Autodesk – Aiming to Accelerate ahead of their competitors.

Autodesk’s 2016 Accelerate event – Cloud led, positive customers, excited prospects and approachable employees. In my eyes a positively transforming business.

Held a couple of weeks ago in Boston, this year’s Accelerate event was markedly different from its forerunners. For one thing, the event has evolved from its past focus on Autodesk’s PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) solutions, to one that’s more about Autodesk’s situation and vision for their Cloud based platform, Fusion.

For those that’re not familiar with Autodesk’s recent evolution. Their design and manufacturing offerings are rapidly transforming from primarily products to subscription paid, Cloud-based, platform led solutions. An industry focused business that’s developing software for the (present and) future needs of the manufacturing industry. They’ve named their vision for this business the ‘Future of making Things’ or FOMT.

Their mantra of the past, accommodating 80% of users (and companies) through more democratised and more usable solutions is broadening.  Their new remit aims to add to their proposition by capturing adjacent technology and business segments and so too, increasingly enterprise-oriented customers.

Autodesk Fusion is a (rapidly) expanding platform that aims to cover the entire gambit of design, make, operate and manage. For Autodesk, a company that has, in the past, used suites of existing software to deliver broad coverage of engineering software needs (and for their customers), the advent of the Fusion platform makes eminent sense. So too for customers, in my opinion. Its solutions are well priced, attractive, instant-on, fast-to-value and open, with common look and feel and scalable (elastic). In parallel with their Fusion expansion, Autodesk recently announced Forge; a developer platform for individuals and businesses alike. Forge allows users to make use of APIs and software that’re party to Autodesk’s Cloud solutions.

Their rapidly growing set of Fusion-based applications include configuration, design, simulation, manufacturing, IoT, PLM and most recently PDM (Product Data Management). Their focus in areas such as generative (machine learning) design, additive (3D Print and hybrid) manufacturing and IoT highlight their interest at being at the forefront of what tomorrow’s manufacturer will need to compete effectively; and compete in what is arguably an industry in the throes of rapid and potentially disruptive evolution.

To the event itself. Accelerate is very much a community event. Using customers to deliver insights into what’s possible and practical. Warts and all. Some excellent customer presentations, and so too on what’s next from the Autodesk folks. With talk on (possible) integration of EE and Software engineering disciplines into engineering workflows. Some humour (and I’m to blame for some of this), with interesting snippets on areas of product insight and analytics. Most notably through the announcement of a new relationship with Nutonian. Nutonian focus on ‘extracting meaning from chaos’ with their AI powered analytic technologies.

So, what’s next from Autodesk on the Future of Making Things and Fusion front? That’ll have to wait until I visit Autodesk University in November…. keep an eye on my twitter feed (@allanbehrens) if you want that news first hand.