Setting the Record Straight on Adobe Connect Licensing Again

by RealEyes Media
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Three years ago we decided it was necessary to put a plain-English description of Adobe Connect licensing together. As of March 9th, 2015, Adobe has released Connect 9.4 and with it a whole new licensing model. So, while our old post about licensing has been a great staple for us and the Connect Community, it seems that it is time to put a new version out, rather than just updating the old post.

As we have stated in the past licensing for Adobe Connect is probably near the top, if not at the top, of the list of complicated things to deal with in Connect. It often is either not properly explained or not properly understood and customers can get left with deployments that either don’t meet or grossly exceed their needs as a result. This post is intended to be a reference for what the different licensing models do (how they work, limitations, advantages, etc.) but will not discuss pricing. If you are interested in pricing, feel free to contact us directly, [email protected], or through our contact page here.

Adobe Connect is still available in three different deployment options:

1.On-Premise (Enterprise) – This deployment is typically hosted on your server(s), and behind your firewall. Since it is a server platform product, it is subject to perpetual licensing. This means that the server software itself and all licensing must be purchased initially, but thereafter (year 2, year 3, etc.) only the Maintenance & Support is required to be purchased annually. M&S is required at time of purchase, and is normally 20% of the total Connect product purchase. In some cases, special exceptions and/or agreements, contracts, etc. have been established and agreed upon by the end user(s) and Adobe, so they may differ. Please visit the Adobe Platinum Maintenance & Support homepage for further details. Please also note that On-Premise deployments can also be a Managed Service offering; meaning that the deployment is an On-Premise installation that is managed by another company.

2.Hosted (SaaS) – The hosted deployment option is also known and referred to as a Software as a Service (SaaS) model. In this case, your Adobe Connect deployment is hosted on Adobe’s reserved server clusters. That being said, you are behind Adobe’s firewalls. In some cases, having your account Hosted may or may not be the best solution. It is always best to first check with your IT Dept., Systems Admin, etc. to see what may or may not be a requirement. Since there may be several compliance regulations that your institution may need to adhere to, or if you may need full integration with other pre-existing server based products, Adobe’s servers may be able to suffice, but those kinds of questions cannot be answered here and now, as the scenarios tend to vary greatly. Hosted account purchases through resellers typically include baseline standard Adobe Connect Help and Support.

3.Adobe Connect Managed Services (Enterprise & SaaS) – This deployment is hosted on dedicated server(s) and managed by Adobe Systems. It includes all of the benefits of an Enterprise deployment, (adhering to your firewall settings, LDAP and/or AD integration, etc) but since it requires no internal network administration, it feels like a SaaS deployment. It is a perpetual licensing model where all licensing must be purchased initially, and must be renewed annually. In some cases, special exceptions and/or agreements, contracts, etc. have been established and agreed upon by the end user(s) and Adobe, so they may differ. Please contact us directly if you have questions about the Adobe Connect Managed Services option. A PDF overview on Adobe Connect Managed Services can be viewed and/or downloaded here.

While the deployment options have stayed the same, Adobe has re-worked the licensing models for Connect. So here is where you will see the changes. I’ll start with the modules that haven’t seen a change. New licensing will have the titles in italics.

Meeting Module

  • Concurrent User: With this licensing, the total number of licenses you purchase will be the total number of users that can be online in a live meeting at any given time, either hosting or attending a meeting. These licenses are not assigned or applied to named individuals; they are first-come-first-serve. So, if you have 100 Concurrent User licenses, then you can have a single meeting with 100 people, 100 meetings with 1 person each or anywhere in between, so long as the total number of attendees for meetings is less than or equal to your Concurrent User licenses. This model works as a “licensing pool”, the same as the Concurrent Learner licenses described below.

  • Named Host: With this licensing, a Named Host can host a Connect Meeting at any given time of up to 100 attendees. The licensing model itself refers to a named, specific user (cannot be a general login) that is in the Meeting Hosts Group. For instance, if you purchase 15 Named Host licenses, you have the ability to place up to 15 people in the Meeting Hosts Group. Each of the people in that group can have up to 100 attendees (internal users and/or external users, etc.) in any Meeting Room that they’ve created. Each Meeting Host Group member can run any one of their rooms at a given time and they must be present in the room for it to have full functionality. This licensing model is best used for frequent usage in Meeting Rooms, or also very adequate for webinars that will not exceed 100 attendees. Meeting Hosts also get Author rights, described below, which gives them the ability to publish.

Content to Adobe Connect so it may be displayed in their Meeting rooms. This is currently the most popular licensing model.

Note: Named Host and Concurrent User cannot co-exist on any Connect deployment, as they are both representative of the Meeting Module.

