P&I business review: Is your software vendor treating you fairly?

Sami Koponen, Vice President: Process & Industry, discusses what is fair and what is not with new licensing trends that we see in the market.

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Written by Sami Koponen

Posted on March 18, 2021

Is your vendor fair?

Am I digging my own grave here saying out loud that CAD software costs take the lion’s share of any tech company’s IT budget? No, I’m not, if I’m pointing out that a software vendor’s license policy can be made to support or not to support their customers. It is easy for a vendor to generate more net sales on an Excel sheet by tightening the license benefits of their existing customers, but is that a sustainable solution? I think not. Sooner or later there will be a breaking point for the customers. The line will be crossed, so to speak.

You decide how to buy your software licenses

At Cadmatic, we think our customers are the best experts to decide how they want to buy their software. Would you like your license to be a one-time purchase or to pay a monthly fee? A named user license or floating network license?

Software business is heavily leaning towards subscriptions so that customers can pay for their licenses per the time or period of use (month/year). Here at CADMATIC, subscription licensing is indeed an option, too, but you can also buy your software all at once i.e. buy the traditional perpetual license. It’s your decision!

Multi-user licenses, now and in the future

If you choose a multi-user license, your company will have a certain number of licenses “floating” that anybody employed by the company can use. You can install the software to more work stations than the number of licenses you have, and the software can be used when any of the licenses are free.

These floating licenses are vital for many companies in order for them to operate productively, maintain their competitiveness, and keep down the costs. It has been estimated that an engineering office needs 4 workstation-specific licenses per one network license, and other type of companies may need up to 7 or 11 more workstation licenses per one online license. It is easy to calculate the impact of these costs on the company’s budget.

Yes, and one more thing: We do have multi-user licenses here at CADMATIC. Now and in the future.

Tool to match your needs – never too thick or thin

I think it’s only fair that your software vendor is able to provide a product that is an optimal solution to your needs. When your business grow and your needs are changing, it’s only fair that you don’t have to suffer because of your earlier decision to buy a thinner license deal.

CADMATIC Primary is meant for smaller companies with smaller projects. It includes all the same functionality and work sharing but for smaller projects. Once you land a bigger project, you can use the “full version” of our 3D Plant Design solution. This gives you the freedom to stay in the CADMATIC family no matter the size of your project. And there is no need to implement a new plant design application in case your company grows and lands bigger projects.

As your software needs grow over the years, you can always update the product to the next level. You’ll only pay the price difference. Fair, wouldn’t you say?

Are you getting value for your maintenance money?

Maintenance is a very common service in the software business. For a one-time license, there is a separate annual fee, and for subscription licenses, maintenance is included in the monthly fee. Regarding fairness, it’s only fair to ask: What are you getting for the price you pay for maintenance?

A company that has a valid CADMATIC Maintenance Agreement benefits from having access to new software releases, e-learning at our online Academy, and our highly appreciated online customer support. According to a customer survey conducted in Q2 2020, more than eight out of ten customers would recommend CADMATIC to their colleagues. Read more about the survey here.

Isn’t software switch a mission impossible?

I don’t want to underestimate the challenge involved in changing your software product, but I do want to emphasize that we have several solutions to make it easier. If you decide to become a customer at CADMATIC – and receive FAIR service – we have plenty of examples of other companies who have made the switch and succeeded. During the year 2020, close to 350 new customer organizations started on a journey with us, and that says something about our offering!

It will not hurt to switch to a fairer vendor; at worst it may pinch a little for a short moment.

In all fairness,