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Friday, October 2, 2009

A conversation about Autodesk, Revit subscription, upgrades and simplified pricing and 3/16/10 facts, figures, financing and more

We've been having a number of conversations with customers the past few months about the new Autodesk Simplified Pricing  plan which starts March 16, 2010.  First of all, it's not simplified.  It's been a real pain in the ass to explain to everyone what's going on and now we have to reexplain how it works and why and when it affects you.

I'll try to do this in as few words as possible by using examples.

I own AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite 2010 and am currently on subscription.
Keep doing what you're doing
What will it cost me?
You just keep renewing your software when it comes due and there's no additional cost.

I own I own AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite 2010 and I didn't renew my subscription. It expired April 16, 2009
If your subscription lapses, you have 364 days to renew your subscription. 
If you renew it within that time frame, you pay the cost of subscription $725 and a $100 late fee for a total of $825.

But what if the 2011 release comes out on April 1st, 2010? Won't I be one release behind?
Yes, but if you renew within 364 days, you're covered and would automatically receive the new version.
But what about next year's subscription?
Good question.  If your subscription lapsed on 4/16/09,  and you renewed it within 364 days and did it on 11/15/09, you'd pay the $825.  Your subscription payment would cover you from 4/16/09 to 4/15/10 and you'd pay $725 on or before 4/16/10 for the following year's subscription.
What if I pay the $825 now and don't pay the $725 renewal fee on 4/16/10?  See above. You have 364 days to renew or after 365 days pay $3725 to renew (via simplified pricing plan).

If you waited until 4/1/10 to renew, you'd pay the $825 for 4/16/09 to 4/15/10 and you'd most likely pay $725 for 41/6/10 to 4/15/11.

I have AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite (ARAS) 2009 and my subscription lapsed 3/1/09.
Do nothing and use ARAS 2009 for as long as you like. You have the additional benefit of not having to deal with the ribbon, but if you ever tried working with an engineer with Revit MEP 2010, you wouldn't be able to share the Revit model.
Renew within 364 days from the expiration date of 3/1/09 and you'd pay $825. Depending on the date you'd pay, you could also pay for the current subscription.  You can renew your subscription from as early as 90 days prior to your renewal date.

Here's where it gets tricky for the 3/1/09 example.
  • If you renew on 3/10/10, over 365 days after your subscription lapsed, then you'd pay for what's called a Retroactive subscription which is the $725 plus the $100 late fee. That would bring you from ARAS 2009 to ARAS 2010. You'd be required to pay for current subscription as well of $725. You would receive the 2011 version around mid April

    If it's over 364 days, your subscription period would start from the invoice date of 3/10/10, not the original date of the expired subscription.

  • Here's the really tricky party and where simplified pricing will affect you:
    If your subscription lapsed 3/1/09 and it's now over 364 days AND it's past 3/16/10, the date that Simplified Pricing starts, then you could upgrade your software for 50% of the retail price of the product.  Since ARAS is $6000 retail, you could upgrade your software for $3000 plus the current subscription price of $725.  That's a total of $3725.
There's been a lot of confusion involving the new simplified pricing plan from Autodesk.  Where it specifically says that anyone not currently on subscription after 3/16/10 would have to pay 50% of the retail price to upgrade, having 364 days to retroactively renew subscription after expiration conflicted with the "not currently on subscription" phrasing.  I'm sure a lot of you may have been upset about what a reseller might have told you, but like I said in the beginning, the simplified pricing plan is not that simple.  Sure, it'll be simple if you wait 365 days to renew, but for now, explaining all of the options, not so simple.

Now, for the bonus round. 
You installed AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite 2009 on your computer.  You received ARAS 2010 and did not install it. 

Scenario 1: Subscription current.  You don't have to install the 2010 version and can use the 2009 version for as long as you like.  If you install the 2010 version, you must uninstall the 2009 version within 120 days.  You can ask Autodesk for a prior use exception and get approval to use up to three versions prior to your current version.  I'm pretty positive you have to uninstall the current version if you do that.

Scenario 2: Subsciption lapses. You don't have to install the 2010 version and can use the 2009 version for as long as you like.  If you install the 2010 version, you must uninstall the 2009 version within 120 days. You cannot use a prior version if you are not on subscription.

You installed AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite 2009 on your computer.  You received ARAS 2010 and installed it and decided to go back to 2009 version.

Scenario 1: If you are on subscription, you can get the prior use exception and continue to use the 2009 version and uninstall the 2010 version.

Scenario 2: If you are not on subscription, had installed 2010, then went back and installed 2009, then your subscription lapsed while you were using 2009, YOU ARE IN VIOLATION OF THE AUTODESK EULA.  

Why am I telling you this?  Quite simply, when you installed 2009 and 2010, you got an online product activation code from Autodesk.  When you unistalled 2010 and reinstalled 2009 with the prior use exception from Autodesk, you got an online product activation code from Autodesk.  When your subscription lapsed, Autodesk knows you are out of compliance on your software.  They will probably call you at some point and you will have to uninstall 2009, install 2010 and legally, there might be some other issues you'll not want to deal with.

Easiest solution is to get back on subscription before the 364 days lapse or 3/16/10 if you're over 365 days.

Autodesk has a special promotion through 10/16/09 for a 20% discount on upgrades, crossgrade and retroactive subscription.  From 10/17/09 to 1/16/10, there will be a 10% discount if you also purchase subscription.

You can also get a 10% additional discount for a 3 year subscription contract.  If you did that, you'd want to finance it over 3 years and pay monthly.
$725 * 3 years * 10% discount = $1959/seat.  That works out to about $70/month for 36 months and is much easier on cash flow.  I can hook you up with some great financing companies if you want to purse that.

I hope you all found this informative and helpful.  Quite honestly, it's quite confusing and not many people know how to explain it so it all makes sense. 

If you're in Florida and want to renew your subscription through my company, we're giving away a free copy of  Tools4Revit.com Dynamic Legend software for each renewed Revit license.  If you are renewing 5 or more seats, then we'll give you 1 copy of Tools4Revit.com Building Information Detailing for each group of 5 seats.


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