Tag Archives: Autodesk Maya

Autodesk’s Greed Imposed Fatal Hemorrhage

FEED ME Seymore

FEED ME Seymore

As short as two and a half years ago I was in awe of the assembling of the pieces of a software juggernaut. HSM and Delcam had been bought up by Autodesk under Carl Bass who was himself a man who actually used this stuff and understood shop floor manufacturing. From an actual user viewpoint and not like the current head mucky muck with Autodesk who can only count dollars. There is a huge difference between these two mind sets. But I figured that Carl was putting together a manufacturing ecosphere and getting this set of tools in front of students and future business owners/ operators in ways that would bear large amounts of fruit in years to come.

Just as fascinating as it was to see the assembly of the juggernaut is the speed with which it all now comes crashing down. It looks like perhaps Carl was also an advocate of subscription Hell for Autodesk’s customer base. Whether he was also for the gutting of R&D for product development and the huge price increases I will never know. I like to think he left the company because the Anagnost faction conspired with the new hostile investor types who had bought their way to seats on the board to remove him. Unbridled greed with the Anagnost and hostile investor types VS the guy who may have wanted subscription Hell to but perhaps would have stayed closer to the Adobe model than the rape and plunder Anagnost model.

To me Carl showed foresight and planning and methodical conquest of rivals but still providing value to customers. Anagnost on the other hand is the bare face of greed and conspiracy with people who do not use their software products and could care less about users. All they see is someone who promises to deliver a captive market held not by voluntary exchange of money for goods and services but rather squeezed out of people who theoretically have to pay and have no alternative to paying whatever the extortionists want. Living in a purely capital gains world unlike anything this country has seen before quick quarterly stock manipulation to generate fictitious improvements is the new way. These guys want to cash out and then leave when it all turns south and find another Vulture’s roost to occupy for a while. No longer is it what goods or services will make money but how can we lie to the world about share value so we can churn the market and get rich through theft. This then is the new Autodesk.

Remember when companies were bought and sold for steady revenue streams and stock buyers looked for steady dividends to live on? Capital gains were considered the icing on the cake but not the cake. It was something to be hoped for but dividends were king. This was the historic norm up until the late 90’s when the consequences of Clinton selling the Lincoln bedroom to influence peddlers freed banks to embark on wholesale plunder of manufacturing by being able to invest or offer financial services not at all related to lending. This has led to stocks being grossly overvalued by historic norms by the traditional metric of cost to dividend ratios being chief amongst investor considerations.

So we come full circle to the world of Autodesk today. Autodesk sells software products to people like me. Well let me rephrase that, used to sell to me. We make long-term use of the software to build real world things and we use it for decades at a time throughout careers offering services and physical goods to customers who have a standard of quality we must meet. If we don’t they will go elsewhere. We have to take a long term view of the productivity and stability and the improvement of our software tools because it is our life blood.

Piranhas now inhabit the Autodesk leadership and are creeping onto the board and what can we chew up and on today is now the future planning metric. Feed me so I can leave when the body is consumed and go find another body.

Here are two links. https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/moving-to-subscription/bd-p/2017 will take you to an Autodesk forum they would rather you did not know about. Spend time here and see what actual users who have to think in terms of decades and careers think of what Autodesk is doing. Next up is http://www.seekingalpha.com/amp/article/4077637-autodesks-position-continues-become-precarious for a stock analysts thoughts on Autodesk’s eight underwater quarters in a row and their future.

One of the huge things hardly discussed in my opinion is the forcible breaching of security and losing the ability to protect IP by Autodesk forcing people to have to work online. The most egregious offender is Fusion360 which demands you go online and save all edits and files to a remote server where you have to rent your data back forever to use it. Apparently Autodesk is also working on license verification which has to allow online access from your workstation which is supposed to be secure and not go online to get permission to run. Theoretically this was supposed to happen “only” once a month but comments on the Subscription forum are indicating this could be as much as a daily occurrence or more. This is for all subscription services and automatically breaches all your confidentiality agreements when you are forced to go online to check in. It is just a matter of time before huge breaches of security occur to an Autodesk customer because of this. Autodesk is certain this will happen to by the way and you can verify this by reading the TOS where they spell out they are NOT liable for any damages incurred by having to go online.

This then is the true regard this new wave of management has for its customers. Sit down shut up pay up and don’t whine and complain. FEED ME SEYMORE!!! The only important thing in this whole wide world view of theirs is their plans to get in and cash out (wouldn’t you like to see Baked Bean Anagnost’s golden parachute he is assiduously preparing so no matter what his rear is covered in gold).

