Adobe bolsters mobile workforce capabilities with Acrobat DC

 In Software, Volume Licensing

A recent study by IDC found that more than 80 percent of document work is still not digital, with documents being printed often, especially when signatures are required. For today’s increasingly mobile workforce, the need to print documents can hamper business productivity.

In a move that aims to eliminate the hardships of working with digital documents and the need for paper, Adobe is introducing new software that makes it easier to handle important documents in the office, at home, or on the road. Working with PDFs has never been easier.

Adobe Document Cloud (DC) is a new cloud-based management hub that organizations can employ to create, review, approve, store, sign, and track documents. Acrobat DC offers dozens of new features for managing and working in PDFs that allow workers to create and manage documents from anywhere — a new touch-screen interface, digital editing functionality, e-signature capabilities, and more.


To encourage organizations to move toward a paperless workflow, Adobe is extending a limited-time offer. Organizations with versions Acrobat 9 or newer that upgrade their existing licenses or purchase new licenses of Acrobat XI before April 6 will receive Acrobat DC for free when it’s released. Once Acrobat DC is released in April, customers using Acrobat 9 won’t be eligible for upgrade pricing, and the upgrade to Acrobat DC will be available for Acrobat X and XI users only.

But organizations have a few different options for licensing Acrobat DC, and their choice will hinge both on their users’ need for mobility and their own comfort with the cloud.

Perpetual or subscription – how to choose

Acrobat DC is available via a subscription or a one-time purchase (perpetual license), depending on an organization’s needs. A new change also permits government and education customers to purchase Adobe Acrobat subscriptions.

Perpetual licenses allow customers to own and deploy licenses virtually, but organizations miss out on frequent updates and improvements. Acrobat DC is one of the few Adobe products that still can be licensed through this perpetual model; Adobe’s entire Creative Cloud Suite has moved to a subscription model. Though the perpetual license includes the Document Cloud services, customers have the option of turning them off in the customization wizard.

The other licensing option, subscription, unlocks a number of features not seen in the perpetual offer. These features include the ability to create and edit documents from any device – desktop, mobile, or cloud – plus a predictable yearly budget and simplified management.

The perpetual and subscription licensing models each come with two options, Standard or Professional. Here are the new features available in each version.

Acrobat DC Standard:

Perpetual license: This version of Acrobat DC includes the most basic features for creating, editing, filling and signing, exporting, and sending PDF files. In addition, users can work on touch-enabled devices, but they cannot create or export PDFs on mobile devices.

Subscription license: Acrobat DC Standard tied to a subscription license has many of the same functions and limitations of the version tied to a perpetual license, but it does offer a few more benefits. These include the ability to electronically send, track, and confirm delivery of important documents, as well as to create and export PDFs from mobile devices simply by taking a photo of a document.

Acrobat DC Professional:

Perpetual license: Acrobat DC Professional through a perpetual license is the first of the two more powerful versions of the document software. In addition to the specs of Standard, Professional adds features including advanced editing capabilities. Users can add audio and video files, optimize file size, and fully redact sensitive information.

Subscription license: Simply put, Acrobat DC Professional on a subscription model has it all, including all of the editing capabilities mentioned above and digital creation, signing, sending, and tracking for PDFs.

Additional Acrobat DC features

To ensure a level of security, Adobe has built sandboxing technology into every iteration of Acrobat DC. Protected Mode isolates Acrobat DC from other applications in case a malicious file is accessed in the software, mitigating traditional PDF exploits. In other words, a virus or malicious code in Acrobat DC is quarantined to the software thanks to this feature.

Finally, Adobe’s EchoSign electronic sign-and-send feature, the former eSign services, is now included with every licensing option of Acrobat DC Standard and Professional. This Adobe-created mobile app permits digital signing and sending of PDF files.

The new Acrobat DC offerings provide new ways to create, edit, and manage PDFs. But, because a handful of choices exist in terms of licensing and functionality, organizations should thoroughly examine the options before picking a solution. However, in order to receive a free upgrade to Acrobat DC when it becomes available, organizations must upgrade their licensing portfolio as soon as possible.

If you have any questions about Adobe DC and its licensing options, or how these changes affect you, contact your SHI Adobe specialist.

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