on partners to help customers make that move and about 50 percent of Adobe partners are already working with Creative Cloud, according to Snyder. Snyder said the unit sales split for partners is now about 20 percent for cloud-based products and 80 percent for on-premises software.

Adobe's moves are in-sync with the direction being taken by Zones.com, a national seller of IT hardware and software, and its customers, said Steve Gagliano, Zones.com vice president of partners and product marketing for software, in an interview.

"We're getting more and more customer adoption of the cloud," he said, noting that customers are looking for the ease-of-use that goes with cloud computing. While only about 5 percent of Zones.com's software sales are cloud, Gagliano said it's growing at a healthy clip. Adobe's decision should convince some businesses to begin migrating to the cloud, he said. "I think this will help get some of the wafflers off the fence."

With Zones.com processing orders and handling the billing, cloud customers are "more sticky" for the company, Galiano said. And Adobe has been offering "front-end and back-end rebates" to help Zones migrate its customers. "It's better profitability for us the way it's set up."

Snyder emphasized that with Creative Cloud channel partners "own the customer relationship" and handle all customer invoicing and first-line support. They can help customers migrate from on-premises software to Creative Cloud, provide customer support services, and offer training and education, he said.

Adobe is holding its Adobe Max conference in Los Angeles this week where it unveiled a new release of Creative Cloud, incorporating new editions of Adobe Photoshop CC, InDesign CC, Illustrator CC, Dreamweaver CC and Premiere Pro CC. The new edition also offers new publishing capabilities and enhanced cross-device collaboration features.

PUBLISHED ON MAY 7, 2013

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