Autodesk questioned by unsatisfied customers over rising costs, sluggish product development

The costs have increased as much as 70 percent over a five-year span through the end of 2019—of its central BIM product, Revit.

Autodesk questioned by unsatisfied customers over rising costs, sluggish product development
Autodesk questioned by unsatisfied customers over rising costs, sluggish product development

Autodesk questioned by unsatisfied customers over rising costs, sluggish product development

A group of 25 largely the United Kingdom headquartered architecture firms have sent Andrew Antagonist, president and CEO of Autodesk, a five-page open letter. The letter is aimed at censuring the Silicon Valley-based design software and services giant for the mounting ownership costs.

The costs have increased as much as 70 percent over a five-year span through the end of 2019—of its central BIM product, Revit. The Architects Newspaper stated that firms including Grimshaw, Zaha Hadid Architects, Wilkinson Eyre Architects, and Rogers, Stirk, Harbour + Partners are a part of this group.

However, out of the 25 firms who supported and helped to conceive the letter, only 17 publicly signed. The letter states that the development of Revit has remained mostly stagnant.

It also states that the firms dependent on the software have been facing ever-changing licensing models, aggressive sales tactics in enterprise licensing, and a lack of understanding of the business dynamics within the industry that the corporate serves.

With all the firms together, we are looking at about $22 million in spending on Autodesk products and services over the past five years. The letter states that even before the COVID‐19 pandemic, costs were under significant scrutiny and the value added by software vendors is now being questioned as never before.

It also states that practices would have been less worried by these cost increases if they were mirrored by productivity improvements and a progressive software development program. Undoubtedly, Autodesk Revit was the industry enabler to smarter working earlier, but now it increasingly finds itself a constraint and bottleneck.

Practices find that they’re paying more but using Revit less due to its constraints.
The letter concludes by imploring Autodesk to focus on delivering a “customer-centric, non‐adversarial, innovative, progressive, and deliverable” plan of action.

The letter asks Autodesk to be committed to cost stability, including a research and development commitment tailored to the unique needs of the architecture and design community, be willing to build a partnership with its customers and develop an investment strategy that targets adding value and performance for design-based organizations. 

The letter’s creators are also inviting other architecture firms to join as signatories if they wish to make an even greater impact.