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scottmoyse
Posts: 1,605
Registered: ‎06-10-2009
Message 1 of 29 (1,091 Views)

Autodesk Marketing Falsifications

1091 Views, 28 Replies
06-20-2011 11:10 PM

I don't know about everyone else but I have just about had enough of it. Creating marketing videos or blog posts to promote new features in new releases is all well and good as long as they are clear and not misleading. I have found the Hype surrounding the 2012 range of products, (which has likely been a result of the exictement caused by the new Suites) much greater than it has been in recent years. 

 

Maybe this should be posted elsewhere, but Inventor is a core product that will use each of the points I mention.

 

There are 3 great examples, I will start with the most outrageous and each one gets less serious, but nevertheless still misleading:

 

Showcase 2012 youtube video posted by Autodesk

 

This video claims Design Reps are directly imported into Showcase from Inventor http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TFtcAnu5Ec

Although true, the video & narrator emphasizes the use of sections in the Alternatives/Design Reps. The only part of a design rep that is imported is component visibility state, and NOT the Inventor model section views. The only way that scenario could have been created is if the 'sectioned' diff casing was a reference part in the assembly and had been 'sectioned' (extrude cut) in the parts itself. Then 2 design reps are created toggling the visibility between the original (non-reference) part and the 'Sectioned' reference part. The other pointed to the illusion in this video, is Showcase sections can't be displayed when Ray Tracing is enabled. So the section shown isn't a Showcase section, because (from memory, i haven't checked so i'm not 100%) she demos the ray traced visual style at one point. 

 

This really made my blood boil, because i spent hours trying to get the work flow this marketing video shows, to work. Only to eventually realise the Video was a fake!

 

Vault Revision History Tables:

 

This was one of the big new features for Vault 2012. Boy i got really excited about this one, and a lot was made of it too. Across blogs and what's new features etc.. So as soon as a could i set about integrating its use into our process.

 

Days went by, many questions asked about why I couldn't get it to work, still no answers. Eventually I find out through a vary helpful autodesk support employee, that the marketing literature isn't accurate. Because it turns out the new Vault Revision history table ONLY SUPPORTS RELEASED FILES! was this made clear in any of the blog posts, youtube videos, help files or on the new autodesk Wiki? No! More Marketing smoke and mirrors which caused me lots of frustration and time thinking I was at fault not being able to get it to work.

 

Vault Job Processor permissions:

 

The next one highlights the responsibility Autodesk employees have when they are posting on their blogs. The awesome (and i mean that!) guys who contribute to the 'Cracking the Vault' blog posted this back in May. http://crackingthevault.typepad.com/crackingthevault/2011/05/file-locked-when-releasing-a-file.html

Boy did I get excited, finally Autodesk had seen the error in their ways, and had setup the job processor to override user state permissions to update views & sync properties etc. via the Job processor. This meant the same license being used on the machine by the draftsman could be used to run job processor, instead of an administrative one that consumes an extra license unneccesarily. First of all the last line of the blog post wasn't entirely clear, but gave the impression this new behaviour was supported from 2012 onwards.

 

Again more hours if not days were spent tryign to get this to work. But no one could/would answer my questions as to why it wouldn't work. Turns out its reproducible, it just flat out doesn't work. I'm sure its unintentional, but i'm shocked that wasn't thoroughly tested prior to release and especially before it was announced on the blog. But that in itself is a good point, if its a significant new feature (and it is, and one Autodesk shoudl be proud of) then why isn't it part of the what's new literature? Why is it being annouced on an Autodesk Blog?

 

Don't get me wrong, I love all these youtube videos, and the Autodesk blogs. They provide a wealth of information, and shouldn't stop! But there is a certain responsibility to be had here, people read and watch this stuff, and if its coming from Autodesk themselves it should be taken as gospel. I take what people like Rob Cohee says with a pinch of Salt, he is very obviously a marketing guy, I love what he does and enjoy his work, embellishing workflows is his job. It is not the job of the Autodesk youtube channel, the wiki, new features documentation or support blogs to do the same!

 

Whats worse, is more and more people out there will be watching and reading this stuff believing it to be true and may have to go through the same pain I have to find out the truth unless Autodesk do something about it and reign in their marketing techniques!

Cheers
Scott Moyse

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Distinguished Contributor
guyh
Posts: 366
Registered: ‎12-11-2007
Message 2 of 29 (1,073 Views)

Re: Autodesk Marketing Falsifications

06-21-2011 12:46 AM in reply to: scottmoyse

Looking forward to some interesting replies to this one. 

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scottmoyse
Posts: 1,605
Registered: ‎06-10-2009
Message 3 of 29 (1,065 Views)

Re: Autodesk Marketing Falsifications

06-21-2011 01:51 AM in reply to: guyh

I hope so!

