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Why is it so hard to buy ARCHICAD / get sales to call ??

Anonymous
Not applicable
As I research my switch from Chief Architect, I am looking at Archicad and Vectorworks. One thing strikes me as odd, sales reps from Vectorworks were very easy to contact, email, etc..while GRAPHISOFT is like a big secret. The local sales rep responds days later, their pricing structure is no where to be found unless you email them for a quote, etc...

What's the big secret Graphisoft? And get some better sales reps. Your sales force is too hard to reach.

I've received follow calls and emails 4 times already DIRECTLY from Vectorworks. Graphisoft has thrown me to a local sales rep that seems to be too busy and he doesn't even have a sales website. That's not a good sign to someone looking to invest $18,000 in software.

Am I allowed to buy from a sales rep outside my local area? Archvista looks good, Cadeshack too, and 3DCADCO in Miami.
14 REPLIES 14

Karl Ottenstein
Moderator
CARMELHILL wrote:
What's the big secret Graphisoft? And get some better sales reps. Your sales force is too hard to reach.
Your experience should be an embarrassing and huge wake-up call to Graphisoft (and parent Nemetschek)... since Graphisoft North America headquarters in Boston is itself the New York sales contact according to the Graphisoft web site. If even headquarters cannot respond, there is a huge problem.

And, I agree, pricing transparency is sorely needed if GS wants new customers.
One of the forum moderators   •   AC 25 USA and earlier   •   MacOS 11.6.5, iMac Pro

poco2013
Advisor
FWIW - I also recently made the switch from Chief Architect to Archicad and ran into the same problems. i think part of the problem is that reps whether, direct or independent are pretty much left to their own because Archicad is more a international product than Vectorworks which is US based. Although Nemetschek is slowly changing that also. Marketing in the US is just not as aggressive as in some countries.

While I don't think things are going to change in this area any time soon as independent reps simply don't have the resources of a central sales force. Archicad is just too fragmented.

However, IMNOHO, sales and marketing should be only a minor consideration. Program features, TS, productivity, and ease of use should be the main consideration. I will admit that Archicad does have the nasty habit of dropping support for seldom used features and is definitely out-of-date with respect to data access. But TS in all other areas is excellent here. Personally i think Archicad is easier and more logical to understand than Vectorworks which is kind-of stuck with some old baggage. Vectorworks has the advantage in Data access which is much more accessible in their program. Archicad is just archaic in this area and that includes Archicad 22. Archicad is much more productive in publishing the final product and may be the best bet there.

Definitely, before you leap, take advantage of the demo periods for each and rather make the comparisons there. I would first invest in some simple training for each either by way of Youtube or courses by Bobrow or Learnvirtural for Archicad or Archoncad for Vectorworks.
Gerry

Windows 10 - Visual Studio 2019; ArchiCAD 25

Brett Brown
Enthusiast
I too am seriously investigating changing but going the other way, Vectorworks or Revit. Archicad is coming a distant third I'm afraid. Vectorworks and Revit have got the basics done, Archicad has not.

If you watch some of the latest Eric Bobrow videos, these firms all have to use the Cadimage Tools to get the job done. Isn't that a sad indictment of Graphisoft and path into the future? Relying on paid add-ons to do the basics. You have to add these costs to your initial purchase price and factor them into ongoing upgrade costs to get any productivity out of Archicad. Even Cadimage Stair tool is far easier to use than the new Archicad stairs.

As a US user, you have the opportunity to purchase the Solo version at a lesser outlay if you don't need Teamwork. Here in Australia and New Zealand, they refuse to supply it here. So I as a sole user have to pay through the nose for upgrades for a version where I don't use its major feature. Who cares about the customer?

I have been going on and on about Graphisoft's interaction with users on this site for years. Almost non-existent. You go to Revits and Vectorworks forums and they both have employees answering new and existing users questions. Aren't the makers of the software the best people to answers new users questions over and over again. It shouldn't be up to people like Barry to do Graphisoft's job for them. Thank you Barry and others for your service. Isn't it a sign of the mentality of Head office how they and most (not all) of their resellers interact with their users?

Re Poco's comment about usability and ease of use should be the main consideration, I agree, certainly Archicad is coming third in that respect as well and from the Archicad 22 video's new features nothing has changed but getting more complicated to do something simple.

