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In the Fold: Autodesk news and opinions

Autodesk Maintenance Changes Explained

Autodesk
March 14, 2017

By Teresa Anania, Sr. Director, Subscriber Success

We recently began communicating with our maintenance customers about pricing changes and an offer available over the next three years that makes switching to subscription a far more attractive option for many.

But, as with any change, we get that it doesn’t always feel welcome, and there are plenty of you on maintenance that have questions. So I’d like to address a few common concerns we’ve heard:

Why is Autodesk making these changes?

We believe subscription is the best way for everyone to experience our software. We’re focusing on building out and delivering a great subscription experience, and our pricing offers reflect our desire to encourage as many of you to become subscribers as possible.

What’s in it for you?

In a world where most of our customers access our software via subscription, we know we must work harder than ever to earn your business, constantly deliver value and win your satisfaction. If we don’t deliver, you won’t renew your subscription, right?

Subscribers will have a more rewarding relationship with Autodesk. Rewarding how? Subscribers already get enhanced support direct from Autodesk. They receive services and content tailored to their needs. And subscribers can look forward to even more connected services that are only possible with the cloud. Additionally, administration of the software will be simple when you standardize your Autodesk products on subscription.

If you’re a maintenance customer today, you may not find every one of these benefits a fit for you, but you will find a range of options like:

  • A low price access point;
  • The convenience of charging subscription cost annually to projects;
  • Frequent product updates that you can decide when to consume;
  • More convenient support including “schedule a call” for faster engagement times,
  • And you can turn on and off subscriptions based on your project peaks and valleys.

What does this mean for your wallet?

If you’re on maintenance, you have already made a significant investment in Autodesk software. We appreciate that, which is why starting in June, switching from maintenance to subscription will cost you far less than if you bought a new subscription.

Basically, at time of renewal you can decide when and if you want to move to subscription for the same cost as your maintenance plan (which ends up being about 60 percent less than a new subscription).  You can also wait and take advantage of this offer in year two or three, whenever the timing is best for your business, or not at all and remain on maintenance. If and when you do decide to make the switch, you can lock-in that discounted subscription price for three years with no upfront payment required.

Beyond the three year lock-in period, all customers who make the switch will be grandfathered in at the discounted price by year four (about 15% higher than their original maintenance cost). As long as you continue to renew, you’ll keep this discounted pricing, which will be lower than maintenance plan renewal pricing and far below the cost of a new subscription.

Here is a pricing comparison example to give you a better idea of what this might look like:

Example of a North America AutoCAD customer staying on maintenance:

  • 2017 renewal = $570/year
  • 2018 renewal = $625/year
  • 2019 renewal = $750/year
  • 2020 renewal = $750-$900/year (range based on 0-20% max price increase)
  • 2021 renewal = $750-$900/year (range based on 0-20% max price increase)

Total: $3,445-$3,745

Example of a North America AutoCAD customer switching to subscription in 2017 and locking-in for 3 years:

  • 2017 M2S = $570/year
  • 2018 M2S = $570/year
  • 2019 M2S= $570/year
  • 2020 M2S = $630/year (by year 4 all customers that migrate to subscription will land at a final discounted track of about maintenance +15%)
  • 2021 M2S = $630/year (subject to standard price adjustments, unplanned at this time; customers have the option to lock-in pricing with a 3-year contract)Total: $2,970 / 15-20% less moving to subscription

Additional pricing information can be found in the FAQ.

Is maintenance going away?

We have no plans to discontinue maintenance. It will be available on an annual basis but it will cost more than the discounted subscription pricing I’ve already covered. In addition, all of the updates to our core products will benefit customers who are on maintenance and our subscription customers alike.

We are being transparent with you about these changes, so that you have time to consider what works best for you.

Ultimately no mass communication can answer all the questions unique to you, so we urge you to talk to your reseller. If you don’t have a reseller, I’m happy to have the conversation with you personally. If you have questions I haven’t covered, please reach out and let us know what’s on your mind and how we can help. You can connect with us here.

