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Thread: Solidworks Support 2013

  1. #1

    Solidworks Support 2013

    Our company is looking to purchase a seat for SolidWorks 2013 Professional but are unsure whether the support service is worth the investment or if the software itself will do.

    The only thing that is making us unsure is that the software updates and bug fixes are shown to only be available with support.

    Does anyone know if it is worth the extra £1000+??

  2. #2
    Hi HPS
    Well unfortunately you don't have a lot of choice if you want to keep the software current. As every new release has bugs (sometimes critical) you really need the service packs. Why they think its acceptable to sell buggy software and then expect you to pay for correcting it I don't know.

    I am not sure of the split between reseller support and Solidworks but I feel I get more value from the reseller side of the equation.... They are always very helpful and can usually dig you out of a hole.

    It would be great if you could do a PAYG approach but I'm afraid you are locked in.
    Last edited by Camid; 1st Mar '13 at 01:39.
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  3. #3
    New Member mddolson's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Belleville, Ontario, Canada
    I cannot comment about support in UK, but the vars do an excellent job in Toronto, Ontario Canada.
    Yes you must purchase the maintanence to get the updates & phone help.
    I've often found the guy who said:" it couldn't be done", was interrupted by someone who'd figured out a way, it could be done!

  4. #4
    My company used a non support license (subscription) for a couple of years which is fine untill you get to adding a new seat. I found that you cannot get the last service pack of a version unless youre on subscription, the last service pack now allows saving forward to the new version. So if you add a license (at version+1) you have isolated the old license, since it cannot communicate with your new license version. Its a gotya thats probably intended.

  5. #5
    My company uses a reseller with a support license. To be honest, we don't get as much out of it as we could, but it has proven invaluable in the past. Also, typically by the time you get the new seat of solidworks, they already have a update out there so if you can't get them any other way, it is definitely the way to go. If you have no concerns about keeping up with the latest and greatest version of the software though and plan on using the purchased version for 3-5 years, I wouldn't worry about it so much.

    Our reseller in the New England are of the US (CaddEdge) is very supportive if you have an issue or have an interest in evaluating a new addition to the software suite (i.e. PM works, simulation) and offer training and user group meetings separate from Dassault Systèmes at a pretty reasonable price, so if you have a bunch of users that will be learning the software I would recommend it, just for the training support alone it could be worth your money.

  6. #6
    Dear friends, if anyone can advise me to a website or link where I can learn or practice SolidWorks. What is the best way to learn this software fast & be capable of doing mechanical drawings.

  7. #7
    After using SolidWorks for 12+ years (my first version was SW98+) I have decided that there are good reasons for continuing the support agreement and there are sometimes good reasons for discontinuing it ... temporarily. When first implementing SolidWorks in a new user environment the subscription service is much more important than later after your users are seasoned experts. After a while you will determine whether you use technical support very much at all, whether you will stay with a particular release (after some service pack or other results in a stable and relatively problem free platform), and whether you want to add new seats. In the future at some juncture your company may come to identify (as I have) some diminishing point of returns to the investment, but that point is usually debatable and can be very difficult to determine. A lot depends on your company needs and its culture. If you have multiple engineering locations which share data then subscription service is likely to remain really needed. Also if you implement the SolidWorks Enterprise PDM, you need really support at all points of implementation. If you share data with almost anyone, especially if you depend on importing good models with parametric history intact, you will probably need to continue subscription service. If your company decides at a point that you like the version you are on, especially if no more service packs are planned for that version by SolidWorks (Dassault Systemes), and don't plan to upgrade any time soon, you may save a little money by discontinuing subscription service. The longer that condition persists, of course, the more likely it is that you'll benefit. Benefits are marginal, though, if you EVER want to upgrade. The money that you will spend on the "reinstallation" fee will likely be more than your company can gain through earned interest on investment of the money NOT spent since the service was allowed to lapse. As an independent I can see more benefits to letting the service lapse (or less benefits to continuing) every once in a while than most companies will be ever able to see.
    Mark Stapleton
    Watermark Design, LLC

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by futurehou View Post
    My company used a non support license (subscription) for a couple of years which is fine untill you get to adding a new seat. I found that you cannot get the last service pack of a version unless youre on subscription, the last service pack now allows saving forward to the new version. So if you add a license (at version+1) you have isolated the old license, since it cannot communicate with your new license version. Its a gotya thats probably intended.
    Any time you buy a new license of SolidWorks you are entitled to install an older version if you so choose. Just ask your reseller for a disk for that version. Or you can just install it using someone else's disk but using the new serial number you received with the new license.
    Mark Stapleton
    Watermark Design, LLC

  9. #9
    In New Zealand, you have to pay the subscription for the first year - but then you can let it lapse - you don't get any upgrades. When you wish to upgrade or add a service release you just pay another years subscription and away you go. There doesn't appear to be any other penalties at the moment for letting the subscription lapse till you need it.

    cheers D.

