Autodesk CAD CAM Self Autonomy End In Sight

There is only one thing I don’t like about the Autodesk business model and it is a very serious one. As a matter of fact after 1-31-2016 it would be a terminal deal breaker for me no matter the price. Received an email this week and it stated that the cut off for permanent seats for most offerings will be four short months from now. Tried to find the email announcement regarding this from this week but I had deleted in disgust so it is gone.

To me this sub model is all about following the dollars and the winner is not the customer. Even Autodesk admits that over the course of five years or so permanent seats are cheaper. Fact is that once you are in this business how many of us leave after four years? I have been in it for twelve now and many of you for decades. I stayed with Solid Edge the longest of any and it was for eight years. So we have the loss of control of our dollar flow with pay to play and we have the loss of autonomy to decide just how and when our paid for software is deployed. The warm feeling you as a subscriber would get in the future as you have to pay every time you want to use your intellectual property will be it’s own reward. I wish I could forcibly rent the equipment I produce to a captive audience to so my hat is off to the robber barons. I mean my customers continue to use it so why shouldn’t I get money each time they do eh?

This week gave me a perfect example of how the initial costs and the control over your affairs through this new Autodesk paradigm will accrue important advantages to the seller.

HP printers are coming out with a new way and it will be “subscription” for future models. When I say subscription in this case I mean internet connected and controlled by others and it will order ink even when you don’t want it to in order to function. I have an Officejet 8600. In the manual it says that I can run without full cartridges in black ink only. Right there in the manual HP printed for the machine. Sadly this printer has internet access and even though I turn down updates I still get one. Now my printer says that I MUST buy new cartridges before I can use the black ink which is all I needed for invoices. You know what HP, I have my generic ink on order and that is the way it is going to stay. I could stomach the high price of your ink with regrets each time I paid but to be forced or extorted into having to buy when your own manual says I should not have to stinks.

See this is the kind of stuff that happens when you relinquish your control over those who sell to you. In the future when Autodesk updates you will too like it or not and whether or not it makes sense for your company to do so. Unless you have a permanent seat. Autodesk was pretty blunt about saying that you better never be late with your yearly permanent seat payment or you lose the seat and become a monthly yearly whatever subscriber with all the joy THAT will bring over time.

It is a field day for VAR’s to. Some shops close by are getting hit on to “bank” more seats than they currently need for future use as the scare tactics kick in. Sadly the VAR’s do have a point and I will say that if you have a need for Autodesk products you better decide to buy in the next four months if you value autonomy.

It kind of reminds me of the Check into Cash and Title loan shops that have sprung up everywhere over the last eight years or so. Perhaps one of the largest “Growth” industries or services out there. The success of these jackals is based upon lowering income and higher expenses and people who have lost credit for whatever reason. So it preys upon those who need to save money the most and end up spending far more. This then is the selling tool for this model of Autodesks as far as I am concerned. It will take time but those coming in behind us are being trained to pay monthly fees for everything. To not own or control but to buy it again and again and for more money when it is all over. And with dropping wages and increasing expenses many will jump on this never understanding they can’t ever get off when they do.

Do I have to talk about data hostages again? Apparently so because no where does Autodesk tell you about the end of your choice to use your intellectual properties unless you rent them back from Autodesk. Now if you can’t use your data unless you pay Autodesk for that privilege just who really owns the fruit of your labors hmm? Better think hard before you go down this path of chattel subservience is all I can say.

I like HSM a lot. I think it is the best and the limitations it does have will soon be gone. Inventor is eh. I still do my modeling in SE ST8 with my permanent seat which expired in August. I expect to do so for some time and I don’t pay Siemens for SE anymore because they are not improving enough to justify the yearly fee. I have what I need and they are not providing new value to me so why pay? Think about that you monthly guys and your complete loss of control over product improvements and value to you as you pay to play. Forever no matter what comes down the pike. Suck it up and pay and pay and pay. As an added bonus I expect that for those holdouts there will be changes to modeling kernals that will prevent past users from communicating with current users even through neutral formats. These people can of course then get on the pay to play merry go round as the only solution. Not that this business model would ever evince any avarice towards it’s customers.

