Autodesk called me today....

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I just thought I'd relay the phone call I got today from Autodesk.

I had requested a trial CD of Revit some months back and they were calling to get some feedback and ask some questions to help them with potential future changes to the software.

The lady asked if I could spare a minute or two and I said "yes". At that point I explained to her that while I had received the CD, I'd never actually used it. At this point I was looking forward to be able to voice my view of the software, and the reasons why I choose not to install it. Instead of her asking "Oh, why did you decide not to try it?" she said "well, then none of my questions apply" and after saying goodbye, hung up.

Hmmm, I can certainly understand wanting feedback from users, but I would think POTENTIAL USERS would be important as well (if not more so). Especially potential users who went as far as ordering the trial CD. I guess for tweeking of future releases you'd want to talk to the people with hands-on experience with the product, but as someone deciding what software direction my company is headed (currently using ADT - which is being phased out for Revit - and AutoCAD) you'd think that'd it might be important to them to know WHY I decided not to persue Revit. Maybe even find out what ADT users are planning on going to once they kill off that product line.

Anyway, just thought I'd rant about the company that takes my money, but doesn't care what I think of it....

Michael (LS)

Reply to
Michael (LS)

No it didn't suprise me that they don't care. Two things did suprise my though:

  1. That they even called
  2. That having made the call, and finding someone willing to speak with them, that they weren't interested in why I choose not to use the software of their future.

Yeah, my experiences with Autodesk (and their Authorized Dealers) is anything but positive.

I haven't totally decided yet. I do know I'm getting off Autodesks upgrade wheel. I do occasionally exchange files with a couple of my clients so I need accurate dwg compatability. Whether that's one seat of LT and the rest IntelliCAD, or one LT and the rest just stick with what we've got, or all IntelliCAD, or ......

I refuse to keep dumping money into a product upgrade that doesn't actually benefit me. I've got everything customized and working the way I like. Upgrading forces me to redo a lot of that, and most releases don't benefit me enough to offset those costs and time.

The bulk (>75%) of my clients are builders and about half of those use a CAD program. Every single one of them (that uses a CAD program) uses Chief Architect, so I'll be looking into that in the future as an option.

Got any suggestions?

Michael (LS)

Reply to
Michael (LS)


As an ADT user my company just recently learned of the existence of Revit, and I have been researching the program through news groups, and through the demo product I downloaded from the AutoDesk web site.

I to also ordered a trial CD from them in the middle of September and am awaiting its arrival. I would like to know, if you know that FOR SURE AutoDesk is heading in the Revit direction.

I posted a thread on the AutoDesk news group regarding this issue and the monitor removed it from the posting stating that (more or less) I shouldn't stir shit up.

Anyhow, I hate how there is this uncertainness in my mind regarding the direction of REVIT and ADT. Couldn't AutoDesk come out and say "look this is the deal. in 2 years we're not gonna make ADT any more and for those companies who wanna get a head start, make the switch soon."

As I am the only one in the company who is "qualified" enough to make a personal recommendation to the company on the AutoDesk products to use, I feel confused as to why they are making it such a hard transition.

I feel, from my experience with both programs, that Revit is the future for the building design industry, however I want to hear a clear answer that this is it.

any comments/questions/rebuttals?

thanks guys

Reply to
Adam B

Yes, Revit is the future. ADT is not going to be around much longer.

Here's a copy of a post I made last week about it: "It's been discussed on the newsgroups on Autodesks servers (and by Autodesk employees). This is NOT a rumor, the only real publically unknown is WHEN will they discontinue it.

According to everything I've read here's the situation: Current version of ADT is 2004. There WILL be a 2005 (or whatever they call it). There will NOT be any versions beyond that. Revit is the future.

It's too bad that Autodesk bought Revit as the competition was (and would have continued) to make it better."

The information I have, I got from newsgroups on Autodesks servers, and most of the information comes directly from Autodesk employees. Also discussed were the future of Viz (which I use too) and how it too won't be developed further. Viz users will have two options:

  1. Viz Render - built into ADT4 (and into the next release of Revit)
  2. 3D Max - which costs more and has more features (unfortunitely, I don't need any of the additional features).


Michael (LS)

Reply to
Michael (LS)

"Michael (LS)" schrieb:

Hmmm ... years ago they said (not a rumor), Inventor is the future. MDT (it was MDT 5) is not going to be around much longer. And then we got a MDT 6, then a MDT 2004, ...


