Autodesk Announces Subscription-Only Access for Standalone Desktop Software3 Feb, 2015 By: Nancy Spurling Johnson
Beginning in February 2016, customers who own perpetual licenses without a Maintenance Subscription will have to move to a subscription plan the next time they upgrade.
Anagnost states that Desktop Subscription provides a better way to manage and deploy software, simplifies the process of upgrading software and adding new tools to the workflow, and offers pay-as-you-go subscription terms including monthly, quarterly, or yearly, as well as new two-year and three-year plans to come.
“There’s a huge task on ecosystems where [software is] not up to date,” Anagnost says, referring to customers who wait several years before upgrading perpetual licenses. “[Desktop Subscription] will be easier and actually less expensive for those customers.”
Anagnost illustrated the cost of maintaining a perpetual license with that of a Desktop Subscription under the new model, based on a three-year term and North American pricing:
License maintenance will be easier going forward as well, Anagnost states. “When everyone is on this new model, we will vastly have simplified licensing and license management.” Autodesk Account will be the single place to manage all products, subscriptions, and services. New tools are in the works that will automate license maintenance and offer new capabilities such as accessing a software seat from any workstation in an office, he says.
Supporting the Transition
Autodesk maintains that it is committed to supporting customers through this transition. An online FAQ states, “Autodesk and our partners will work with customers to make this transition as smooth as possible (and to deal with exceptional situations accordingly), and will provide as much advance notice as possible so that customers can anticipate and plan for these changes.”
Anagnost adds, “We are giving our customers a full year to plan for these changes and will continue to be transparent about our plans.” The company will continually innovate and improve Desktop Subscription products to more tightly integrate them with Autodesk cloud services, and reduce file compatibility issues, it reports.
Autodesk is putting programs in place to help software resellers make the transition as well, Anagnost says, including education and resources to help those businesses remain successful without relying on sales of perpetual software licenses. “In our view, the partners are still a very critical part of our relationship with customers,” Anagnost says. “We need a partner close to those customers, supporting them and building a relationship.”
Editor’s note: In the February 11 issue of Cadalyst’s CAD Manager’s Newsletter, author Robert Green will examine Autodesk’s new subscription-only model for standalone desktop software and its impact on companies and CAD managers facing a change. Sign up for your free subscription today.