Automatic Product Updates is not something new as it has been in place for quite a while now. Subscription Bonus Packs has also existed under other names before in one way or the other. Express Tools is one I’m thinking of. But Autodesk calls this the new Flexible Software Delivery model. Personally I think this is a good move. I’ve also got confirmed that ADN (Autodesk Developer Network) members will get access to some of the news like Bonus Packs that are available to subscription customers.
Autodesk is adopting a new Flexible Software Delivery model for AutoCAD software. This new software development and delivery model is designed to increase customer satisfaction and subscription value by providing AutoCAD customers with earlier access to new features, delivered on demand, and provide them with the flexibility to choose which features to install and use.
"Many leading software companies, including Microsoft, Symantec and Intuit, have adopted this new model of software delivery to help their customers maximize their technology investments. We are excited to introduce this innovative approach to AutoCAD," said Guri Stark, vice president, AutoCAD and Platform Products. "Customers on subscription will have earlier access to advanced features and no longer need to worry about upgrades -- they can just plug in the new feature packs they want and bypass those they may not need. We're also automating the delivery of product updates and hotfixes to all users of AutoCAD, ensuring all our customers now have access to the latest technologies as quickly as possible."
The new Flexible Software Delivery model for AutoCAD consists of two primary components: Subscription Bonus Packs and Product Updates.
Subscription Bonus Packs
Subscription Bonus Packs containing new software features are now available to AutoCAD subscription customers through the Autodesk Subscription Center. Subscription customers account for about 75 percent of licensed AutoCAD users. Subscription Bonus Packs will be released regularly and customers will be able to pick and choose which bonus packs to install, providing them greater flexibility in how they deploy their software. AutoCAD customers not on Autodesk Subscription may have access to features from the Subscription Bonus Packs in future product releases. The first AutoCAD 2009 Subscription Bonus Pack, now available for download, provides many useful features that were requested by members of the AUGI (Autodesk User Group International) community.
"Having the option to improve and extend the capabilities of AutoCAD with the use of the Subscription Bonus Pack between full product releases is valuable to our company and is accelerating our ROI," said Keith Rice, CAD Administrator, Pennoni Associates Inc.
Automatic Product Updates
Relying on critical data from the AutoCAD Customer Involvement Program (CIP) and Customer Error Reporting (CER) utility, Product Updates are now automatically delivered to all licensed AutoCAD customers, providing faster and more regular access to patches and fixes. AutoCAD CIP and CER information also provides the development team with near real-time information on product usage, guiding them on key focus areas within the application. The CER system also provides customers with immediate solutions to product failures by automatically sending users emails after a product crash. To date, about 200,000 solutions have been delivered to users, helping to reduce the impact to customer productivity.
Update: Comments on Cadalyst by Kenneth Wong.