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    In answer to the original question, Solidworks is so bug-ridden and unstable that you will struggle to get by without support. I speak from very bitter experience!
    If you eventually get to a point where an installation is reasonably stable after several service packs, by all means stop at that version and don't upgrade. Remember though after a few versions you can't upgrade and will have to buy new again.

  11. #11
    Hi HPS,

    If it is simple stuff you are going to be modelling in Solidworks and you are an experienced user - then it probably isn't worth the support fee.
    However, even if you do buy the support - you will not get the bugs fixed instantly- it can take several years before they fix the bug - depending on how "serious" the bug is. I remember when 2007 was released - we were identifying maybe 1 to 2 bugs a week - and some of those were very serious - but then 2007 was probably there worst release yet.
    If you are not an experienced user - then it can be helpful to have someone to talk to - to try and solve your particular problem - so in this case support is beneficial.
    Hope this helps you to make up your mind.

  12. #12

    Solidworks support

    I worked for a company that had 5 seats of SW in the past and thought little of the £5K going out the door every year as it meant the team had support in my absence if they had SW issues. However, we only really used the support a few times and when the recession hit it was the first spend for me to cut as I saw it as a "nice to have" rather than an essential. As other users have said, if you are a new user it may well be worthwhile and I will add to choose your reseller based on the training quality given. I am sure you will get opinions on this forum that will help you.In more recent years I have been running my own business and I have completely re-evaluated my approach to design software and support in particular. I no longer pay support as I can use the money for activities that directly add income to my business (I have only contacted support once in 7 years and the answer took 2 weeks - later than my project delivery time). I would now rather pay for add-ons such as renderers than pay support. The argument about keeping up to date only applies if you are receiving files from an up to date SW user - in my case I get files from all kinds of people using a variety of packages so I will always be working with neutral formats anyway. This led me down the path of looking to a direct modelling package to add to SW so I can quickly edit imported files and I have to say it is stunning how much quicker this can be than using the tools in SW. I figure that i can buy the direct edit package for two years subscriptions......Lastly, I have to ask if the HPS refers to the UK bathroom company? if so, I can probably help you furtherSteve

  13. #13
    It depends on how critical your usage of the software is going to be to you.

    If you are working entirely in-house, and having the latest version is not relevant for outside contacts, then it may well be that you don't need to be constantly up-to-date. You will however find that some things, as mentioned, may not work quite as you anticipated, bit this is not an exclusively SolidWorks problem - there isn't a CAD package out there that doesn't!

    If you decide to do without the support , you will have to stay with the version you have until you fork out some cash to upgrade, SW is not as bad as others in this respect, but you would have to stay with a version for about 4-5 years for it to pay, and a lot can change in that time, least of all your OS and hardware.

    If you go for the support, the SP's will be there as well as any subscription based content, and the VAR should be able to get you out of most problems, most of the time by a workaround, at least. But this won't always be the case, but if you use the KISS principle and are prepared not to be too cutting edge and 'smart' with methodology, you should get away with it. In the cases where a fix isn't available, you'll have to resort to first principles CAD methodology, rather than the time-saving features where the bugs live! As I said, they all suffer from this.

    I generally find that if you get your first seat, this can grow to more, and the support package becomes more important, because more usage finds more issues, but you will need to ensure that the VAR is not charging you linearly (i.e. two seats-2x cost; 3 seats= 3x cost); more seats should get you a sliding reduction on support.

    Remember that when it comes to technique, there's a lot of free help out there on the numerous forums, but you'll have those alternative resources whether you have support or not, in this case more is better.

    Finally, on VARs. I can only speak of UK-based VARs, and the trick here is not to get saddled with the 'local' VAR that SW instinctively put you with by PostCode. Do some research, and preferably get the VAR to demonstrate with something really tricky from your work history. And I mean tricky - no cubes with holes, find something complex. If you have large assemblies (>2000 parts) let them demonstrate that. Do your research from other users do see if your anticipated usage is going to cause issues. Stretch the VAR to sell you the product, and don't be fobbed off with the "it'll do that" reply - get them to demonstrate! Do the same with VARs from adjoining PostCodes - what they say is not always what they can do - they are in Sales, after all!

    Finally, Ensure your computers have the correct Graphics card (e.g. NVIDIA Quadro NOT GeForce), your Network is Gigabit if you are going to store your data on a server and you have as much RAM as you can get in. Obvious, but not always considered in reality.

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