It’s one of the best parts of the job.

So often, I have the opportunity to hear from customers and partners all over the world and learn first-hand about the amazing things they do with our technology. Sometimes the stories are as fundamental as helping a construction firm complete a complex school reconstruction project. Other times, it’s as impactful and unique as using 3D printing to protect a threatened species of tortoise. Then there are the ‘once in a career’ projects, like helping to restore one of the world’s most iconic buildings.

3d printed tortoise shell

Biologists are using fake 3D-printed shells to discourage raven attacks on live desert tortoises. Image courtesy of Hardshell Labs.

It’s incredibly gratifying to hear about the impact we’re making with customers—both on their business and on our world. Though the truth is, when we hear from customers it isn’t always about the success stories. Customers aren’t shy about giving us tough, direct feedback too. They want to better understand our vision. They want to see a roadmap for the solutions they’ve built their business on. Customers are asking for clarity and flexibility in how they buy from Autodesk—and a better understanding of the value they’re getting in return for their purchase. It’s the kind of feedback we’ve heard and taken to heart in the past. So I wanted to take the opportunity to shed some light on some recent investments we’ve made to our product portfolio which are a direct result of customer feedback, and also call attention to some resources available to customers aimed at providing more clarity and insight on their purchase options.

We’re listening, investing & innovating in AEC 

Rendering of a cityscape

One of our most passionate customer groups is Architecture, Engineering & Construction professionals. We’re committed to delivering solutions for the AEC industry that provide connected workflows across every phase of the project lifecycle—plan, design, build, and operate—and meeting our customers’ changing needs. Across our AEC portfolio, we’ve made enhancements that deliver better productivity and efficiency, powerful automations, and more openness. Many of these enhancements were inspired by customer requests and feedback. A few recent examples:

Better productivity and efficiency with Revit and Civil 3D: We’ve included more than 100 customer requests from across the last two major releases. The latest release of Revit—like its predecessor—delivers documentation workflows, providing productivity, efficiency, and interoperability enhancements that can help individuals and project teams produce better design deliverables, faster, and with less re-work and repetition. You can follow the Revit Public Roadmap here.

For Civil 3D, product performance is the #1 requested enhancement in our customer satisfaction surveys. So with the Civil 3D 2023 release, we responded to those requests by delivering improvements in areas such as corridor section views and sample line editing, and greater efficiency with Event Viewer and Viewport performance. These capabilities, and more, were sourced from over 50 user submissions in Civil 3D Ideas.

Powerful automations in AutoCAD:  AutoCAD 2023 was designed with our customers and the changing nature of their work in mind. New Markup Import and Markup Assist features automatically import feedback into your drawings, reducing the risk of errors and saving time. With My Insights, you can learn about new features or workflows, curated specifically for you based on the way you use AutoCAD. See what else is new in AutoCAD 2023 here.

More openness for all: Better multi-tool integrations facilitate collaboration, help reduce project complexities, and shorten design times. We’re seeing success in this area with improved Revit to FormIt Pro interoperability that smooths and accelerates the transition from form-making to documentation, while new integrations with InfraWorks enhance civil structure workflows.

You asked for more openness with industry standards, too. We joined the Open Design Alliance which enables us to have better IFC file exports overall and we’re proud to be the first BIM platform to certify IFC files for export for architecture, structures, and MEP. Additionally, we expanded support for industry standards and regional requirements like ISO 19650 compatible workflows and the ability to host data on our European data center.

As we look ahead in AEC, supporting design teams continues to be a core investment with more capabilities for modeling, documentation, and analysis. We’re excited for what the future holds in AEC.

Providing clarity & flexibility in how customers buy

We understand that transitioning to different license models over the past few years has been challenging. Customers do not want to spend time figuring out how to buy and manage software subscriptions when they could be spending it on more value-added tasks. While this transformation took longer than expected, we’ve been able to deliver more flexible buying options and time-saving administrative tools for customers.

Named User Trade-in ROI Estimator: More and more customers are seeing the benefits of named user for their business, especially considering how COVID made remote work the norm. If you haven’t made the transition yet, see how much you could save in time and money with our trade-in ROI estimator. If you’re concerned about the administrative overhead that may come with managing named users, read tips in our blog from a customer who made the move and check out our roadmap for tech managers.

Autodesk Flex Estimator: We also have a new, cost-effective option for occasional users with Autodesk Flex. Since launching in September 2021, we’ve seen many customers add Flex to their subscription mix to support infrequent users or specialized products. Try our Flex token estimator to see if Flex would be a fit for your business based on your usage patterns.

Perpetual vs. Subscription Total Cost of Ownership analysis: We sometimes hear how perpetual licenses are less expensive than subscriptions in the long term. For the more than 2 million customers who have taken advantage of our maintenance and multi-user trade-in offers, their subscription price is protected to 2028. For those of you who haven’t yet subscribed, we have an updated Total Cost of Ownership analysis—providing a sample perpetual vs. subscription cost breakdown.

Moving forward together

Connecting with our customers to better understand their needs, listening to their suggestions, and taking in their feedback—both positive and constructive—is a critical part of how Autodesk plots the path forward. The best way for customers to stay engaged with and provide input into product development is via Autodesk’s Product Research Community (sign up is required). By signing up for this community, members can provide feedback on existing capabilities, new concepts, and future-looking projects.

We’re grateful for the customers who push us to adapt and inspire us to invest in the areas that will move our industries forward. Let’s continue to reimagine what’s possible, together.