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to renew or not to renew (that is the question)

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VSS's only real advantage is the discount. This forum provides sound technical advice. If you only renew your licence every 3 to 4 years then there is no advantage or discount.

 

I want speed and performance improvements. Niceties such as the title block improvements are a waste and in fact now too complicated.

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12 minutes ago, NeilB said:

I've found that, when I speak with the "doubters", the vast majority of them realize the advantages of Service Select. Most understand and agree that dropping Service Select really only makes sense for someone who is retiring and won't be doing any paid work any more.

 

@NeilB your comment helps add clarity to my situation. I too like using the VSS model (in a professional services context) but plan to end it when I retire in about 2 years... which will then bring me fully into the world of photography software. The appropriately described Adobe rental model is anathema to many in the photography community and continues to be the subject of much discussion. Many Adobe competitors have successfully taken advantage of the anti-rental sentiment as a marketing strategy aimed at those (me!) who still want to own their software. I suspect that since CAD software serves a largely professional community while photo software serves a more mixed professional/amateur community the rental model is and will continue to be a harder sell.

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10 minutes ago, michael john williams said:

VSS's only real advantage is the discount. This forum provides sound technical advice. If you only renew your licence every 3 to 4 years then there is no advantage or discount.

Actually, in case it hasn't been communicated with you, there are other advantages to Service Select beyond just monetary savings. More details can be found here.

Our clients seem to appreciate them, especially the Priority Technical Support.

 

19 minutes ago, michael john williams said:

Niceties such as the title block improvements are a waste and in fact now too complicated.

I suppose this is a personal thing, based on one's workflows and methods. yes, the new Title Block Border tool a bit of learning, but I have found the results to be worth the effort. To each their own though, as we all have different workflows and ways of using the software.

 

19 minutes ago, RGyori said:

 

@NeilB your comment helps add clarity to my situation. I too like using the VSS model (in a professional services context) but plan to end it when I retire in about 2 years... 

Then it sounds like perhaps ending your Service Select when you retire makes sense. (Being an Architect though, will you ever really get to retire? 😉)

For what it's worth, we recently had a client retire and he too discussed with us what his best course of action would be. (We actually love these chats because each person's case is unique.) In his case, he opted to continue his Service Select because he could foresee still doing a few casual projects per year, and imagined actually having more time and opportunity (than when he was practicing professionally) to use and explore the software.

 

(As for Adobe's "rental" model, I hear you. As my former life was as a photographer, and I'd used Photoshop since v2 -not CS2, but v2-, I simply couldn't get behind Adobe's switch to CC. After using some alternatives, I have been using Affinity's Photo and Designer applications for a couple of years and their purchase model works for me.)

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32 minutes ago, NeilB said:

Then it sounds like perhaps ending your Service Select when you retire makes sense. (Being an Architect though, will you ever really get to retire? 😉)

For what it's worth, we recently had a client retire and he too discussed with us what his best course of action would be. (We actually love these chats because each person's case is unique.) In his case, he opted to continue his Service Select because he could foresee still doing a few casual projects per year, and imagined actually having more time and opportunity (than when he was practicing professionally) to use and explore the software.

 

(As for Adobe's "rental" model, I hear you. As my former life was as a photographer, and I'd used Photoshop since v2 -not CS2, but v2-, I simply couldn't get behind Adobe's switch to CC. After using some alternatives, I have been using Affinity's Photo and Designer applications for a couple of years and their purchase model works for me.)

 

No doubt you are right that there isn't likely to be a true retirement... perhaps more of a phased one?! I figure even without VSS, VW 2020 should carry me through a few years onward.

 

I went as far as CS5 with Adobe then worked principally in Aperture (until Apple orphaned it) in conjunction with the NIK suite (until Google orphaned it)... hmm, is there a pattern here? I too looked at Affinity's software but ended up with Capture One Pro for it's RAW conversion and that it can relatively easily import Aperture's libraries. The NIK suite has since been resurrected by DxO but I am treading lightly on this until I learn more. Then there's the equipment... retirement ain't cheap. Maybe I can do an occasional architectural job.

