Autodesk Transitions to Named User Licenses

In May 2020, a new Autodesk license structure was introduced which assigns licenses using Autodesk usernames rather than serial numbers. These “named user plans” began rolling out May 7th, but current customers had their existing multi-user subscriptions retired just recently on August 7, 2020.

What is a “named user plan” and how is that different?

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Depending on how your IT department handles software installations, you most likely have lived through the pain of dealing with serial numbers and product keys when installing Autodesk software. With named user plans, these serial numbers are no longer required, as you only need to login to your Autodesk account to gain access to all of the software that your organization has purchased for your use. This alone is an improved user experience for both end users and administrators, as it simplifies the onboarding process for new staff and the management of licenses for existing staff.

The improvement over managing serial numbers is just one benefit of enabling this new license structure, so what else can Autodesk customers expect as a result of the Autodesk license transition?

Usage Data is Gold

Whether you’re in architecture, engineering, construction, you need to ensure your team is running as efficiently as possible and this new license structure may actually help. Now that each license is assigned to an individual team member, usage data can be tied to a person on your team, enabling more granular usage data insights. At UNIFI, we also transitioned from a network or “open” license model to an active user model, which increased simplicity and allowed our customers to increase their ability to effectively plan for their team’s growth.

Administrators will have the ability to understand exactly how their team members are using Autodesk software, which can result in cost savings. For example, the new named user plan enables visibility of an individual user’s activities within a Revit model. These insights can reveal if you have team members who are using a license for the full version of Revit (which can cost over $2,000 per year) when they can actually do their job just as effectively with the free Revit viewer.

Autodesk Licenses

Additionally, customers have reported that simply having visibility of what version of software is installed on what machine is a big win to ensure their team is always using the latest and greatest release.

Future State of Autodesk Licenses?

If you’ve already read through the article for the new named license structure, you may have seen noticed a fascinating statement made by Autodesk:

“This is just the start of a more relevant user experience including collaboration, tailored learning content and insights.”

Undoubtedly, the concept of “tailored learning content” is intriguing. Will Autodesk roll out a mechanism which addresses each specific user’s needs for technical training? It is definitely a possibility!  

Cost Associated with Autodesk License Structure Change

Autodesk Named User Licenses.

As one would imagine, a change in the Autodesk license structure means a change in cost to the customer, for better or for worse. For anyone transitioning to named user plans, Autodesk advertises a trade-in offer which is, “similar to your current rate.” Through this program, customers can trade in each seat for two subscriptions for two users. In other. words, if you have 20 seats, you can trade them in for 40 subscriptions for 40 users.

For more information on license costs and the trade-in program, check out Autodesk’s named user article.


It’s no secret that Autodesk customers expressed disappointment a few years ago when the transition to subscription licensing was first announced. The new named Autodesk license structure is sure to rebuild some goodwill. For information about named user plans, check out the list of frequently asked questions by Autodesk.

At UNIFI, we’re thrilled to see this offering by Autodesk as journeying with our customers, optimizing efficiency, and maximizing your Autodesk investment is what we’re all about. To learn more about how we achieve this, please click here.

Have you transitioned to the named user licenses? What has your experience been like? Leave us a comment below and let us know your thoughts.

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