I bought Inventor Pro HSM as a permanent seat because I think it is the best value out there for a design build entity. I have no regrets being here and I know over time Inventor will become better and easier for me to use. It is the value leader in the industry and I sure do wish they would just leave this current model alone.

Be forewarned people, your time to choose if you wish to is quickly coming to and end. I trust the permanent seat promise from Autodesk enough to have bought into it. I suppose someday in the future it could go away. My assumption is that this would happen only when their competitors are doing the same and the market is moving to full bore enslavement because they can. Don’t get me started on the cloud either or the idiocy of cloud based products with all the data breaches that occur all the time at companies that have far more resources than you do to prevent hacking. They can’t do it, you can’t do it and Autodesk can’t prevent it either over public networks they neither own or control.

I don’t intend to say much more about this sad day with Autodesk. You have time to prepare if you wish to use their products. It saddens me that future users will not have this choice though so many younger people are so oblivious to owning over renting I am not sure they will miss permanent seats at all. Autodesk may be right and maybe those who want control over their destinies and expenses are a dying breed. Time will tell.

2 responses to “Autodesk CAD CAM Self Autonomy End In Sight

  1. I don’t agree with them getting rid of perpetual licenses… I frankly think its foolish. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think the rental model is a good one, I think it’s a brilliant model and a lot of companies are insisting on paying for rental software instead of going the perpetual route. It suits them more.

    So while I can understand why you personally don’t like it, a lot of people do… the point is Autodesk should be offering the choice. This is what I think will happen:

    Current rental prices are high. So the cost of ownership only makes sense up to the 4 years.

    If it was a lot cheaper, and it was more like 6-8 years, then I don’t think there would be any complaints. But Autodesk can’t start renting their software that cheaply on an annual basis, it would immediately piss off all those who paid for perpetual seats.

    By stopping the sale of perpetual seats, it allows them to reduce the cost of the rental option, once the perpetual license asset value has depreciated.

    At that point I think the rental pricing will drop, and pick & mix rental plans will appear.

    You’re right, it is a generational thing as well. Software is a tool… it enables you to do things which would otherwise take a lot longer to do with out it. The same goes for electricity. Software has never actually been owned like an asset, so I personally think the rental model is a more honest one. You pay to get a license to use it, not to own it.

    While you could possibly be right about companies holding your data hostage. I don’t think it will happen with Inventor, I’ve seen some stuff which is quite the contrary and AnyCAD is an example of what I hope is just the start. But who knows, a change in management can bring a change in approach.

    I get where you are coming from. I just don’t think its as doomy & gloomy as you have painted it, but I do agree customers should be given the choice. But with choice comes complications.

    • I hope it is not going to be gloom and doom. Dittos on the choice, that is all I ask for and then let each choose his own preference. You do have to admit that if you rent and stop your data no longer is usable though don’t you? Data hostage would be a non PC way of describing “tailored to your needs and cheaper up front and only rent it when you need it woohoo!. End result is pay to play and update their way not yours.

      You are more optimistic on pricing than I am. If they can get it now why would they drop the price later? Unless their rental model meets severe resistance. I may not own the software but I can use it for the next twenty years with a permanent seat and not pay another dime. That is close enough for me and leaves the financial choices in my hands to best be used for my situation. Follow the money and Autodesk expects to prosper from this choice by lockin and not by the reason which brought me here. Namely superior products and pricing.

      I comment on rental because it puzzles me why so many see modern and convenient and the PR dudes extolling junk benefits are half believed. I don’t see a single advantage to rental for renters except in A, getting your foot in the door until you can buy a seat, B extended trial testing to be certain it is what you want before you buy your permanent seat and C, temporary overflow in work loads requiring temporary additional seats. At least Autodesk is honest about how you will lose autonomy and pay more over time. And that they intend to make more money this way. I have my permanent seat and I don’t expect them to renege on this in the remainder of my working career so it is not a big battle I wish to fight today. I just hate to see the door slammed shut on future customers. I really think the guys behind this have their fingers crossed and are not certain they will be able to pull it off long term. Time will tell.

      Say, you don’t really want to own your car when renting is so easy and painless do you? I can see the future now if enough companies get away with this.

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