Penn State negotiates Adobe software distribution agreement

Jennifer Struble, IT Communications
April 12, 2014

In response to changes in Adobe’s software distribution model, Penn State’s Information Technology Leadership Council (ITLC) and the University’s software licensing unit collaborated on a contract that will make it easier for Penn State departments to order and keep track of select software titles and licenses in Adobe’s Creative Cloud service.

The Adobe Enterprise Term Licensing Agreement (ETLA), an equitable, cost-sharing distribution model, provides a streamlined process for users to request and receive software for University computers. Under this model, which will be in effect until 2016, users submit requests for Adobe software titles to a unit administrator who works with the user to distribute his or her software digitally.

Penn State’s previous distribution model with Adobe was a standing order in which users purchased physical pieces of media and software license codes each time the software was needed.

“The IT Leadership Council is made up of the senior-most IT leaders from across the University,” said Joanne Peca, chief information officer at Penn State Altoona and chair of the ITLC. “When Adobe announced the licensing changes, the software licensing team knew they could turn to the ITLC to ensure that all units had insight on the changes and input into the final decision on how to move forward.”

The Adobe ETLA program is expected to make it easier for users to install Adobe software and keep it up-to-date. Because Adobe’s digital software subscription service automatically pushes out software updates, users across the University will have access to the same version.

Penn State’s cost for the Adobe ETLA program is expected to remain roughly the same as the previous contract but could vary for each department depending on usage. The cost model for each administrative area for the first year of the new program is based on that area’s average cost for the previous three years of Adobe software. That amount is converted into an overall percentage of the cost for the program. For example, if an area had 10 percent of the past sales for Adobe software at Penn State, that area will pay 10 percent of the cost on the new ETLA. Each area’s cost for the second and third year of the Adobe ETLA program will be based on its usage during the previous year.

The Adobe ETLA program decision is another example of the important role of the ITLC, which was able to work directly with the University’s software licensing unit on what made the most sense for each administrative area and Penn State as a whole.

“Having an established forum like the ITLC is hugely important to our ability to address opportunities and challenges that impact the entire University,” said Peca.

The Adobe ETLA program includes all software in Adobe’s Creative Cloud service. A list of the software included can be found at

Users wishing to purchase Adobe software not included in the Creative Cloud may continue to do so through the Software at Penn State website,

For more stories about IT at Penn State, visit Current at

Last Updated April 15, 2014