CAD International Acquires Intellectual Property of DRCAuto

After Gary D’Arcy, the Founder of DRCAuto passed away, the company lost key staff and finally ceased trading on 14th Decemper 2009. This left thousands of its customers in the lurch. Earlier Ralph Grabowski reported that a former employee, Leonard Liang, agreed to help strandrd DRCAuto customers. Today I was alerted to this announcement from CAD International which says:

CAD International have purchased the intellectual property of the former company [DRCAuto] and offer immediate assistance to those needing new authorisation codes.

The announcement goes on to spell out the future of DRCAuto’s products.

CAD International currently intend to revive much of the software development as well as introduce new products to the range – This may take some time.

Now this is going to be interesting. Why? Because apparently CAD International sells AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT and one of DRCAuto’s product is LT Toolkit Max, a LT enabler which allows loading of AutoLISP, VLX, ARX and DBX customization and plug-in files, something which Autodesk specifically prohibits in AutoCAD LT. But frankly I am not surprised. Because if you click the two links in the preceding sentence you will be taken to product pages of AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT on CAD International’s web site where a note in bold reads:

AutoCAD buyers should consider Bricscad or RealCAD  cost effective alternatives.

Equally interesting is CAD International’s advice to prospective customers who wish to buy AutoCAD from them. The advice goes like this:

Choose AutoCAD when you already know how to use it, are not constrained by budget and want the most common CAD software from one of the biggest names in CAD.

Not surprisingly, CAD International’s Bricscad page further explains why one should not buy AutoCAD. I admire the tolerance shown by Autodesk towards its resellers. I would immediately fire any of my resellers if they came even close to suggesting that their customers should not buy my products. But then Autodesk still lists DRCAuto as one of its resellers in Australia, the same company that developed a product to circumvent the restrictions in AutoCAD LT. Furthermore that Autodesk page lists AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT among the products that DRCAuto sold. So I really wouldn’t put anything past Autodesk.

  • jgerth

    Now wait a minute hoss. You would terminate a business relationship with a reseller if he offered useful customer service, and steered his clients towards the best solution for their needs, rather than the one that fed your coffers? that's pretty short -sighted sounding – and implies that you do not have faith in your products being the best choice, or frankly even a good choice.

    Why not simply make sure that you do in fact have the best possible product, and offered at the best possible price? that way you can be sure that your resellers are serving both you and your/their customers, towards the best interests of all involved parties.

  • jgerth,

    No, I would not fire a reseller if he was selling a competitor's product. But I would definitely fire him if he publicly ridiculed my product by mentioning on a web page dedicated to my product that it would be better to buy my competitor's product.

    This is equivalent to me listing the details of my resellers on my web site and then putting a note in bold under one of them advising my visitors not to buy my product from that particular reseller for whatever reason. Of course, one particular reseller in a particular region will definitely offer better service to my customers than others in that region. But that does not mean I publicly ridicule the others on my web site.

  • damianharkin

    Cad International has always offered a range of CAD products for different purposes and different budgets, including their 'own brand' Realcad. A one stop shop. Autodesk are smart enough to want to be included in that range of products. Bricsys also!

  • jgerth

    Deelip,

    perhaps it's a language issue. In the segment you quoted there was nothing ridiculing Autodesk products, nor did I see anything disparaging any competitors products elsewhere on their web pages. Simply a reasonably straightforward notice, and as a long time Autodesk customer, I felt the verbiage was quite accurate. If you do not already know how to use AutoCAD, or any other CAD package for that matter, then perhaps you should consider a less expensive alternative. to use a racing analogy — if you've never ridden a horse, perhaps you should consider something other than a Kentucky Derby contender.

    To me that's simply good customer service. And if you want a product from one of the biggest players in the game, they'll offer you that as well.

    Read Joel Spolsky's article on how customer service (including offering lower cost alternatives) is the differentiator between success and bankruptcy. http://www.inc.com/magazine/20090501/why-circui

    He says it better than I do.

    No ridicule involved. But language aside, my other point remains. If you make the best possible product, at the best possible price, sales will follow. Both direct, reseller, repeat, and referral. that's a strong business model, with loyal customers.

    Now, please don't take any of this as denigrating your applications. I'm not a customer of yours (yet) and have no opinion either for or against the quality and utility of your products. Although, if you develop an input/output plugin for the SVG format, I would be….. The SVG to DWG/DXF tools I've found so far are really not up to snuff.

  • jgerth,

    I get your point. However, in the interest of fairness, I find it odd that CAD International does not issue similar advisories favoring AutoCAD on the Bricscad page.

    And coming back to my earlier point, are you saying that it is ok for a software vendor to recommend one reseller over another by having something like the following on their web site:

    “If you want similar service for a better price we recommend that you do not purchase this product from Reseller A. You may want to purchase it from Reseller B. Moreover, we recommend that you buy from Reseller A only if you have previously done business with him and are aware of the level of service he provides.”

    Come on, who are we kidding here?

  • JohnSymmons

    CAD International has launched a new website cadinternational.com. Content is very similar to the Australian site (cad.com.au) but better organised and in a new look. Looks like the new site is targeting countries other than Australia. It does have a useful CAD Jobs section, but only for Australian CAD jobs at present – hopefully they'll expand this to include the USA and UK markets. Site looks promising – I'm going to keep an eye on it to see how it develops.

  • I don't see any ridicule or any need for Autodesk to get high-handed. But as CAD International is not an authorised Autodesk reseller, the point is moot.

  • It is not? I thought you need to be an Autodesk Authorised Reseller to sell AutoCAD. I believe in India that is the case. I need to check though.

  • Yes Deelip, originally you did; then you didn't and it is set to change -again – to needing to be. Mind you – it would appear – this not about quality of service but sales targets.

  • matt_PCS

    Maybe those existing DRC users should consider SPIRIT 2009 from http://www.softtech.com – SPIRIT is a full 2D/3D Architectural CAD program and it is the third most used in architectural CAD program used in Europe.

    Matt

  • matt_PCS

    Maybe those people using DRC should consider SPIRIT 2009 from http://www.softtech.com. SPIRIT is the third most used Architectural CAD program in Europe. It is full 2D/3D BIM and has cost management and Photo Rendering (Lightworks) totally integrated into it as well as. SPIRIT will export to SketchUp as well as reference SketchUp files (also dwg etc). SPIRIT is brilliant at construction drawings and in my opinion the best on the market for this

    Matt
    Professional CAD Systems Ltd
    http://www.procadsys.co.nz

  • George Lahmers

    well i think you know my story Deelip i have had it.i want a cad program where there is no backstabbing going on we are suppose to be contacts for our customers it is them alone who can decide what is the best product why should we have to go through a gaunlet before we sell rediculous that was history and now we are in 2010 cad is suppose to improve the modern times and the world situation and certainly not to destroy the meaning of socialism in the cadf world where all engineers have a iq to use our services. I particularly repect any one whos knowledge i s beyond my own to allow him the respect he or she deserves. And certainly not as a low push around second class citizen. maybe i am the man with the donkey fighting windmills no its to understand the way we were taught which in every religion whatever is respect. zwcad.nl george