Historically there have been a lot of different licensing types with Autodesk. Autodesk introduced Autodesk A360 as a SaaS-based licensing offer and tried to move everything to the Cloud. The applications, the license management, and everything are now Cloud-based.
Autodesk introduced the Named User Subscriptions to move customers from the Standalone and Network-based licenses. The users are now assigned a subscription through a Cloud portal to replace the onsite license managers. The subscription is attached to a specific user with its specific portfolio of Autodesk solutions. An internet connection is mandatory. Borrowing licenses are still available, but users have to check in monthly.
The advantages of Named User Subscriptions
The advantages of Named User Subscriptions are the ease of license management, the online infrastructure replacing the complex onsite license managers, and the ability to assign or transfer licenses quickly through the Cloud portal.
Autodesk made a couple of more changes:
- The incentive to direct: Customers can now purchase licenses directly from Autodesk.
- Conversions from maintenance & support licenses or network licenses to Named User Subscriptions (Monthly, Annual or Multi-year)
- 2-for-1 trade-ins: Customers with multi-user subscriptions will have the final option to take advantage of the multi-user trade-in offer for any upcoming renewal until 6th February 2024. From 7th February 2024 multi-user licenses can no longer be traded in on a 1:2 bases
- Discounts for 3-year subscriptions
The monthly subscriptions are only available directly through Autodesk and are positioned for customers with short-term projects or staffing needs. The annual subscriptions provide a 33% discount while the multi-year (3 years) subscriptions provide an even higher discount at an additional 5%. Renewals are processed through the Cloud portal. Customers receive an additional 10% discount if they renew and pay in advance. 3-year subscriptions provide customers with a price lock on a specific Autodesk solution.
The software is deployed individually at the workstation or script-based for multiple users/devices. Per subscription, the software can be installed on up to 3 workstations but can only have one active session running. The subscription covers up to 3 versions back. This provides customers room to plan migrations in line with their needs.
Potential impact on your organization
There are a couple of potential impacts Named User Subscriptions can have on your organization. The unplanned cost increases could be a strangle on your budget. Autodesk, like most of today’s software manufacturers with a Cloud proposition, is increasing prices continuously. What seems a bargain today, is overpriced tomorrow.
Compliance is one of the advantages mentioned by Autodesk to market Named User Subscriptions, but in this new model, there is still a compliance issue possible. As mentioned before, customers can install the software on up to 3 workstations but can only have one session active at a time. Then let’s use a real-life example, a user doesn’t log off the session at work and starts a new session on the weekend at home, and you are in non-compliance.
Named User Subscriptions can also encourage shadow IT. End-users might be able to purchase subscriptions on their own without centralized governance on spend and compliance.
Last but not least, Autodesk maintains its regional restrictions. Subscriptions purchased in a specific region are not compliant in another region. Without thorough license management, customers could be non-compliant without even noticing it. Different regions create different portals and managing all these portals could create a complex situation where you lose visibility of actual use.
We advise customers to consolidate all the Autodesk portals into a single account. This way you can manage all subscriptions centrally and have complete data on usage. It’s also very important to align all your subscriptions and payment dates and to have the same terms for the same subscription. Making sure you use the same payment methods for all subscriptions could ease the financial management of all your Names User Subscriptions.
It could be profitable to not convert all your Network licenses into Named User Subscriptions and to assign specific users to Autodesk Flex. This way you can create a swap pool for occasional users and save money on licensing.
A good practice is to review usage data on a monthly or quarterly basis, to make sure unused or barely used subscriptions are mitigated.
The disadvantages of Named User Subscriptions
In our previous article about Network licenses, we mentioned the advantages of concurrent users. In short, the ability to only license users when they are actively using the software can save customers a substation amount of money. With Named User Subscriptions, this is not the case. Even if the user is not using the software, he or she is still assigned a subscription during the duration of the agreement. For example, With Network licenses, you could have 120 users using a specific Autodesk solution while only paying for 100 concurrent licenses because only 100 users are using the solution at the same time. With Named User Subscriptions you always pay for the full 120 users.