The Problem With The Autodesk 2012 Product Suites

This week I attended the Autodesk Manufacturing Tech Day event at the Autodesk office in Lake Oswego. I expected to see and hear more about the new 2012 product suites, especially since that was the only thing that Autodesk executives seemed to be interested in talking about during the 2012 product launch web cast. And that is precisely what happened.

I believe there is a serious problem with these suites. But before I get to that, let’s take a look at some of the material put out by Autodesk about these suites. This is what the landing page for the Autodesk Product Design Suite looks like.

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Here is the page that lets you “try” the Autodesk Product Design Suite.

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As you can see, the first image above gives you the impression that the suite is basically a bundle, a collection of different products put together into one box. The second image merely confirms that by giving you links to download the individual products. But here is the thing. From that I understand the Autodesk 2012 suites are not bundles. People who buy these suites will also get additional pieces of software that tie the different products in the suite together. For example, in the Factory Design Suite, there is a tab called “Factory” added to Inventor’s ribbon bar which contains the factory specific functionality.

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I took the above picture from the Factory Design Suite brochure because that’s the only suite which is already out in the market. The rest of the suites are not ready to ship to customers as can be seen from the fact that the “try” page simply points to download links to the individual products in the suite.

I brought this up with Autodesk executives in Lake Oswego and they agreed with me. To me it looks like the suites were not ready in time and Autodesk decided to go ahead and announce them anyways. They ended up putting together the marketing material that they did and made the announcement. This is precisely the problem with annual release cycles. You end up forcing people to make and release software by giving more importance to a calendar as opposed to customer feedback, bug reports and general readiness of the product.

I believe Autodesk marketing should take a serious look at the material that they have put together for the 2012 product suites. I feel too much ink has been spent to highlight prices and savings, thereby making the whole concept of suites seem as if they were bundles and nothing else. That would be a shame because I believe the development team at Autodesk has put a lot of effort into adding value to the individual products and that is not being highlighted enough. I believe this line of thinking will propagate down to the resellers who will basically push these suites as bundles. To me the problem with the Autodesk 2012 product suites is the way they are being marketed.

Bottom line, an Autodesk 2012 suite is not merely the sum of its individual parts.

Disclosure: Autodesk paid for my airfare and hotel.

  • Anonymous

    ADSK kept trying to cement the fact that these suites are now “the product” not simply a bundle. With the exception of the Factory Design suite (as you pointed out) I think they are doing a poor job of that. It does appear to be a bundle.

    How else can you explain the inclusion of Mudbox but exclusion of Publisher in the Product Design suites. Now one could explain this one.

    I too got the, we’re figuring this out as we go, vibe (and in some cases I actually got that exactly admission from ADSK). ]

    In the end this will be successful but it sure seems like they took a clue from Nancy Pelosi on this one. “We have to pass this bill to see what’s in it” ;)

  • http://www.deelip.com Deelip Menezes

    Sean, if these suites actually turn out to be bundles and nothing more, then the Autodesk pretty much took the year off this year. ;-)

    But seriously, there have been some additions made to the products this year. But not as revolutionary as the ones made last year. Maybe we are simply expecting too much.

  • Anonymous

    I’m a little ignorant on the subtlety of “suite” versus “bundle”. Please educate me on the significance. Certainly we’re talking about putting multiple pieces of software together and selling them for one price (which is lower than buying them individually). Is the “suite” more valuable than a corresponding “bundle” because the included software packages are integrated with each other in a “suite”?

  • http://www.deelip.com Deelip Menezes

    Yes. That is my understanding of suites the way they were shown to us in Lake Oswego. The suites are not yet released. The only one that is, the Factory Design Suite, shows that quite clearly.

  • John

    If parametric modeling has proven too difficult that users want/need direct editing, how does “bundling” or “suiteing” a range of semi-integrated applications, with different interfaces and workflows make any sense.

    Seems like the mergers and aquisitions team has run amok, at the expense of user productivity.

  • Monicawxq

    AutoCAD2012 have been released by Autodesk?

  • http://www.deelip.com Deelip Menezes

    Yes. You can download a 30 day trial from http://usa.autodesk.com/autocad/trial/

  • GdGr

    Too much time…I have controlled the time: at 5:36PM I have download 11.25% of the total. Right now  17:08 PM and the download is only 17.08%….For download all of the bundle I seem will take…near 20 hrs..Is it correct?

  • GdGr

    Correctio;Too much time…I have controlled the time: at 5:36PM I have download 11.25% of the total. Right now  6:47 PM and the download is only 17:08%….For download all of the bundle I seem will take…near 20 hrs..Is it correct?

  • http://www.joomla-web-developer.com Joomla Development

    Great information!

  • Web design London

     Is the “suite” more valuable than a corresponding “bundle” because the included software packages are integrated with each other in a “suite”?Great info.Thanks a lot for sharing this..

  • http://www.adsyou.com/ شقق للبيع في الاردن

    I too got the, we’re figuring this out as we go, vibe (and in some cases I actually got that exactly admission from ADSK).




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