Wednesday, June 20, 2012


So, I feel like I need to say something on the topic of "Autodesk 360". You may have seen recently that there has been another new "360" announcement. The problem I have with 360 is there is no product! It is a best a banner for a number of different products, most of which rely on Autodesk's cloud that they've built out (courtesy of Amazon web-services). If you start to dig into the details, it is all still separate "things". Recent acquisitions Horizontal Glue and Vela Systems for instance are all still sold through their primary channels and have not been anywhere near integrated into Autodesk. "Single Sign On" is more like "Single User ID, sign in multiple times",. If you're a subscriber with access to some of the other cloud services like Rendering, Structural Analysis, CEA, etc. there is no "single" sign on. When you get "into" the "360" website, you still have to log into each unique product.

The issue I have, is people are starting to talk about 360 like it is a product. Even Autodesk's marking material suggests the presence of some "master" 360 product "Autodesk BIM 360: The next generation BIM". If I didn't know better this would lead me to believe I can buy "360", which is about far from the truth as you can get. If 360 were some sort of "master" or "base" program to which I could add modules, then the marketing speak would make sense (and maybe that is Autodesk's long term goal), but here, today its just Vaporware.

My warning to you, if you see someone listing how they've "got" 360, or they ask you to compare 360 to another product, then start asking questions. My response is "there's nothing hear folks, time to move on". If you peak behind the curtains, you're not going to find something you can actually put your hands on. None of this is to dispute that Autodesk does not offer cloud services, my point of contention is that I think the marketing approach to said services is confusing at best and mis-leading at worst.

Hope to see many of you at RTC USA next week!


Tim Grimm said...

Autodesk BIM 360 is not "vaporware", nor is it a product -- it's a brand.

Robert said...

I would agree that calling 360 a brand is valid, however I would put forward that their marketing material and "spin" fail to make that clear.

Tim Grimm said...

Well Robert, it is Autodesk after all; they're not known for especially ethical marketing. :)

Robert said...

Ethical or not, I truly believe that in the long run it will be a disservice. Branding is very important and maybe I'm just crazy but this attempt at branding is not working for me. There are good products that do in fact make up 360, but at least to me this is not helping to actually sell those products and invites confusion.

Aaron Maller said...

The Marketing Dept running the company is getting really old. Between 360/Cloud and whatever else, we get SSO crammed in our faces, and we get very little for it. So far, we are steering completely clear of Cloud, and 360. I dont see a single benefit to them, without some major downsides. The rendering stuff fails the moment you want to do nicer renderings with custom mats and large files, the DWF viewer is a mess with SSO and small file storage. They can "brand" it whatever they want, our "brand" for it is a four letter word. :)