View Full Version : What is going on with Autodesk?

12-03-2010, 01:15 PM

Quote from Article:

So let's recap, Autodesk have:

Laid off 10% of their staff
Have potential impairment charge of up to $125m in writing down the value of the media & entertainment unit
Plummeting share price
Lost their figurehead to Yahoo
Pre-tax charge of $65-75m related to restructuring
In the coming 18 months, Autodesk will face the challenge of persuading increasingly skeptical and money-conscious customers to part with their cash to pay for upgrades and new software licences. This will depend on offering new features and innovations to their customer base with each iteration. Whilst they are a dab hand at acquisitions, their perhaps untested mettle in innovation will soon be tested (especially as the acquisition war chests of all companies are rapidly emptying).

How they'll tackle this remains to be seen - increased feature count in each version of its software would appear to be the 'green grass' perspective, however a likely approach will be to eye the self-canniballising array of titles (eg Max, Maya, Softimage etc) and to line up a migration programme.

This is a real case study of a heavyweight business under pressure to prove itself. If Autodesk can defend its corner of the CG market for the next 18-24 months, then it'll come out stronger and be able to expand even more. If it fails to offer real and tangible value to its customers, then there is a massing horde of companies ready to eat into its share. Cinema, Modo, Lightwave

Rob note:
For those who wish to hear Autodesk Position, here is a short video
This a video was done for Forbes.com on the Autodesk's Recession Strategy

CEO Carl Bass focuses talks managing expenses versus growth
It is not too long but it gives an insight on what is going on.

12-03-2010, 01:34 PM
I like that cigar commercial right before the video starts.

Innovation huh. First they need to identify what that means. Innovation means something different to different parts of the pipeline and thus those who specialize in each part.

So is this saying that AD is suffering from loss of sales because people are buying non-AD more? I find that hard to understand from a large business perspective.

12-03-2010, 01:35 PM
wow, I didn't realize they were in such dire straights. I wonder if he regrets buying out all those companies.

Edit: after seeing Neverko's post, your right that's some old news.. checking the stocks out, it seems like ADs been growing just fine for a good while now.

12-03-2010, 01:53 PM
yeh, i think i you check EVERY traded company back in 2009 they'll look to be on the brink of a nasty fall..

12-03-2010, 02:05 PM
i love it, " we cut across the board"" we cut 700 jobs in January ". hehe. should have said we cut those people from the companies we bought.

12-03-2010, 02:11 PM
I honestly missed the date in my haste.

Still, to be fair, his statement bothered the hell out of me.

yeh, i think i you check EVERY traded company back in 2009 they'll look to be on the brink of a nasty fall..

And that is a very valid point,
I did some digging around:

Autodesk shares fall nearly 7% on outlook (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/autodesk-shares-fall-nearly-7-on-outlook-2010-11-19)
(November 2010)
Ahead of the Bell: Autodesk slips on outlooks

Of course this is drop in the bucket for them anc compared to one year ago
they are doing great...

And this is a great assetment on the company:

12-03-2010, 04:27 PM
I've thought it would be really interesting if Autodesk decided to innovate a new "super-program" that combined all their 3D acquisitions. But this is kind of unfeasible considering how linearized most "license buying" effects houses' pipelines are to a single 3D product. It would be a huge gamble that would probably take way too much time and capital. To trump up an all new program while ramping down all the existing product lines. Ugh. (NOTE: Look at the situation Netwek is in with CORE and LW HC as an example). I don't even know if there would be a business advantage for Autodesk to even do this. It could end up being a single point of failure for them if the product was rejected. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

On the flipside, if I were a new company and/or 3D user, it does seem really odd and silly that they offer three completely different major entertainment 3D applications, not to mention all their CAD/business 3D products. You'd think so many separate products would cause a lot of extra expense in development manpower and marketing dollars.

My bet is that underneath the hood of all these products they're going to start connecting all the wires up and share technology between, thus easing the evolution to a single product (or at least fewer more integrated products).

I can't think of any other software company that offers completely different products that do the exact same thing. It would be like Microsoft having three separate applications for Word Processing. Most software companies that acquire other technology companies roll their software into their existing products in some way. Autodesk, currently, just takes what they acquire and puts their name in front of it and puts it out there... very odd. :stumped:

12-03-2010, 04:45 PM
I hate the sound of the 700 jobs lost. But some of them may well have been redundancies. It is bound to happen when you put together that many companies. How many accounting departments do you need? How many marketing departments?

Glad it isn't my job to make those kinds of decisions. I couldn't sleep at night. But then again, maybe you sleep fine on top a mountain of cash.

12-03-2010, 10:41 PM
Well, since the news is old. My thought is kind of moot now. I just thought it would be kind of cool if someone bought them out. Just for fun.

12-05-2010, 03:04 PM

If the quality of AutoCAD 2011 for Mac is anything to go by, they won't be growing revenue from mac users like myself.


12-05-2010, 03:15 PM
I've thought it would be really interesting if Autodesk decided to innovate a new "super-program" that combined all their 3D acquisitions.

That would be a bit unnecessary, as they already have a super-program in xsi. :)

12-05-2010, 04:38 PM

If the quality of AutoCAD 2011 for Mac is anything to go by, they won't be growing revenue from mac users like myself.


Aye - we just had to install Windows 7 under Bootcamp recently just to run Inventor Suite, as we'd heard bad things about the Mac version :(


12-07-2010, 05:47 AM
re autodesk subscriptions...and resellers

my subs were due june 2010....duly paid up the 430....i didn't get around to installing 3dsmax 2011 untill this weekend as i wanted to wait til it had some hot fixes and people were comfortable in using it in production...

anyhow...went to the subs area only to find i had no contract in place!:cursin:
yup...they [reseller] took my money and appear to have done nothing...or maybe autodesk screwed up their end...

phone calls ensued...still no resolution as yet...this is day 2 and oh btw this is the second time this has happened.... so i'll be changing my reseller to someone who 'gives a dam' with luck..their telephone response was pretty lame.."what can we do"...well your my reseller...you can email and CALL autodesk to fix this...i got no email update today so had to call them to chase them down...

i figuring that this is a reseller issue as other artists i've contacted have reported no issues ever...but they have a different reseller!

..anyhow i have max2011 running now...but still waiting for my subs area to be usable...so i can get iray and the e training materials...plus my @work and @home licences for 3dsmax.

....not a happy bunny currently!