While attending the AutoCAD 2010 launch today, I took the opportunity to interview three Autodesk people: Eric Stover, Jon Page and Shaan Hurley. I raised the issue of Autodesk being seen as not listening to its customers, and was given a very comprehensive response. Here is the first of two parts of that interview.
Disclosure: Transport, accommodation and some meals were provided by Autodesk.
What big organization does not “listen” to their customers? The issue is what they do with that feedback. Listening is one thing action is another. Specific example: AutoCAD Architecture users have begged Autodesk for YEARS to update, fix or buy a new roof object solution. And for years the 2010 release shows they again have not “acted” on any of their customers request for this fix, update or whatever they want to call it. My 2 cents…I think these guys do listen but how far up or downstream they can take those request in Autodesk remains the question. – AJ
I almost don’t know where to begin, so much to say. I started with AutoCAD 1.2 and have been with AutoCAD all these years, and have been CAD Manager for most of those years. There is one very dependable thing about new Autodesk software releases, that bugs are often carried forward into the next release, or next several releases.
Along similar lines, basic functionalities are often lacking from release to release, so it is indeed amusing to see one of the new features of AutoCAD 2010 is the ability to reverse a polyline! Reversing a polyline has been a basic lisp tool that any cad-proficient user has had around for years, if not decades. Same with Delete Null Text feature, give me a break!
Shaan mentioned a couple times about Autodesk listening to “what their pain points are” and “eliminating pain points”. I’m utterly unconvinced. Supporting CAD in a 350-person multidisciplinary design firm can be a daunting task, but Autodesk DOES NOT ease my pain. In fact the trend in recent Autodesk applications has been to elevate and introduce new high pain points for CAD Managers. My cup runneth over with specific examples, but for brevity here in this generalized response, I’ll spare you. But you guys will be hearing from me, not that you’ll actually listen 😉 … or if you do listen, that you’ll actually do something about it.
First, let me agree with the above posts and mention that these views are wide spread.
Second, AutoCAD is a great product. We love AutoCAD.
What I and I’m sure others don’t like is the marketing of nothing. The hype, so tired of the hype. When was the last great AutoCAD release??… I am pretty sure it wasn’t last year and it’s not going to be this year. So why the pressure to buy/upgrade? Buy, upgrade, unsupported, upgrade upgrade upgrade!!
Make something that truly does work better. Something that really helps increase productivity and we’ll buy it without having to be sold. Help us do our work better and you’ll have customers not trapped subscribers. -Just a thought.
Listening is one thing – hearing is something else. Sure, they “listened” when we said that we wanted the ability to make PDF’s in AutoCAD. Their solution was to tell us that we didn’t really know what we wanted and that DWF was a far superior format. No, rather than give people what they wanted, they TOLD people what they wanted. Finally, after hearing people complain that their marketing strategy failed and after 3 years people were still demanding PDF, they finally complied.
They are like politicians, the biggest donors get what they want. Go buy 2000 seats of the most expensive platforms and I’d wager they’d listen to us. Maybe they should consider visiting companies in the United State that are in the less than 30 cad user group…..
Ever called support…. if not, do it a few times and you won’t call back because you probably know more than the person trying to help you as they read a manual.