27 Sep 2011
Autodesk turns to PLM and demonstrates its leadership in cloud/mobile technologies
Autodesk Forum in Moscow, that just completed its program, has become the most popular national site for communication between CAD users. During two days the venue was attended by 1800 persons from two dozens countries around the globe.
The scope of the event allowed each attendee to cover only in a small part of the abundant Forum program that comprised two hundreds of presentation, going non-stop in a dozen halls of Holiday Inn Sokolniki. However, one can catch up with everything missed – Autodesk promised to put videos of all presentations on http://autodesk.ru/forum.
Since recently I feel that the quality criterion of such events is not the level and number of presentations but the proportion of your time devoted to discussions “behind the scenes”. Therefore I can state right away that this Forum undoubtedly was a success; I spent practically all time (including breakfasts, lunches and dinners) being engaged in useful negotiations and interviews, making exceptions only to deliver my own presentations (on direct modeling and prospects of CAD development), as well as to take part in the press-briefing of Autodesk-CIS top executives and the PLM Round Table.
Oh, yes, PLM is no more an “improper and offensive word” for Autodesk, which was an important discovery at the Forum. Apart from the Round Table, the organisers invited representatives of three Russian companies specialising in developing solutions for product life-cycle management (Top Systems, APPIUS and “Constructor” Research-and-Development Centre) to speak on the issue. Autodesk also brought in a well-known expert Oleg Shilovitsky (the former CTO of SmarTeam, the founder and ŃĹÎ of Inforbix and the author of an authoritative Beyond PLM blog) to be the moderator of this Round Table. He asked the experts to discuss the problems related to PLM and EPR implementation (vendors as well as the Heads of IT departments of the companies that have experience of such projects). Detlev Reicheneder, Autodesk Senior Manager responsible for manufacturing market development, was at the Round Table and I was able to interview Detlev in detail about the Autodesk product portfolio for machine-building sector and the plans to release a PLM-solution. Very soon you’ll be able to read his interview on our portal.
Another focus of the Forum did not become a revelation as Autodesk leadership in cloud and mobile technologies for CAD and computer graphics is beyond doubts. One can simply think of their portfolio of applications for mobile devices: AutoCAD WS, Inventor Publisher, Buzzsaw, Autodesk 123D Sculpt, SketchBook Mobile and several others. They sold 7 million SketchBook Mobile for iPhone (two dollars per copy, BTW) and over three million of AutoCAD WS – a good professional tool – on mobile devices (iOS and Android)! Tal Weis from Israeli Autodesk office, where mobile versions of AutoCAD are being developed, was present at the Forum. Tal kindly agreed to answer my questions, explaining the Autodesk strategy on mobile applications. The interview with him also will be published on our portal.
One of the “invited stars” at the Forum was Mikhail Belilovskiy, the Head of AutoCAD Quality Assurance Department. Mikhail kindly agreed to give and interview, which lasted for an hour – so exciting was his story as to how to ensure high quality of the most popular CAD in the world for 30 years.
We certainly plan to publish our own presentations given at the Forum: “Who and Why Need Direct Modeling: a Review of Solutions of Autodesk and Its Competitors” and “Trends of CAD Development on the Global and Russian Markets”.
Last year there were considerable changes in the leadership of Autodesk-CIS. In particular, Aleksey Ryzhov was appointed General Director, brining rich experience of working for Microsoft. The first six months of his work in the new capacity have already born fruits: American top-managers of Autodesk directed their attention to development of Russian market (that for a long time remained in the shadow of China and India), which is illustrated by forthcoming visits of several Autodesk Vice-Presidents to Moscow in order to coordinate the efforts towards strengthening company’s presence in various segments of the market. For already a year Evgeny Lesnikov has been in charge of manufacturing business direction at Autodesk-CIS, he has 10-year experiences of selling PLM-solutions in Hetnet Consulting and IBM. One can hardly imagine a better specialist for this position– in light of recently announced shift to PLM
At the press-conference Autodesk leaders answered questions from journalists and stated that although sales have not yet reached the pre-crisis level, significant growth is achieved every quarter.
In the hotel lobby Autodesk held an exhibition that served as yet another confirmation of the company’s commitment to innovations, showing its state-of-the art achievements: a “XXI-century drawing board”, a holographic table, augmented reality, inevitable 3D printing, etc.
The large-scale venue in Sokolniki (that was masterfully directed by Anastasia Morozova, CIS area team marketing manager, Autodesk) clearly demonstrated Autodesk leadership on Russian and global CAD markets and company’s ambitions to attack the most technological segments of the market. However, in just a couple of weeks Dassault Systemes, the main competitor of Autodesk in MCAD market, will have its own forum in the same place. We will certainly be focusing on this event and will try to find out how the company that opened PLM for the world feels about the latests statements from its competitor.
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