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Changes to the University’s Adobe software licensing agreement

last modified Apr 30, 2019 03:58 PM
The University’s 3-year fixed-price licensing agreement with Adobe ended on 8 March 2018. Like many other software providers, Adobe is moving to an annual subscription model.

UIS has taken this opportunity to review how it sells Adobe product licences and has decided to move this operation to a third party, Academia. This move will deliver cost savings to the University and users, as well as providing improved user support. Academia won the contract following a competitive tender conducted by University Procurement Services.

What happens now?

Named user licences

Named user licences are available to purchase now on Academia’s dedicated Cambridge University portal: After registering on the portal, select the Adobe products required. A purchase order number will be needed to complete the purchase.

If you have access to the iProcurement Marketplace system you can purchase via the Academia Punch-out. Any queries about this process should go to .

Device licences

Device licences for open-access machines and teaching rooms are available to purchase with a purchase order number by contacting Academia direct:

Student licences and personal purchase

The details of this aspect of the agreement are being finalised. Purchases will be possible with either a credit card or PayPal account. We will update you when further information is available. 

Where do I go for more information?

You can contact Academia direct at:


Will the new subscription version talk to older versions?

As with many other software packages, the current version may not work fully with older versions 

I already have a perpetual licence that I bought from UIS Software Distribution last year what does this mean for me?

The licence will run for the life of the product, however, the product will not be upgraded and will become out of date over time. It’s worth noting Adobe is planning to discontinue selling perpetual licences from Autumn 2019.

Do you contact the UIS Service Desk or Academia if you have a question about the change or a problem with the system?

You should contact Academia directly, their details are on the new portal:

The prices are higher than they used to be. Why is that?

The previous agreement was signed 3 years ago at a fixed cost. Since then there have been fluctuations in the currency markets and software price across the board have seen increases.

Given the price is pro rata how will this be determined?

The pro rata price is determined by how many months are left of the new agreement. i.e. If you order a licence now (March 2018), you are paying for a 12 month license, next month (April 2018) the price will reduce by a twelfth as you will be paying for an 11 month licence. This way all the licences will need renewing at the same time, and everyone will be able to only renew what they require. Pricing on the portal will update in the middle of each month.

I have just bought a licence from Academia will I be part of this new deal?

Any licences bought since 1 February 2018 will be part of the deal and should have been sold at the negotiated rates stated on the portal. Any licence bought before 1 February 2018 is not part of the deal and should be transferred to the University deal when it expires.

I look after a computer room of 100 machines each with a device licence, how will this change affect me?

Talk to Academia directly who will be able to sell you your device licences. In the future device licences will also be available from the Academia portal.

I understand that the Creative Cloud licence I bought from UIS Software Distribution expires on 8 March 2018, I’ve not had the licence for 12months. This seems unfair.

All licences sold through UIS Software Distribution should expire on 8 March 2018 and have been charged on a pro-rata basis. Users will need to then buy a licence from the portal which will be at the new lower price.

If I buy a named user licence can I install the software on more than one device?

Your individual Creative Cloud license lets you install your apps on more than one computer, activate (sign-in) on two, but use them on only one computer at a time (

What happens to a named user licence if that member of staff leaves?

User licences can be transferred to somebody else within the same department.

How do I know you got the best deal available out in the market place?

UIS ran a competitive tender process in partnership with University Procurement Services. Academia won the tender because they offered the most competitive prices and best service.

Given this is going to be a big change to the way we administer licensing what support is being offered?

Academia and UIS are committed to make this new service a success. Each licence comes with two free calls to Academia experts and the UIS Service Desk is also available to support the process.

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