SolidWorks Subscription

Hi All,
I started a blog a couple of weeks ago and I posted my thoughts on the
SolidWorks subscription service this morning. I thought this might be
an appropriate time to do so since the new "customer portal" will be up
soon. I know this topic comes up here from time to time and I'd be
intrested in knowing if my thoughts are in the majority or minority.
If you have a chance, check out the post
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and add your comments.
Reply to
Rock Guy
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Nice blog Rob. I think though the chances of them changing anything are pretty small - it's their way of harvesting $$$ from the hooked and dependent.They have never seen the need to pay beta testers either despite the feedback....and they don't talk on the forum...all in all I would say the customers perspective counts for stuff all.
Reply to
neil
Thanks for posting your comments everyone. Looks like I'm in the majority. I agree however, there probably won't be changes anytime soon.
Reply to
Rob Rodriguez
$5,000 to purchase $1295 per year subscription $500 penalty
It seems this subscription strategy could also be their demise. Why would any company purposely want to drive away users to only have them search else where. Autodesk's disconnect from its customer base was perfect timing for a company like SolidWorks to step up and fill the void. It is only a matter of time before another upstart comes along and capitalizes on SolidWorks own disconnect with small based users. Maybe in a couple more years the next generation of SolidWorks CEO's will be so far out of touch they will think it is acceptable to make tasteless and offensive home videos.
Kman
Reply to
Kman
I heartedly agree with you points. Especially that bug fixes and patches should always be free!
I think that there is an even bigger issue to subscription/ tech support in general and this is how efficient SW is as a program. SW can have the best CAD software in the World, (and some would make this claim) but if there are bugs or if the average user doesn't know how to effectively use SW, then it doesn't matter how good it is. It is just a matter of time before the competition uses this as leverage to gain profit share. I purchased and used Inventor and was so unhappy with the amount of time lost when dealing with bugs that I switched over to SW's. The bottom line is that for any software company to be long term successful, both the company and the user base must be successful. SW's must make a reasonable amount of profit to stay in business at a level that allows them to continue to develop new features. But, at the same time, the user base needs to have the latest bug fixes and there needs to be effective ways for the user base to learn how to effectively use the software. The customer portal is a good avenue to keep the user base be more efficient. I suspect that in the long run that it may cost SW a lot more then they will ever receive by nickel and dimming the user base.
I saw an example of this last month or so. After seeing a roll out for the upcoming Inventor version a "new" feature was pretty impressive. When I described this to one of the VAR's, the response was, "Oh SW has had that for several versions now". A response that I have heard more then once. The feature was Smart Parts. I looked in the SW help and found very little. At the last SW user group I asked if anyone knew anything about Smart Parts and even though there are some fairly advanced users no one knew anything about it. I wouldn't be surprised if SW didn't spend $1M to add that feature, (to be competitive) and yet if the user base never learns how to use such feature what good was it for SW to develop? I can guarantee you that Autodesk is going to make sure that this "new" feature is understood and used. What is even more frustrating is that since Autodesk implemented many features after SW did, they actually did a better job, (ie. cleaner, more intuitive, better documentation). Apparently, not enough SW users ever figured out how to some of these features for some of the obvious short comings to be identified and corrected.
Another issue that I feel is related to all of this is the lack of use of "wav" files. If a good library of "wav" files were ever to be developed this could have a huge impact for user training and for using some feature that is not typically used. Especially if there is a decent index, (such as links in the help system). A few of the VAR's have developed some of these systems and there are a few very good ones that are free on the internet but if SW developed a comprehensive system, (possibly as much as 500 to a 1000 short topics) that even at a fairly expensive production rate divided by 400,000 user or so would probably be less then $1 each. The point of all of this is that it is in SW's best interest to make it as easy as possible for the user base to successfully use the software.
Reply to
Ed
I just submitted this Enhancement Request;
"For example; a Version of SolidWorks Subscription Service that deletes Technical Support. This would be useful for companies with multiple seats. As a small company, this could encourage me to add a second seat of SolidWorks."
Best Regards, Devon T. Sowell
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Reply to
Devon T. Sowell

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