An Easy Way for Local Governments to Save Thousands on their CAD Costs

An Easy Way for Local Governments
to Save Thousands on their CAD Costs Each and Every Year

I recently had an interesting discussion with the GIS/CAD manager for the wastewater division of a large U.S. city. He raised a number of interesting observations of their changing software needs:

  • The city has migrated to the Esri Government model and is no longer using Autodesk products for geospatial data capture or daily GIS maintenance
  • His division is using Autodesk products for engineering design. Roughly
    • 1/3 for manhole, gravity sewer and force main design and rehabilitation
    • 1/3 for lift station rehabilitation and maintenance
    • 1/3 for treatment plant maintenance, modification and rehabilitation design
  • The AEC Collection provides much more software than his organization will ever use. For example, he does not believe that his team will use Revit in the foreseeable future because of its complexity and training requirements.
  • He is concerned about Autodesk's long term strategy for software maintenance suspecting that the maintenance and subscription (rental) pricing will eventually converge and that perpetual licenses could be eliminated.
  • He has been following BricsCAD closely as he believes that BricsCAD with 3rd party applications could represent a significant savings to the City from reduced software costs, better performance and lower hardware costs.  As an example, his group has deployed 20 AEC Collection licenses  primarily to provide CAD access to geospatial data.  This basic functionality can be easily replicated with BricsCAD and Spatial Manager.

What are the Potential Savings? - $108,000

His group has deployed 20 AEC Collection licenses  primarily to provide CAD access to geospatial data (AutoCAD Map).  This basic functionality can be replicated with BricsCAD and Spatial Manager.

The savings to the organization (when compared to Autodesk's subscription pricing) of converting only 10 of his AEC Collection licenses to BricsCAD and Spatial Manager  is $15,160 in the first year and a whopping $108,000 over 5 years.

 Auditing User Requirements is Mandatory

A key observation was that his "organization only needed 20% of the core functionality 80% of the time."  Different users have different CAD needs - the classic example of selecting the right tool for the job.

That option has, however, been eliminated by Autodesk as it forces collections upon its customers.  

At the local government level change is difficult. It is often easier to maintain an approved budget line item.

There is now more than enough documentation that BricsCAD is a risk free way of implementing an AutoCAD alternative.  It is DWG compatible, LISP compatible, command line compatible.  You can even load your own CUI allowing a seamless transition.

Given the potential savings and the option of a permanent license CAD managers must at least investigate this option.

About the Author

A professional engineer and solution architect with direct experience in a wide range of industries including GIS, water, sewer, power, transportation and oil and gas. Currently focused on delivering software for the civil engineers, surveyors, utilities, local governments and their supporting organizations.

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