On April 7th, Adobe is launching a new PDF Cloud offering called Acrobat Document Cloud (DC).  Users will now be able to create, review, approve, sign and track documents whether they are on a desktop or mobile device.  Acrobat DC, with its touch-enabled user interface, will be available both via subscription and perpetual license.  

This innovative product seamlessly works with everything from a laptop to an iPad, in order to allow users to break free from the confines of a conference room and make the most of their touch-screen devices.  As more companies leverage mobile platforms and the flexibility they allow, Acrobat DC will be a huge asset to any business.


New Features

Acrobat DC is an easy and intuitive PDF solution for users at every level. New features and capabilities include:

  • An improved Tool Center that offers quick access to the most relevant tools and most-used features
  • A new user interface offering a modern and user-friendly experience that is unified across any desktop, web or mobile platform
  • E-signing services (formerly EchoSign) included with every subscription of DC.  Users can now electronically sign documents on any device.  This feature also includes a new Smart Fill & Sign autofill tool to make this process fast and easy.
  • New document management features like Adobe Send & Track to manage, track and control documents.  This allows a user to keep track of a document every step along the way.  This includes viewing who has opened the document and seeing when it was opened.  Control features also help to protect sensitive information, both inside and outside of the firewall.

How to buy?

Acrobat DC is offered as a subscription license under the Creative Cloud model as well as a perpetual license under current volume licensing models.  DC will be offered both in a Standard and Pro format, just like previous versions.  There are some subtle differences between each option which can help determine the right format for the particular user.

Subscription option:

Both Acrobat Standard and Pro DC are offered as a subscription licenses.  Just like the creative product group, Acrobat DC is managed via VIP portal located at creative.adobe.com.

Key subscription features/benefits include:

  • Complete mobility and freedom to work from anywhere on a mobile device (iOS, Android)
  • Ability to send, track and confirm delivery of documents electronically
  • Collection of e-signatures from end users and tracking in real time
  • Editing and organizing PDF files via iPad

Perpetual option:

Both Acrobat Standard and Pro DC are offered as a perpetual license as well.  Just like existing perpetual licensing, DC will be available via Adobe’s Transactional Licensing Program (TLP) and Cumulative Licensing Program (CLP) volume licensing models.  Also, just like existing perpetual licensing, DC is managed via Adobe Licensing Website located at licensing.adobe.com.

Key perpetual features/benefits include:

  • Upgrade eligibility of v10 or v11 Acrobat Standard and Pro seats to Acrobat DC
  • Virtualization support
  • Legacy deployment and support features

Which is Better?

It really depends on each customer’s needs and what they value.  There are some distinct differences between the subscription and perpetual options.  There is no “right” option.  It really depends on the needs of the company.

Perpetual licensing works well for those who would like to own the software itself.  The upfront cost is higher, of course, but there is no annual payment to use the product.  Depending on the volume license type, there are some pros and cons to each option.

For companies that purchase via CLP, an Upgrade Plan can be purchased along with the licenses so that the DC seats will stay current moving forward as updates are released throughout the year.  If a customer is purchasing via TLP, there is no Upgrade Plan option.  As a result, any TLP perpetual licenses of Acrobat DC will only receive bug fixes and security patches, but no additional product feature updates.  If a company values staying up to date with the most current version, the subscription option would be a superior choice as updates are always included moving forward.

Acrobat DC as a subscription can be managed very easily via the VIP portal.  Each individual user would be assigned a seat within the portal.  As a result, a company can instantly know how many seats they have and exactly who is using them at any time.  It is as easy as logging into the VIP portal and exporting a list of users.  Alternatively, the perpetual option does not manage or track by users and it is up to the company itself to keep track of their usage manually or via third-party software.

In the end, the subscription option is great for those companies that want to be standardized on the current version, want easy management of their seats and also want to leverage the mobility that an Acrobat DC subscription can offer.  The perpetual option is great for those that want to own the product, but are fine with not running the current version or for those that run a virtual environment.  Sometimes a combination of the two is the ideal solution.

Reach out below for more information or to share your thoughts regarding Acrobat Document Cloud.


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