Adobe Acrobat XI end of support: What to do now

 In Software

All software has a life span. For Adobe Acrobat XI and Adobe Reader XI, that life span is coming to an end.

First introduced in October 2012, the two applications will see the end of support on October 15, 2017. While Acrobat XI and Reader XI will still run after that date, Adobe will no longer provide technical support, product updates, or security updates. You can continue to use the software, but the lack of updates could leave you vulnerable to malware or other bugs.

To make sure you aren’t out of the loop when the day arrives, we’ve put together some action items: what you should be looking at, thinking about, and doing before October 15.

Adobe Acrobat XI and Reader XI alternatives

So what should you do if you’re ready to upgrade?

There are two choices moving forward. Adobe’s newest version of Acrobat was released on June 6, 2017. There’s Acrobat 2017, offered as a perpetual license, and Acrobat DC, offered as a subscription. Both offer substantial improvements over the XI software.

2017 and DC work on touch-enabled devices; are compatible with Box, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive; allow immediate editing of scanned documents in their original font; and offer tabbed viewing of multiple PDFs. These are just a few of the many new features.

Acrobat DC is also offered as Acrobat DC for Teams and Acrobat DC for Enterprise, which has special features of its own. Similar to 2017, both of the subscription options are desktop applications.

Is Acrobat DC right for me?

Most users looking to upgrade from Adobe Acrobat XI should look to Acrobat DC, which is always updated as soon as a new version or feature is released. The Acrobat DC subscription model offers a number of appealing features compared to the perpetual license:

  • The ability to assign or reassign users to Acrobat licenses through a VIP Admin Console
  • The latest Adobe updates and features as they’re released, deployed on your own timeline
  • The ability to manage Acrobat along with Photoshop or Creative Cloud, all under one agreement
  • Easy budgeting with an annual subscription or a three-year plan with additional discounts
  • The ability to create and export PDFs on any device with Adobe mobile features, the Acrobat reader mobile app, and Adobe Document Cloud services
  • The ability to send and track documents electronically
  • The ability to collect e-signatures from users in real time
  • Discounts through VIP Select with 10 or more licenses, at a price locked in for all users through your license term
  • The ability to true-down the number of licenses each year, to fit your current enterprise size

Additionally, Adobe offers VIP for Enterprise which is ideal for customers that have 50 or more licenses, single sign on, and are looking for unlimited Adobe expert sessions and enterprise-level support. Acrobat DC for Enterprise also features an Admin Console for Enterprise, which allows IT to manage different user groups, create multiple admin roles, and set up users by choosing between three identity types – Federated ID, Enterprise ID, and Adobe ID.

However, for users looking to stay on perpetual licensing, Acrobat 2017 is also available.

Your next steps toward an Adobe upgrade

Acrobat XI and Reader XI won’t stop working on October 15, but upgrading is highly recommended, as you won’t have any support for issues or security vulnerabilities that arise after that date.

If you’re considering making the switch to one of Adobe’s newer offerings, take into account how many licenses you need and if you’re ready to migrate to the enhanced features that subscription licensing offers. Contact SHI to evaluate whether Adobe DC or 2017 is the right fit for your business.

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