Top Five Reasons Why Autodesk Software Users Should Upgrade and Maintain Subscription

By Anna Liza Montenegro | Subscription

Most design professionals all share a very common dilemma: keeping up with software.  This issue is inevitable as CAD and BIM software is constantly changing and evolving to newer versions.  While there’s the choice to never upgrade, it’s not a viable solution, and one that will eventually come back and bite users.

Below are the top five (5) essential and compelling reasons why Autodesk software users should be upgrading their software and maintaining Subscription.  Not only will it help users stay up-to-date with the latest technologies, but it will also protect their CAD/BIM software investment.

1. The Upgrade Option for Non Current Autodesk Products is Ending!

With Autodesk moving towards a Maintenance Subscription model; February 2015 marks the end of a long era of upgrades for Autodesk products. At that time, the ability for users to update their older version licenses to the current version will cease to exist. Between now and then, Autodesk is working with Value-Added Resellers (VARs) such as Microsol Resources, offering promotions that will allow users to upgrade their older versions to the current software at a discounted price and add Maintenance Subscription. After February 2015 users with Autodesk software not on active Maintenance Subscription will no longer be able to upgrade their product(s)…period. Anyone still holding an Autodesk license without Maintenance Subscription will eventually have to purchase a new license at full price, and will have lost all value in their assets! If there is any chance whatsoever that the software is going to need upgrading at some point in the future, now is the time to do it.

2. Maintaining Autodesk Subscription Works Out Cheaper.

For many, the biggest challenge in keeping current with their software is the cost factor. CAD and BIM software is probably the most expensive software they will ever purchase. Prices can range anywhere from $1,500 to over $6,000 for a single-seat license. That can add up quickly, so it’s one reason why Autodesk Maintenance Subscription is a wise decision. Maintenance Subscription prices are generally about 1/5th the cost of an upgrade, so it helps minimize cost over time. After doing the math, users find that paying an annual fee allows them to upgrade about 5x compared to the upfront cost of one (1) single license. Head over to our Autodesk Maintenance Subscription page to learn more about the other benefits of Autodesk Maintenance Subscription.

3. No More File Compatibility Issues!

Autodesk software can typically open older file types. Fact is; forward migration has been possible since the early days of AutoCAD. However, going backwards is not always an option. For example, if someone is working in version 2012—which is a 2010 DWG format—opening a 2015 file is not doable because it is a 2013 DWG format. More than likely that user would have to reach out to the file provider, and ask them to save it back to the 2010 format. However, when using the AutoCAD vertical products—such as Autodesk AutoCAD Architecture, Autodesk AutoCAD MEP, or Autodesk Civil 3D—this is not recommended due to the AEC Object data embedded in this file type (Ducts, Pipes, Doors, Walls, Corridors, Grading, etc). When converting these files to older versions, the parametric data within is broken or stripped away, robbing the file of everything that makes it intelligent.

While there are free programs that users will open and save files to older versions, these programs do not work seamlessly on all files, especially the ones just mentioned. Then there is Autodesk Revit, which has never had the ability to save backwards. In this case, ALL team members must utilize the same version of software…no questions asked. By having access to, and using the same version of CAD or BIM software, backwards compatibility issues will be all but eliminated.

4. Learning Curve Reduced…Drastically.

One common objection for not updating to a newer version of software is that with project deadlines always looming users don’t have the time required to become familiar with the new interface and would rather continue using their old “tried and true” version of the software. The adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” is repeated time and again, but the reality is, eventually the software will break, or the computer it resides on will need replacing. Another way of looking at this is that the learning curve will be reduced significantly if users stayed current with each release, without putting off the inevitable. Furthermore, users can typically continue working in the newer version the same way they used the older version. Basic commands rarely change, if ever, and shortcuts (aliases) are still usable. While not the most efficient use of the software by any means, this approach still keeps the user up-to-date and allows him/her to benefit in other ways already mentioned. As time allows, users can start experimenting and benefiting from the new bells/whistles, and they will be glad they did. It’s also helpful to note that Autodesk Maintenance Subscription offers previous use rights so different versions of the software can be installed/deployed concurrently.

It goes without saying that the software should be tested before rolling it out, but updating with each new release will reduce the learning curve overall. Additionally, by upgrading one release at a time, users will be able to learn the new versions in small steps versus leaps and bounds. As a result, time, effort, and aggravation will be minimized, not to mention cost.

5. Access to Web Support, Flexible Licensing Rights and Autodesk 360 Benefits and More.

Autodesk Maintenance Subscription helps customers maximize the power of their design tools, providing access to the latest software releases, remote access, Autodesk 360 benefits, cloud computing such as rendering and energy analysis, technical support, and flexible licensing rights. Becoming a Maintenance Subscription customer not only entitles users to Autodesk-direct Web Support, and other valuable services, but some consider the Autodesk add-ons and extensions to be worth the cost of Maintenance Subscription alone. Product enhancements for Autodesk Revit such as Batch Print, eTransmit, Space Naming Utility (SNU), and the Worksharing Monitor, as well as Content Packs for Autodesk AutoCAD Architecture and Autodesk AutoCAD MEP, and Productivity Tools for Autodesk Civil 3D, are just the tip of the iceberg. The main thing to know is that all of the above is available to Autodesk Maintenance Subscription customers only, so if you’re not on Autodesk Maintenance Subscription, you’re missing out!

Give us a call at Microsol Resources at 888-768-7568 if you’re interested in upgrading your software to the newest release or want to add Maintenance Subscription.


Published on August 4, 2014 in Subscription.

About the Author

Marketing Director in New York via San Francisco and Manila. Anna Liza is a trained architect and inspired by technology. A fan of traveling, slow food movement, and summers in Maine with her kids. She has been with Microsol since 2004.