Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Media Summit @ADSKAEC #1

The title format of this post is a tribute to all Media Summit attendees who were tweeting and chirping like crazy during the various presentations that took place today. I think that everything of significance that was said has been twit-scribed and available for your reading pleasure!

Today’s sessions included numerous real-world accounts of companies using a multitude of Autodesk technologies, substantiating claims of savings and various other benefits through the use of such BIM workflows (the word/phrase of the day) and putting their money where their mouth is. As clients become more sophisticated and these stories continue to come out in the open, the use of catch-phrases by your organization such as “we do BIM” used solely for marketing gains, will be short lived and won’t hold water for much longer. It’s about time we move beyond paper, line weights and 2D representation. Sadly, until the practice framework of our profession undergoes an extreme makeover, this might not come to fruition till after I retire (and I’m not THAT old).

The big news buzz centered around the new bundling of Autodesk products: the Infrastructure Design Suite (available later this year), the Building Design Suite and the various tiers available. I think it’s going to be a no-brainer for a lot of single-practitioner to small firms in making the transition to the Premium suite. The Ultimate suite is targeted towards construction professionals.

For larger organizations, I don’t think it makes sense to have all your licenses as Suites since the economics work better if you “engineer” them to your specific needs (in other words, you would be better off having a mix of some suites in addition to a traditional number of single-product licenses). If you have highly specialized users that work mostly in a singular application, then suites wouldn’t make a lot of financial sense. But if you have users that wear various hats, purchasing suites is definitely the way to go since the additional purchase premium/subscription upcharge is a fraction of the combined price of standalone product licenses. I think this is a smart move by Autodesk in this economic climate, where they’re obviously seeking to collect more revenue by offering “volume discounts”. No good comes out of having a lot of unsold goods sitting on the shelf when instead you can make an irresistible offer that could potentially set profit margins higher overall (some reductions will undoubtedly occur from small businesses, but in the end it will be a win-win for all). One could also interpret this as a commoditizing of design and analysis tools.

I am really looking forward to tomorrow afternoon’s closed-door huddle sessions with the development teams. Unfortunately due to NDA, no scoops can be shared here (sad, sad, I know!), but I guess that’s the privilege you get for spending your free time typing away about Revit eh?

A big thanks to Autodesk for the evening events and the fabulous dinner with Boston city views as a backdrop. I’ll post a few more details and photos in another post as it’s time to snooze.



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