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AUTHOR: Rowena Harry

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Let’s Talk About Autodesk Flex

As part of Autodesk’s continued drive to provide customers with flexible purchasing options that align value with usage and outcomes, Autodesk has introduced Flex. Autodesk Flex is consumption-based licensing that merges the benefits of a named user model with the flexibility of pay as you go.

Update: On March 29, 2022, Autodesk retired cloud credits and enabled Flex tokens as the virtual currency used for both cloud services in addition to pay-as-you-go product access.  Tokens are charged for products or services that design, render, simulate, or provide other results.  For a complete list of Autodesk’s Flex rates for pay-per-result cloud services, click here.

 

Benefits of Autodesk Flex

With the discontinuation of multi-user/network access type and transition to named user, Autodesk recognized the need to provide an option to round out their offerings.

Autodesk Flex helps companies with existing single-user subscriptions maximize the value of Autodesk products.

Autodesk Flex is an option perfectly suited for occasional users that require access once or twice weekly or for multiple users that require only occasional access to specific products.

Key benefits of using Autodesk Flex:

  • Optimizes overall costs for companies with an existing subscription to add Flex when product access doesn’t merit a single-user subscription.
  • Provides minimal risk for customers to explore new products and expand workflows without large upfront costs.
  • Increases productivity, with faster procurement and less time spent on administration.

 

How does Autodesk Flex Work?

 

Step 1. Buy tokens for you and your team.

Autodesk tokens are available for purchase in pre-specified amounts.  Tokens expire (365) days from their date of purchase.  Purchase tokens at any time needed for you and your team in advance and draw down against the pre-payment based on usage.

Users access Autodesk products available with Flex at a daily rate through pre-purchased tokens. Each product available with Flex has a fixed daily rate based on a 24-hour period per user. The daily rate is uniquely priced based on the product being accessed.

 

Pricing Information

Use tokens to access any product available with Flex for 24 hours at a time.

 

Token Quantity Total Cost Cost/Token
100 tokens $300 $3.00
500 tokens $1,500 $3.00
1,000 tokens $3,000 $3.00
5,000 tokens $14,625 $2.93
10,000 tokens $28,500 $2.85
15,000 tokens $41,625 $2.78
25,000 tokens $67,500 $2.70
50,000 tokens $131,250 $2.63

 

Daily rates of top products:

When a user opens a product, they will be charged a daily rate per product once every 24 hours. Close the product to stop token charges.

Note that as new products and services become available through Flex; we will update this blog promptly.  To confirm current and specific pricing, please contact Microsol Resources.

Daily rates of top products* at the time of this article’s publication date (updated April 14, 2022):

AutoCAD for Mac icon AutoCAD
7 tokens
$21
Revit icon Revit
10 tokens
$30
Maya
6 tokens
$18
Inventor Icon Inventor
8 tokens
$24
3ds Max
6 tokens
$18
Fusion 360 icon Fusion 360
2 tokens
$6

 

Items included free of charge

If you have tokens left, these products are included with Flex free of charge:

Cloud Models for Revit Grading Optimization for Civil 3D
Desktop Connector Insight – Energy Analysis
Drawing History for AutoCAD Insight – Green Building Studio
Drive Inventor Nesting
Factory Design Utilities Inventor Tolerance Analysis
Fusion Team Process Analysis
Generative Design for Revit Shared Views

 

*For a complete list of pricing published on Autodesk’s Flex Rate Sheet , click here.

Step 2. Assign users to Flex in Autodesk Account.

Autodesk Flex allows an unlimited number of users to be assigned and access products available with Flex.

Sign in to Autodesk Account at manage.autodesk.com and navigate to Products and Services and scroll to locate and select Flex subscription. Add users and/or assign users to Flex similarly to the current process for assigning single-user subscriptions.

Administrators have the option to provide access to all products included with Flex to all users or to restrict access to specific products or users.  Note at this time, tokens from a token pack may not be split among multiple teams.

Autodesk Flex user assignment can also be automated for a more hands-off approach by setting up default assignments choosing which products to assign to all Flex users.

 

Step 3. Use tokens to access products.

