April 12, 2016

What’s up with Autodesk Licensing?

Almost one year into the Autodesk Business Model Transformation, many customers still have questions about licensing. Lately, Autodesk has been using a lot of Autodesk-speak to describe their licensing options. I’m going to help you make the right choices for your company by explaining the options and sharing my thoughts on the best path.

First let’s take a step back. Most likely, unless you just purchased a desktop version of Autodesk software, you have a Perpetual License. You should have received notice that Autodesk will not offer Perpetual Licenses after July 31, 2016. This doesn’t mean that your favorite cad tool is going away; it means that the way you purchase and receive new software from Autodesk will change.

Here’s a quick overview of the three options:

• Perpetual License – Although not offered after July 31, 2016, those with existing Perpetual Licenses can continue to run the specific versions as long as their computers and operating systems allow. Many Perpetual License holders subscribe to a Maintenance Plan to keep their software current.

• Maintenance Plan (Formerly called “Subscription”) – Under this plan, which you can renew annually, you will automatically receive all updates to a Perpetual License. You can stop paying the annual maintenance fee at any time, but then your Perpetual License will remain at the last version. There are additional benefits to this plan, such as support and access to previous versions.

• Desktop Subscription – This will be the only way to purchase Autodesk software after July 31, 2016. It is term-based, and it allows you to operate the software for a specific length of the term. During that term, you will receive all updates. This type of licensing is also called time-based, on-demand, or rental.

I recommend that longtime users keep their Maintenance Plans active, because this option offers the lowest annual recurring cost. To get added protection against increases in annual costs, you can renew your Maintenance Plan for two or three years.

That said, there is no one-size-fits all. Depending on your situation, you may need only Desktop Subscriptions, or you may need a combination of Perpetual Licenses/Maintenance Plans and Desktop Subscriptions.

Contact me if you’d like to discuss these licensing options. And keep an eye out for my next blog post, where I will talk about how the cloud is impacting Autodesk software.

John Souza
Director of Sales
John Souza started on the ground floor with Autodesk CAD, selling solutions since release 10. In the nearly 30 years since, he's worked to grow his expertise with each Autodesk solution, weaving a career around cutting-edge 3D design software sales.

He has proven success in building high-performing sales teams in the Civil Engineering and Government sectors, he's managed and led business development and sales teams for Autodesk and Advanced Solutions. Joining Ideate, Inc. in 2003, he was initially the Manufacturing Solutions Director then worked to expand reach within the AEC community as Director of Business Development. Today, as Sales Director, he leads a dedicated team working to connect architects and designers with best-fit design technology education and implementation solutions.