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Vectorworks abandoning perpetual licences


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3 minutes ago, Kevin McAllister said:

I'm curious whether temporarily adding a licence using the monthly rental option is compatible with Service Select.

 

Additionally, the subscription offering will be enhanced to include all the same premium benefits of Vectorworks Service Select at no additional cost. This means that when you subscribe to Vectorworks, you have access to additional product library content, exclusive training, more Cloud Service storage, and cloud rendering.
 

We will send an email mid-September with instructions on how to access the new Service Select benefits.

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3 hours ago, Christiaan said:

No. The file format gets changed because new features require it. Not simply because there's a new version.

 

I guess. JimW mentioned that there was work being done so that the file type wouldn't have to change every release cycle. I haven't seen it on the current road map but I'm assuming the work is still being done.

 

Kevin

 

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1 hour ago, bc said:

From the Email:

 

"As a current Service Select member, this email is to notify you of the upcoming changes and reassure you that they do not affect the terms or status of your existing Service Select agreement. As long as you maintain your license(s) under Service Select, you will be able to continue to renew your agreement annually and enjoy the same benefits you do today, including access to new software releases."

 

It seems like, for current Service Select users, the status quo will be maintained. What am I missing or naive about?

 

At the moment as a service select member, you can choose not to renew your membership, and forego new releases from that point onwards but can carry on using Vectorworks for your work as long as you want (at least for as long as you can hold out on OS upgrades, hardware replacement and so on).

 

As far as I can see, what changes is that under the new system if you do the same, you are then completely locked out of using Vectorworks at all, unless you want to pay for it.

 

For bigger companies I imagine this is not such a big deal, but for smaller operators the ability to put a pause on outgoings is quite valuable. Maybe you have a year or two out of practice either of your own choosing or not (remember Covid?). Maybe you just have a lean year or two where workload drops away unexpectedly.

 

During that downtime you might still want to access VW now and again, say to deal with small issues arising on old jobs. Maybe you need to use VW for a couple of hours each month, to do things like open up and old drawing and make a minor amendment.

 

It's always been the case that you can't really save any money by skipping releases - the pricing is such that the upgrade cost is higher, the more versions behind you are. So it's not that these are tactics that can deprive VW of lots of revenue. But it means that a user can choose to pay to upgrade when it suits them and their cashflow.

 

The other scenario - VW starts putting its subscription prices up substantially. Maybe it's decided that it's not interested in the smaller scale users any more, and the price is going up along with a change in focus of the software. As things are at the moment, if I come to renew and find I don't like VW's pricing, I've got at least a couple of years to carry on using it while working out what I want to transition to. Under the new regime, I'm forced to pay the new higher prices for as long as it takes me to extract myself entirely from VW. And once again, even after transition, there's the issue of old jobs that might need sporadic attention.

 

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On 8/2/2022 at 4:11 PM, Samuel Derenboim said:

My hunch is that this move will get people away from Vectorworks. Vectorworks, despite it being a very powerful software, doesn't have a large enough base in order to sustain interest in the event of a subscription model due to its sparse use among the industry.

 

What evidence have you to make this statement?

 

Certainly in recent surveys in the UK, although later disputed by the authors themselves, Vectorworks was only second to Revit, and way ahead of ArchiCAD in terms of number of users.

 

If you are talking about the US then perhaps you are right, but it's a fairly broad and unfounded statement likely based on a hunch.

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55 minutes ago, shorter said:

 

Certainly in recent surveys in the UK, although later disputed by the authors themselves, Vectorworks was only second to Revit, and way ahead of ArchiCAD in terms of number of users.

 

I didn't know that. Have you got a link to those surveys?

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3 hours ago, JuanP said:

Additionally, the subscription offering will be enhanced to include all the same premium benefits of Vectorworks Service Select at no additional cost.

So, does this mean Service Select can expect poorer service because more users will be impacting the current staff, or does VW plan to staff up?

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1 hour ago, P Retondo said:

So, does this mean Service Select can expect poorer service because more users will be impacting the current staff, or does VW plan to staff up?

@P Retondo We have been preparing and investing for this change. Currently, we have three new tech support specialists finishing their training and getting ready to help all our customers, and we are hiring one more for our UK office. 