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6 hours ago, michael john williams said:

VSS's only real advantage is the discount. This forum provides sound technical advice. If you only renew your licence every 3 to 4 years then there is no advantage or discount.

 

That's the way I see it too.

 

Maybe for some the 'technical support' is helpful. I tend to find I get an answer more quickly on these forums, and when there's no quick answer, it usually confirms that the problem is a result of a defect in the software, which VSS technical support aren't going to be able to fix.

 

Of course, not everyone likes using forums for technical advice so I can see that it might be of use to some.

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NB. Thanks for the link but I do know these other services of VSS but I do not see as advantages as this can be provided elsewhere at no additional cost. Advice and training videos I would expect as free as normally provided by other software companies

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One improvement for me would be that facility to have at least 2 files open and see and work on drawings side by side. At the moment you have to flip between tabs. This may be possible on Macs but not on PCs. I will add this to the wish list and hopefully its not to late to be added to the 2019 version.

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This has been an interesting thread.  One thing I can add is that amongst our 3 workstations only one has 2018 on it and it's mine and I've only used it for one project.  Everything else has been done on 2017.  Why?  Several things I think but thinking deeper about it I find...well...2018 really didn't set the world on fire (for me).  I've stated as much when it first came out.  I think it is going to slink into obscurity and 2019 will take it's place on our workstations.  (With the hope that there will be some good upgrades especially to existing functions)  I do have the luxury of not having to pay for the VSS but it is valuable when it comes to the future.  Just my 5 cents.  We don't have pennies in Canada anymore.

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one advantage to the Service Select customers, not mentioned, is the content that is released throughout the year.  Years ago we only had new content or content fixes with each release.  Now it comes out every two months.  There does need to be some changes to the RM so that the updates happen "behind the scenes", and I would also like to see only one library available if there is an update to an existing library so the user does not have to look in two places for things.  But particularly for Spotlight users this is a big plus.

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2 hours ago, Rob Books said:

one advantage to the Service Select customers, not mentioned, is the content that is released throughout the year.  Years ago we only had new content or content fixes with each release.  Now it comes out every two months.  There does need to be some changes to the RM so that the updates happen "behind the scenes", and I would also like to see only one library available if there is an update to an existing library so the user does not have to look in two places for things.  But particularly for Spotlight users this is a big plus.

 

The thing is though, that unlike something like dedicated technical support, it would presumably cost VW no more to make this content available to everyone. So it's not really an extra given to subscribers but something with-held from non-subscribers.

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2 minutes ago, line-weight said:

The thing is though, that unlike something like dedicated technical support, it would presumably cost VW no more to make this content available to everyone. So it's not really an extra given to subscribers but something with-held from non-subscribers.


But that's how almost all commercial media works. If you subscribe to the sports channel, you get to watch sports. If you don't, it isn't that those sports are being withheld from you, it's that you don't have a subscription to them. The creation of the media and other content is directly funded by the Service Select program in the first place.

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 and to back off of Jim, when VW only did annual content, there were two of us creating it, and there was not as much.  Now with the Service Select, we have 5 dedicated developers for the content.  This means we are working through years of back wishes for content, and keeping things updated for content at a better pace, no longer having to wait Months for that new light fixture.

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The above makes sense where you have two options... a kind of basic and a kind of "premium" option. And where the "premium" one costs extra.

 

It may well be that this is technically what we have. 3 or 4 years of VSS is more expensive than using one release of VW for 3 or 4 years.

 

But at the point of deciding whether to renew each year, it doesn't look like such a clear choice, because it all depends on how long you use that year's release before upgrading. If you don't renew the VSS and then, a year later decide you want to upgrade, then it turns out that the non-VSS option was the *more* expensive one.

 

I just thing there's something wrong with the psychology in the way the pricing is structured. Each year I'm taking a gamble on (a) is the next release going to be any good or have anything new that's useful to me and (b) is my workload over the next year going to justify the investment anyway.

 

It makes the decision a bit of a stressful one, instead of a clear choice between one thing and the other ... you have to remind yourself each time how the pricing works, what the effective 'penalty' will be if you don't renew and then decide to upgrade anyway, and then try and do some kind of calculation of what *probably* will end up the best value.

