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  1. #1

    PTC license package changes over the years - how do you deal?

    Today we have Advance SE and Flex3c (both are no longer available) and Engineer 1 licensees (which we can no longer buy as we are not a direct customer today).

    I call this a broken license pool because I have 3 separate groups of licenses for users to pull from. Worse yet, when I need to buy more, I will have a 4th separate pool because I have to buy Essentials now...which I have none of.

    The only way to deal with this is with multiple and different startup configurations for most users in the company, at multiple facilities. It is very difficult to keep this organized and time consuming as well. And not just anyone can install Creo as very few even know what configurations are, much less would be consistent without a written procedure.




    Why does PTC does not keep current maintenance customers up to date with their currently offered license packages? We get current and updated software...but not license packages. WHY?


    Why not put us into the most current, closest matching, lowest tier option when changes are made to the license packages. Even a simple name change on PTC's end, changes everything if we are not kept up to date. Why are ALL of mine out of sync with PTC right now as a customer on current maintenance?




    I can tell you, PTC is the ONLY company we buy software from that operates in this manor. We have Solidworks, NX, Solidedge, Keycreator, and Autodesk Product Design Suite premium & ultimate. I have no such problems with any other CAD licenses and installations are so simple, they can be done by most users.

    When Solidworks changes anything in their Standard, Professional, or Premium packs...my licenses follow suit and I hardly notice.

    When Autodesk changed their Product Design Suite around a couple years ago and added Ultimate...all our licenses were automatically updated to follow suite. Our Premium seats became Ultimate and our standard seats became Premium. They kept us in perfect sync with Autodesk's currently offered license packages.




    PTC's fix? Obsolete what we own and buy all new.

    For those who have been with PTC a long time, you must be in the same situation. How are you dealing with this? Has PTC done anything to help?

  2. #2
    It's generally not a big deal, you have what you paid for. In some cases, the most similar new configuration would mean you might lose some functionality. By maintaining exactly what you bought, this never happens. We haven't worried about it, it's not worth trying to keep up with.

    You may already know this, but at install, you can set up your startup to pull from any available license and even choose the order. You can also give the users a choice of what license to start up by creating more than one PSF file, which might make sense since your Flex 3C has more functionality than the others. That's what we did when we had 7 Advance SE and 1 Flex3C.

    When & if you need to buy more, you can negotiate a conversion of old seats to new packages, if you desire. In fact your VAR may even suggest it.
    Doug Schaefer | Director of Design and Engineering
    Concept Engineering | Columbus, OH

    614.279.8771 | www.conceptengr.com

  3. #3
    Our Flex3C is now called something else by PTC.
    I'm in the same boat, have old licensing with names that are no longer available.
    I'm trying to figure out what functionality we actually have and what is now built-in versus being a previous add-on (like mechanism design).
    PTC seems to delight in changing names for no other purpose than confusing people.

  4. #4
    As someone who started with Pro/E release 2, this has indeed been a problem for us. PTC has never given away functionality even when it's included in new licenses at a lower cost, not to mention the maintenance we have been paying year after year. I brought this up at the very first Pro/E users conference in 1990 and was basically sneered at but the corporate presenters. That was during a period of radical increases in capability and product packaging.

    We did pay a VAR once to restructure all of our licenses. I've been fighting with PTC over maintenance costs ever since.

    I sincerely think the best thing is to quit paying maintenance for about 3 years and then buy all new licenses.
    PTC quality philosophy: We've upped our quality standards. Up yours.

  5. #5
    You don't need to obsolete and buy all new. There is always an upgrade path. You can upgrade your packages to the new packages for much less than buying new. Generally the new packages will offer more in the new packages. That's hasn't been so much the case the last few times. At least not enough useable features to warrant the cost. I think PTC is going to need to revamp their pricing model as well as their offerings to be more competitive. They used to have a lot more to offer for the cost difference. Not so much any more. However, I will say that if you have ever had to deal with support with Solidworks or Autodesk, you will realize there is a value is maintenance with PTC.
    Scott

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by srieger View Post
    You don't need to obsolete and buy all new. There is always an upgrade path. You can upgrade your packages to the new packages for much less than buying new. Generally the new packages will offer more in the new packages. That's hasn't been so much the case the last few times. At least not enough useable features to warrant the cost. I think PTC is going to need to revamp their pricing model as well as their offerings to be more competitive. They used to have a lot more to offer for the cost difference. Not so much any more. However, I will say that if you have ever had to deal with support with Solidworks or Autodesk, you will realize there is a value is maintenance with PTC.
    The upgrade path means you pay double the maintenance. Once for the original (overpriced) package and again for the upgrade. PTC will never take anything off your license, once it's there they will bill you forever. That's why the upgrade the VAR did on our licenses was such a disaster. I basically have to go to war with PTC and tell them I'm not paying for all this junk that got put on our licenses. After a few months they finally send a quote that I will accept. 9 months later it starts all over again. And we still don't have any of the new functionality that has come bundled for the last decade.
    PTC quality philosophy: We've upped our quality standards. Up yours.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by dr_gallup View Post
    ...I sincerely think the best thing is to quit paying maintenance for about 3 years and then buy all new licenses.
    Close, all you really need to do is stop paying maintenance for at least a year. PTC won't negotiate until you're at least 12 month off. We've done this twice and were able to significantly reduce our maintenance bill. In 2008 or 2009 when the recession hit and our maintenance was due, I tried to get PTC to reduce our seats to what we actually use. Years prior, before I started, we were sold 8 seats of Flex 3C with PDMLink. We never used PDMLink and rarely used any of the addons that Flex 3C included except AAX. I told PTC that we have to reduce our maintenance bill, I no longer wanted to pay for things I wasn't using. They refused so we quit paying. About 3 years later we could see the need for the new version and we called our VAR (Tristar - They've been great) and said we needed to reduce our costs. Tristar worked their magic and PTC came back with an offer to reduce our seats to Advance XE. We kept one Flex 3C seat and our maintenance bill dropped by 1/3.

    But, we learned our lesson. We didn't miss maintenance at all those 3 years so we let it expire again. Last year was almost 3 years expired again and again they sweetened the pot if we came back. This time we were able to (finally) drop PDMLink and get the latest package with flex modeling and our maintenance went down again, assuming that we pay it annually, which we aren't likely to do. We also dropped that last Flex 3C seat because we never really used it.

    I understand that PTC is now trying to play hardball on this and requiring folks off maintenance to come back under the subscription model. I'm not certain of that, but that was the rumor/threat when we renewed in the fall. My bet is that that won't last forever because folks simply won't come back and PTC needs them to come back.
    Doug Schaefer | Director of Design and Engineering
    Concept Engineering | Columbus, OH

    614.279.8771 | www.conceptengr.com

  8. #8
    Sounds like maybe you should find a new VAR. I have done this several times and every time was to my advantage. If you don't need the added functionality it doesn't make sense. However, in every case it has lowered my maintenance costs. One time by more than half. All things need to be considered and looked at very carefully. Also, negotiated very carefully. PTC has got to where they refuse to negotiate with maintenance anymore but they are usually willing to negotiate with product costs. But, redoing the maintenance on the new packages usually equates to a lower cost of maintenance because the licensing you were paying maintenance individually for, now is included in the package.

    If your VAR isn't on your side and there to support you and your business, I would move on and find someone else.
    Scott

  9. #9
    I've never found a VAR I didn't want to shoot.
    PTC quality philosophy: We've upped our quality standards. Up yours.

  10. #10
    I feel your pain. I have found one that I only want to kick now and then. They have been pretty good to deal with over the years.
    Scott

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