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Autodesk to Switch to Subscription-only Next Year

autocad servicesAutodesk, one of the most prominent design and drafting software developers, is the most recent to go to a subscription only service. The company develops computer aided design software such as the Autodesk Design & Creation Suite, which includes AutoCAD, one of the top programs used by engineers, architects and builders.

The company recently announced that starting July 31, 2016, new commercial licenses of most Autodesk products will be available only through a pay-as-you-go subscription service. Subscriptions can be purchased monthly, quarterly, annually or in multi-year bundles.  They’re hoping that by offering several choices, it will allow customers to buy only what they need. They have a portfolio of products with the option of single user licensing or shared network licensing for businesses.

While the bulk of their customers are businesses that use their design suite software for infrastructure and product development, they do have products that individuals may be interested in using at home or in schools. Sketchbook Pro and Maya are for animation and video game development, and are popular among students and educators.

Autodesk is the most recent company to go to a subscription service business model. When the Adobe Creative Cloud and Windows Office 365 were released, they were only available with a subscription.

Andrew Anagnost, vice president of Autodesk’s Industry Strategy and Marketing, said, “The way we design and make things is changing: every industry is being disrupted by changes in production, demand and products. Autodesk is embracing this new norm and evolving our business so that customers can thrive in theirs.”

The company believes that the flexibility of subscription based services gives customers an advantage because they are able to select only what they need. There is a lower cost upfront, and they won’t have to worry about upgrades in the future. They will always have access to the newest version of the software.

A cloud-based subscription service is also available. There are several advantages with this option. Businesses won’t have to dedicate server space to the large amount of space that CAD software needs. The software can be accessed across desktops, laptops and mobile devices, allowing for more collaboration among project teams.

Offering their products in a subscription based model can also give Autodesk an advantage. More people are likely to try the software because of the lower cost of investment. Small businesses may also be able to get access to software they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.

The downside is that some businesses like the idea of paying once for software and using it as long as they can. If they feel that’s more beneficial they can purchase a perpetual license of their software before July 31, 2016, and not be affected by the subscription-only service. They can continue to own and have full usage rights to the version of the software they purchased. They can also keep maintenance benefits for as long as they continue to renew the maintenance.

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