Just look at the wishes forum, many many usability improvements suggested for years (fill in beams to state just one) and never implemented. To me, as a work tool, you have to be happy with it number one, and because Graphisoft continue to satisfy its major seat holders over the rest of us, and not adding all the user improvement requests, there is no future for Archicad as both Revit and Vectorworks have at least the basics right first and now have both better usability and functionality as well from my observations.
Imac, Big Sur AC 20 NZ, AC 25 Solo UKI, Vectorworks Architect 2021

poco2013
Advisor
Hmmmm --- Since you mentioned Bobrow, I hope he will response to clarify, I doubt he agrees with your comments on Cadimage, although I freely admit many users including Eric use Cadimage as a supplement – primarily because of the limitations of Archicad itself. I believe Eric has Cadimage mostly only because many of his clients have Cadimage. As one of his students, I can say, his videos and instructions are focused directly on Archicad as able to get the job done without Cadimage.

I recently purchased a copy of Vectorworks Designer primarily for its Data Access capabilities and was not disappointed. Archicad is grossly out-of-date in many areas including data access and its update in 22 in this area is so limited that I am appalled that it ever got out of Beta.

That said, I think you'll find as many deficiencies in Vectorworks. As said many times – no single program has all bases covered. Most emphasize different areas as specialties. Vectorworks does a little of most but nothing noteworthy (ex. Data/schedules and its specialties as in lighting, landscaping – etc.) - IMHO.

I really think both programs have something to offer and hope as sister companies they will eventually get together and not compete or try to re-invent the wheel. Nemetschek needs to exercise more control between the two.

But back to the topic, I think Vectorworks has as many deficiencies, abet in different areas. They do have some outstanding specialties but overall, at least for myself, Archicad is more productive. which is why I emphasize that one should match the program to the way you want to work – not the way a programmer or marketing thinks you should work??
Gerry

Windows 10 - Visual Studio 2019; ArchiCAD 25

Anonymous
Not applicable
Brett,

I thought about Revit for a little while. But I crossed it off my list when I found out it switched to a subscription only basis without any yearly ownership of the program (perpetuity license I think?). So if you ever change programs in the future you'll lose access to all your plans. They just stole all your intellectual property and turned to exhortation to keep you as a client. I could be wrong.

But what if I semi retire in a few years? I can't just hold onto Revit 2017 and access my client data?

I had Vectorworks back in 2011. It was a bit clunky and crashed a lot. I don't know if it's better now but I know the company reps are better than Archicad. Chief Architect is bullet proof. It never crashes. Unfortunately, it has zero commercial tools.

Brett Brown
Enthusiast
Good point, but you can use Revit LT to work on Revit files in the future and it only costs $500US for a years subscription. Even less here in NZ $436US.
Imac, Big Sur AC 20 NZ, AC 25 Solo UKI, Vectorworks Architect 2021

CARMELHILL wrote:
... They just stole all your intellectual property and turned to exhortation to keep you as a client. <snip>
Chief Architect is bullet proof. It never crashes. Unfortunately, it has zero commercial tools.
I think you meant "extortion," but you are essentially correct. Autodesk used to have a "perpetual license" option with a "maintenance plan." This license would work forever at the current version whenever you stopped the maintenance, but if you didn't renew your maintenance for 3 years (I believe it was), you would have to buy the full license all over again if you wanted the latest version. Now, they only offer subscriptions where you need to "pay to play." I have been turned off to Autodesk's business practices ever since they unilaterally cancelled license transfers during R14, wiping out my initial investment when I moved to ArchiCAD.

BTW, if Chief has never crashed for you, you are not pushing it very hard.
Richard
--------------------------
Richard Morrison, Architect-Interior Designer
AC25 (since AC6.0), Win10

Anonymous
Not applicable
I originally posted this in "Archicad is Dying" but it deserves a repost here because it hugely relates.

As I research my 3 license switch from Chief Architect, I am looking at Archicad and Vectorworks. One thing strikes me as odd, sales reps from Vectorworks were very easy to contact, email, etc..while GRAPHISOFT is like a big secret. The local sales rep responds days later, their pricing structure is no where to be found unless you email them for a quote, etc...

What's the big secret Graphisoft? And get some better sales reps. Your sales force is too hard to reach.

I've received follow up calls and emails 4 times already DIRECTLY from Vectorworks. Graphisoft has thrown me to a local sales rep that seems to be too busy and he doesn't even have a sales website. That's not a good sign to someone looking to invest $18,000 in software.

Am I allowed to buy from a sales rep outside my local area? Archvista looks good, Cadeshack too, and 3DCADCO in Miami.

