Where are you now…
This is important! Autodesk has drawn the line in the sand, February 1st. 2016 and Autodesk as the first major CAD software company does not sell standard perpetual licenses unless you buy one of the Suites. Perpetual license means that you purchase the right to use the software, and then can choose to be on a maintenance agreement paid annually. The maintenance will give you support and products updates, such as major product releases annually and periodic software enhancements through the year. Suites is a bundle of Autodesk products, such as Product Design Suite, that has Inventor, AutoCAD and can include other products such as simulation software.
Autodesk software purchased prior to February 1st. 2016 can stay on the perpetual license.
Most CAD software used today hit the market a long time ago when desktop computers did not exist in the home, and the internet was a flaky experiences that at its best served as email traffic and chat room noise. So software companies purchased pretty card board boxes and stuffed them with discs, and maybe if you were lucky, a mousepad and software shortcuts printed on heavy thick paper.
Luckily the internet have tremendously improved, it has made it so much easier to use products and get service. People favor downloading their products over waiting to receive a disc in the mail (my latest laptop did not even ship with a DVD drive, talk about a para-dime shift).
Now, it’s easy to eliminate millions of software boxes that is shipped to people who throw them in the corner of a closet, answer; just make everything a download option. But, Desktop Subscription offers some really great benefits over perpetual licensing. 1st it offers you a flexible pricing, that will let companies pay for what they exactly use. Last month I visited a previous employer of mine and, the owner told me that one department had not managed to upgrade their CAD/CAM software as was planned and paied for over 4 years ago. With the pay-as-you-go option you pay as you use the software. If you get busy you can ramp up on software, and if you get slow you can cancel the software instead of having it sitting on the self. It is like a GYM membership, paying monthly is a benefit when we get further away from the New Years and we might not chase the threadmill so often anymore.
But it’s not just about pricing and shipping DVDs in a box. Subscription with cloud services provides better customer service. There is no need for complex network licensing and home use licenses. Critical software updates are now pushed directly to the end user when available.
This also means that if there is a bug that might only effect a few hundred users at this moment. Autodesk can push a fix that will immediately go to every installation. What do you want, smoke signals, emails or calls from your reseller telling you install new patch because of and issue, or “Yes, there was a problem, but we fixed that for you about 2 weeks ago”?
Honestly, I hope every software company will go to this platform.
Autodesk Product Design Suite Pricing
So how does this work? It is pretty simple, if you need a seat of for example Product Design Suite you have choices on how to purchase. You can purchase a perpetual license (for the near future) paying $5000+ plus an additional yearly maintenance. If you choose not to renew that maintenance, you will have the right to use the product at the software release state it is in at the point.
With Desktop Subscription, you choose to pay monthly, quarterly or annually. If you do not need the software you stop paying, if you need it again, you start paying. This eliminate that you spend a lot of money on software that just like the GYM membership, ends not being utilized. You can purchase some of these options online, but make sure you contact your local reseller as Autodesk is offering flexible terms and programs in efforts to assure that this new style of doing CAD business works for everyone involved.
Desktop Subscription makes a lot of sense to me. Pay-as-you-go, give the customer flexibility on pricing plans and Autodesk can help them by pushing the latest software enhancements to them. Who has the time to check websites and read blogs to assure you are not missing new features. What do you think the benefits are?