Tag Archives: Inventor HSM 2018

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.

Bye Bye Autodesk, Renewing Solid Edge Today

I had until the end of March to participate in an SE promo and have decided to do so. The Autodesk policy of using price gouging attrition to eliminate perpetual seats over time for the subscription model had already soundly irritated me. I believe in perpetual seats and I am willing to pay the up front costs to do so. I don’t care about subscriptions just as long as it is the choice of the customer as to what they buy. I do however assign paramount importance to that choice being there.

I went to Autodesk to get HSM. It is the only reason and attached to it was this Albatross Inventor. Inventor 2018 is now out and I went to see the new features and one of the first videos I ran across was this. https://youtu.be/MV0iMjkTb3s One of my pet peeves with Inventor besides the fact that while Inventor brings in other companies work they are still just dumb solids with none of the intelligence that SE would assign imports with Synchronous Tech. But yes there it was you can now assign dimensions to 3D parts and I did not try to find out if it was for imports to. It just kind of summed up for me how far behind and clunky Inventor was to SE. Don’t even talk to me about how dumb their method of finding dimensions is either since I am tired of even thinking about the people who came up with such assinine logic. Two and a half years in with Autodesk and my attempts to use Inventor were so painful I just quit. Far easier to model in SE then revise in SE and import the revision back into my parts locator known as Inventor for HSM use.

One of the reasons I had left current maintenance with SE was a perceived lack of new features that benefited me and was worth the $1,500.00 per year since I rarely call for support. It took a few years with Autodesk to begin to appreciate that things can be far worse. With Autodesk Inventor it is shocking how far behind SE they are in many areas and with HSM how slow improvements are forthcoming. I still believe in HSM and would never consider going back to CAMWorks. But I was told late last year that you buy into HSM for what is there and never buy into it for the promises of future enhancements. I have found this to be true. Sadly HSM is a product resting on it’s laurels while others are making big strides forward and adding significant new features. HSM is mired in trying to do things with Inventor, SW and Fusion360 with insufficient programmer support. Truth to be known I suspect instructions have been given to devote far more time to all things Fusion over the rest. Fusion requires you to work on the cloud for saves and edits so it was a non starter for me. Only a fool takes his intellectual property and exposes it to such risk.

The other key thing to me is stability and perpetual seats. Autodesk is in a state of serious flux right now and the emphasis is not on what can we provide to customers to make them want to buy our products but rather how can we force an unwilling group of customers to pay more while we take away their major investments in the perpetual seat model. They want to have chattel and not customers. This had dictated to me that 2018 was the last year with Autodesk for me and this is only because I had renewed last December. Some three months before they sent out that dear customer we love you screw you letter. Had I received that letter before hand I never would have sent the check.

Oddly enough I find more and more value being assigned to Mastercam. I have heard all the complaints over the years about them. I have personally watched people use it and it seemed to be page page click click page page. But they could do anything. They now have a high speed machining tool path that is better than Volumill and probably equals from what I see HSM Adaptive. Their new version is well received in a nearby busy job shop and has cut down on the page page click click stuff I am told. I have known them for years and I trust their opinion. I don’t expect that they will ever be as intuitive and simple to learn and use as HSM. HSM however has significant lacks and apparently no burning desire to fix them since years have passed with no solution in hand for deficiencies. I can deal with a lack of ease and speed in programming if the trade off is far more capabilities and a corporate commitment to permanent seats. As far as I can tell Mastercam has this and the private owners are in no hurry to sell out or change their ways. Their model has procured for them the largest single market share for an individual CAM product and with Autodesk going full on stupid I imagine there will be many Delcam and HSM users pondering their situation.

To me Mastercam appears to be the logical next step if I take one. For sure what I choose now will be what I use for the rest of my career so I will go with something that has a history I can trust as well as capabilities I need. The addition of a huge trained CAM user base is attractive too since I will not have to train anyone. Other than myself of course if I go there.

There are few opportunities to acquire CAD or CAM customers from your competition. The hassle of migrating to a new product from the work to move files to training new users and getting them up to speed is a powerful barrier to overcome in the search for new customers. Customers that primarily will come from another program to yours. But I think right now Solid Edge and Mastercam have a golden opportunity to acquire Autodesk refugees and they might be a little crazy if they don’t get in there and offer incentives.

Update 3-23 4:39 PM

Holy cow that was fast! Placed the order this morning and have new license file in hand with media scheduled for Fed Ex delivery next Tuesday. Yes Solid Edge still sends out physical media unlike some who make it a special request. Bye bye Autodesk!