A letter that reflects customer perspectives on Autodesk in 2020.
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A 2022 letter from the Nordic Architectural community
2022 Update on the 2020 Autodesk open letter from UK and international practices.
In the period since the Autodesk open letter, Autodesk has reached out to a wide variety of Architectural customer groups. The feeling to date is that whilst Autodesk have listened, they have not heard what the Architectural customer base is saying on several fronts.
On licence compliance, several open letter signatories have been audited, with no compliance issues found but requiring substantial non-productive effort from each practice to prove their case. The compliance model is broken because Autodesk still fails to provide a licence model and effective administration tools that allow customers to self-audit and maintain live compliancy.
Further, the pandemic has expanded and accelerated how design software is being used in a remote, hybrid, virtual or flexible office environment. Software delivery and licensing have to keep up with the pragmatism of the age and the multiplicity of infrastructures that have been deployed.
The feeling remains that Autodesk has deliberately avoided investment in appropriate tools, instead expanding their compliance staffing and revenues. This issue is at the core of the customer-to-vendor trust relationship and fundamentally undermines the progress that may be made in other areas.
What right-minded and ethical organisation instructs its sales and support channel not to help clients with their licence compliance?
Whilst practices have been moving over to named user licensing since the letter was published, the premium subscription has added little value but a significant ill feeling. The end of the potential price cap on subscription costs in 2026 is seeing a build-up of momentum for alternative software solutions.
The success of the USD file format in the visual effects design pipeline has highlighted the potential of new interoperability workflows. Where an industry has the power to define its own standard.
The historically poor IFC implementation has continued to drive the industry to an over-dependence on RVT, to the detriment of the industry.
In Revit 2023, we see some improvement in interoperability implementation, but it will take 12 months in most practices before production feedback on Revit 2023 is common knowledge because of the natural project cycle in practice and the hard-drop nature of the Revit release cycle.
it is clear that there are other improvements in Revit 2023 but they are not overall a strategic re-plumbing of the application. The need remains for a strategic re-boot in order to create a platform that is fit for purpose for the interoperable design and delivery of the next generation of global projects. Clearly this is a difficult thing to do whilst tied to the RVT file format.
The open letter group are awaiting a road map update for Revit and many of the original signatures of the letter will be in attendance at Autodesk University later in the month. We will continue to monitor Autodesk’s progress and report in more detail our understanding of the gap analysis that we perceive exists between current offerings and the customer requirements for a next generation interoperable design and documentation software infrastructure.
The open letter group would ask the industry to come together to develop a common set of specifications for the development of the future software platforms for interoperable digital design and delivery in AEC.
We hope to be able to say more about this in the coming months.
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