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Software Subscription Fees for Small Firms

Software Subscription Fees for Small Firms

Software Subscription Fees for Small Firms

Our AutoDesk software subscription renewal arrived today-$12,000 for 1 year; there are 2 years remaining on our lease to purchase Autodesk Software.  That set us back $66,000.  Is this standard?  When I think of all the other things we could use the $$$$ for.  Does anyone have any solutions for this dilemma?

RE: Software Subscription Fees for Small Firms

You can look at the OEM versions of popular software (AutoCAD is available, the version is usually about 1/2 cycle behind what you can buy from AutoDesk).  They come with zero support, they are only downloadable (no CD or manual), you have to buy a copy for each user, but they are really cheep.  If you Google "OEM Software", you'll find quite a few sites selling it (AutoCAD 2008 for $159 is pretty common), some sites say that it violates license agreements, and some sites say that it doesn't violate the agreements.  It is for you and your lawyer to decide if paying 10% of the retail price is an acceptable deal for your company.

I'm not sure how many seats you have (since $12k times any integer is not $66k) but it doesn't look like you're talking about more than 3.  I think the last


RE: Software Subscription Fees for Small Firms

We pay 15% PA for support and updates for our software, not Autodesk. I think this is about the standard for a small company with little bargaining power.

If you are unhappy with the costs maybe you should move to another system and try to negotiate a better deal, always try to find a quarter end or better still a year-end as this is when you will get the best deal.

It is an expense but a bit like insurance and taxes a necessary evil IMO, can you really compete with an old system?

RE: Software Subscription Fees for Small Firms

These are definitely NOT legal... they are not endorsed by AutoDesk in any way, shape, or form.

Dan - Owner

RE: Software Subscription Fees for Small Firms

You don't tell us what you are buying.  How many seats?  Which software?  Did you buy all the "extras"?

RE: Software Subscription Fees for Small Firms

Try TurboCad - Brand new about $900 - updates about $100

Not sure if it will fill your needs - but very easy to use and cheap.  Will import/export about any file you can think of

RE: Software Subscription Fees for Small Firms

I know AutoDesk is really trying to gouge folks now with their subscription "service".  Even if you don't subscribe, they charge you for the years that you didn't subscribe.  If you can stand to go 4 or 5 years between "upgrades" (and then purchase full versions instead of the upgrade version), that could potentially save you some money.  Also, if you balk for a year or two, Autodesk might offer you a better deal to get you back - sounds like you're spending enough that someone would notice, but then again, maybe not.  Otherwise you've got to do as others suggest and go with a different software provider.

RE: Software Subscription Fees for Small Firms

Actually, the $15k is for 3 years subscriptions-7 AutoCad Commercial Subscription and 4 Autodesk Civil 3D

RE: Software Subscription Fees for Small Firms

That seems very cheap to me, $5K PA for 10 seats, good grief I would love to be paying that little.

RE: Software Subscription Fees for Small Firms

If you are using straight CAD (no third party solutions), is it possible to move to an alternate system such as Bricscad? I use 2 "distinct" CAD systems: 1) AutoCADr14 (yes, r14 - and it was r13 until not long ago) with a third party solution (EaglePoint); and 2) Bentley PowerCivil/PowerDraft (most current version). I've been using AutoCAD for about 25 years, but I still have yet to use probably 90% of the features available. I suspect mechanical users may employ much more of the available features than most other users (just a guess). But - is it really worth it to constantly upgrade? Are you really getting meaningful improvements? What else could that $66,000 be doing for you and/or your company? I suggest looking at alternatives and seeing if that money could be invested elsewhere. I really don't know about mechanical/structural, but if it is anything like civil/environmental, there is a plethra of available software packages out there at much lower cost and similar or better performance than the "flagship" products. Ever check out something like BRL-CAD?

tsgrue: site engineering, stormwater
management, landscape design, ecosystem
rehabilitation, mathematical simulation

RE: Software Subscription Fees for Small Firms

The main problem is that most of our work is done with architects-we have to work on the plans they generate and vice versa.

RE: Software Subscription Fees for Small Firms

Hi tuggertoo,

If you are upgrading versions of ACAD to keep up with others, you may want to consider DWG Gateway. With it, you can open and edit any DWG file using any version of AutoCAD. And it's free:


My advice, try it and see if it helps you. Then you can decide what to do with your AutoDesk subscription.

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