Adobe VIP subscription and tier licensing changes: Here’s everything you need to know

 In Software, Volume Licensing

On March 5, Adobe issued changes to the VIP subscription and tier licensing of Creative Cloud and Acrobat DC products for commercial and government customers (including the GSA). Generally speaking, customers are likely to see a shift of their VIP Tier stacking, which will likely result in better pricing for most Adobe customers. That’s because organizations will likely be releveled to a higher discount tier; however, some customers in Tier 1 may see a slight uptick in pricing.

This story has a few different layers, and in this post, we’ll peel them back, explaining the changes customers will experience, and detailing purchasing options for annual or extended subscriptions.


Where do you fit in the new tiers?

Whether your organization moves into a new tier is contingent on the number of licenses you purchase. Here’s a side-by-side breakdown of the old tiers and the updated licensing levels and discounts.


As you can see, with a qualifying purchase or at renewal, your volume licensing may put you in a whole new tier of VIP Select discounts. Evaluate your current licensing to determine what tier you will fall into, and how these discounts will affect you.

Annual vs. three-year commitment subscription: What’s the difference?

Organizations will have new options in purchasing subscription licensing of Creative Cloud and Acrobat DC sold via VIP. The VIP Select program comes in two licensing varieties: annual subscription and three-year commitment subscription.

VIP Select with annual subscription requires a 10-license minimum, and is an option for Link-affiliated VIP customers. The annual subscription model has a one-year, up-front pay schedule.

VIP Select with three-year commitment subscription has the same requirements — 10-license minimum and for Link-affiliated VIP customers — but with a different pay schedule. Organizations purchasing through three-year commitment subscription commit to a minimum number of licenses that they can pay for annually or up front with a set price for three years.

Organizations that purchase VIP Select with a three-year commitment will lock into their tier for current and additional purchases for up to three years. Customers will enroll online through an amendment to the VIP program. However, organizations opting for this three-year commitment cannot true down or adjust their level down once enrollment is complete.

If a three-year license quantity is not renewed, licenses will be returned and the three-year amendment is cancelled; new licenses will then need to be purchased.

Final notes on VIP subscription and tier licensing

There are two ways organizations qualify for the level changes described above.

  1. Completing a single qualifying transaction at any time. Adobe offers up this example: Company A has five active licenses (putting them at Level 1), and places a single order for 15 Creative Cloud licenses for team; that transaction automatically up-levels the company to VIP Select Level 2.
  2. At renewal, Adobe will conduct a look back and automatically re-level organizations that qualify for a higher tier. Again, Adobe explained it this way: Company B placed five separate orders of five licenses during the year, and at the time of the look back, Adobe determines the company purchased 25 licenses total over their term; hence, Company B is re-leveled to VIP Level 2 for their renewal and subsequent purchases during the year.

At this time, these changes only affect government and commercial customers; education customers aren’t impacted.  Licenses of Adobe Creative Products or Acrobat with price lock won’t be affected until promo expiration.

Understanding how these changes will impact your organization is critically important. Contact your SHI account executive to discuss these changes to VIP licensing in more detail.

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