As with a single-user subscription; Autodesk Flex can be accessed by each user assigned on up to (3) devices such as primary office, home office, and mobile device for non-simultaneous use.

Also, as with a single-user subscription, multiple eligible versions can be accessed without incurring an additional charge.

Once the product is launched the daily token rate for a 24-hour period is consumed.  The product can be opened and closed as needed without incurring an additional charge.  Be mindful to close programs when no longer accessing to avoid inadvertently being charged after the 24-hour period concludes.

To prevent accidental opening of a product to consume a daily token rate, if a product is launched and closed within five minutes then tokens will be reported as 0 tokens charged.

An Internet connection is required at product sign-in. After that, the product can go offline for up to 24 hours. As the 24-hour mark approaches, an in-product message notifies the user that online sign-in is again required.

 

Step 4. Track token use and spending.

With the same insights customers have grown accustomed to with single-user subscriptions, Flex provides rich data on users and usage which enables administrators to optimize token usage and purchases.

Token consumption is optimized for any user assigned to both a single-user subscription and Flex.

Sign-in to Autodesk Account at manage.autodesk.com and click Reporting > Token Usage to view usage reporting of Flex tokens by product and by user with additional insights provided with Flex on Premium plan.  To learn more about Flex token usage reporting please click: here.

 

Putting the Flex in Flexibility

 

Autodesk continues its commitment to providing innovative, new offerings for our mutual customers and we here at Microsol Resources feel the introduction of Flex is a valuable addition.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions, to discuss if Autodesk Flex might be the right fit or an appropriate addition for your needs, or to add Flex.

If you would like further information, please don’t hesitate to contact your Microsol Resources Account Executive or reach out to us by email at info@microsolresources.com or phone us at (888) 768-7568.

 

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Next Steps to Transition to Autodesk Named User

Autodesk Transition to Named User is a trade-in path for multi-user subscription; as well as network perpetual on maintenance plan, and stand-alone perpetual on maintenance plan; which have been discontinued, to Autodesk Named User (single-user) subscription.

Autodesk came out with a trade-in offer to transition to Named User at renewal time for these discontinued products.  Upon trading-in to Named User there are several steps that are required to complete the transition, and, in the allowable timeframe.

Prior to initiating any of these steps; it’s important to note that if you are using versions that are older than 2016 you will need to upgrade because Named User subscription offers version access in current + 5 previous.  Please see details on upgrading to an allowable version directly following the required next steps to complete transition to Named User further below.

Timeframe

Note that Named User subscriptions resulting from a trade-in won’t become available until one day after the current contract anniversary date of the discontinued licenses that are being traded-in. The window to perform the required steps to complete the transition to Named User is starting the day after the current contract anniversary date and within 30 days after. In the meanwhile; the discontinued multi-user subscription and/or network or standalone perpetual licenses will continue to function/remain accessible to users.

We recommend that if you have more than a few users to transition over to try it with just one or a few users; performing steps 1, 2, 3, and 5 only – to confirm success and avoid unlikely but possibly widespread disruption. Please consider also watching our video recording performing these required next steps.

Step 1: Add Users

Administrators add users within the Autodesk Account.

Step 2: Assign Users

Administrators assign users to Named User/ single-user subscription.

Step 3: Switch License Mode to Named User

The process will depend on the version of the software, and whether the previous license is still in use. If the product is a 2016 version, then a new serial number must be requested from Autodesk Support, and the product must be reinstalled. In addition to reinstallation, Transport Layer Security (TLS) updates must be installed.

If the product is 2017 – 2021, then there are two options to switch the license mode from Network, or Standalone, to Named User:

Licenses are issued after confirmation through an active internet connection. To ensure that the licensing service can function properly, please review the following links for Firewall Exceptions and Proxy Configuration:

Note: Installation files for the current and previous three (3) versions can be downloaded from the Autodesk Account at manage.autodesk.com. All versions included back to the previous five (5) versions can be downloaded from the Autodesk Virtual Assistant (AVA) at ava.autodesk.com.

Step 4: Decommission License Servers

Note this required step is only if you are transitioning from multi-user subscription or network perpetual on maintenance plan.

