Written by Aisling Hughes on August 14, 2019
February 7th, 2018
approx reading time
4 Minute Read
Software upgrading is one of the major obstacles that traditional licensing users face. In the CAD or CAE (computer-aided engineering) software area, this problem can cause a lot of problems, resulting in lost time and supplementary costs.
In my own field experience that I have accumulated over a number of years, I have had contact with a lot of customers from different industries. One of the most common problems occurring in the area of professional software solutions area is related to software upgrade difficulties. Many partners using traditional licensing (on-premises) for CAD or CAE software claim that a lot of customers deliberately skip years of upgrades, despite regularly paying the maintenance fees for this facility.
What are the reasons for this? Most traditional CAD and CAE users prefer to not update their software because of a number of inconveniences that may occur. For example, they claim that there are more risks than benefits, as the installation might cause more problems than it solves.
Additionally, these problems related to traditional software upgrading are the driving factors that influence designers and engineers to migrate to a SaaS solution. In a survey dedicated to more than 200 professionals, Onshape, the first provider of a full-cloud 3D CAD platform, identified the main reasons customers prefer to migrate to full-cloud CAD solutions . Upgrade management is the first of the first three reasons:
Let’s identify the main problems that clients complain about related to upgrading:
Not all updates are suitable for them: if a client is happy with a software version (efficiency, add-ons, extensions, tools, etc.) they don’t want to change it. Additionally, many maintenance subscription packages come with a number of upgrade constraints;
Maintenance pack costs: often the acquisition departments fail to consider the value of maintenance subscription services. The price is often between 15%-25% of the value of a new perpetual license;
Provider-related downloading problems: the vendors’ servers or providers’ downloading consoles have the potential to fail; in these instances, the client loses time trying to download the upgrade version many times;
Licensing conflicts and installing errors: the client has to uninstall the previous version first, and to avoid data loss and other problems, they might need technical assistance. They often receive error messages during upgrade installing; sometimes this is a temporary failure, but in other cases, the serial number or key activation is not recognized;
Upgrade downloading restrictions: during the downloading process, the client could receive constraints recommendations like using a different web browser, or prompts to try a wired Internet connection, temporarily turn off antivirus, personal firewall, port blocking or VPN, or try a different computer;
Machine changing: one of the most common sources of discomfort is when a client wants to change their machine or to update the HDD unit or operating system and software downloading doesn’t recognize the licensing rights;
Promotions pressure: many vendors’ promotions are forcing clients to act without thinking of the consequences. Any promotional upgrade to a superior package version forces clients to pay more for a maintenance package. Not all clients are happy with this, as a downgrading process is very difficult and could involve further supplementary costs.
First of all, with a cloud-based CAD or CAE solution, you never need to do an upgrade. With a SaaS subscription, you can completely forget about supplementary maintenance or update package nightmares. All updates for SaaS applications and renewals are handled by the SaaS vendor and can occur several times in a year with no cost to the customer. You can read more about this in this article: Things SaaS Providers Worry About, So You Don’t Have To.
With cloud solutions, you don’t have to think about software updates and version compatibilities. You and every client in the world are always using the most recent version. There are no compatibility issues related to software version. No hardware configuration improvement. No downloads or installs needs. Just refresh your browser and take advantage of the newest CAD or CAE enhancements.
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