Clearing the path for steady growth.

Kärcher supports a growing company by centralising global software licence management with an Adobe ETLA.

Kärcher

Established

1935

Employees: 12,300
Winnenden, Germany
www.kaercher.com

Rabobank

Better understand and predict software budgets with consistent and known licensing fees

Products:

Objectives

Reduce administrative burden on licence management team while centralising global licence management

Accommodate dynamic company growth with flexible licensing agreements

Create predictable budgets through term-based licensing

Results

Better understand and predict software budgets with consistent and known licensing fees

Keep up with any level of growth by procuring additional licences with flexible licensing limits

Improves efficiency of international processes by keeping all stakeholders on the same software

Remotely assign licences to employees anywhere in the world using the Admin Console

“With the Adobe ETLA, we can benefit from both a clear, predictable budget and a future-proof agreement that scales to our needs.”

Achim Höfel

IT Service Manager Global, Alfred Kärcher SE & Co. KG

Supporting strong growth for a global business

What do the colonnades on St. Peter’s Square in Rome, the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro and the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota have in common? They have all been cleaned with equipment produced by German manufacturer Kärcher. A family-owned company based in Winnenden, Germany, Kärcher offers high-pressure cleaners in 67 countries for every type of cleaning job.

The company has been growing steadily for years. In 2017 alone, 500 new employees joined the global Kärcher family, which currently totals 12,300 members. Kärcher plans to continue expanding, but in such a dynamic period of growth, it becomes more difficult for stakeholders to keep track of which new hires need what tools.

The company wanted flexible purchase options to help facilitate improvements without breaking the budget. With a three-year Enterprise Term Licence Agreement (ETLA) for Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, Adobe’s trusted, reliable and complete solutions for PDF-based document processes, Kärcher benefits from an adaptable deployment model that supports the company’s rapid growth. The company is already planning on extending its use of ETLAs to include other Adobe solutions.

Standardising on global solutions for global processes

As a global company, Kärcher has many internal processes and projects that operate on an international level. To make processes as efficient as possible, all stakeholders should use the same technologies and solutions to prevent compatibility issues.

Over the past two years, Kärcher has made efforts to standardise its software environment and centralise licence management. Most licences are now purchased and distributed by the company’s global headquarters. While centralising licences allows Kärcher to plan procurement more efficiently and keep track of inventory more easily, working on such a large scale has also affected planning.

No matter how carefully demand forecasts are created, it is difficult to accurately estimate the number of licences needed for a quickly growing company. But buying individual licences every time an employee needed new software wasn’t an ideal solution either. The administrative effort involved in purchasing and managing individual licences would have a major impact on both productivity and company growth.

Kärcher found the dependable and strong partner that it needed to accommodate its changing licence procurement needs in Adobe.

Predictable budgets with a three-year ETLA

Adobe was one of Kärcher’s first worldwide IT partners. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is integral to many processes at Kärcher. As a robust yet easy to use PDF editor, Acrobat has a long track record of reliability in helping employees create high-quality PDF files.

The security features in Acrobat are optimised for enterprise use. Users can protect documents with passwords or certificates. Digital IDs help identify senders and a malware sandbox prevents harmful files from entering the corporate network. Acrobat also empowers Kärcher to adopt customised or company-wide policies to help ensure consistent use of security settings.

“From the creation of user guides and other documentation to advertising and marketing collateral, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is an essential tool for us,” says Achim Höfel, IT Service Manager Global at Alfred Kärcher SE & Co. KG. Operating from the company’s headquarters, Höfel is in charge of global procurement and distribution of software licences.

Working with an ETLA allows Kärcher to better understand and predict software budgets every year. As part of the agreement, Kärcher benefits from a flexible licensing limit. If the company experiences strong growth, it may exceed the number of licences agreed upon in the ETLA in order to keep up with actual software needs.

Kärcher may also deploy its licences anywhere in the world, without any geographical restrictions. Any additional licences beyond the ETLA limits are invoiced when the agreement expires. As licences are not tied to a user or workstation, Kärcher can adjust licensing to accommodate changing usage patterns, such as employees’ growing adoption of one or more mobile devices.

“While more and more software partners offer flexible licensing models, other companies handle additional licences in a variety of ways and those methods usually aren’t as lean and clean as with Adobe.”

Achim Höfel

IT Service Manager Global, Alfred Kärcher SE & Co. KG

Assigning global licences from headquarters

The Adobe ETLA is a perfect match for the way Kärcher manages software licences. “With the Adobe ETLA, we can benefit from both a clear, predictable budget and a future-proof agreement that scales to our needs. Its global reach provides us with the flexibility we need as Kärcher continues to establish new subsidiaries in local markets,” says Höfel.

Höfel also appreciates Adobe’s easy invoicing process. “The Adobe ETLA is not the standard licensing approach in the market yet,” says Höfel. “While more and more software partners offer flexible licensing models, other companies handle additional licences in a variety of ways and those methods usually aren’t as lean and clean as with Adobe.”

The Adobe Admin Console, a powerful yet easy to use management tool, helps Kärcher centralise licence management across the entire organisation with a small team. Höfel can easily assign requested licences remotely to anywhere in the world. Licensing managers in international subsidiaries are now freed from managing Acrobat licences so that they can focus on more pressing local tasks.

By migrating from decentralised to centralised licence management, Kärcher also benefited from strong customer support from Adobe. “There will always be minor issues when trying to get a deployment this complex off the ground,” says Höfel. “Adobe’s support has been responsive, friendly and truly helpful. The level of service we’ve seen is second to none.”

“Adobe’s support has been responsive, friendly and truly helpful. The level of service we’ve seen is second to none."

Achim Höfel

IT Service Manager Global, Alfred Kärcher SE & Co. KG

Expanding efficient licence management to other apps

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is the first Adobe solution that is covered by an ETLA. Apart from Acrobat, Kärcher uses many other Adobe apps, including Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign and Adobe Premiere Pro, for creative work. Inspired by the positive experiences the company has seen with the Adobe ETLA for Acrobat, Kärcher is looking into expanding its use of ETLAs to other Adobe products to support employees as the company grows.

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