Reply to
Jürgen Palme

Yeah, back in 2002 there was a lot of talk about this. I've never used MDT or Inventor but from what I hear the problem is that the user base of MDT is

5 times the size of Inventor. Autodesk obviously doesn't want to lose those customers, so they'll try to figure out how to force people to migrate. The biggest reason (AFAIK) people prefer MDT is that it's AutoCAD based, where Inventor is not. This causes usage/training issues as well as file format (translation) problems.

My guess with MDT/Inventor is that they'll try to make Inventor more appealling to users (ie: increase file compatibility, interface etc). Then scare/force people to switch. Obviously, when they said MDT would be going bye-bye some people probably switched to Inventor and others I'm sure at least looked into it. Also, the fact they gave Inventor away "free" to MDT users helps them increase the user base.

It general Autodesk is trying to consolidate their product lines. By limiting their offering they can claim a larger user base for those products. It also helps them by not having to support, and continue development of, so many products. I don't know what size user base ADT has, but I'd be willing to guess it's pretty small. I wish rather than end ADT development in favor of Revit that they change the "focus" of the two product lines. Combine the best parts of both into one package and market it to firms doing large scale commercial projects, and a "LT" version for residential and light commercial.

The other product being consolidated (that effects me) is Viz. I had no problem paying to keep my Viz current, but now I'm forced to switch to either Viz Render (which is free with ADT, and soon, Revit) or Max (which is more expensive than Viz was, and it is not "geared" to architectural rendering like Viz was). I certainly won't spend the money for Max, so instead of getting my Viz money, I'll be spending it elsewhere (maybe Sketch-up) or just saving it.

Michael (LS)

BTW, the info I quoted about ADT isn't a rumor (it came directly from Autodesk employees - So it may be a lie, but it's not a rumor).

Reply to
Michael (LS)

Autodesk does care what you think. However, Autodesk likely didn't call you. There's a company local to me (of which I know a couple current and former employees) who do service calls for various companies. Autodesk is one of their cleints.

You also need to keep in mind that because of this, the people you are talkngi to know nothing about the product. The mother of my wife's friend does calls for Autodesk and she was very interested when she found out I used AutoCAD because she didn't know anything about it.

Typically, these call centers have scripts they follow. If you haven't used it, it likely invalidated their script which means they have nothing to ask you. And genneraly speaking, they are forbiden from contract, from discussing the item they are talknig about further outside the scope of their script because not knowing the products, they could easily piss off a customer even more by "not having the answers". So the last thing Autofdesk want's is for these people to venture into unfamiliar ground.

This practice isn't specific to Autodesk. Just about any time you get a call oiek this regading a product or service from a big comany, it's typicalyl outsoursed to another firm. UPS (United Parcel Service) is a perfect ecample. If you cal ltheri customer support number with a probelm, you are talking to people who are NOT employees of UPS.

It's just how it is. It just doesn't mean that they don't care to hear what you say.

Reply to
Darren J. Young

Autodesk can't give you a clear answer because the truth is that it's you the customers that choose. ADT won't be killed off for the forseable future just like MDT wasn't because of Inventor. If Revit does what peple are expecting it to, ADT will die on it's own. When that happens, nobody realyl know. Transitions like this tend to be harder in the AEC market than they do in a manufacturing environment.

Reply to
Darren J. Young

Don't pay it. There's other cheaper options.

Personally, I think the price is too high for AutoCAD or the other products too. I also think my truck cost too much. My house was too expensive. Gas is to high. etc. etc. etc. At some point you gotta realize the cost of market driven prices.

Reply to
Darren J. Young
[studying his options snipped]

I know one surveying company who keeps {I think] one up-to-date autocad PC and runs their office on Release 12 with some customised lisp features. Files that open for all their customers and that are tiny and therefore easy to send via e-mail are the result.

FWIW I'd suggest keeping just one PC up-to-date and run whatever you're comfortable with on the rest.

Consider also whether an open-source alternative might be useful for your overall cost base reductions. I'm currently evaluating SuSE Linux

8.1 and Open Office 1.0. Hard to do when you're busy and not 100% committed to the changeover.

The latest Varicad may be a Christmas present to myself.

Considering Bill is once again the world's richest man and his organization has several millionaures, I think professionals who work with and/or specify software need to look at our costs and challenge the perceived status quo occassionally.

Basically put, you always need to watch your costs and promote competition amongst your suppliers. That way you stand a chance of them keeping sharp and delivering a competitively priced product.

BTW, Bill's bail-out of Apple a while ago is not to be underestimated.

Now he has his finger on a Unix based OS with a previous reputation associated with delivering media products.



Reply to
Michael O'Neill

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