Autodesk is a brand synonymous to computer-aided design (CAD) software. Quite a large number of people—from design professionals, engineers and architects to digital artists and students—have used Autodesk software at some point of time to unlock their creativity and solve important challenges. However, the San Rafael, California headquartered firm wants to change that perception. Autodesk senior vice-president of worldwide sales and services Steven Blum stresses that the company actually has a much broader portfolio with industry specific suites. Prior to this position, Blum was senior vice-president of Americas sales at Autodesk. Under his leadership, revenue in the Americas more than doubled to over $700 million. Bullish on India, the Autodesk sales and services head tells Heena Jhingan that the introduction of mobile devices into the construction industry is transforming the way that projects are built and managed. Excerpts:
What are your efforts to re-create a brand beyond the CAD image?
We actually have a much broader portfolio with industry specific suites. I don’t think that is well understood by a lot of people in the industry. Autodesk is much more than AutoCAD, the core design, drafting and modelling software application. We focus on manufacturing, architecture, engineering and construction space. Most of the people know us for the architecture part, however we have been building our portfolio around engineering and construction bit as well.
Construction has become a very important part of our over all portfolio. Our solution is addressing the needs that construction industry globally has had for many years, but did not take the advantage of technology because it wasn’t being presented to solve their problems and we are changing that. We also service the manufacturing and automotive industry. Media and entertainment is another part of the business that a lot of people don’t know us for. However, that is changing. For example, our product Revit is now an industry standard for building information modelling (BIM). In fact BIM is the centre of all our AEC (architecture, engineering and construction) business efforts. We see BIM key to discussions with our customers in most markets, including India.
Do you think the construction market in India is mature enough for BIM adoption?
Globally, construction is a significant contributor to GDP, and is one of biggest areas of spend. Interestingly, it is being driven by the governments across markets. Construction in turn drives the commercial space, in fact a lot of the manufacturing is happening for construction.