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23 Sep 2009

Autodesk Forum in 40 cities of the CIS states

This year the Autodesk Forum is organized in a “distributed mode” - as specialized seminars in 40 cities throughout Russia and CIS, with expected 4000 visitors. . Another feature of this event is use of Internet-technologies; in particular, “teleconference bridges”. Here in Novosibirsk we watched (and continue watching) the video- broadcasting via Below you can find some our reflections on the venue.

The broadcasting started with the introductory remarks and speeches of Anastasia Morozova, Marketing Director, and Alexander Tasev, the Head of Autodesk-CIS, from their Autodesk office in Moscow.

Alexander pointed out that “the good thing about the economic crisis is that now, unlike the ‘rich” years, customers tend to count their money and not only ask how much the products cost but also want to acquire in-depth understanding how a solution must be implemented and what advantages it can bring”, etc. He said, “2009 is not only the year of crisis but also the year of Darwin, who is associated with fundamental characteristics and consequences of changes. Generally, the most permanent thing is changes”.

And changes make us facing new challenges:

  • Along with the general crisis, Russia is experiencing serious local problems: a low level of production, an underdeveloped infrastructure
  • The consequences of globalization: already we cannot afford to ignore diverse interdependencies and have to pay more and more attention to the environment
  • Many new opportunities: the Internet, modern means of communication...

To overcome all problems and take advantage of emerging opportunities, we ourselves must change.

According to Darwin, it’s not the biggest and the strongest who will survive, but those who can adopt better.

This is most relevant to designers: they have to design with increasing efficiency and take into account various factors, for instance, growing energy problems. Ending his presentation, Alexander Tasev, assured us that Autodesk would help us to better adjust to the changes. Digital design, the company’s strongpoint, is affordable to even small companies. The goal of the Forum is to open to us the state-of-the-art technologies.

Tele-bridges with several cities

Anastasia Morozova explained: “Now everyone is trying to save on their business trips, in order to not interrupt the work of the staff. As a consequence, it is possible to fall behind new technologies and best practices. With a broad “distribution mode” of the Forum and Internet-broadcasting, we hope to be able to help enterprises and our clients”.

During the bridge with Yekaterinburg, the big CIS audience could learn about UralGiproMez. The company is not only a big customer for the Autodesk solutions, but it also organized an authorized training centre. Effectively, this innovative company serves as a conductor of technological knowledge in the region.

The bridge with Yekaterinburg included a teleconference with an Autodesk partner – IDT-Ural.

Some Forum participants from Krasnioyarsk informed that not only they focused on technology development but also organized a labor exchange to enable engineers and architects, who lost their jobs in the time of crisis, to find adequate employment.

Krasnoyarsk already has experience of cooperation between television teams and the design firms, aimed at development and use of special-effect technologies. The tele-bridge with Kiev (joined by Softprom, the Autodesk partner in Ukraine) discussed how customers’ demands were changing with time and how the crisis affected the form and the level of output to the customers.

From St Petersburg the Forum was greeted by Pavel Khanzhenkov, the Autodesk representative in the North-West Federal District.

The tele-bridge with St Petersburg was joined by another Autodesk partner - PSS.

The broadcasting included a video clip about using Autodesk BIM technologies for reconstruction of the second stage of the Mariinsky Opera House. Krzysztof Pomorski (of the Design Centre for High-Rise and Underground Structures [KB Vysotnykh I Podzemnykh Sooruzhenii]) devoted his presentation to the wisdom the of transition to new technologies. Moscow was represented by the INFARS Group of Companies

Along with tose Forum participants that were engaged in a dialogue with the moderators, several other Autodesk-partners demonstrated their work to the big Internet audience: CSoft (Rostov-on-Don), Softline (Kazakhstan), CONSTUCTOR (Moscow), Real Geo Project (Moscow), Softline (Novosibirsk), Webzavod (Samara), and Csoft (Omsk).

Interruptions of communication, loss of sound and some other little troubles happened at the tele-bridges with different cities could not corrupt the positive impression of the Forum.

Anastasia Morozova explained that they had had to put special channels of communication to every city and even every Autodesk office to enable such teleconferencing: the standard Russian channels do not provide the required quality. The Russian infrastructure is simply not ready for such events, but if “we do not try we’ll never learn. By the way, our clients are facing the same problems: it is important to learn new things, however even rightly expected difficulties bring certain discomfort, discomfort at large, associated with changes...The same is true for enterprises in general ... But we should try...

In the concluding part of the video-broadcasting Alexander Tasev answered the questions from the audience.

First of all, he said that Autodesk would continue using video- and internet-technologies: they are required by the Russian society and market. Somebody must be the path breaker, and “bruises and even a couple of broken arms” should not scare: Autodesk is happy to be the first. This Forum, reminded Alexander, took place in 40 cities in Russia and CIS with direct participation of more than 4000 people

Here are just a few most impressive pieces of Alexander’s answers:

  • If used correctly, BIM and other technologies, will help us in our everyday life, including even the problem of Moscow traffic jams
  • However, a man can always cheat on a machine, so the issue is not only about technologies; and still we believe that with the help of technology a kilometer of a road in Moscow will cost12 million dollars like in Europe instead of 200 millions
  • New technologies and tools do not reduce human efforts, but make them more efficient
  • In digital design, drawing is not the beginning (as in obsolete manufacturing) but rather the end of the modeling process, a document for approval,
  • Autodesk aspires to expand availability of complex functionalities; democratization of technology is our goal
  • Last year Autodesk bought around 30 companies for the sake of technology rather than their client base; buying Russian companies is more difficult: they do not have sufficient transparency, it is easier to hire specialists
  • Autodesk has100 partners in the RF and 40 in other CIS countries; the company spends much money for all aspects of training
  • Autodesk opened a special portal for Russian students and distributed free product versions
  • Autodesk works with Moscow Prefectures on building up a digital city model
  • Autodesk cooperates with other vendors especially because “Autodesk is the only vendor that offers solutions for everybody: machine-building, construction, animation...”.

Let’s look particularly at the answers to the questions, related to data management.

It was especially pleasant to watch from Novosibirsk, and isicad in particular, how Alexander Tasev explained what PDM and PLM means. He pointed out that data management is absolutely essential for production; it is the second key step after digital design. (Certainly, this emphasis is linked to the launch of Autodesk Vault in the Russian market).

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