The time had come when we needed to upgrade a number of older Adobe CS installations (different versions spanning 4 years). Properly used, Creative Suite easily pays for itself in an agency setting. It's a core toolset and we'd be hard pressed to work without it.

That said — our upgrades to traditional single seat licences for CS Premium would been about $6000 for our particular situation (6 licences) plus separately upgrading After Effects (not even sure what that cost was).

After some research, poking around and discussion with Adobe's sales team, we decided to give Creative Cloud a year long try.

If you haven't seen Creative Cloud yet, it's Adobe's subscription based service which lets you access every CS app they sell on an on-demand basis. Each can be downloaded and installed just like the traditional CS software bundle. Creative Cloud matches the offering of the Creative Suite Master collection.


Our total for 6 users came out to about $2700 for 1 year. About 2$ per working day per person. It also gives us access to quite a few more apps than CS Design & Web Premium including After Effects.

We decided to do single CC accounts (as opposed to CC for Teams http://www.adobe.com/ca/products/creativecloud/teams.html) mainly due to not really needing the extra online shared space and the transferable seats. The only thing we had to do before hand was to make sure everyone had valid Adobe ID's. I called up Adobe and they were extremely helpful, even offering us a discounted rate that was supposed to be expired as of Dec 31 , 2012.

Notes:

  • I had to do a full machine sweep of any old CS installations, apps and preferences. CS Cleaner Tool (http://www.adobe.com/support/contact/cscleanertool.html) didn't do a great job, leaving tons of folders and settings files littering my system.
  • Manually searching for files with "adobe" in the title let me track down most orphans and carefully delete them,
  • Adobe Application Manager is sparse on features but useable - it doesn't notify you of updates so you'll need to periodically launch it and check.
  • I had no problems installing on 10.7.x and 10.8.x OS X systems, (full requirements are here: http://www.adobe.com/ca/products/creativecloud/tech-specs.html)
  • None of our 6 licences are being used on Windows — but they could be.
  • The apps are 64bit when available.
  • Handy to remember if we ever see issues, http://status.creativecloud.com
  • CC gives you access to any new apps released this year — as well as every update that might happen (major or minor).
  • Each seat allows itself to be installed on two machines — which is great for a couple of our team members who work from home on occasion.
  • We don't use the video tools much, mainly just After Effects which we've had to buy separately in the past. This helps and saves us even more.
  • Adobe has a blog setup to highlight additions and news for CC http://blogs.adobe.com/creativecloud/ and well as a Twitter account: https://twitter.com/creativecloud


Updates since this post was published

  • Adobe has mentioned that "Once your apps are installed, Internet connection is only required once every 30 days." 

Bottom line so far:

Well worth it — but time will tell.

Design & Code