 

Also for the record I see the role of People like Rob Cohee or blogs like his to stimulate inspiration which in turn drives creativity. Hence why its ok for him to embellish work flows and leave out the nitty gritty of reality in some situations.

Cheers
Scott Moyse

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kstate92
Posts: 895
Registered: ‎05-09-2005
Message 4 of 29 (1,019 Views)

Re: Autodesk Marketing Falsifications

06-21-2011 04:58 AM in reply to: guyh

Or the thread being deleted :smileywink:

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Thomas.Rambach
Posts: 571
Registered: ‎07-22-2004
Message 5 of 29 (999 Views)

Re: Autodesk Marketing Falsifications

06-21-2011 05:45 AM in reply to: scottmoyse

My 2 cents:

 

This can be somewhat true but Autodesk also offers several ways to elevate yourself beyond the marketing hype. Participating in the beta programs is probably the best way. You'll get a look at what the new features can do and can't do before you have to make any business decisions as to when is the right time to upgrade. This also provides a direct path to the developers for feedback on what you may feel is a hole in the fuctionality of a feature.

 

The 2nd method is being vocal. Autodesk listens. Through the same social networks they post these marketing materials, they also listen to feedback. Recent example is the Inventor 3D thread developer plugin. Within a few days of posting the addin, bugs were found by the community and fixed by Autodesk.Of course, there is always these forums and the subscription method of providing feedback. I've always said, Autodesk is probably one of the most responsive software companies around.... as long as they know there is an issue. I'm sure this post will get some attention from them.

 

I have always taken marketing material as that, marketing material. You have to sometimes seek out the rest of the story for brand new features. A good reseller can also provide help for issues like this.

 

...and no, I'm not a paid actor. I just have always been happy with Autodesk as a company and how they treat their customers, big or small. I've been with both and always get the same high quality support.

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pcrawley
Posts: 672
Registered: ‎05-23-2002
Message 6 of 29 (899 Views)

Re: Autodesk Marketing Falsifications

06-21-2011 05:06 PM in reply to: scottmoyse

The "involvement" argument is true:  Take an active part in betas, give feedback on blogs, use and give feedback on Labs stuff - and you do get some useful (helpful) contacts.  But none of that effort seems to prevent the marketing team spouting more BS.

 

In the Showcase example Scott mentions, it's absolutely blatantly wrong to present a sectioned view of a model whilst talking about Showcase supporting Inventor View representations. The implication is that "Showcase supports view reps"... where the reality is that it only has partial support for Inventor View reps.  It does NOT support view-rep based section views, and it does not support assembly features.  I'm sure this would have been less of an issue if the video didn't specifically mention Inventor view-reps and show a section views in the same 3 second clip.

 

A much wiser man than me once said "set the customers expectation and beat it" - and here we have Autodesk setting expectations, then falling well short on delivery.  And it's not just one small thing in Showcase, its happening again and again with other products in the range as Scott highlights. 

 

Don't get me wrong - this years crop of software (despite this post) is so good it really didn't need smoke & mirrors to make it look good.  Just some good clean honest marketing would have gone a long way to set realistic expectations of users rather than generate hundreds of hours of in depth support work - just to find the marketing is needlessly setting unachievable expectations.  Why does Scott have to invest his time and effort - plus the support work of the local reseller - plus Autodesk product support - only to find that actually the software doesn't do what we were led to believe by the hype.

 

Nice post Scott. 

Peter
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scottmoyse
Posts: 1,605
Registered: ‎06-10-2009
Message 7 of 29 (893 Views)

Re: Autodesk Marketing Falsifications

06-21-2011 05:24 PM in reply to: pcrawley

pcrawley wrote:

 

Don't get me wrong - this years crop of software (despite this post) is so good it really didn't need smoke & mirrors to make it look good.  Just some good clean honest marketing would have gone a long way to set realistic expectations of users rather than generate hundreds of hours of in depth support work - just to find the marketing is needlessly setting unachievable expectations.  Why does Scott have to invest his time and effort - plus the support work of the local reseller - plus Autodesk product support - only to find that actually the software doesn't do what we were led to believe by the hype.

 


This sums it up completely! The biggest reason for me posting this thread is the blind alleys I have been going down trying to find out why the stuff isn't working and it's not just my time. 

 

Thankyou pcrawley.

Cheers
Scott Moyse

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scottmoyse
Posts: 1,605
Registered: ‎06-10-2009
Message 8 of 29 (887 Views)

Re: Autodesk Marketing Falsifications

06-21-2011 05:51 PM in reply to: Thomas.Rambach

Thomas.Rambach wrote:

 

This can be somewhat true but Autodesk also offers several ways to elevate yourself beyond the marketing hype. Participating in the beta programs is probably the best way. You'll get a look at what the new features can do and can't do before you have to make any business decisions as to when is the right time to upgrade. This also provides a direct path to the developers for feedback on what you may feel is a hole in the fuctionality of a feature.