While Autodesk license files for multi-user subscriptions have a built-in expiration date of 30 days after the current contract anniversary date; once steps 1-3 are completed, admin(s) should decommission license servers to prevent Autodesk compliance issues resulting from users continuing to access network licenses before the built-in expiration date kicks in. Note that if you still have any products that require a network license, then you should keep LMTOOLS running. However, you should generate an updated license file removing expired or traded-in products.

Please reference Autodesk link detailing How To Uninstall the Network License Manager on Windows.

If you still have products that require a network license; please reference Autodesk link detailing How To Generate a Network License File in Autodesk Account.

Step 5: Inform Users of the New Sign-In Process

Advise Users that they will receive an email from Autodesk welcoming new users added to Autodesk Account or notifying existing users of their new subscription assignment and inviting new users added to complete their profile. Inform Users of the new sign-in process going forward.

! UPDATE YOUR PROJECTS PRIOR TO TRANSITION IF USING VERSION OLDER THAN 2016 !

The Transition to Named User offers access to Autodesk products in current plus 5 prior versions; currently 2021 back to 2016. If Autodesk’s current policy on access to previous versions impacts your projects, we recommend upgrading projects to a newer version as soon as possible.

This can be a time-consuming process but there are batch upgraders available for some products, notably AutoCAD and Revit, which can upgrade entire projects to newer versions. Please note that you should carefully check any files that are upgraded using those types of tools, and of course, you should make sure to back up your original files before running the batch tools.

For AutoCAD and related software that uses the DWG format, please note that the DWG format changes every few years; for example; The 2013 format was used for AutoCAD 2013 through 2017, and the current 2018 format is used for years 2018 through 2021.

For Revit, each year is a separate version. You can review our blog on Upgrading Revit Projects.

You can review the official Autodesk notification of their Prior Use Policy Update.

Sometimes unexpected issues arise from not having the proper updates to some background program blocking the process so please let us know if you need our assistance here and we will get our more learned colleagues in support department involved.

 

If you would like further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (888) 768-7568, or email info@microsolresources.com.

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Tip for Using AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT for the Mac Platform

Autodesk provides many native Mac products for 3D modeling, CAD, rendering, animation, VFX, and digital imagery.

Over here at Microsol Resources, we field this inquiry often. We researched and can confirm that if you have a 2012 (or later) version of Autodesk AutoCAD or Autodesk AutoCAD LT software, but have a preference or requirement for the Mac platform, you are able to run the software on a Mac platform without having to submit a request or require any processing time.

You are entitled to cross-licensing between products of the same version year. AutoCAD can be installed and activated on Windows or Mac OS X with the same serial number and product keys two times in a 12-month period. The two activations can either be two Windows activations, two Mac OS X activations, or one Windows activation plus one Mac OS X activation.

Please note that cross-platform for Autodesk AutoCAD and Autodesk AutoCAD LT may only available for the 2015 and newer versions of Autodesk Desktop Subscription licenses.

 

Read on to learn how:

 

1. By simply downloading the Mac platform and inputting your existing Serial Number and Product Key associated with the PC platform you can run the software as a Mac.  

You can locate your Autodesk AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT Serial Number and Product Key within your Autodesk Account.  If you are not sure how to do it, you can read our blog post on How to locate your Product Serial Numbers/Product Keys in your Autodesk Account.

You can locate download links if you don’t already have the Mac platform of your Autodesk AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT product by visiting Autodesk Virtual Agent.

 

2. To download Autodesk for Mac software within Autodesk Virtual Agent:

  • Click to access Autodesk Virtual Agent
  • Click on the “Download Link”
  • Browse to  “Mac Products”
  • Select “AutoCAD”
  • Select “AutoCAD for Mac 201x

The download will automatically start and you should be all set to continue onto the install process!

 

While Inventor or Revit does not currently have a native Macintosh version, you can still install Revit and Inventor on a Mac in virtualized environments including Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion.

Autodesk also supports these products via Boot Camp, part of Mac OS X that lets you install and run Windows (and Windows-based applications) on a Mac.

 

If you still have unanswered questions or are having trouble, do not hesitate to contact us! Call us at 888-768-7568 or shoot us an email support@microsolresources.com.

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