You buy anything from Autodesk and pin your future livelihood to it you better think long and hard about how they regard you. Most telling I think is the bean counter mentality referenced in the Seeking Alpha article where Autodesk states they are cutting R&D. Now this coming from a company that has already dropped the ball on adding value to existing software through improvements is quite revealing. Years go by without significant program improvements and problems linger for years without being fixed. Read what is said by satisfied customers about this on the Subscription forum.

Today regard the new Autodesk Juggernaut. Rather than eating up market share it will be eating customers. Autodesk is looking for new hors d’oeuvre’s,
customers and it could be you if you are silly enough.

Autodesk The Evil Empire Chooses Extortion

Two things prompted this post today. One was a comment on this forum https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/moving-to-subscription/buh-bye-permanent-license/m-p/7020059#M1286. The other as you will read below was from #936 of the “upFront eZine” It goes right along with what people are saying on the moving to subscription forums regarding feature shrink and ways to raise the cost of staying with Autodesk. Two methods appear to be the way they intend to do this. Thanks a lot Darth Vader Anagnost and the rest.

Number one is hold your data hostage where their value added model is the pain of leaving is greater than the pain of dramatic fee increases.

Number two is to remove features traditionally a part of a program and charge you an extra fee to get back what you once had as a seat holder and if you are stupid enough to go there as a subscriber. The removal of Backplotting from Cimco inside of HSM is a perfect example. It can be available right now for an extra fee on top of the 35% scheduled increase of perpetual by 2019. So they snip customary important parts off and put it in a fee building environment. In conjunction with this is that they will simply stop expending as much money improving and bug fixing their products. Why try to entice voluntary customer payments with improvements when you can just tell them what you want? All of the Autodesk products I read about in the subscriber forum have users complaining about feature atrophy and increased bugs and time to fix bugs. Don’t take my word for this. Verify for yourself what others are saying.

In any case.

It is a self-evident truth that once a company decides that legal extortion is their business model customer consideration other than being an ATM has ended. Anyone who says they can’t leave because reason #1 #2 or #3 does not remember well. Mercedes-Benz left Dassault for NX as did Chrysler. There are darned few customers of Autodesk that have to deal with that degree of complexity. Siemens as far as I can tell is not planning to end perpetual. I believe this enough to have renewed with Solid Edge. SE by the way is doing it right. You can rent the program or get permanent seats. I have been with SE now since ST1 and my cost has gone up $63.00 per year. You can I believe actually rent it to by the month or the year. No mandatory minimum. Plug my dongle in and stay off-line so no exposure to confidentiality agreements breaches or hackers due to forcibly being online EVER.

It is time to make your plan on how you are leaving and not to sit here and worry about how you can afford to stay.

Quote from Ralph Grabowski this weekend ought to shed some light on how Autodesk regards loyal customers. http://www.upfrontezine.com/2017/04/stuff-i-heard-at-cofes.html

“At one mini-session, a consultant relates a story of how Autodesk apparently is cranking up subscription fees upon contract renewals. In the case he reported, the mandatory fee allegedly went from $4.9M to $9.4M to pay for “necessary” add-ons, like consulting. The problem, of course, is that if any firm on subscription says No, the software simply stops working with the next 30-day check-in.”

OK the big bully is heading your way with a baseball bat to get your money. Not ask but to take it forcibly of course. You as a rational thinking being choose A, stand there and let him beat you up and then do the same tomorrow or B, walk away with your money intact and let someone with far less foresight take the beating. You WILL choose one or the other.

Folks just a thought here. Since Autodesk has proven itself to be a master of weasel words let me toss this one out there. OK you perpetual seat holders can keep your seat after 2019. Now comes a hypothetical policy statement by Autodesk.

In a continuing effort to provide improved software and support to our valuable customers we are pleased to announce the following. It has been a real cost burden to improve our products and have to deal with two customer license environments over the years but we value your loyalty and have chosen to enhance your experience with us. Starting in 2020 we will cease improving perpetual seat products which will however remain available to you as long as you wish and migrate significant improvements over to subscription customers only. These new features may be available to perpetual seat customers for an extra fee so check with your VAR. Subscribers will benefit from dramatic product improvements and rent as you need to fit your companies demand. Autodesk sees the future and it is subscription and we welcome you to our brave new world.