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Not clear about this, but maybe?, one could jump in and out of the subscription for vwx.  Not so great if only needed for a minute, because higher cost (annual/10 ?).  But at least this would provide intermittent access to work with vwx files after an annual license lapses:

 

". . .

We also offer monthly and annual subscriptions.

Monthly subscriptions are perfect for project-based customers, flexible staffing needs, cash-flow sensitive customers, or trying out new products. Your monthly subscription will automatically renew each month, but you have the flexibility to cancel up to four (4) days before your renewal date to avoid being charged in the next billing cycle

. . ."

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1 minute ago, Benson Shaw said:

Not clear about this, but maybe?, one could jump in and out of the subscription for vwx.  Not so great if only needed for a minute, because higher cost (annual/10 ?).  But at least this would provide intermittent access to work with vwx files after an annual license lapses:

 

". . .

We also offer monthly and annual subscriptions.

Monthly subscriptions are perfect for project-based customers, flexible staffing needs, cash-flow sensitive customers, or trying out new products. Your monthly subscription will automatically renew each month, but you have the flexibility to cancel up to four (4) days before your renewal date to avoid being charged in the next billing cycle

. . ."

 

But if you need to jump into a file for say an hour or two, once every month or so, then it's not going to work.

 

 

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1 hour ago, line-weight said:

But if you need to jump into a file for say an hour or two, once every month or so, then it's not going to work.

Correct, in the sense that it could become unsustainably expensive.  If switching to other software, best to select all the vwx files and batch export to, um ???, the most mutually compatible file format.

Determining that best format is huge problem - moving from familiar software to something only minimally tested, and then hoping to depend on imported geometry and data - yi yi yi!

 

But if intermittent access is available, and I finally settled on another software after my license lapsed, I could pay the monthly fee one time to access and export any vwx files.  A literally unfortunate exit fee.

 

This is non optimal workaround, but at least can provide a basis for continuing work.

 

I am trying to imagine a strategies for those who find this untenable.

 

-B

 

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, Kevin McAllister said:

 

I guess. JimW mentioned that there was work being done so that the file type wouldn't have to change every release cycle. I haven't seen it on the current road map but I'm assuming the work is still being done.

That would be nice. I didn't know that.

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Will moving to a subscription-based set-up mean the whole thing about migrating workspaces/preferences/etc + having to rebuild them from scratch periodically to avoid corruption will be a thing of the past?

 

And will it mean that new features, tools, etc will be introduced via service packs + if something is found to be buggy/problematic or you just preferred the previous way you have to uninstall that service pack + revert to the previous one until it's remedied in a subsequent pack?

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I will probably keep the perpetual license with VSS, hoping that I can sell my license when I retire ...
If I choose the monthly or annual subscription I guess I won't have any more  license to sell, that is a loss of about $1000 to $1500. Ouch !

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6 hours ago, Tom W. said:

Will moving to a subscription-based set-up mean the whole thing about migrating workspaces/preferences/etc + having to rebuild them from scratch periodically to avoid corruption will be a thing of the past?

Doubt it (I could certainly be wrong on that), but cloud-based Vectorworks would solve that.

 

6 hours ago, Tom W. said:

And will it mean that new features, tools, etc will be introduced via service packs + if something is found to be buggy/problematic or you just preferred the previous way you have to uninstall that service pack + revert to the previous one until it's remedied in a subsequent pack?

Vectorworks has actually occasionally introduced new features via service packs. It sounds like this will become common place now. 

Edited by Christiaan
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9 hours ago, shorter said:


there was another that reversed that result…

Can you share a source?

 

Also regarding my assessment wasn't regarding a hunch, but rather demand. Go to Archinect or any other website that provides job listings.

 

On Archinect, search for vectorworks as a keyword. Only 26 jobs available throughout all of United states ( not sure if it covers UK).

Do they same for Autocad.  673 results. Revit renders 764 results. Archicad renders 45.

 

Total search results: 1508

Autocad - 44.4 %

Revit - 50.6%

Archicad - 3 %

Vectorworks - 1.7 %

 

These are real-time numbers that currently list jobs available today.

 

As a reseller of VW, I understand your position, but at least be fair.

Edited by Samuel Derenboim
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