May 25, 2016
This week, Autodesk began issuing a notice to its customers. It reads, in part:
On August 1, 2016, we will introduce Autodesk industry collections and end the sale of Autodesk Design & Creation Suites. Industry collections will provide you access to a wide selection of the essential Autodesk software for your profession. They will offer immediate access to new technology, cloud services, and several licensing options ...
To make way for industry collections, we will end the sale of new Design & Creation Suite subscriptions and perpetual licenses after July 31, 2016. If you wish to purchase more Design & Creation Suites before August 1, 2016, we encourage you to subscribe now and rest assured that we will provide you with a simple way to switch to an industry collection in the future ...
In addition to its popular individual software titles (AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, and Autodesk Revit, to name but a few), Autodesk also sells bundles, called suites, targeting specific industries. For example, Building Design Suite for architecture, construction, and engineering (AEC); Product Design Suite for mechanical design and manufacturing; Entertainment Creation Suite for animators and digital artists; Factory Design Suite for factory designers; Plant Design Suite for plant managers; and so on.
Each suite is also subdivided into Standard, Premium, and Ultimate editions, with advanced features and capabilities relegated to the higher end. Evaluating the different configurations could be quite a dizzying task.
Beginning August, Autodesk intends to distill its bundles into three:
- Architecture, Engineering & Construction (AEC) Collection
- Product Design Collection
- Media & Entertainment Collection
August 1 is also the end of the road for specialty suites like Factory Design Suites and Plant Design Suites. Autodesk PR said, “You’ll find that in most cases the ‘critical’ products within each Suite are carried over to Industry Collections. For instance, the Product Design Collection includes Factory Design Utilities.”
Aside from simplicity, the company also points out subscribing to a collection gives you more values than purchasing multiple individual titles to assemble your own.
For instance, you can subscribe to the Product Design Collection for $2,460 per year. However, if you acquire the same three titles included in the collection on your own, you’d have to pay $1,890 for Inventor Professional, $1,680 for AutoCAD, and $3,280 for NavisWorks Manage per year, adding up to $6,850.
The Industry Collection subscriptions are available in monthly, quarterly, yearly, and multiyear licenses. Single-user licenses are available directly from the Autodesk E-Store. Multi-user licenses are offered through the company’s reseller network.
According to Autodesk PR, “Cloud services will be included in every industry collection. For example, rendering, fusion or ReCap in the Product Design Collection. Customers can always subscribe to additional individual products in order to address their more specialized needs such as simulation or data management.”
The move is part of Autodesk’s multi-phase strategy to migrate its customers away from perpetual licenses toward subscriptions. As such, the company plans to stop selling perpetual licenses for its suites on July 31, 2016.
Traditional CAD software vendors’ migration to subscription and cloud is the sign of the times. As an early adopter of the model, Autodesk laid the foundation for cloud integration with its Fusion 360 product line. More recently, Siemens PLM Software revealed its cloud-based licensing strategy for Solid Edge CAD software. The pressure to move CAD from the desktop to the cloud also comes from newcomers like Onshape, which has demonstrated a full-fledged CAD program can run inside a browser like other SaaS products. The shift to subscription or on-demand licensing is a natural offshoot that reflects the new software consumers’ preference for the pay-as-you-go approach.
Autodesk is also rebranding its 3D reality capture software Memento as Remake. As a solution to automatically build 3D mesh models from digital photos, Remake targets those with the eed to digitize and reverse-engineer objects and articles that exist in the real world. Its companion product is Autodesk Recap 360, for cleaning and editing scan data.
Note: This post is updated with additional information and quotes from Autodesk PR on May 26, 2016.