At Autodesk University this week, the design software manufacturer reaffirmed its commitment to provide in 2016nearly all of its products via a cloud-based, subscription service model. Company executives detailed three new initiatives to users organize their Autodesk cloud software, allow Industrial Internet of Things functions via the cloud, and help third-party developers create applications that work with the software-makers offerings.
To access cloud-based software (formerly was sometimes called the software-as-a-service model), the software doesn’t exist on enterprise servers or on desktops. Rather, the applications exist on the vendor’s servers and users tap into it and pay monthly (or on another schedule) to do so.
A cloud and subscription (rather than license) model will simplify licensing updates, allow users immediate access to software updates, and let them personalize their products, said Amy Buzzell, vice president of AutoCAD products told attendees at Autodesk University 2015, held this week in Las Vegas.
The company announced its $100 million Forge project, centered around the cloud-based Forge Platform, a cloud-based platform upon which the software maker’s partners can develop and build software that work and interface with existing Autodesk products.
The platform will offer open application programming interfaces (APIs) and software development kits (SDKs) which developers can use to build cloud powered apps and services.
In the past, these would likely have worked as plug-ins be integrated with Autodesk software in other ways. But with cloud access, users can connect with others and collaborate on their designs via traditional desktop as well as mobile products at any time, Buzzell added.
At the conference, she also announced Project Wingmen, which will track and consolidate a user’s subscription services. The product is now in beta testing and will soon be rolled out, beginning in Australian and New Zealand markets.
The Wingman product “leverages interactivity and personalization,” Buzzell said.
“You log in and we can consolidate all the information about what you own and use,” she added. “The is critical to personalizing your experience. You can see your updates and pick and choose what to update or to wait until later.
“Wingman is only one way we’re evolving the subscription experience. Over time we’re working hard to reduce pain of updates and make it easier for customers to find learning and support tools they need,” she said.
For instance, a relatively new Autodesk offering, SeeControl, offers a no-coding approach to connect, visualize and analyze information from and manage products via the cloud platform, said Scott Reese, vice president of cloud-based platforms at Autodesk. The company calls this a cloud-based approach to enterprise Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) capability.
The tool not only provides traditional Industry IoT capabilities, it lets users offer their products as a service, he added.
“Most of them today sell their products and the customer owns it from there and takes control,” he said.