Additional information is available in this FAQ.

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8 Comments;

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  1. paul@soulspace.net.au

    I’m reviewing an article on value creation vs value capture for businesses. Value creation is the benefit a business gives to its customers. Value capture is the revenue a business “captures” when creating the customer value. When value capture is declining (IE revenue is falling) then businesses can mistakenly start to bundle “value adds” to entice higher or sustained customer spending, even if the customer does not value the add-ons. Another method is to “lock-in” customers via a charge mechanism (such as subscription), which leaves customers no choice, eroding customer loyalty.

    Autodesk has a problem: it’s earnings per share are negative and revenues are falling (http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/adsk/revenue-eps). So AD is “shoring up” its customer revenues by locking in customers via subscription and giving “additional value” with add-ons in the new subscription bundles. These are defensive measures to maintain share value not customer value. AD wants to stop commoditisation of its product offerings by halting sales of licences and moving to an “exclusive access” subscription model. By doing this, AD retains the inherent value in the products not the customer.

    So where is AD’s innovations to add value to its customers? AD claims the bundles add additional software. For me, there is no additional value. I do not need or want the additional software bundles. The subscription model leaves me with no additional value and in fact strips value by removing perpetual access to my software licence.

  2. paul@soulspace.net.au

    Hi Britt
    I got an anonymous email from someone saying they were from Autodesk over the weekend wanting to connect, but the email was unsigned. I inquired if it was spam, and of course they said they were genuine, but the return email was also unsigned. So, I don’t know who is trying to talk with me at Autodesk, which I find surprising and very unprofessional.

    Following up Lorddavius’ comments, the Australian store is offering a 30% discount if we hand in our perpetual licence.
    “Submit your perpetual licence and save up to 30%* on a 3-year subscription. Offer ends 21 April 2017”
    This is different to the 60% discount in an email I received from AD. This means AD’s messaging is inconsistent and confusing which heightens perpetual licence holder’s anxiety about what is really on offer.

    I currently pay about $1500/year for my Revit suite maintenance subscription. The 60% rental discount brings the rental down to the same price, provided I hand in my perpetual licence. This means you value my perpetual licence at zero. I would need a SIGNIFICANTLY better incentive to give you back my licence ownership, even if you increased the cost of maintenance subscriptions as suggested.

    The 60% discount offer is very poor and badly thought through.

  3. lorddavius

    Agree with you Paul. And this gets EVEN messier, since here in this Blog Post we’re offered a 60% discount on rental for our perpetual licenses, on our email it’s 60% discount this year, 55% the next, and 50% in 2019. On their sales website, the same discount is of 30% for a 3 year lock in also giving up the perpetual license you own.

    http://www.autodesk.com/store/products/3ds-max?term=1year&support=basic#q3-gfp-tc

    Terrible communication and terrible business strategy. This is backfiring badly.

    1. Britt Bonhomme

      Hi Lorddavius, Sorry to hearing that you’re feeling confused. Someone from Autodesk will reach out to you soon to make sure you understand the options available.

  4. JaromirHronza4707

    This is absolutely unfriendly behaviour to the clients. This is typical example how to abuse dominant role on the market. I´m going to apply European office for the market to focus Autodesk beavior.

    1. Britt Bonhomme

      JaromirHronza4707, We’re sorry you feel that way, and we understand that change doesn’t always feel welcome. You can always connect with us at subscription.questions@autodesk.com if you’d like to discuss your concerns.

  5. paul@soulspace.net.au

    What you are stating here is the price you are willing to pay me for my permanent licence is a 5% per year subscription discount for 3 years (worth about $500). The result is I will now rent the software instead of owning it, where, at the end of 3 years, if I no longer subscribe, I will lose access to the software. So for $500 I give up permanent access to my software. Doesn’t seem a fair trade to me given the initial software investment cost.

    1. Britt Bonhomme

      Thanks for your comment Paul. We’d love to talk you through this and address the concerns you have. Someone from Autodesk will reach out to you soon.