CARMELHILL wrote:
Am I allowed to buy from a sales rep outside my local area? Archvista looks good, Cadeshack too, and 3DCADCO in Miami.
I don't know the GS policy, but if you aren't getting good service from your local rep, I certainly wouldn't hesitate to contact someone else. My own rep is Archvista, and they always have been very responsive. I know nothing about the other two reps.
Richard
--------------------------
Richard Morrison, Architect-Interior Designer
AC25 (since AC6.0), Win10

Brett Brown
Enthusiast
CARMELHILL wrote:
I've received follow up calls and emails 4 times already DIRECTLY from Vectorworks.
Doesn't that say it all?

I'm wondering why you would even waste your time even trying Archicad when you are experienced with Vectorworks. I assume you have looked at the improvements since you last used it, and from what I have trialled recently it has superior organisation than Archicad with the number one thing being the Resource Manager. Also live open views is great on multiple monitors just to name a few.

Also, you can buy preowned licences of Vectorworks and the change of ownership fee is a hundred dollars. Trying to sell an Archicad licence when the agents charge thousands to transfer the licence, is hard as it works out for the purchaser to just buy a new one.

Perhaps if you are wanting it for commercial buildings you need Teamwork? Have no idea if Vectorworks has an equivalent.

Good luck with your choice.
Imac, Big Sur AC 20 NZ, AC 25 Solo UKI, Vectorworks Architect 2021

Anonymous
Not applicable
Brett wrote:
I'm wondering why you would even waste your time even trying Archicad when you are experienced with Vectorworks. .


I went through the VW user forum and was turned off by a few things I read. They have very snazzy product videos on Youtube, but that's propaganda. I remember it being buggy in 2011 and crashing occasionally. Users have said many tools aren't ready for prime time, or never get updated and fixed to work properly. I'm not looking to invest in a headache that requires constant workarounds. Chief Architect rarely crashes and all the tools do what their supposed to do. But I need some basic commercial functionality which it lacks, but it's still king for standard residential (not modern stuff). So it looks like I'm headed for a dual platform.

Karl Ottenstein
Moderator
[Note: I've split the posts from two separate topics that all have to do with this lack of response to a potential customer. Buried in old topics with subject lines that are not relevant to the issue at hand is no way to expect any response on the core issue here. As alway - please start a NEW thread with a clear and very specific subject line for any new topic. Thanks. - Moderator]
One of the forum moderators   •   AC 25 USA and earlier   •   MacOS 11.6.5, iMac Pro

Anonymous
Not applicable
I received a call today from Graphisoft Corporate because they read my frustrated comments about pricing transparency and a lack of sales distributor response. They are making changes, slow progress, but making changes. He gave me some good information and also helped to steer me in the right direction concerning product purchases and what platform would best suit the needs of my growing business.

Nice to see they monitor the forum and reach out when needed.

The search continues.....

Anonymous
Not applicable
Richard wrote:
CARMELHILL wrote:
... They just stole all your intellectual property and turned to exhortation to keep you as a client. <snip>
Chief Architect is bullet proof. It never crashes. Unfortunately, it has zero commercial tools.
I think you meant "extortion," but you are essentially correct. Autodesk used to have a "perpetual license" option with a "maintenance plan." This license would work forever at the current version whenever you stopped the maintenance, but if you didn't renew your maintenance for 3 years (I believe it was), you would have to buy the full license all over again if you wanted the latest version. Now, they only offer subscriptions where you need to "pay to play." I have been turned off to Autodesk's business practices ever since they unilaterally cancelled license transfers during R14, wiping out my initial investment when I moved to ArchiCAD.

BTW, if Chief has never crashed for you, you are not pushing it very hard.
Mega Ditto Richard, on all fronts. Autodesk is a huge turnoff for me for all the reasons stated. Although I have had little time on this forum to exploit the expertise of what is an obvious serious group of users, I chose Archicad over Revit 2018 and Vectorworks because of people like you. I was completely taken aback by how welcoming Archicad users and devotees are to new users. Not that Revit and VW were not, it's was just much more welcoming here. Eric's comprehensive video works was the real deal maker for me. VW has nothing like it, that I could find, Revit has some of the best video training on the market (imho) via Lynda.com, and the instructors are true teaching pros! There were just too many things about Revit that did not sit well with me so Archicad won out. Now that I have time to focus on learning and not rushing projects out the door, I am so looking forward to Archicad. As far as Chief is concerned...pretty pictures...but when it comes to modeling and structure logic and condocs..."It's a nightmare on Elm Street"!

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