Fall is upon us and for those in the CAD world that means Autodesk University is approaching. AU is by far the biggest and most popular even that Autodesk has to offer. It brings Autodesk, Vendors, Partners, and Customers together in a free for all learning environment. A networking nexus of designers, dreamers, and technology pushers… Game players and changers all under one roof – in Vegas, no less. What I always enjoy about AU is the how the technology is shown being used for practical purposes; how powerful design software performs, and is changing the construction landscape. Plus you do get to partake in the beer bust.
The theme this year, if there is one significant emphasis, is the “Cloud.” Autodesk calls it Autodesk 360 and they have been rapidly developing it over the last 2 years, building on the continuing acceptance of BIM design. The cloud, formerly known to the CRM crowd as SaaS (Software as a Service) has advanced Autodesk’s underlying business strategy over the years. They have seen plenty of success in their mobile applications with Sketchbook Pro and AutoCAD WS and are expanding Autodesk 360 to give access to analytical tools, including energy analysis, simulation, and collaboration. BIM in the Cloud takes our everyday CAD experience to the next level. AU 2012 will exhibit these opportunities in a multitude of ways, through software, educational, and practical paradigms.
The other transformation to note with Autodesk is the “consolidation” of software into industry-specific Design Suites. These suites host up to a dozen individual software products at a fraction of the cost. Along with this, among the products in the suites interoperability has increased dramatically. They cover the wide swath of software needed for the entire process of a project; from conceptual design, to engineering, to construction workflows. This confluence of product lines is no mere coincidence, but a step in the process to give access to all tools for all people. Autodesk CEO, Carl Bass, called this the “democratization of design” through collaboration, coordination, and communication. In other words, there is no box. Will it play out in the real world? AU 2012 will make the case.
This year is as important as ever to attend. So after you fill up on turkey, get your fill of CAD, Clouds, and Candy at AU 2012 from November 27 -29, 2012 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. See you there…