Battle of the Bullshit part 3 – Beyond Bentley

Somebody at Autodesk really does seem to have it in for Bentley right now. I thought they were friends? Oh well, times change.

Autodesk has launched a campaign to promote its BIM offerings for transportation projects and is promoting this via emails to existing customers, all of which is fair enough. It’s suggesting BIM is a better tool than traditional CAD for such projects. Another reasonable claim, so it’s appropriate for us to evaluate the arguments and examine the options.

What did Autodesk decide to call its campaign? Beyond AutoCAD? Beyond CAD? To BIM and Beyond?

None of the above. It’s Beyond Bentley.

Huh? You may have noticed I’m keen on alliteration, but still, huh? What does Bentley have to do with this? Most Autodesk CAD customers are going to know and care nothing about Bentley products. So why mention them at all? The headline is “Move beyond Bentley to Autodesk, the makers of BIM”. The strong implication is:

Bentley only does traditional CAD. You should use BIM instead, and that means you need Autodesk.

However, I believe many Autodesk customers will think like this instead:

Autodesk seems very concerned about this Bentley mob. I wonder what they’re offering that has the Big A so worried? Bentley must be a big player in this area. I’ve been considering developing an Autodesk exit strategy anyway because of the forced rental thing and I’ve heard Bentley sells perpetual licenses. I must go check them out!

Those customers who do check out Bentley will learn that despite Autodesk’s implication, Bentley do in fact provide BIM products, and quite a few products specifically for transportation. I have no idea if Bentley’s BIM and transportation products are any better or worse than Autodesk’s offerings, but I do know you shouldn’t take either vendor’s word for it, including anything they say in webinars. Find out for yourself with a hands-on evaluation. Because BIM isn’t something you just pop in and out of, make sure you include long-term licensing costs into your calculations.

One Comment:

  1. A very interesting and erudite blog. I cannot believe i have not happened across it before. Maybe i am so enthused by it because it echoes many of my own sentiments.

    Given that the buying power of the bulk of the Autodesk subscriber base purchasing is controlled by a handful of people – BIM/CAD managers worldwide, and that those people are generally regular readers of a handful of forums.

    It should not be too difficult to initiate a movement to exercise our buying power and agree,as an industry, to only upgrade our production software every second year.

    There will be the naysayers who will bleat about new features…but let us be honest…we are typically disappointed year over year. Maybe a purchasing referendum is just what Autodesk needs to appreciate its’ customers again

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