 


I agree and encourage getting involved in BETA programs as well. But it shouldn't be as a means to elevate yourself beyond the marketing hype. Autodesk shouldn't be suggesting their products can do things they can't, period! 

 

Also BETA testing pre-release products isn't practical for a package like Inventor, because it can't be used in the work environment due to the lack of data reuse from Beta to RTM. The only way to truly test a product is to use it in anger. For the last 2 years I just haven't had the time (personal time) to test a product for Autodesk. I can't even test it properly at home because that is outside of our work system/process. I am more than happy to test and provide heaps of feedback on service packs for this reason. Although I believe they only beta test SP1.

 


Thomas.Rambach wrote:

 

The 2nd method is being vocal. Autodesk listens. Through the same social networks they post these marketing materials, they also listen to feedback. Recent example is the Inventor 3D thread developer plugin. Within a few days of posting the addin, bugs were found by the community and fixed by Autodesk.Of course, there is always these forums and the subscription method of providing feedback. I've always said, Autodesk is probably one of the most responsive software companies around.... As long as they know there is an issue. I'm sure this post will get some attention from them.


They are sometimes quite responsive, I agree, but often, its only once I have expended a lot of energy jumping up and down and being extremely stern with the customer support staff. They palm off before they really help beyond the initial support.

 

Your example of the 3D thread developer plugin isn't a great one, that's a Labs product and they wouldn't exist without the feedback. They are a completely different entity to Autodesk RTM products and the associated support and marketing. Also those plugins come from the ADN and occasionally autodesk staff themselves.

 

With some of these issues I used the Forums, the subscription method, our reseller and some of their contacts at autodesk to try and get feedback and direction. Including the help files and the wiki, oh and the blogs. It took weeks to get to the bottom of the Vault Revision Table and Job processor issues using the avenues. It took one person to eventually get in touch with me, who then provided the answers. All because the information available at hand, Marketing or not, didn't provide the answers. In some cases it was only the marketing information that existed!

 


Thomas.Rambach wrote:

 

I have always taken marketing material as that, marketing material. You have to sometimes seek out the rest of the story for brand new features. A good reseller can also provide help for issues like this.


I agree here, but like pcrawley states, that Showcase video is extremely misleading. It goes way beyond marketing hype!

 

I appreciate you comments Thomas I really do. I hope you can understand where I am coming from. This behavior has cost myself and the company I work for a lot of unnecessary time and effort.

Cheers
Scott Moyse

Please use Mark Solutions!.Accept as Solution &Give Kudos!Kudos to further enhance the value of these forums. Cheers!


   

Distinguished Contributor
Thomas.Rambach
Posts: 571
Registered: ‎07-22-2004
Message 9 of 29 (821 Views)

Re: Autodesk Marketing Falsifications

06-22-2011 06:02 AM in reply to: scottmoyse

Good points. I haven't seen the showcase video, but if it was blatantly misleading they may try and reconcile the issue with a hotfix to enable the functionality that isn't working correctly. The thread modeler may not have been the best example, but it was recent and fresh in my mind.

 

I think more knowledge of the new features beyond what the marketing materials show is more valuable to me and not considered so much of a time waster. I can see how spending time trying to get something to work that they say should work and does not can be frustrating. I have experienced this in the past with Autodesk, but have always been able to work through the problem and get a hotfix for the issue or improve the feature in a following release.

 

Have you sent your concerns to Autodesk and/or Rob Cohee directly? (beyond this forum)

 

Good post Scott. I hope you make some progress with your issue.

 

 

 

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scottmoyse
Posts: 1,605
Registered: ‎06-10-2009
Message 10 of 29 (763 Views)

Re: Autodesk Marketing Falsifications

06-23-2011 04:43 AM in reply to: Thomas.Rambach

I haven't sent this issue directly to Autodesk or Rob Cohee, I'm pretty sure i know what kind of answer i will get from Rob, it will be very similar to the one i got from Shaan Hurley on Twitter.

 

Dont get me wrong i love figuring out how to use new features etc as well. There is HUGE value in it. I just don't like being mislead, or feel like details are being deliberatly left out to enhance marketing. Or rather if you are going to leave it out in the marketing then the missing information or clarification should be in the help files, on the wiki or on a support blog. With the blog post being accurate and well explained.

 

I'm not aware of a complaints mechanism for Autodesk other than through the subscription support. I will look into it. However, our Reseller is more than aware.

Cheers
Scott Moyse

Please use Mark Solutions!.Accept as Solution &Give Kudos!Kudos to further enhance the value of these forums. Cheers!


   

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