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In the Fold: Autodesk news and opinions

Autodesk Maintenance Changes Explained

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 the 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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  1. Avatarcholden

    I can’t imagine that anyone is actually passing the subscription costs on to their clients. We’ve never passed any of these costs on to clients. EVER. Contractors maybe, but architects? Is anyone doing this?


    I’m not that entirely enthusiastic about this switch.
    Main problem is the so-called collections and suites.
    Because of workflow, I’m forced by Autodesk to take 2 collections. I’m currently using Inventor (Product Design Suite) and need some AEC Collection items, like Advanced Steel and others. I DO not need al 15 products in AEC Collection.

    I have contacted my local distributor and Autodesk South Africa, about this issue. I’m sure that there MUST be someone else, somewhere in the world that also needs to use products from at least 2 different collections.

    So WHY is it not possible to build your own collection to a max of say 10~15 products, to SUITE your own workflow. I need to put designed items (from Inventor) in a steel structure that was made in Advanced Steel and tested in Robot and send to the customer “rendered” in Fusion 360….. That is a rundown and quick workflow. Am I the only person in this here world that works this way?

    If Autodesk can inform me about how to go about with my workflow, without having to purchase 2 Collections I will be happy.

    Thank you

    Gideon van der Merwe

  3. Avataryuujia

    So working off of this example, the discounted sub price is 570 this year, then 641.25 next year and then 712.5 the year after? Just working backwards from the 60% discount (assuming its 55% next year and then 50% thereafter).

    1. AvatarBritt Bonhomme

      Hi Yuujia, someone from Autodesk will be in touch soon to help you understand the changes to our pricing. After your conversation, you can always connect with us at if you have any other questions.

  4. AvatarKM_Springfield

    AutoDesk has really confused themselves this time not just everyone else, their own documentation on the subject contradicts itself, their FAQ’s ( state in 3.1 “In many cases, if you choose to move to a subscription in 2017, the price of your subscription will be equal to that of your maintenance price renewal.” but then in 3.4 “Beyond the 3 year lock-in period, all customers that made the switch will be grandfathered in at the discounted price by year four (about 15% higher than their original maintenance cost).” so is the cost going to be the same or about 15% higher? (Actually is is about a 55% increase in cost to “upgrade” to subscription from the prices we have been quoted).
    Added to that they only offer a 30% discount for the trade in (on Revit products anyway), if you take into account the increases in cost of the maintenance plan as well as the discount reduction it is cheaper to stay on the maintenance plan and change after 3 years than to change in 2017 so there is no incentive to make a decision now.
    In fact the whole thing to me looks like an elaborate plan to scam their customers into an expensive change that is dressed up to look like a bargain.
    Finally why bother changing, unless they massively increase their maintenance costs (quite likely) or back down on their statement that “While Autodesk discontinued the sale of new perpetual licences, we are not eliminating maintenance plans. If you are currently on maintenance, you may continue to renew that plan for as long as you want.” (equally as likely)” you may as well keep it going as long as you can.
    From what i can see all they have succeeded in doing is making it very attractive for someone (laid off employees?) to come up with a cost effective alternative that will work with their files (SolidWorks and OnShape comes to mind) – roll on that day.

    1. AvatarBritt Bonhomme

      Hi Keith, Thanks for your comment. Someone from Autodesk will be contacting you directly to walk you through the changes.


    Autodesk Australia store is offering Revit subscription users only a 30% discount if they move from a perpetual licence to subscription. I pay $1600/year for maintenance and they want to charge $2380/year for subscription (67% more expensive). Does not seem a good deal at all and I have to give back my perpetual licence.
    So, Teresa, how does this compare with your worked example suggesting a subscription customer is better off?


    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 ( 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.

    1. AvatarKM_Springfield

      I was offered the same “More for your money with the new subscription”, likewise I came to the same conclusion that if I will never use the extra software where is the “added value” – AD do seem a little confused on how their customers think, many of products are generally used by persons that are accustomed to thinking things through, surely they don’t believe that the majority of us a daft enough to fall for their scam? Or are they really stupid and have actually convinced themselves that what they are trying to sell us is value for money??


    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.

  8. Avatarlorddavius

    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.

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

    1. AvatarBritt 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.

  9. AvatarJaromirHronza4707

    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. AvatarBritt 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 if you’d like to discuss your concerns.


    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. AvatarBritt 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.