Perpetual or subscription licensing for Autodesk? You can choose – for now.

jan-31-countdownIt’s the year of choice for Autodesk customers — organizations can either license Autodesk software through perpetual rights or Autodesk’s latest subscription licensing model, called Desktop Subscription. But not for long.

After Jan. 31, 2016, seats of Autodesk Point products, such as AutoCAD LT, will only be available through a term-based license plan called Desktop Subscription. While some suite products can still be licensed through perpetual rights after that date, standalone and network versions of popular Autodesk software will fully transition to Desktop Subscription. Customers currently licensed through perpetual agreements will see no change in their contract, but after Jan. 31, 2016, they’ll no longer have the option of purchasing new perpetual licenses.

So what does this deadline mean for existing customers? Is there an advantage to one option over the other? Should you change now or early next year? Here are a few considerations to ponder after you circle Jan. 31, 2016 on your calendar.

Two choices, similar benefits

Choice 1: Transition to Desktop Subscription now

Software licensed through Desktop Subscription includes frequent updates and upgrades direct from Autodesk throughout the life of the contract for a lower upfront cost than a perpetual license. In addition, Desktop Subscription is a valuable option for customers with international offices because licenses are tied not to a device, but to a login. Because these licenses can transfer user rights, users can log in to Autodesk Point products anywhere on the globe through flexible territory rights, not just the location in which the software was purchased.

Choice 2: Continue purchasing perpetual licenses while you can

Customers can continue purchasing perpetual licenses until Jan. 31, 2016, and can add maintenance subscription to maximize the long-term value of their software commitments. Customers that opt for a multi-year contract can benefit by locking in the price for up to three years.

Organizations that choose to renew their maintenance contract with their perpetual licensing will see no changes in their Point products or benefits. The maintenance contract provides previous version rights as well – up to three versions of Autodesk – so organizations can run Autodesk on older networks and operating systems.

Customers that add or renew a three-year maintenance contract by July 31, 2015 will receive an additional 5 percent discount.

It should be noted that organizations can still add new seats to existing agreements, unifying these new seats under one licensing agreement, until Jan. 31, 2016. But be aware that seats with maintenance agreements licensed through the perpetual model cannot be combined with Desktop Subscription seats into a single contract.

Circle the date, but start working

That Jan. 31, 2016 deadline seems far away now, and it’s true that customers have a few months to decide how they want to be licensed. However, software licensing is complex and both options have advantages. Autodesk customers should begin mapping out a plan for their licensing now to gain clarity into their commitments.

Organizations should first determine their current licensing versus future needs, and draft those considerations into an actionable plan. But get out of the “business as usual” mentality: Take a step back from buying licenses as you always have, and determine whether one licensing option is advantageous to the other for your organization’s needs.

IT professionals should research the details of each license renewal process because failure to account for specific renewal policies or rules can result in additional license or maintenance agreement purchases. If that sounds like too much for an IT department, consider working with a third-party expert. This outside partner can oversee license contracts and renewals, as well as offer up recommendations on the organization’s long-term vision and planning.

Organizations that fail to plan ahead will likely be left with a patchwork licensing plan that will probably need to be re-evaluated after a year or two. Plus, organizations that wait until the last minute to renew licensing may be stuck with higher costs because of unexpected seat purchases. But organizations can avoid this heavy lifting by partnering with a third party expert that can assist in a long-term roadmap for licensing and asset management.

Get help before making the choice

Organizations have until Jan. 31, 2016 to make a choice between Autodesk’s Desktop Subscription and perpetual licensing for its point products. Each licensing plan has its own benefits, so organizations should conduct a self-examination of current assets and future needs. By working with a third-party licensing or asset expert, organizations can gain a better understanding of their current environment, and perfectly align licensing with today’s requirements and tomorrow’s expectations. This third party expert should be able to assist in multiyear planning while understanding an organization’s present needs and cost considerations.

Contact your SHI Account Executive today to start the conversation about your current Autodesk licensing, and how to develop a plan for your future Autodesk licensing choices.

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