SaaS & Cloud Technologies Are Where Software Subscriptions Should Be

OneRender Cloud Based 3D ServiceI’ve been a critic of subscription based technologies based on customer value. However for some, subscriptions are just right. Case in point with OneRender.Adobe, Autodesk and with Windows 10, Microsoft, are pushing us towards subscription based computing, and their reasoning is suspect. That’s why their pricing is so aggressive – so you’ll overlook that you are ceding control over an important part of your business to another company.

Where subscriptions make more sense are for software-a-service in which the platform itself isn’t critical infrastructure, and yet there are useful metered services provided that aren’t limited by your hardware – such as cloud based services.

This is why I was attracted to the 3D layout and cloud rendering platform called OneRender (sign up on the link with invite code: MESHBOX0617). With OneRender, you upload your creative assets – especially 3D models and their textures – lay them out in a clean, easy to understand 3d layout tool hosted in your browser, then render.  The heavy lifting of the rendering occurs either on OneRender’s own hardware or on AWS.

This is a fantastic tool for any number of reasons, but let me explain some from purely a business perspective.

Your most critical assets involved are 3D models that you create using your own tools. OneRender supports many 3D model formats, including OBJ, 3DS, STL, Blender and FBX. These formats are either extremely common or open. You aren’t locked into OneRender by using them. In fact, native file formats of products from companies like Autodesk or Adobe will soon be “locked up” behind subscription systems – so free or open formats are extremely desirable now.

What you are primarily paying for (OneRender is free in beta), is actual usage of the cloud service, not the 3D layout tools. Rendering is usually the most time consuming part of 3D design and animation. Some companies have their own networked rendering set ups, and that distributes the pain over unused computers. OneRender lets you use (and pay for a small and reasonable price) someone else’s hardware to do it instead, and with cloud services, you determine how fast you want it.

With services like OneRender you are getting value over time rather than paying again and again just to get access to features you already paid for, like in the case of Adobe Creative Cloud.

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