ADOBE: Top 5 tricks for negotiating their Cloud products

What to keep in mind, and how to secure the best deal

By Thomas Busking and Sopheap Buor
Marketing and document powerhouse Adobe has increased its portfolio significantly over recent years, playing a larger role at organizations. In fiscal year 2017, Adobe achieved an annual revenue of $7.3 billion , representing a 25% year on year growth. Strivesource has compiled a list of 5 key areas to keep in mind when negotiating with Adobe.


Adobe has divided its core products in 3 segments: Creative Cloud, Experience Cloud and Document Cloud. To you as a customer they treat these separately as well, often having different account managers, different contracts and different sales plans. Traditionally we can call this divide and conquer, negotiating each deal individually to maximize the revenue per separate product group. With Adobe’s on-going strategic acquisition growth, it becomes more and more interesting to leverage all your Adobe contracts and products to maximize the value for you as a customer.


Chances are that you have a number of different types of Adobe licensesand license models. Especially in Creative Cloud (Acrobat, Photoshop, etc.), where products are used for many years and companies often still have a mix of on premise and subscriptions. Or perhaps you have recently made the jump to cloud with subscription models. Either way, the key to increase value out of your Adobe spend is to optimize your license base. Align your license metrics, use trade in value and align usage with commitment. If you don’t, be prepared for a hefty bill!


One of the key strengths of Adobe products? Standardization. Most of their products are standard out of the box, ready to be used by anyone, anywhere. Whether it’s their Creative Cloud or their Experience and Marketing Cloud offerings, making use of benchmark data will be the difference between a mediocre deal and the best deal. Stop spending too much on Adobe and use experts from Strivesource to get access to the best benchmarks on the market.


Adobe’s fiscal year runs from December to November, ending on the Friday closest to the 30th of November. Make use of the irregular fiscal year by bundling your purchases at the end of an important quarter or year end. Ensure your negotiation strategy is well prepared and includes how to deal with governance, escalations and timelines.


Expansion is on Adobe’s mind. With key acquisitions Adobe wants to become a dominant player in the CRM Market. In September 2018 Adobe announced the $4.75 billion acquisition of Marketo to boost their portfolio in Marketing automation, preceded by the $1.68 billion deal acquiring eCommerce platform Magento in May 2018. With this strategy,Adobe wants to challenge the likes of Salesforce. This strategy was further boosted by the announcement of the Open Data initiative by Adobe together with Microsoft and SAP. It is clear that the CRM space is hot at the moment, and the recent strategic acquisitions show that Adobe is more than eager to win market share from their competition. Make use of these competitive dynamics in your selection and negotiation by using a specialized firm like Strivesource.


Strivesource has a proven track record on Adobe dealmaking, sourcing strategies, cost benchmarking and in depth negotiation expertise. We can support you with creating your sourcing plan, negotiation support or getting more value out of your Adobe contracts and licenses. Contact our Strivesource Adobe lead now.

Sopheap Buor +31 6 15326850


Thomas Busking
Thomas Busking
Thomas has over 10 years work experience in Global IT Procurement, Vendor & Contract management and Sourcing Strategy. He has led many selection and negotiation projects involving Adobe and has a track record in reaching best in class negotiation results for Creative Cloud and Experience Cloud products. Thomas also has extensive experience with Adobe license compliance audits and its resolution. In the past he has worked for organizations such as Philips, Liberty Global, Rabobank, RWE and Essent.
Sopheap Buor
Sopheap Buor
Sopheap has over 15 years work experience in Global IT sourcing, Vendor & Contract
management, Supply chain and Project management. He worked for organizations such as Philips, Jacob Douwe Egberts (JDE), Burberry, Marks and Spencer and American President Line (APL). His previous experiences includes leading Adobe contract negotiations for Adobe Experience Manager, Adobe Analytics and Adobe Target, conducting various RFP’s in the area of Data Management Platform, CRM Marketing cloud, Mobile application development and heading up the overall IT procurement Digital portfolio for a Global health technology provider.