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Autodesk Subscription: Top 3 myths, busted

Enterprise Software | Posted on April 8, 2016 by Debbie Stephenson

This article addresses three of the most common misconceptions about Autodesk Subscription. 

In January 2016, Autodesk discontinued selling new perpetual licenses for most of its standalone products. Instead, clients must now purchase an Autodesk Subscription for their favorite software, including AutoCAD, AutoCAD LT, 3ds Max, Revit and more.

While subscription-based licensing has become standard practice for most major software companies (e.g. Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft Office 365), it is nonetheless still a major change for Autodesk customers. And like any big change, there have been a lot of rumors swelling. But, the reality is that Autodesk’s subscription model is not as scary as it seems.

I recently sat down with Don Goddard, our resident Autodesk specialist here at Softchoice, to get some answers to three of the most common concerns with Autodesk Subscription.

Myth 1: The new named-user model is complicated to manage

As you may know, Autodesk Subscription comes with new Named User Management. This means that instead of installing a perpetual license on a specific computer, you assign an Autodesk subscription license to a named individual in the company. This process is managed through your online Autodesk Account portal.

While it may seem painful to have to know who is using each license in your organization, according to Don, the reverse is actually true.

“In speaking with a lot of Autodesk clients, I have found that everyone actually using named user management on a daily basis really likes it,” explains Don. “It eliminates any confusion over who is using which license, as well as the need to keep detailed spreadsheets.”

Everything is laid out clearly in your Autodesk Account, with centralized management to add and reassign seats when needed. “From a compliance perspective, this is huge,” says Don. “Many clients I speak with don’t know how many licenses they have in their environment, so there’s a real risk of over-deployment. Having named users assigned to each license ensures compliance, while providing an automatic record of your purchase history.”


Myth 2: I need an Internet connection to use my Autodesk Subscription software

Autodesk Subscription is a desktop application, not a cloud application. It doesn’t require Internet connectivity to run, and storage resides on-premise. That said, an Internet connection is required initially to install and activate your software. You will also need to connect to the Internet every 30 days in order to keep your software up-to-date and for Autodesk to verify that your subscription is still current.

“For the majority of Autodesk users, this will not be an issue,” explains Don. “But for the small number of users who can’t connect to the Internet every 30 days, there are other options available, like a multi-user license instead. I recommend customers connect with me to discuss the best solution for their needs.”

It’s also useful to know that if you do choose to work online, Autodesk Subscription comes with added cloud benefits, including A360, a digital workspace for design and collaboration, and 25GB of cloud storage.

Myth 3: Autodesk Subscription is more expensive, with little value in the long run

Autodesk Subscription comes with a number of new benefits not previously available with perpetual licensing. These include the ability to scale licenses up or down, depending on your needs. For project-based organizations, this is a real advantage, reducing the need for big up-front software investments.

Autodesk Subscription is available on flexible term lengths, including quarterly, annual and multi-year options, so you can get the software you need, for as long as you need it. In addition, some subscriptions (e.g. AutoCAD LT) now include advanced support at no additional cost.

Finally, Autodesk Subscription is able to better serve the growing demand for mobility in the workplace. Users can access both current and previous versions of software on their home computer, while traveling, and on any device. AutoCAD users especially will be pleased to learn that AutoCAD 2017 includes the AutoCAD 360 Pro mobile app, to view, edit and share drawings on their mobile devices. This means greater flexibility for your users, and better productivity for your business.

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