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Licensing: Perpetual to Subscription Transition

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    Licensing: Perpetual to Subscription Transition

    Sorry if this isn't the place for this, but does anyone else think that the AEC community needs push back against the 300% price increase built into the subscription licensing model that we are all being forced to migrate to over the next couple of years?

    a) Revit development has virtually stalled. What are we getting for our money (nothing)? There's more value in 3rd party add-ins.
    b) Autodesk is changing the rules, effectively saying that our perpetual licenses have no value.
    c) A 300% price increase is impossible to justify from any perspective other than pure greed.
    d) For my firm (under 100 staff), this will add up to and additional $122,000 per year in licensing costs. So much for bonuses.

    What can we do?:

    1- Drop maintenance on all but one license to retain support access.
    2- Coast for a year or two on the current version that you are running. You'll need the money you save to pay for subscription eventually.
    3- Convert perpetual licenses only as absolutely needed for projects requiring the latest version.
    4- When forced to convert to subscription, drop as many seats as you can.
    5- Bill the clients for software subscriptions (including Adobe, Bluebeam, Sketchup, Maxwell, A360, C4R).
    6- Suck it up and start charging a more realistic fees for our services (15%)

    Collective action in one direction or another is needed. We're being squeezed to death, no?



    Don't recall hearing anything about getting forced to move to Subscription. I have heard that maintenance plans were going to be increased over a period of years...but not enough to make the move.
    Michael "MP" Patrick (Deceased - R.I.P)


      When you trade in your license for a subscription will you loose access / the right to use your old perpetual license?
      Autodesk will lock you in updating file formats every year keeping everybody on the newest version.
      Thus when you stop paying your subscription fee you will lose access to your files?
      Adobe pulled the same trick
      However just Revit is way cheaper than the whole collection (which is nice to have but from all the stuff only autocad gets used every now and again to check out 3d party drawings.

      I am definitely not happy with the way this is going though. subscription might mount up to as much as 10% or more of my turnover in some lousy years
      Geert Vennix, architecte


        Thing is MP when you are not a sole practitioner new seats might turn things upside down.
        I think continuous updates for subscription to yearly updates for maintenance.
        Geert Vennix, architecte


          Well, a few things id like to clarify, *IF* the discussion is going to take place:

          1. 300% increase? Im confused. I received a notice that my maintenance fees were going up 5% one year, 10% another year, and 20% the year after. After the 3rd year of cumulative increases, my subscription will have gone up 38.6 total % in cost, for a yearly subscription. Currently my yearly subscription for BDSU licenses is 1930 per year, when i do a one year renewal. The new industry collection is 2690 a year, per autodesk website.

          Currently that means the rental subscription is 39.4 percent more expensive than what i currently have.

          So while its TRUE that they are completely invalidating the up front cost of the old perpetual licenses, even after the full three year increase period, ill still be paying almost one percent less per year, LOL.

          2. Your only real viable options are to stay on subscription or maintenance, or stop using Revit, unfortunately. Im not saying that lightly, and im NOT saying that it means we should all roll over. Quite the contrary. BUT, versions not being backwards compatible, and consultants all having to use the same versions... no one is going to allow a consultant to stick with a year or two old version. I know i wouldnt.

          3. As much as i hate to say this (and yes, im the guy who has to pay the subscription bills, admittedly for a lot less licenses than other companies): If you are charging so little for the work that the costs of the licenses is becoming an issue, maybe all the design professionals need to stop racing each other to the bottom of the fee structure?

          Having said all that, here is where i am at:

          1. Im not thrilled. Im not happy with the price increase, but im even LESS thrilled with the 100% bullshit excuse they have peddled, that it now *costs more money to maintain two software licensing structure.* Its completely and absolutely bullshit.

          2. Honestly, ive used other BIM applications, and i dont REALLY want to move applications. BUT, it would be irresponsible of me to not start (at least) doing some due diligence, and replicating my companies BIM standards that currently exist, to other applications like ArchiCAD, or AECOSim Building Designer. Am i looking forward to it? Not really. But im not going to get caught with my pants down, either. What happens when they decide its not a 30% increase, but a 100% increase? Eff that.

          Unfortunately, as much as i respect the folks that work in development and QA over at Autodesk, the business and subscription folks live in an echo chamber that plays their own highlights on rerun, and they are convinced they are the masters of the universe. The best way to speak your mind is with your wallet, as in: Get ready to transition to something else.

          Aaron "selfish AND petulant" Maller |P A R A L L A X T E A M | Practice Technology Implementation
          @Web | @Twitter | @LinkedIn | @Email


   you don't have a perpetual license Aaron? It's the BDSU subscription that is going up to match the current AEC Collection price, which eventually you might as well switch to after that... If I am understanding correctly.

            So what about perpetual licenses?
            Michael "MP" Patrick (Deceased - R.I.P)


              Oh, sorry. I thoguht what they keep calling *perpetual* WAS the subscription licenses, just the ones without the Autodesk account tied to them. What the heck is a perpetual, then? Or is that the *Revit only* license?
              Aaron "selfish AND petulant" Maller |P A R A L L A X T E A M | Practice Technology Implementation
              @Web | @Twitter | @LinkedIn | @Email



                - My reseller tells me there is apparently an unpublished deal where customers with a *valid perpetual license currently on a maintenance plan* can transition to an Industry Collection Subscription at a grandfathered price for at least the next 3 years. The grandfathered price is the same as your current Maintenance price, and does not increase ("locked in" for up to 3 years). This nets out to be ever-so-slightly cheaper than continuing Maintenance.

                - If you DO happen to be sitting on a perpetual license of really old software (back to AutoCAD R14, I think), there is a program to trade in THAT perpetual license for a discount on a 3-year IC subscription. (Get up to 30% off Autodesk software) Still comes out to about $5k for the 3 years, IIRC.

                - The old method of "upgrade every other release" had the advantage of pressuring the development team to deliver - firms had to weigh the benefits of the newer version with it's cost. A feature-thin or buggy release would also show thin sales numbers. The maintenance / subscription model has eliminated that bit of unpleasantness for ADSK. I'm having a hard time not being cynical about this one...

                - As most of us here are working with Revit, ADSK have already diminished the value of perpetual licenses as to be virtually worthless. See Aaron's #2 above.

                The part that really disappoints me is that development has languished while prices have continued to rise, to the point that's it's more economical to do your own development that to continue to pay, wait, and hope. And it really bothers me that ADSK seems to want to use it's userbase as a free support platform; it implies a lack of comprehensive knowledge of their products.

                It's hard to tell if I'm an architect or a software developer anymore. I'm constantly investing more time to develop things that overcome Revit's limitations. See ekkonap's total mayhem workaround for example - the software can access the totals of anything, anywhere, but the GUI doesn't allow the user to access it without jumping through 4 parameter hoops. The lack of development causes us all to do more work. It's like sitting down at a restaurant, but instead of steak, they bring you a cow and some charcoal. Yes, I can cook my own food.... but I was in a restaurant (paying restaurant prices) because I wanted YOU to do that part for me.

                But it's ok, the next version will have some killer feature (maybe a completely revamped door system?) that will work better and be incompatible with all the development work you've just finished.....

                Chris Ellersick


                  Originally posted by Twiceroadsfool View Post
                  Oh, sorry. I thoguht what they keep calling *perpetual* WAS the subscription licenses, just the ones without the Autodesk account tied to them. What the heck is a perpetual, then? Or is that the *Revit only* license?
                  Sounds like we are talking perpetual...last July we were told by Autodesk Marketing that licenses were ending and that only subscriptions were available...not a subscription "license"...had fun explaining to new companies that they could no longer get a "license" for the software. I thought with the price of your maintenance Aaron, it was the new subscription as I was told a totally different price for yearly maintenance by someone else. I think even Scott Davis said stick with the perpetual license, as you pay less in the long run.

                  So yeah...they want everyone on subscription. Autodesk=BORG. At least I have Civil3D on my computer now...
                  Michael "MP" Patrick (Deceased - R.I.P)


                    Lots of discussion about this in the *Moving to Subscription* forum on the ADSK Community. It seems that the Max and Acad folks are most vocal thus far.



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