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April 1, 2016 | Authored by: Vindicia Team

What service providers can learn from Autodesk's switch to subscription billing

Autodesk, provider of design and 3-D modeling technology since 1982, is changing to a software as a service subscription billing model. Previously, customers could only use the company's technology through expensive licenses and desktop-only applications.

According to Digit, Autodesk stated in its press release that a SaaS business model improves customer experience by simplifying the purchasing, deployment and troubleshooting processes. The new service will also be more flexible and provide greater access - consumers will have single-user, multiuser and multiyear options.

"This new campaign will not only provide significant cost benefits but also additional support needed by the customers," Pankaj Gauba of Autodesk India said, according to Digit. "Throughout this transition, we will work with our partners and customers to deliver better and enhanced experience of using our design tools and technology."

As the B2B News Network mentioned, subscribing customers won't have to wait years for new editions. Instead, they'll be able to download and install incremental updates. These improvements will also occur more frequently, appearing in a matter of weeks. Autodesk previously used a waterfall model where each new software offer moved sequentially through the concept, design, implementation, testing, production and installation, and troubleshooting and maintenance stages. This method typically took months or years to complete.

Autodesk's focus on the cloud also benefits its customers, though the company won't get rid of desktop applications completely. Instead, its software will simply become more integrated with the cloud, similar to what Adobe did with its Creative Suite. This integration also makes the 3-D modeling software available for those whose computers don't have a high-powered graphics processing unit.

In addition, recurring management solutions make Autodesk's product more affordable for its consumers. Licenses can cost a person or business anywhere from $1,200 to $6,825. Splitting that price into multiple payments is far more economical than a large upfront sum.

Ensuring success
Autodesk will see the best profit if it maintains its product while offering it at an attractive price point. As the B2B News Network mentioned, the cloud-based software updates must improve either the service itself or the user's productivity. Otherwise, many users will cancel their subscriptions. In essence, Autodesk must continue to provide value with each update to keep customers excited about what it has to offer. In fact, all SaaS providers based on a subscription model must keep innovating to remain relevant.

Simply providing these updates is not enough. Autodesk must communicate these additions effectively so users are aware of the new service. In fact, it's a good idea for all SaaS providers to mention the benefits of their service every time they communicate with a customer. This acts as a constant reminder for users and also allows for personalized marketing. 

Switching to a cloud-based subscription service takes a large amount of planning and production, but the initial change is not the end of the process. Software providers like Autodesk must continuously update their services and offerings to keep customers engaged with their products. Companies must also effectively communicate these changes, keeping customers aware and involved.

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Vindicia Team

Vindicia Team

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