CADDManager on July 23rd, 2008

I have heard a lot of talk from a lot of CAD Managers about skipping a release of software.  They have decided that it is better to not upgrade every time a software release comes out and have settled into a double jump process.  This means that they are not upgrading when a new release comes out, they are waiting a release or sometimes two before they move forward.

This seems to be true for those on subscription and those that are not.  When the financial portion of the upgrade decision is taken out of the mix, they are still waiting.   If you have to pay for upgrades then it take a little more to get you to move, but when the cost of an upgrade is not a factor, CAD Managers are still jumping over a release.

What are you doing?  Is your firm jumping on the band wagon as soon as the newest release is shipped?  Do you wait one or even two releases?

10 Responses to “CAD Upgrades – the Double Jump”

  1. The company i work for has a subscription service, so we are send disks for every release, however we choose not to install every release.

    Its so much of a time/ productivity loose issue. It takes me time, to generate the network deployment wizard, test it, modify it, then deploy it to all the work stations. Then i have people asking (yelling) at me about why this doens’t work, and why did they do that?

    So the company made the desision to sit back every other release so that people atleast have 2 years with one software product before we shock them with another.

  2. We skipped 2004, 2007 and now 2009.

  3. Is waiting for the service patch a 1.5 jump?

    Depends on the benefits. Currently it’s Revit 2009 (RMEP Spaces & new Render justified that) & AutoCAD Architecture 2008 here as didn’t see enough in ACA 2009 to justify the change. Probably will go to ACA2009 SP1 if it improves things.

    The only one that hasn’t made it to production at all was 2007 but that was because of hardware/infrastucture changes delaying things till it was worth going straight to 2008

  4. My company did not have a CAD Manager prior to me – and they skipped releases. However, moving forward, I don’t believe I will be skipping any releases – since I’m here to support the transition. Being on subscription also helps “motivate” the need to upgrade. I just wouldn’t feel right having the company paying for the subscription and new software just sitting here not being used.

  5. When I started at my company we were on R14. We upgraded to 2002, then to 2006. We bought Civil 3D release 2006 and since that was only available through subscription, we got 2007 when it came out. We let the subscription lapse so we’re still using 2007 products.
    The mindset at my company is “use it until it wears out, fix it and use it some more”, so it’s difficult to justify upgrading software that still works perfectly well on a 3-year-old workstation. Heck, our plotter is more than 11 years old now (purchased in February 1997). It still can kick out a D-size plot in about 10 minutes.

  6. My company is on a thought process that the odd number releases are bad. So we make the jump every other year. This comes from the group of cad users here and not wanting change.
    Funny thing is that when you look at the older numbering system (r13, r14) we currently are on r17.
    My hope is that soon we will be able to upgrade every release so that there isn’t that big jump in the learning curve.

  7. I have kept my firm up to date with current releases until 2009 came out. Before I distribute a new release I test it and document all the things my users need to be aware of for the switch.

    This release simply causes so many new bugs for me that I don’t think I will have solutions for everything within a year so I have chosen to skip it. It does not even address the bugs I am currently dealing with related to Annotations so I’m waiting for 2k10

  8. Being a CAD Manager of a relatively large civil firm (approx 350 employees), our general rule is to upgrade every-other year. I say general because it’s not a hard-drawn line saying that upgrading every year is out of the question.

    Fundamentally, our mentality is that to stay competitive in the market, we really can’t afford to work on a release any older than 2 years. Generally this gives us a nice balance of having most of the new features, while also keeping a handle on costs.

    Upgrading on a yearly basis is not out of the question if we feel the new features in a particular release can essentially cover the cost of upgrading. In the civil industry the improvements to C3D 09 were substantial enough in nature to justify upgrading to from 2008. On the other hand, verticals aside, it personally doesn’t seem overly beneficial to upgrade from ACAD 08 to ACAD 09.

    Another thing I consider is the potential for DWG format changes. While I don’t know for sure, the historical trend from Autodesk has been a DWG format change every 3 years. Under that pretense I am personally expecting a new DWG format in the 2010 release.

  9. We call it hop scotch. Release 10, 12, 13 (ohh back to 12) 14, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007, then 2008 Civil3D, though 2009 civil3D is better, so we may go up to 2009 as soon as possible. just as soon as Bentley Projectwise gets 2009 intergration!!. We have quite a lot of customisation and add on packages so hence why we skip a release. we are also on subs and have over 215 users to upgrade…….

  10. We typically jump years, but not always. We did upgrade from ’06 to ’07 to keep up with the DWG format change. It turned out that ’08 was a better fit for us, so we jumped again, but ’09 is probably going to be skipped. I would like to coordinate the training for the ribbon-based GUI with our transition to Office 2007. Despite being a subscription company, the feature set of 2009 was not compelling enough to warrant the change. I, too, am expecting another DWG format change in the next year or two.

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