There is a lot of buzz in the 3D CAD market right now about companies looking at switching from Autodesk Inventor to SOLIDWORKS. Many are focusing on the capabilities and features of the software such as its intuitive and easy-to-use user interface and its ability to scale from small parts to very large assemblies and to perform powerful simulations without leaving the SOLIDWORKS user interface.
But there are a wide range of other reasons to consider switching from Autodesk Inventor to SOLIDWORKS that have nothing to do with software features, such as licensing options, price stability, technical support options, user community and availability of skilled users. Fisher Unitech has created an infographic that summarizes these advantages and this blog post will provide some additional explanation for each of the points mentioned in the infographic.
SOLIDWORKS Subscription vs Autodesk Inventor Subscription
The first point is that Autodesk only offers Inventor on a subscription basis while SOLIDWORKS provides the choice of a perpetual license or a subscription. Users can keep their existing perpetual licenses but when they need additional licenses they are forced to purchase subscription-based licenses. Autodesk further discourages users from keeping their existing perpetual licenses by implementing maintenance fee price increases of over 38% by 2019 phased over three annual increases. Users that give up their perpetual licenses receive discounted subscriptions but many are concerned that, after they give up their perpetual licenses, their leverage will disappear and their subscription fees will rise along the same curve as maintenance fees.
In contrast to the rapid price increases for Autodesk Inventor, the price of a standard license of SOLIDWORKS hasn't changed since it was first released back in the mid-1990s. While it will continue to sell perpetual licenses, Dassault Systèmes, SOLIDWORKS’ parent, also offers the option to rent the software for three-month or one-year periods.
3D CAD Technical Support
While Autodesk steers its customers towards email tech support as the preferred method, SOLIDWORKS enables its users to take advantage of their choice of phone, email or web tech support offered by their local value-added reseller. Fisher Unitech, one of the world’s largest SOLIDWORKS resellers, has one of the largest technical support teams in its industry. At Solidworks World 2017, Fisher Unitech was recognized by Dassault Systèmes for outstanding SOLIDWORKS technical support services with two SOLIDWORKS Elite Club awards. These awards signify that Fisher Unitech exceeds the highest standards for software technical support, subscription support renewals and customer retention.
SOLIDWORKS User Groups
Another reason for switching to SOLIDWORKS is the benefits that come from being part of the largest user community of any 3D CAD system. Jay Vleeschhouwer, Managing Director at Griffin Securities, said that: "By our calculation, SOLIDWORKS has probably close to one-third of the entire industry's active base of users, by far the largest." According to Monster.com, one-third of job openings seeking 3D CAD skills in the US are for SOLIDWORKS users. And in a recent LinkedIn job search for positions in the U.S., SOLIDWORKS skills ranked highest at 5,600 job posts while Autodesk Inventor skills ranked lowest at 450 job postings. So, when you are seeking new employees, it will be easy to find experienced SOLIDWORKS users. It will be easier to communicate with customers and partners because the chances are good that they will also be SOLIDWORKS users. Finally, the 3.1 million strong SOLIDWORKS users worldwide are well-known for their willingness to trade tips and suggestions for achieving success with their favorite 3D CAD software.
When switching to new 3D CAD software, the capabilities of the new software are the most important consideration. But don’t forget to weigh less intangible factors such as licensing options, price stability, technical support capabilities, etc. Fisher Unitech has summarized the advantages of switching from Autodesk Inventor to SOLIDWORKS in the infographic. Check it out and then make the decision to switch to the 3D CAD tool that provides all the advantages listed in the infographic and also helps you speed up product development processes, reduce manufacturing costs and increase product quality.
About the Author
Christa Prokos is a marketing manager at Fisher Unitech. She researches and writes about the latest business trends and technologies impacting manufacturers, including 3D printing, SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD design and product data management tools, product lifecycle management, virtual reality, and the Internet of Things. Christa has worked as a high tech marketing and communications professional since 2000. You can follow her on Twitter: @ChristaProkos.