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Under-fire Autodesk tells architects: ‘We have fallen short’

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Design software giant Autodesk has conceded it had ‘fallen short’ after a raft of big-name practices hit out at the cost and performance of its 3D modelling tool, Revit

The Californian company said it wanted an ‘honest and open dialogue’ with customers in a bid to ‘further understand their needs’.

The statement comes after an open letter was sent to the company, signed by more than 20 practices – including Zaha Hadid Architects, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and Allies and Morrison – which criticised Autodesk over ageing software and rising prices.

Autodesk said: ‘We appreciate the feedback we received in the open letter.

‘While there are points it raised that we disagree with, there are also issues raised that we must take to heart, which highlight areas where we’ve fallen short.’

The software giant said it had increased development on engineering and construction products in recent times to better enable collaboration across different disciplines.

‘As with any business, there is the need to prioritise resources,’ it said. ‘We do recognise the need to balance and have recently increased our development on the architectural capabilities of Revit.

‘Expect to see progress here in the future.’

Autodesk said it ‘empathised’ with customers who have been through different licence models as the technology company has moved to a subscription model.

‘We’ve done our best to balance these changes with a more valuable experience and trade-in offers that give long-time customers a path to experience these benefits at a cost consistent with what they pay today,’ said the statement.

‘But we must always be open to customer feedback. We’re planning to continue engaging with these customers directly, to have an open and honest dialogue, helping us further understand their needs.

‘We have more to say, but first we will listen.’

The architects’ letter had warned that ’practices are paying more but using Revit less, because of its constraints’.

They called for ‘a vision, road map and investment strategy that targets adding value and performance for design-based organisations’.

This should ‘prioritise the replacement of Revit from the ground up,’ said the practices, ’to reflect the functionality needed for a 21st century digital industry’.


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