Esri hosts a higher ed list for colleges and universities using its software. Last week an educator asked a series of questions regarding how to best implement ArcGIS for his educational institution and how to manage his accounts and credits. Angela Lee of the Esri education team provided some detailed answers. While she is addressing higher ed users, I have to believe the new features will be available to all ArcGIS Online users. I've recapped what I consider to be the key points, but I encourage everyone to read the full Q & A.
1) Currently, there is no way to allocate credits to an individual user, but that functionality is planned for a future release. Assigning appropriate roles (user, publisher, administrator) can help manage credits since they have increasing levels of access to processes that use credits. For example, "users" can't publish, and typically user fewer credits on average.
2) Esri is developing a "credit estimator" that will both describe how credits are consumed and estimate credits for a process, presumably based on the size of the dataset and other parameters. That tool/information is expected in September.
3) Named users are linked directly to the number of ArcGIS Online users. Thus it may be wise to have some departments "share" a single named account. Esri is still determining how this will work within universities (and presumably, enterprises): "We anticipate the potential number of users of ArcGIS Online to be higher than the number of ArcGIS for Desktop users, but we don't yet have a reliable way of predicting how many users are needed for a college/university of 5,000 students compared to a college/university of 50,000 students, so we need to hear from you."
4) Administrators are notified when credits drop to 75% of the total in the subscription account (that's seems to be the case for license holders of several types, including universities). If a subscription account hits zero, it is suspended until new credits are purchased. Credits delivered with a subscription are good for one year, then disappear. Additional credits purchased to complement those that come with a subscription last for 24 months, while a subscription is active.