A big thank you to Matt Bovell at Vell Group LLC for alerting us to the fact that Adobe has told pay-per-use customers they will have to switch to a monthly or annual subscription starting in October. I have not seen any official announcement on the web, so I am purely going off Matt's blog post which mentions that Adobe is pointing existing Connect customers to an alternative pay-per-use offering from InterCall.
Adobe has been gradually refining its business model for several years. The company has almost completely done away with perpetual use licenses for its products in favor of ongoing subscription licensing. Adobe has also focused its sales, marketing, and support emphasis on large enterprise clients rather than individuals or small businesses. The smaller volume, smaller revenue customers are served through third-party resellers and channel distributors (including InterCall).
A few weeks ago, stock analyst firm Trefis published an updated look at Adobe forecasting a modest increase in its stock price based on some of the aforementioned business model transformations. They call out Connect by name, saying:
"The adoption of Creative Cloud will negatively impact Adobe’s packaged software, while up-selling to Adobe marketing cloud will pressure LiveCycle & Connect pro revenues. We expect revenues from these divisions to decline in the future."
Although the elimination of the pay-per-use option as an Adobe offering is a pity, it is likely to impact relatively few customers. I am guessing that webinar consultants and support specialists such as Matt and myself are fairly rare in taking the time to learn the Connect platform for only occasional one-shot use. Adobe Connect is very powerful and flexible, but there is a significant learning curve. You don't just grab it as a newbie for producing a quick webinar on the fly.
As much as I like having every possible option available to me when choosing technology for a webinar, I can understand why Adobe would want to focus its internal energies and costs on the population segment that provides the highest revenue for the product. Especially if Trefis is correct in forecasting a decrease in the contribution of Connect to overall corporate earnings. It simply makes business sense to simplify licensing options and reduce operating costs associated with Connect.