If you were at Autodesk University last week (I wasn't) or at least watching the social media feed from the people you follow on Twitter, Facebook etc. you probably saw something about Autodesk changing how subscription will work in the future. This is anticipating more cloud based software use.
Scott Shepard shared (with Autodesk and blogger for "It's Alive in the Lab") a transcript of a Q&A session regarding what these changes are likely to mean to Autodesk's customers.
This is the text he shared within his blog post:
I (Scott Shepard) attended an internal Autodesk OnAir presentation where VP of Industry Strategy & Marketing, Andrew Anagnost, provided additional information. Here it is in question/answer form:
Q: What does "moving away from perpetual licenses" mean?
A: We will stop offering customers the option to purchase NEW perpetual licenses of Autodesk software. Customers will continue to have several other purchase options, including Desktop Subscription.
Q: Why are we making this change?
A: We are ahead of most of our competition in harnessing cloud and mobile to give customers superior user experiences and to provide more potential customers access to our products through lower prices for many of our products and term payments.
Q: What will be the impact on existing customers?
A: Customers who are on Autodesk Subscription will not be impacted by this change. Customers not on Autodesk Subscription will need to purchase Desktop Subscription to access the latest Autodesk software releases.
Q: What does this mean for customers on Maintenance Subscription?
A: Existing subscribers will continue to have the option to renew their Maintenance Subscription contracts and receive access to the latest Autodesk software releases and other Subscriber benefits. Any new software received as part of a maintenance contract will have perpetual license rights.
Q: What are we taking away?
A: The ability to buy NEW perpetual licenses.
Q: Does this mean customers will lose their perpetual rights?
A: No, if the customer previously bought a perpetual license in the past, that license doesn't go away.
Q: When will we stop offering perpetual licenses?
A: We anticipate it will be sometime in the next 12 to 24 months. Details will be shared as decisions are finalized.
He (Scott) then provided a few additional statements from the Autodesk PR team:
"We are aware of multiple conversations regarding Autodesk’s ongoing business model transformation and move to Subscription. In an effort to provide clarification, we would like to provide some specifics about changes in the sale of perpetual licenses."
"Over the next 12-24 months, Autodesk is planning to gradually discontinue sales of NEW perpetual licenses, and will make NEW seats of our software available through Desktop and Cloud Subscription only."
"Existing customers with perpetual seats will be able to continue using those products per the terms of those licenses. Customers with perpetual licenses that are current with Autodesk Subscription will continue to benefit from product updates and other benefits of Autodesk Subscription."
"We recognize that these changes will impact our customers and that you will have many questions. We plan to provide additional details about our plans as the information becomes available and will provide sufficient advance notice so you can plan for these changes."
I'm not sure about this - Microsoft seems to be backing away from such a model. We would often skip releases unless there were some compelling features. This seems to take away the customers ability to pay for only what they want or need. I'm just not sure how this will be perceived.
David William Edwards
Thanks for helping to spread the word.
Not quite sure what this means "Any new software received as part of a maintenance contract will have perpetual license rights", but I wonder if this is covering existing customers wanting more licenses.
We had a similar announcement at AUx in Sydney last month. My understanding is that once the new arrangement is in place, existing customers who want more licences will end up with a mix of rented and owned. The current system for managing the two methods are very different and do not seem made to coexist nicely. A potential IT management nightmare if it isn't addressed. See my blog post at Revitcat.blogspot
What Steve, you didn't go this year to AU? This Monday, my colleague and co-worker Damian Serrano returned from Las Vegas, and I asked him about you, and he said, "nope, I didn't see Steve this year". See? We miss you! :)
Yeah, my first missed AU since 2002. I didn't miss the crowds but it would have been good to see friends again! I did enjoy being home but I was also working through the week...
so what's the deal say for a brand new customer say 2017.
does this mean the software is on a timer? so that you had better get your work completed before the expired sign goes up?
surely this will encourage folks to just sit on what they have already got.
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