Autodesk’s claim that its all-rental business model adds flexibility for customers hasalwaysbeenbullshit.
That’s a self-evident truth. Nobody believes that removing customers’ purchasing options amounts to anything but inflexibility. Particularly when the purchasing option removed is that preferred by the vast majority of customers.
But wait! There’s more! I recently discovered that it’s even more inflexible than I originally thought!
If you sign up for single-user (standalone) subscription licenses you’re stuck with them for the duration of your agreement. You can’t upgrade them to multi-user (network) licenses. Doesn’t matter how much cash you wave in Autodesk’s face, or how much you point out that single-user subscription licensing is a crock, it will be a case of “computer says no”.
Don’t worry though, this simple guide helpfully includes a simple guide on how to read it.
Among other things, this eBook provides handy hints on how subscription’s simplified administration regime for standalone licenses requires you to pre-emptively name all your users, set them all up with Autodesk accounts and define what software each is allowed to use. There’s a note to say that your Internet connection needs to be working at the time of installation (obviously) and also every 30 days (less obvious) or you won’t be able to use the software.
In this video starting at 42:21, Greg from Pixel Fondue had a few words to say about Autodesk’s attempt to price-force perpetual license owners onto subscription (rental). I think he captures the current Autodesk customer mood quite nicely.
Here are some of the highlights from Greg and others:
45:20 – The only thing they forgot to attach to this was the head of a horse.
46:54 – If they didn’t think it was a tough sell, they wouldn’t have written a 2000 word essay…
49:14 – This is a trade-in, and they’re looking to take this [Entertainment Creation Suite]. So I give you this, this $12,000 investment … I give it back to you, plus like another $1,000 … and you give me the exact same thing. Except I no longer own it.
51:02 – Hi! Give us your thing you bought from us, we’ll rent it back to you… dumbass!
58:49 – It’s OK to be pissed, and Autodesk needs to know that people are pissed. So, Teresa, people are pissed. That’s a bullshit letter. Be honest with us.
Access to new industry collections – Available only through subscription, you’ll realize significant savings when you need two or more Autodesk software products.
Bullshit. Industry collections are just rental-only engorged suites. Suites are those things with many more than two products; things that Autodesk has been pushing hard for years, before dropping them from the price list. If you already have a suite that contains the products you need (remember, Autodesk’s statements are aimed at existing perpetual license holders), switching to an industry collection will cost you vastly more. That’s the opposite of significant savings.
New and improved support – Enjoy faster response times and the option to receive help by scheduling a call with Autodesk technical support specialists.
Having established what happens when Autodesk claims to have no plans to do nasty anti-customer things, (it goes ahead and does them), let’s examine another nasty anti-customer thing it hasn’t got around to doing. Yet.
Will Autodesk discontinue the maintenance program that allows customers to keep their perpetual licenses up to date? Let’s see what Autodesk has been prepared to put in writing so far:
There are no announced plans to end maintenance subscriptions.
How does he go? On a positive note, top marks for creative writing! The general theme is a strained and somewhat Californian analogy in which perpetual licenses are like canned goods (bad), and rental is like fresh produce (good). However, it’s presented well and professionally written. Among the highlights are:
Perpetual software licenses are like high-fructose corn syrup – no, I’m not making this up. Stop laughing at the back there!
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?
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 …
In my last post, I gave Bentley a well-deserved slap for, er, saying things that perhaps weren’t entirely factual. Now it’s Autodesk’s turn.
What’s this about? Carl White, Senior Director of Business Models at Autodesk, wrote a blog post Not so fast Bentley: Separating fact from fiction responding to statements made by Bentley in its press release Bentley Announces Autodesk License Upgrade Program. Some of Carl’s observations on Bentley’s claims were perfectly valid, but unfortunately he went beyond that and wrote a few more things – “facts” – where he’s on shakier ground. Let’s examine Carl’s interpretation of reality, shall we?
Fact #1 – No Autodesk customer ever loses the right to use the perpetual software license you’ve purchased, it is “evergreen”.
This is generally true. There are exceptions (read the EULA), but let’s not split hairs. In the vast majority of cases, we don’t …
Earlier this week, Bentley announced an “upgrade program” for Autodesk customers. We found the offer to be disingenuous and mischaracterizes what Autodesk offers our customers.
OK, let’s have a look at what Carl is complaining about. Here’s one Bentley statement that could be considered questionable:
For consideration by owners of Autodesk perpetual licenses facing Autodesk’s imminent deadline for the write-off of the future value of their investment, Bentley Systems is offering recovery of the value otherwise subject to forfeit.
Carl has a point here. The “imminent deadline for the write-off of the future value” line is presented as fact, but at this stage it’s …
As I indicated in May, Autodesk will be increasing the cost of upgrades to 70% of the full retail cost of a new license. This renders it totally pointless upgrading Autodesk software at all, which is obviously Autodesk’s intention. This change probably won’t affect many people, as those who have chosen to stick with Autodesk despite everything have already been effectively forced onto Subscription. Anyway, here’s the confirmation from Autodesk:
In early 2013 Autodesk will simplify the current upgrade pricing model, which may affect pricing and/or eligibility for upgrades. Autodesk is providing advance notice to help ease the transition and ensure that customers have enough time to plan and budget for any impact to your organization.
As part of this change, Autodesk will be simplifying upgrades into a single offering available for licenses that are 1-6 versions old at a discount of 30% off new license SRP*. Under …