BIMx Docs pricing explained perfectly, well actually not really.
Jared’s note: before you read the official press release from Graphisoft, here’s a simple graphic I created that explains everything about the new pricing scheme. Oh and then there’s a few hundred word rant… (I’ve got an e-mail out to Graphisoft to verify I’m understanding things correctly; I’m not optimistic that I am wrong).
I am very disappointed with the seven day window limitation for the download links of the new BIMx Docs pricing option, but I guess I can see the reasoning. Think of it like putting out a bid set—everyone has seven days to receive the documents. This aligns well with tradition and isn’t that unreasonable. Every time you have to print sets it costs money. You send the files to the printer and then they all get delivered (one way or another) to the recipients in a given amount of time. This new BIMx pricing is really no different. Except much cheaper. $39.99 for everyone to get their sets is a steal, compared to the old ways. Fine. And for late comers to the team, they can just pay the $9.99 themselves. That’s not a huge deal, right? But this arbitrary time limitation will also hold back the adoption of BIMx Docs as the great tool that it should be. We pay again and again for printed documents because each print takes discrete resources. Digital is different. The beauty of (for instance) a PDF is that it is open and infinite. Everyone can access it and everyone can receive it whenever they want. This openness is only made greater by the plethora of tablets and smart phones.
A time limitation for download is an artificial barrier.
By limiting the download link time of a BIMx Docs file, it means model authors can easily share the file for one week. Then when they need to share it again with new team members, prospective clients, subcontractors, etc. someone will have to pay again. And again. And again. This serial requirement to pay for something that has already been paid for will hold BIMx Docs back. It decreases its utility. If I as an architect pay $39.99 for everyone to access the BIMx Docs file this week, what do I do next week when one or two more people need the file. Or the week after that? And after that. And that. And that. It’s not a good solution.
I hope the time limitation is removed. Let us pay a price and have the ability to do whatever we want with these files. I would love to put a BIMx Docs file on my webiste to be downloaded as an example of how awesome it is to work with me (or to show other ArchiCAD users what badass stuff we can do with BIMx Docs). But I can’t do that. Unless I pay $39.99/week and keep updating the download link. That is stupid. If charging for all this is a way to pay for development costs and some profit (which I am 100% cool with) then change the pricing once again. Charge me $150 for the full unlimited models app and $100 for an unlimited model. I don’t care. I actually really like the idea of an unlimited app, an unlimited model, and a one-off model. It’s a good breakdown and it aligns with my needs, and my clients needs. BUT. Pick a price. Make me pay just once. And then let me do what I need with the app and with the file. Until that time comes, there will be plenty of us taking advantage of this great tool. But it won’t become central to our business models. It won’t start replacing what it was designed to replace. We’ll all still just be dabblers.
Graphisoft needs to make one more tweak to this pricing model.
Think of it this way. What is better? Having some of us pay $39.99 for some projects a few times as teams change over time. Or having most of us pay $59.99 or $99.99 on EVERY project so that all our teams on every project are always using this great tool?
When it comes down to it, it’s not about the money. Not for me at least. It’s about the ease of use. The biggest problem with the time limit is that it makes my life harder. I can’t have a permanent link I can send to everyone. I can’t build a project website with that information on it. I can’t make it central to the communication of my project. It’s one more thing I have to manage. And it’s a mistake.
Let me make a BIMx Docs file for a project during Schematic Design. Let me pay to share it with whoever I want. Let me use that file to create great architecture. And then let me keep sharing it with an ever expanding team as the design develops and goes from initial idea to completed project. And then let me figure out how to use that BIMx Docs file as part of Facilities Management—and for other atypical creative uses. These are things I want to do. But I can’t. Not until the pricing is fixed one more time.
04/13/2014 Update: There are some BIMx surveys on the ArchiCAD-Talk forum. I highly encourage everyone to fill them out and voice your concerns. Speak your mind here and let’s fix this!
GRAPHISOFT BIMx News:
New Licensing Option for Sharing BIMx Docs with Clients
BUDAPEST, April 8, 2014 – GRAPHISOFT®, the leading Building Information Modeling (BIM) architectural software developer, announced today that its award-winning BIM presentation app, BIMx Docs, will now be available through a new licensing option allowing architects to easily share their Hyper-models with clients.
Answering its top user request for BIMx, GRAPHISOFT introduces a new license option for an architect to share BIMx Docs with clients and other AEC stakeholders for a per project fee of $39.99. Shared BIMx Docs projects can be accessed from iOS devices within 7 days after sharing.
In conjunction with the new license option, GRAPHISOFT has also adjusted the prices of its existing BIMx Docs license options:
- The basic BIMx app remains free of charge, allowing clients to fully explore the 3D part of BIMx Hyper-models.
- The previously introduced BIMx Docs function packs giving access to the full project documentation including 2D drawings are available for $9.99 for one project; $74.99 for an unlimited number of projects.
- The standalone BIMx Docs app can be purchased for $74.99 from the AppStore.
About BIMx Docs
BIMx Docs is a professional BIM project viewer featuring “BIMx Hyper-models,” a unique technology for integrated 2D and 3D building project navigation. BIMx Hyper-models offer extremely smooth handling and outstanding performance even for projects with complex 3D building models and extensive 2D documentation. See an example of how BIM technology providers choose to use BIMx as a technology platform in BIMobject® AB’s latest press announcement.
GRAPHISOFT® ignited the BIM revolution in 1984 with ArchiCAD®, the industry first BIM software for architects. GRAPHISOFT continues to lead the industry with innovative solutions such as its revolutionary BIMcloud™, the world’s first real-time BIM collaboration environment, EcoDesigner™, the world’s first fully BIM-integrated “GREEN” design solution and BIMx®, the world’s leading mobile app for BIM visualization. GRAPHISOFT has been a part of the Nemetschek Group since its acquisition in 2007.