from Civil to Inventor

The Autodesk enthusiast exile

Renewing your Autodesk subscription?

I work with a few Resellers and Vendors, and I do a lot of support research here on this site and behind the scenes.  That does not mean that I necessarily understand the ins and outs of the reseller business (I am picking it up quickly, but still have a lot to learn).  If you are considering renewing your contracts, here are a few things to consider.

What you need

You will need the following to get that quote:

  • Company Name (I think you can handle that)
  • The Serial # and Name of your subscribed products
  • The Subscription end date

If they ask for your contract number, they are probably trying to find you on their database, and if this is not your vendor, it is a waste of time.  Tell them that you are not with their company and are shopping for a competitive quote.

Crossgrade Promotion

There is a current Autodesk promotion going on to crossgrade your Land Desktop licenses up to Civil 3D for a standard fee.  This offer expires on 4/17/2009.  After this the cost will be substantially larger.

If you have seats on any of the outmoded products, you may wish to ask if the reseller it there are any promotions going on.  Once the subscription expires, the outmoded application seats will fall off, and new purchases (at the new purchase price) will have to be made to replace those seats.

Shop around

There is a lot to be said for shopping around.  I have 5 proposals on my desk with different packages, different prices, and promotions trying to get my attention.  Ask what they can do for you.  Don’t mention who your reseller is, just say you would like a competitive quote.  If they don’t want to help you now, don’t expect them to do so later.  If the guy trying to take your money can’t be helpful, then what do you think they will perform like after the fact.

There are standard industry ‘per seat’ license fees associates with each application.  I will not mention what they are so as not to upset my associates, but if you get 3 or more quotes, you can figure out what the standard fee is.  Most will stay at this margin, since that is the company’s base operating cost.  Going much below that value, and a general concern is there if the company will be able to keep it’s doors open to be a benefit to your firm over the long haul.

VAR vs ISV

A VAR is a Value Added Reseller.  They have so much volume they have to keep moving each quarter, and have very little profit associated with each license sold.  They are qualified to train and support each product available through their store.  Very often the reseller has to add support costs to the industry standard subscription renewal just to be able to properly support it’s clients.

An ISV is and vendor that can only sell Autodesk products if bundled with customized applications and services that the ISV provides, like tool packages.  Essentially, the ISV is primarily a service company, and secondly a license provider.  They can renew your subscription, but ONLY if it comes together with (and priced separately from) a specific service they provide.  Expect to pay more with this renewal, but some of the specialized services are worth it.  If you have been wanting an ISV’s product, now is a really good time to get and overall reduced price.

Government GSA Pricing

If you provide the Government with services under contract, then Autodesk wants you to get what you need.  Let them know you have an active U.S. Government contract, and that you would like a GSA quote.  Some companies have a division separated just for GSA needs.  The Resellers will get a quote from an Government underwriter supporting the region. Support, if any, will come from the particular reseller you designate as your Reseller of record. In my case, DLT furnishes the GSA quote.  There was a was a decent price reduction, but the Commercial quotes I was getting were better.  Since the underwriter doesn’t provide support, then the commercial quotes are a better option for me all around.

Did I want support??….Duh!

Price aint everything.  If you are with a Reseller, and are subscription only, you may find that there is no support.  The subscription agreement entitles you to web based support through the Autodesk subscription portal.  You will find out the hard way when you call your reseller with a problem.  The Reseller probably offers remote support through telephone and email, but at an additional cost.  If you are renewing, you may not find out how things work unless you ask.  Tell them you want to understand what support you get with renewal, and how much more to get to telephone support.  Knowing this will allow you to make a good comparison with quotes that are similarly stacked (some companies offer basic telephone support as your reseller of record, no added cost)

Test Drive

No joke.  Since I had not made a decision, one reseller who offered support at no extra charge, asked me to field some of my issues through his team.  This way I could get a real feel for what ‘no extra charge telephone support’ meant at his company.  This guy really wanted the contract, and was willing to stick it on the line to prove his company was worthy.

Relationship

I have a very good relationship with my VAR.  From a company standpoint, having and keeping good relationships is the middle ground of networking, and as such should not be trifled with.  This article discussed shopping around, but beware of what you may lose for a few dollars saved.  If your reseller is treating you right, you may want to budget for them.  If the costs are outrageously different on the market, then politely ask them if they can make an adjustment on this renewal.  Who knows, they might come through.

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February 27, 2009 - Posted by | Autodesk | , , , , , , , , ,

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