Adobe rejigs licensing for resellers

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Adobe has flagged changes to its software licensing program from 19 July that the vendor claimed would make it easier for resellers to earn points from sales of popular Adobe applications such as Acrobat and Photoshop.

Adobe has flagged changes to its software licensing program from 19 July that the vendor claims will make it easier for resellers to earn points from sales of popular Adobe applications such as Acrobat and Photoshop.

Nick Hodges, channel manager at Adobe in Australia, said a range of  "subtle" changes were being made in its two-track licensing program after the current program officially ends on 16 July.

The changes, which include a new education sector category, reductions of points and a streamlining of Adobe's system to bring it more in line with those offered by other software vendors, would take effect from 19 July, he said.

Adobe had two licensing programs, the Transactional Licensing Program (TLP) and the Contractual Licensing Program (CLP). TLP moved to the channel via Tech Pacific and Express Data, he said.

"The changes are to make it simpler. In the current [TLP], we have seven different pricing levels. The new program reduces that to two," Hodges said. "The other thing we're changing is to the upgrading plan as we're ... making the pricing of that cheaper."

Users hadn't been buying a lot of maintenance, he said, so Adobe was trying to make the upgrade path more attractive. However, the changes had been largely driven by customer feedback, he said.

"We're also extending the upgrade plan from two to [an optional] three years," Hodges said.

The new TLP would offer different pricing levels for different applications. For Photoshop, the price cut worked out at about 10 percent. "There's no hard and fast number [that we've decided on]," Hodges said.

He said that Adobe had also decided to offer a new discount level to education sector customers. "There was one before, and there will be two in the new program," Hodges said. "The education sector will have level one as 1000 points and level two as 5000 points."

The other main change was adjustments to the points system so that it "wasn't as confusing" for resellers, who often had to try and keep straight a lot of very different stipulations from a large number of vendors, he said.

For example, Acrobat and Acrobat Professional would go from one point to 300 points each. Photoshop licenses would move from 300 to 650 points each in the new program, Hodges said.

To move up a TLP level, commercial customers would now have to qualify for 1500 points. "The old system was starting to get long in the tooth and not really following what other vendors are doing. It's very important for Adobe to make it simple for people as well," Hodges said.

In the CLP, Adobe focused on its Adobe Licensing Centres, run by eight channel players, including BCA IT, Volante, City Software and Data#3, he said.

"What we have changed [in the CLP] is ... levels have been subtly simplified," Hodges said.

He said that in the education stream, one tier would become three. In the corporate level, a fourth higher tier was being introduced at 25,000 points. Adobe had plans to push harder into the government space with its CLP, he said.

"But most of our licensing business is in the TLP," Hodges said.

However, Adobe is reportedly also using its regional licensing programs to crack down on software piracy in south-east Asia. Adobe is a member of the global anti-piracy vendor lobby group Business Software Alliance (BSA).

The company said last month it wanted to better track the use of its software by customers, it has been reported.

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