Adobe Rightsizing Guide


Total Adobe cost is dependent on two variables: price and quantity. Too often customers believe price alone is what prevents them from reducing their Adobe costs. The reality is that Adobe product quantity is equally important in the total cost equation and Adobe sales reps are skilled at manipulating volume to drive additional costs in negotiations. To justify any Adobe deal, we need to ask ourselves “do we need the licenses we’re purchasing?”


This Adobe Rightsizing report focuses on key demand forecasting techniques to mitigate purchase risk and highlights key topics related to purchasing licensing effectively to reduce Adobe cost:


1. Adobe License Under-Purchase Risk


Fear of over-purchasing causes many customers to avoid committing to long-term licensing needs, and only purchase Adobe licenses when needed. This leads to multiple small purchases at sub-optimal Adobe pricing. Without forecasting for Adobe license growth, you are eliminating a main negotiating lever. This section details the risk of under-purchasing with Adobe, specific Adobe products that are consistently under-purchased, and the impact this can have on long-term Adobe costs.


2. Adobe License Over-Purchase Risk


Adobe sales reps are experts at inflating demand forecasts, leading to customers buying more than they need. This section details the Adobe products that are commonly over-purchased, and the impact over-purchasing has in a recurring SaaS pricing model. We detail how to identify and plan for situations where over-purchasing is a potential risk and mitigate long-term shelf-ware Adobe costs.



3. Adobe Purchase Demand Forecast Checklist


To help clients mitigate over- and under-purchasing, ClearEdge developed a checklist for building more accurate demand models when engaging in a Adobe purchase. Building your own demand model prevents Adobe from doing it for you, which often leads to inflated proposals and costs. Understanding how much Adobe product you need and when you need it is central to your ability to obtain the best Adobe deal for your enterprise.


4. Adobe Deal Structures


Understanding the differences between Adobe deal structures is essential in figuring out which one is appropriate for your business. We examine each of the following common Adobe deal structures:


  • Standard Transactional Adobe Deal Structure: Adobe's standard deal structure separates transactions between different business units. Each purchase will have a separate order form and separate terms governing them. This deal structure is common when organizations adopt Adobe product for the first time or in small increments, but poses the issue of disparate Adobe pricing across different business units within the same organization.


  • Tiered Price Schedule Adobe Deal Structure: Tiered price schedules are commonly used to provide transparency on add-on rates for additional Adobe licensing. Though this structure clearly indicates pricing for future purchases, discounting included in Adobe price tiers are typically sub-optimal. We dive into when it’s advantageous to use Adobe tiers and where it makes sense to avoid them.


  • Adobe Enterprise License Agreement (SELA): Potentially the most popular deal structure, the Adobe Enterprise License Agreement, also know as a SELA, is Adobe's enterprise agreement offering. A capped number of provisioned Adobe licenses are given to a customer with add-on rates for additional licensing. It’s common for customers to achieve a lower bottom-line Adobe cost in this model, but its bundled elements make it difficult to validate a competitive price. Learn the specific risks hidden in a Adobe Enterprise License Agreement and ways to use this deal structure to your advantage in your next Adobe negotiation.


  • Adobe Unlimited License Agreement (ULA): The Adobe Unlimited License Agreement is a less common deal structure used by Adobe, but is often pitched when a customer is unsure of their future licensing levels. Having the ability to flex up and down with no add-on costs or license restrictions sounds appealing, but the reality is that the Adobe Unlimited Agreement is packed with multiple risks and hidden costs that will present themselves during your next Adobe renewal. This section will highlight the reasons Adobe pitches the Unlimited License Agreement and what Adobe risks you need to be aware of in this deal structure.


Adobe beats customers in negotiations not only through price, but through inflation of demand profiles. Over-buying and under-buying cause long term cost risk, so creating an accurate demand forecast is essential for achieving a successful Adobe deal. For additional assistance on your Adobe purchase, review some of the other ClearEdge resources listed below to help plan your strategy and mitigate risk.


Download Our Adobe Rightsizing Guide



See our other Adobe guides below.

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