Autodesk Quietly Launched Their Cloud

September 26, 2011

Time ago, I was discussing on my blog about cloud file storage as one of the potential first step CAD vendors will take to adopt cloud. One of my posts about that was – Is Google Doc is a good place to store CAD files? I was very surprised to discover that Autodesk quietly launched their Autodesk Cloud services. Thanks to my web alert and Thomas Rambach about the notification. You can see that Autodesk made website available. You can register to login and have 1GB free space to work on. Below I put some screenshots and explain few experiments I’ve made. As you can see from the home screen, it is all about Cloud Documents, and it reminds you Google Docs very much.

After quick registration (it was actually very smooth), you have an access to cloud folders.

So, what you can do? Actually, not much… You can upload files, search for them, tag them, upload next revisions. You can create folders and organize your files into these folders. On the following picture, you can see some elements of a future cloud apps features – additional storage, applications and more…

What is my take? Few months ago, I was trying out Dassault V6 Cloud Apps. Here is the link to refresh your memory. I was talking about SolidWorks n!Fuze as one of the DS V6 Cloud Services – My Experience with Dassault V6 Cloud on Amazon. If you will take a look on n!Fuze user interface and Autodesk Cloud UI, you can find some similarity. Don’t think it is wrong. I prefer to have UI simple, slick and straightforward. From that standpoint, I liked very much Autodesk Cloud appearance and user experience. However, the most important question to ask- is it going to be a viable option for people to store and use their files? How easy will be connecting from applications (desktop and web) to these services? How efficiently we can share files between these separate cloud services? All these questions are requiring a deeper discussion and answers before customers will touch these new services.

Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Autodesk, Russia and Local PLM

September 26, 2011

One of the interesting things I learned during Autodesk Forum in Moscow was related to local PLM vendors. I found it very educational and decided to share this informtion with my readers. Few months ago Autodesk announced about their plans to develop PLM solutions. You can read my previous blog about that – Autodesk PLM: Fast Second. At the same time, I can see Autodesk is actively partnering with existing companies developing PLM solutions. Earlier, this year Autodesk announced (link) about the partnership with Open Source PLM provider Aras. Appearance of four local PLM companies from Russia on Autodesk Forum in Moscow made me think about what means PLM for Autodesk.

Russia/CIS PLM market is very crowed. It represented by three mind share CAD/PLM vendors Dassault Systems, Siemens PLM and PTC. All of these companies are having their local offices. In addition to that, Russian CAD/PLM vendor Ascon is playing a significant role selling their CAD and PLM solutions. I wasn’t able to find updated information about market numbers. I found theold IDC reports (from 2007) – you can dig for some numbers about vendors’ position in Russia.

I had a chance to see presentations of four PLM vendors announcing and demonstrating their PLM products together with Autodesk.

SDI Solutions

This company is focusing on integration data from multiple data sources. They actually call themselves – MDM (Master Data Management). If you ware not aware MDM (typically implemented for large companies) is focusing on how you can bring data from multiple databases you have in your company to a single "Master" database. You can see it from few slides below. To learn more about the company, navigate to SDI Solutions (in Russian).

Top Systems

TFlex /Top Systems is a company, I’ve been in touch before and had some initial understanding of what they do. In addition to PLM product, Top System is selling 3D CAD product that potentially can compete with Autodesk Inventor. However, on Autodesk Forum Top Systems presented their concept of PLM+ (Russian link) – a system that can cover almost everything in manufacturing company. In a nutshell, PLM+ means "PLM" + everything else. You can take a look on few slides and made your opinion. Their idea of using PLM+ and saving on integration of all other systems is a dominant one. You can learn more by navigating to the following link (in Russian).

Souz PLM

Another system – Souz PLM coming from a company called (in Russian) The system provides quite a standard set of functionality related to management of 3D CAD data. You can see it on a picture below. One of the things caught my attention was a part of this system focuses on collaborative reviews.

1C / Appius

Company 1C is a #1 ERP provider in Russia. As a local company, 1C is well-known and having a reputation of mainstream vendor with siginificnt Russian customer adoption level. Their PDM/PLM Module provides a standard list of functionality – CAD integration, Versions, BOM, Configuration, Vaulting, Manufacturing, Catalogs, Change Management, Workflow and ERP integration. At the same time, in my view, the marketing focus on this company is clearly about how to up-sell PDM/PLM to existing customers of 1C.

What is my conclusion? PLM companies become recognized members of Autodesk eco-system. The fact almost all local Russian PLM vendors attended Autodesk PLM forum in Moscow is a good confirmation that Autodesk is trying to learn more about PLM. On the global arena, Autodesk just introduced Aras PLM as their Gold Partner member, which is another recognition of Autodesk interest in PLM. In parallel, Autodesk pre-announced their own cloud PLM offering that expected to come later this year. How all these solutions, companies and strategies will live together is a good question to ask. What is your take? I’m going to share it with you, as soon as I learn more about it.

Best, Oleg


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