My new boss approached me today and asked my advice abt
dropping our Autodesk subscription plan.
You see..... we want more seats of Autocad, Inventor,
etc..... he was wondering if we dropped our
subscription plan and instead just bought a whole new
"seat" or license every two years or so if that would
be a good strategy..... or a false economy.
And yes..... if the above is possible..... we would
have seats of varying versions after a few years....
but would that be a problem or not?
It might work for the 1st two years, though It could be a major pain
remembering which features you should use in the newer version to
remain compatible with the old. But after two years all bets are off
as typically AutoCAD has only allowed saving back so far. For
example: A2000i will save to R14, but A2004 won't. And even though
A2004 will save to A2000i, you will loose some features (gradient
fills for one).
Plan 1: Buy new every 2 years.
Year 1: Currently have 2000i, purchase 2004 = $3000
Year 2: Must upgrade 2000i or loose it: = $1200
Year 3: Purchase 2006 (have 2004, 2005) = $3000
Year 4: no cost.
Year 5: Must upgrade 2004 = $1200
Year 6: Must upgrade 2005 = $1200
Year 7: Must upgrade 2006 = $1200
So you end up with a maximum of 3 copies and spend $10,800 total
(note that skipping versions does not save money on upgrades anymore.)
Plan 2: Upgrade to 2 copies now, add another in two years and stay on
Year 1: 2000i subscription and purchase 2004 = $3400
Year 2: 2 subscriptions = $800
Year 3: 2 subscriptions and purchase 2004 = $3800
Year 4: 3 subscriptions = $1200
Year 5: 3 subscriptions = $1200
Year 6: 3 subscriptions = $1200
Year 7: 3 subscriptions = $1200
Total = $12,800 (then 2400 every 2 years)
(Note I'm using $400 for both 1 year upgrade and subscription prices
and $3000 for new.)
So yes, you do save money the first 4 years ($2000). But after that
it costs the same (or more if you miss a required upgrade). And, at
least currently you get a discount on keeping your subscription
current (ie. it's less than the upgrade price). You might save a
bit more if Autocad isn't updated each year, but it looks like they
are pretty much on the version per year bandwagon. It gives
subscribers something to look forward to, and gives them a feeling the
subscription has some value.
Add to that the cost of handleing incompatabilities, loss of
productivity because all employees can't use the new enhancements and
loss of employee moral (Why do I get stuck with the old version?!
syndrome, or the sorry, I can't do that, you'll have to ask Joe, he
has the new version syndrome)
Note: skiping every other version use to be common with AutoCAD, but
that's when upgrades were a flat price regardless of which version you
were upgrading from. Now it's verry much a pay me now or pay me later
deal. (And pay me much more if you wait to long)
Just my 2 cents.
Also note, once off the subscription plan, if you ever want to get
back on it you will have to upgrade all your software to the current
version, then pay the subscription price. You pretty much hand back
any monitary savings you gained by dropping off the plan. (and
It sounds like you are considering the economies involved and how to
get the biggest bang for your buck. Another thing to consider it to
get network licences, especially if you have many casual users
(non-full time users).
Just an idea that has helped me keep cost down in the past.