Content Module

  • Content Publish – Also known as Author licenses. These licenses are indicative of Content Module within Connect. This will give anyone placed in the Authors System Group the ability to publish Content to Adobe Connect for on-demand access. For instance, if you purchase 15 Content Publish licenses, you have the ability to place up to 15 people in the Authors System Group.

Note: Content Publish licenses are purchasable for On-Premise Connect deployments, as the Content Module is open to an unlimited number of users. Since you are in control of the amount of disk space available to Connect, you can decide how many individuals you want to be able to push content to the server.

Training Module

  • Concurrent Learner – With this licensing, Connect is enabled to deploy Curriculums and/or Courses on the system. Any enrolled users will have their results tracked via the lightweight LMS functionality that Connect offers. The concurrency portion translates to having the ability to have up to the total amount of licenses purchased online at any given time, having their results tracked. For instance, if you purchase 100 Concurrent Learner licenses, you have the ability to have up to, but no more than, 100 enrollees online concurrently having their results tracked. Unlimited Curriculums and/or Courses can be created, and you can enroll an unlimited amount of users, but you are capped at how many concurrent licenses you have. So if you have 1,000 enrollees and only 100 licenses, only 100 enrollees can be tracked at any given time, and the remaining enrollees will have the ability to engage in the training content and have their results tracked once the one of the enrollees have completed the training and are no longer accessing the training content.

    • Changes with Connect 9.4 – The Concurrent Learner module will be for the creation and delivery of on-demand training. The use of the Virtual Classroom, and delivery of Courses within the Virtual Classroom, is no longer associated with the Concurrent User license.

  • Named Virtual Classroom Manager (NVCM) – With this licensing, a Named Virtual Classroom Manager can create and run a Virtual Classroom at any given time with up to 200 attendees. The NVCM can also create Courses within the Training Module of Connect, but they will only be able to be delivered within a Virtual Classroom as synchronous training. This is a simplification from how the Virtual Classrooms used to work, which was through a combination of your Meeting licensing and Concurrent User licensing. This licensing also comes with access to the Events tool. Meaning that members of the NVCM group can create and manage Events to allow users to self-register for their sessions in the Virtual Classrooms or other objects that they have access to in Connect Central.

Note: Concurrent Learner and Named Virtual Classroom Manager licenses can co-exist on any Connect deployment. If you have both, then the ability to deliver both synchronous and non-synchronous training will be available.

Webinar Rooms

  • Named Webinar Manager (NWM) – In an effort to simplifiy the old Seminar Room licensing and more closely align with offerings from other competitive products, a new licensing option has been created. The Named Webinar Manager is similar to a Named Host for the Meeting module. NWM licenses are assigned to members of the new Webinar XXX Managers group, where the XXX will be the number of attendees that that manager can have in their session. NWM licenses will come in 100, 500 and 1000 seat capacities, and also include the Events module. The NWM can create as many instances of their webinar room as they want/need, but can only run one at a time. NWM must be present in the Webinar room for it to run.

  • Shared Webinar Rooms – These Webinar rooms work the same as the old Seminar rooms but are only available in capacities of 500, 1000 and 1500 seats. Anyone may be assigned as a Seminar Administrator group (formerly known as the Seminar Host group) and can run a session in those Webinar rooms. Sessions must be scheduled as they have been in Connect 9 to get access to the full licensing limit. Unscheduled sessions can have full access to the licensing limit if no pre-scheduled sessions will cause a conflict.

Note: Named Webinar Manager and Shared Webinar Room licenses can co-exist on any Connect deployment.

Events Module [Updated]

  • Named Event Manager – With this license, an account can be given the ability to create and manage Events within Connect. An Event is a portal that is created to allow external users to view upcoming Events and self-register for those events. This can take the workload of creating new users off the account administrator(s) and provide a customizable and embeddable catalog of live and on-demand events being offered from within your Connect account.The trick to effectively creating and managing events is having access to the objects in Connect that need Events. So, if you are creating Events for Meetings, be sure you have access to where those Meetings reside in the Meeting Library. If you are creating Events for Content, be sure you have access to where the Content resides in the Content Library. If you are creating Events for Trainings*, be sure you have access to where the Courses or Curriculum are in the Training Library.

  • *Note: If Events are going to be linked with Training objects, be sure to have your user registration setting to create Registered User accounts, instead of guest accounts. Guest user accounts won’t properly track interactions and pass/fail status with Training objects.

If you are a current Adobe Connect customer, you will be given a grace period to change any existing licensing over to the new licensing offerings. If you don’t have any licenses that are changing, then you don’t need to worry about anything, Adobe Connect will remain the same for you.

If you are a new customer or an existing customer looking to add new functionality to your Connect deployment, you will only be able to purchase under the new licensing moving forward.

And there you have it, the new licensing for Adobe Connect as of March 9th, 2015. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post them below. You can also contact us directly and we’ll do all we can to help you move forward with your Adobe Connect needs.