Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Comparison Charts - What Autodesk is missing...

With the economic downturn affecting many architecture firms, there is a movement to re-evaluate what they spend money on. One significant aspect of every budget is software. Do the companies who almost force you into subscriptions really give you the benefit of getting each new software release? Adobe gives you a comparison chart to help you evaluate what has changed and thus puts the power in your hands to determine if the software advances from the company warrant the payment for the upgrade. Autodesk will give you a feature summary but is that enough?

I was recently asked to look into Ecotect training since there are only a few individuals using our network license within our office at a limited capacity. We would like to leverage the product more throught our design process and on more projects. With that research, I thought I would look at the upgrade of our 5.6 version to 2010 since the users would most likely be trained in the new version. I was shocked to see that the price has risen to $3,500 and then they want $750 on top of that for subscription which they try to justify by giving you Green Building Studio.

But what has been improved?

By Autodesk putting their name on it after aquisition, the price increased significantly. With the next release (2010) it increased again by $1,000. So what justifies this increase? Give me a product comparison since the product detail brochure and questions & answers paper do not mention one benefit to upgrading. Is there even a new feature? Autodesk, How are you going to get new customers for these products if you make it cost prohibitive? I can't sell this to our CFO in this market but if it was less expensive (like Pre-Autodesk days) I would be able to. If I could sell it and train it then they would see the benefit, use it a lot and need to buy even more licenses thus providing Autodesk with even more money then at the current cost since we will not buy it. How will you even get people to try it at this cost?

In the past, Revit was worthwhile to be on subscription. With the aquisition, they started a strong push to improve the product with frequent updates which has seemed to fizzle. Are they in the "the dip" or do they need to find their new "Purple Cow". Both are fast read books by Seth Godin and if you have not read them then you need to. I used to look forward to the improvements of each release but I have not seen this in the last couple releases. They always seem to focus all efforts in one area. 2009 brought us the rendering and 2010 will bring us a new user interface but what happens to all of the issues that you may think are little but really significantly affect the everyday use?
Autodesk, Please keep up with being innovative and make it worthwhile to be on subscription.

Another example of product version comparisons from Techsmith on Camtasia. They allow you to pick your version and have it compared to the current. Simple idea that most software companies do...


  © Blogger template 'Neuronic' by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP