Back in July, after we received some direct and constructive criticism from customers in the architecture community about the pace of development of Revit, we pledged to take action. It was clear that – in addition to being more transparent and communicative about our roadmap for Revit specifically, and our vision for the AEC industry more broadly – we needed to do a better job of listening to customers: understanding their needs, ideas and expectations for performance, capability and value in Revit.
One of the first ways we responded was to conduct a listening tour with customers around the world. Over the last several months we’ve held more than a dozen listening sessions with close to 150 customer groups and industry associations across North & South America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. We’ve heard from firms of all sizes and conducted (and continue to conduct) numerous workshops, technical sessions, and roadmap reviews to take in feedback and shed more light on how we’re innovating. Here are a few of the common themes from those discussions with customers:
- Customer engagement & insight: Customers simply want more transparency and dialogue with Autodesk on what’s on the Revit roadmap, and what the future holds for our AEC solutions.
- Performance, functionality & interoperability: Customers highlighted how certain Revit performance issues are causing work delays, how installation and administration can be frustrating, and how better interoperability – among Autodesk products and in concert with 3rd party solutions and industry standards – has become increasingly critical.
- Subscriptions, licensing & value: Customers are frustrated by multiple license model changes and the price-to-value they believe they’re getting. They also want more flexibility to meet their needs for occasional and on-demand usage. Many also need access to older software versions in order to complete multi-year long projects.
It’s a lot to consider. And it’s just a portion of what we’re hearing as we talk with customers. As we’re continuing to listen, we’re acting too, and wanted to share a few of the recent milestones we’ve reached and announcements we’ve made.
Customer engagement & insight
Our global listening tour has been a tremendously valuable way to gather input an engage directly with customers. But there are several other ways our customers can stay informed and have their voices heard.
Autodesk University starts November 17th, just a few days away, and I hope you’ll register and join me there. It’s 100% virtual, free, and open to everyone. In addition to live keynotes, and a live Answer Bar, there are other ways to engage in real-time with our product teams.
- Join the live-stream Revit Product Roadmap Update. Look out for a special question and answer session, where Revit product managers will review updates to the recently updated Revit product roadmap and take questions from viewers.
- Visit the AU Idea Exchange, a one stop-shop to engage and participate in product research opportunities during AU. You will partner directly with designers, product managers, and engineers to get an early look at what is coming across Autodesk products and give feedback directly to the teams building our products.
Beyond AU, the best way to collaborate with our development teams and influence future direction, usability, and desirability of all Autodesk products is to join Autodesk’s Product Research Community.
We have made significant progress since my last blog post at broadening our reach and putting structures in place to ensure effective ongoing customer engagement. The Inside the Factory video sessions continue and there are 6 more videos available on the Revit Blog. These videos allow you to hear directly from the product team on topics ranging from how we engage customers in the development process, to automation, to our larger Building & Infrastructure Design Vision.
I am also happy to introduce the new “Revit is for Everyone” home page. This comprehensive destination allows you to launch all things Revit including: Inside the Factory Sessions, the Revit Preview Release Program, Autodesk’s Product Research Community, and more. As we head into AU, the home page will highlight stories where customer feedback has resulted in significant product impact and improvement. Following AU, the featured content will shift towards showcasing what’s coming in the next release of Revit. We know it can be hard to know how to engage, so bookmark this home page and visit it often.
Performance, functionality & interoperability
Another area where we’ve announced recent progress involves our products meeting international data exchange standards.
In September, Autodesk joined the Open Design Alliance (ODA), a nonprofit technology consortium specializing in providing support and access to design file formats. With Autodesk’s membership in the ODA, we’re accelerating our support for IFC, an open file format increasingly used by our AEC customers. And this week Revit achieved a major milestone for IFC4, becoming the first BIM platform to certify export for both architecture and structure, improving access to reference data for collaboration across platforms and products.
We also recently joined buildingSMART’s Strategic Advisory Council to further our commitment to open data standards. We’ll be working with the other members on the council to develop solutions and standards on digital ways of working for the built asset industry.
And as one of the founding members of the Digital Twin Consortium, we’ll be working with other members to improve interoperability, as well as creating common standards and practices for digital twins.
Subscriptions, licensing & value
In March, we moved the retirement of multi-user subscription renewals to August 7, 2021 and delayed the launch of the multi-user trade-in offer to August 7, 2020. We did not want to introduce change when business-as-usual was hard enough with COVID-19.
While many customers have taken advantage of the trade-in offer and begun to capitalize on the benefits of cloud-based licenses – including the ability to work remotely, optimized costs based on usage data, and improved collaboration – we’ve also heard from customers that change remains difficult during the pandemic. So to support those customers we recently extended multi-user subscription renewals by another year to August 7, 2022.
We are also accelerating our efforts to introduce a cloud-based license solution for occasional users with plans to introduce a flexible solution for occasional users in the second half of 2021. What will this mean for customers? The ability to assign access to occasional users who only pay for what they use, increased access to a broader portfolio of tools for different stages of the design process, and an easier way to add new users quickly as project demands require.
Finally, starting this month, we are expanding version access for all customers (on subscription and maintenance plans) for the latest release and up to five versions back. By expanding version access, we’re making it easier for teams to collaborate on the same software version throughout a project lifecycle.
We’re pleased with the milestones we’ve reached over the last few months, grateful to our customers for their engagement, and remain excited for the future of Revit and the AEC industry overall. The work continues. And we hope our customers will continue to engage on shaping this future together with us.