 

If the VSS subscription was a standalone thing - you pay X per year for support, regularly updated content libraries, and so on, and then as a separate decision each year you decide whether to pay for an upgrade of the software itself - then yes, sure, it would be  clear that the revenue from VSS can pay for extra content developers and so on.

 

But the way it *feels* is more like VSS is something constructed to push people into upgrading annually without seeing what they are buying first.

 

I'd rather be pushed into upgrading annually by being offered each year an upgrade that makes my work more productive and more enjoyable. Sadly that's not what we've been given recently; I do hope that this will change but at the moment that's how I feel about it - I don't have trust in the next release bringing useful improvements.

 

Meanwhile, if VSS was a standalone offering that gave me enhanced cloud capabilities, content libraries... then maybe I'd pay for it, if it was the right price, even though I might not upgrade the core software each year.

 

I think it's all about making a connection between what we pay and what we get for it. The current pricing system seems obfuscatory.

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2 hours ago, JimW said:


But that's how almost all commercial media works. If you subscribe to the sports channel, you get to watch sports. If you don't, it isn't that those sports are being withheld from you, it's that you don't have a subscription to them. The creation of the media and other content is directly funded by the Service Select program in the first place.

 

Surely, encouraging product Manufacturers to produce native VW content for the use of all Vectorworks users (not just VSS customers) just as they do for Revit etc. is the way to go; ie. content that is free to specifiers (ie. VW users). Re-purposing Revit or skechup models for VW does little for VW user productivity in my experience.

 

Product Manufacturers need be shown the market they can access by providing VW assets of their products, and supported in creating the content themselves.

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Just now, MRD Mark Ridgewell said:

Surely, encouraging product Manufacturers to produce native VW content for the use of all Vectorworks users (not just VSS customers) just as they do for Revit etc. is the way to go; ie. content that is free to specifiers (ie. VW users). Re-purposing Revit or skechup models for VW does little for VW user productivity in my experience.

 

Product Manufacturers need be shown the market they can access by providing VW assets of their products, and supported in creating the content themselves.


Oh we encourage them constantly, but since we're a much smaller marketshare, it's very uphill. The content I was referring to however was mostly the training and other video content (my area) specific to Vectorworks, which manufacturers wouldn't be involved in.

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1 minute ago, JimW said:

Oh we encourage them constantly, but since we're a much smaller marketshare, it's very uphill.

 

When it comes to Architectural content, even if we get someone to say yes to even letting us create the content, it is difficult to get the needed data from them.  

 

At my first Spotlight Showcase, as I walked around trying to get manufacturers to let us develop content of their products, I often got a " Who are you?".  Now, with some exceptions, when we approach a manufacturer in the Spotlight industries, they are more than happy to work with us.  Some develop the content themselves and share it with us, others prefer to have us make it so they do not have to pay someone to make it.  it all depends on the company.  But then we also have a good footing in the Entertainment industry, and are one of the leading software for designers in those industries. 

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55 minutes ago, JimW said:


The content I was referring to however was mostly the training and other video content (my area) specific to Vectorworks, which manufacturers wouldn't be involved in.

 

Although, as discussed in this other thread, there hasn’t been any new VSS Training or How-To videos released for Vw2018. The decision was made to push all new training content directly to YouTube for everyone instead of any exclusively for VSS Subscribers (contrary to the Service Select benefits page promising an ‘always-growing library of on-demand learning tutorials‘).

 

From that other thread, I understand that the approach to releasing training content is changing and that “users will be much happier after the transition”. Moving forward that’s great, but that doesn’t do much for anyone who might feel short-changed by not getting VSS-only Training content that they have already paid for in years past.

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25 minutes ago, rDesign said:

Although, as discussed in this other thread, there hasn’t been any new VSS Training or How-To videos released for Vw2018.4


The premium content is still being produced and loaded into the new system now, once it's ready as well as the new platform, Service Select members will be able to access it. Youtube doesn't have everything, just everything public that you can get your hands on at the moment.

However, this is part of the reason we have this Forum. You are able to ask, get answers and make your decision on whether to upgrade or renew a subscription. If because of the above concerns, you don't feel it is worth it, then I wouldn't want you to upgrade/renew. I don't want anyone buying Vectorworks under any misconceptions and we are here to clear them up as best as possible. 
 

