SolidWorks Subscription

Is it reasonable for SW to charge their customer base a penalty for skipping
subscription service? The reason I'm bringing this up is because I'm in
this situation right now. I have been a licensed user of SolidWorks since
99 and have paid subscriptions out of my own pocket for all but the last two
releases. I have been reasonably satisfied with 2004 and probably wouldn't
switch if my customers remained on release 2004
From a different perspective, I personally have contributed $16,370 to SW
development in the last six years as a licensed user. Like everyone else, I
endured less than quality releases, lost billable hours dealing with
workarounds, bugs, crashes, turning in a few SP's here and there and not
withstanding all the other costs associated with hardware and software
upgrades. It doesn't seem reasonable or in the best interest of SW or their
customers to continue this practice. And as often is the case, the
financial burden has a greater impact on the small independent users.
Wasn't it the independent base which supported SW when AutoCAD was the hard
nosed bully on the block.
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I'm in a similar boat, we have a few individuals that use solidworks on a part time basis, some use it once a week and or SW dealer wants us to buy seats for ever installed copy of solidworks. being an ex pro engineer user sometimes its tempting to swapsoftware again (although parametrics are similar crooks) More and more people will just pirate the software ratehr than fork over the maintance and licensing fee. How many industries make you buy their product and then make you pay for the warrenttee. most people include it in the upfront cost. reason SW doesnt... the sell it as an inespensive product and then hit you with hidden cost. not the most honest or noble way to do business... Most of my gripes have to do with our sales reps, not SW. but, the licencing fee does make it a $8000 package not the adverticed $6000 (dont rember the exact values)
Kman wrote:
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I'm a independent so these fee's hit me a little harder than most. I find it necessary to keep all the different versions running on my computer over the last 4 years to stay compatible with my customers. That's is a pain for everyone.
I have no problems paying yearly maintaince, but I do have a problem with the how much it cost compared to the quality of the product I'm paying for. Twice, I have been burned badly with bugs in upgrades which cost me huge amounts of time and money. For $1300.00 a year, I expect pretty exceptional improvements to take place in less than a years time. The other thing I expect is full documentation of the product in "BOOK" form. Not help files on the CD. This ticks me off more than anything. It's really cheep of them. The booklet they sent out for advertising of SolidWorks world 2006 is larger and contains more information than the what's new book that came with SW2006 CD's! That's crazy! We should at lease be allowed to order books upon request to be included.
I hope more competition builds to drive down the cost of yearly maintain. It just seems too high for what you get.
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Try maintenance on Catia or UG, quite a bit (2x-3x) higher. You guys that didn't come from a "high end" system down just don't realize. When we dumped Catia, a license cost $20,000 and the unix box to run it cost $15,000. While PCs are more reasonable now, the cost and maintenance of Catia and UG are still high. And there are just as many bugs. And they don't include hard copy manuals either.
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Yes, I am aware of the $250 going towards the total penalty cost if you sign up before the end of December. Changing the topic slightly, I don't believe any of the penalty money goes to the VAR's rather directly into SolidWorks pocket. Their hard line policy on this issue can only push away users and force some to search for and find other alternatives. Maybe they have no problem with this?
SolidWorks sycophant???? Sorry, but that word doesn't ring any bells (got a hint for me!)
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Unfortuanately, there are some that would pirate the software even if they had the means to purchase. On the other hand black markets thrive on restictive policies.
Once upon a time, AutoCAD charged you for upgrading to next release ($500 per seat) and the service packs were included in this price. However, technical support was extra and it was provided by what we now refer to as VARs.
the sell it as an inespensive product and then hit
Some of their sales force have become a bit more in your face type attitude. I have noticed this over the years and suspect they are being squeezed by SolidWorks, the economy and their competition.
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Maybe it is time the CAD industry be introduced to "softare recalls" which would be inforced by the consumer protection agency.
I can understand your pain. How can SolidWorks expect to maintain customer loyalty by imposing penalties.
For $1300.00 a year, I expect pretty exceptional
I like the manuals they used to provide and on occasion refer back to them. However, I also find the electronic help files convenient and easy to search. It's just that my desktop will not fit into my briefcase.
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I am sort of dealing with the opposite case. My company has many seats and we have been paying support every year. Yet, we are still running SW2003 mainly because the new releases of software can not be trusted to work. Each upgrade needs to be thourougly tested to be sure it works. We estimated that it costs us somewhere around $40,000 to roll an update out to our users. At the same time SolidWorks is typically very buggy until SP2 or higher. The time period between a tested SP2 and the final SP is often 2 to 6 months. Talk about software with a short useful life. I am starting to get questions from my management about why are we paying for support when we can't implement the upgrades. Being a big user, we have the opportunity to raise these issues with executives of SolidWorks, but they don't seem to want to change. Without a good VAR, this system would not work! That brings up another point for this discussion. Try talking to another VAR about getting back on subscription. Each VAR is independant and they compete against one another. If you let each of them know that you are talking to other VAR's, they may give you a break in order to get your business. Another option is for a group of you to band together and negatiate a deal for 10 or 20 seats of upgrade. Bigger seat numbers tends to get better deals from both the VAR's and SolidWorks. Brad
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It would be great for everyone if other companies like yours would question the wisdom of spending large sums of money each year for maybe 6 months of stability before next release. How does your company get by without upgrading and the compatibility issues? SolidWorks has been very effective at using their large account customers to leverage others to become compatible.
Why does your company continue to waste the subscription money! They could use the savings say, to reward some of their deserving employees.
20 seats x $1295 = 25,900 x 3 releases = $77,700
I have contacted 3 different VARs in my area. They all are being very hard nosed about the penalty issue and this wasn't always the case. The VAR I have been with for many years would like to help and is willing to spread the payments which is appreciated. I don't think the VARs have any say in the penalty matter unless they pay for it out of their own pockets. I get the impression the penalty fee is bonus money for SolidWorks executives. Any VARs willing to enlighten us! You can use your secret Santa names.
Many of us have contacts in other companies using SW that might be interested in saving some money. Anyone interested in pursuing Brad's idea further?
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