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9 hours ago, Rob Books said:

 and to back off of Jim, when VW only did annual content, there were two of us creating it, and there was not as much.  Now with the Service Select, we have 5 dedicated developers for the content.  This means we are working through years of back wishes for content, and keeping things updated for content at a better pace, no longer having to wait Months for that new light fixture.

I have appreciated this first hand. I submitted a request for commercial restaurant equipment, along with some relevant links & info, and the content team did a super job of creating great objects in a shorter time frame than I'd ever seen. I then used a number of the objects in a restaurant design I was working on at the time. The objects made my work look good and be more accurate. The client was impressed and was able to visualize his future kitchen far better.

That's just one of the many aspects of Service Select that matters to me.

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Posted (edited)

With regard to annual subscriptions, there's only one question you need to ask when a new version of VW is released: does it improve my productivity? Whether that's in the form of new features, improved existing features or bug fixes, it doesn't really matter. If it sufficiently improves productivity and/or makes life easier then it's worth the fee.

 

This has been the case for us for as long as I can remember. I wouldn't want to use one version of VW for 3-4 years based on my experience of using a new version each year (despite some of the headaches we've had). There are some projects we simply would not have been profitable on if it was for new features like Project Sharing (even with the missed deadlines here and there because of bugs causing missing data).

 

Personally I hate annual release cycles and would rather see bug fixes and features large & small pushed out whenever they're ready. That, to me, should be one of the advantages of an annual subscription model.

Edited by Christiaan
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Posted (edited)

I think renewal or not is not the question.

There are no much other options.

If you want to upgrade Apps from time to when you are interested but

skip some in between, you'll get punished by a fee for skipping versions

so that you don't save much if at all.

It is interesting only if you upgrade every 3-6 years only and just buy a

complete new license. Like I did once for C4D or similar in that case.

But that means a lot of adaption to many changes in Software also

and probably already issues with hardware and OS compatibility when

on Mac.

 

If you agree to go the upgrade path, you can do so every year anyway.

There is not much speaking for going not the VSS way.

You can stop that VSS at any time (3 months before renewal) too.

Beside that you can make use of the extra goodies or not,

(I think I also wouldn't miss much)

it is a bit cheaper than going without VSS.

 

I have 4 of my main Apps under kind of similar VSS.

Beside one App, new Releases where pretty boring on all over years.

The few changes over 5 years that I like and can profit of would easily

fit in a single Release for all of them.

Meaning I would otherwise never had wanted to upgrade especially

to get that special release and its features.

I just do it to always have the newest, OS and between Apps compatibility,

even to support a vendor or community, as long as I can afford it.

 

Only when I see no more future in an App at all because there are far

better solutions now or new Releases make more Problems than the

previous Release or new features never leave their beta status and legacy

annoyances won't be fixed, I may (and did sometimes) give up

VSS and a whole App nevertheless.

 

Edited by zoomer

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@zoomer I think you bring up a good point.  It is not just about money or bug fixes and the up and downsides of upgrading, you also have to consider the up downsides of not upgrading.  

 

The "upgrade pain" of you do it every year is realitvely small.  Most projects can be upgrade a single version with only small inconveniences.  If you wait 3+ years between upgrading, bow the upgrade pain is LARGE, so large that existing projects are not upgraded and age out in third existing version.  This means that you are bow running at least 2 versions simulataeously witch is a pain and is a recipe for mistakes.

 

I think you are are also less likely to try out and incorperate new workflows if you have 3+ years of new stuff to test, learn, and incorperate.  Every year there are 5 newish things that might help us.  We test those features and try them out on it projects and decide to incorporate or not.  If we had 15-20 new workflows to evaluate, it would be too much at one time and we would miss out on some improvements.

 

Like dirty dishes, better to do them every night then to let them stack up.  Then the job is huge, and the spaghetti sauce is glued on.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Tom Klaber said:

Like dirty dishes, better to do them every night then to let them stack up.  Then the job is huge, and the spaghetti sauce is glued on.

 

That never worked for me 😉

 

(The secret is to dump it in water and let it soften before you try to wash it)

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