Autodesk University 2012 – A Perspective

Last month I attended Autodesk University (AU) for the third-time. I was there to support two Oundle Group clients who were exhibiting on the show floor. Ive attended AU twice before: once in 2004 when I attended wearing a press hat and enjoyed back stage access to many key industry execs including the current CEO, Carl Bass; and once in 2010 when I attended wearing my Pointools hat as we manned our booth on the exhibit floor.

Even though my three Vegas-visits for AU are separated by eight (very swift) years, a common topic unites them all Revit. While there is no doubting Autodesks success with Revit (it is by far and away the most widely used 3D model creation software for BIM workflows) it hasnt been adopted quite as fast as Autodesk might have hoped.

In 2004 I recall Bass speaking with great excitement about Revit. We discussed the likely speed of market adoption and disagreed. So totally convinced by the benefits of BIM, Bass predicted that a majority of building designers would (by 2009) be using Revit while I argued that it would take at least a generation. For Total Adoption (i.e. more than two-thirds of all users) I claimed that the graduates of 2009 would need to have advanced into key decision-making roles in practice; I said that it would take a generation. So far I am more right if more right is measurable. At the very least, his chance of being right on this point has passed, mine is still to come.

In 2010 I recall with great fondness our Pointools team holding court with scores of Revit users, all hungry for a point cloud solution inside of Revit. At that time we had the best point cloud software on the market and via our platform and plug-ins strategy we enabled more third party applications for point cloud reuse than any other vendor. We were cool kids at AU and the many Revit users wanted to know when we would release a Revit plug-in. We did our best to avoid answering direct questions on the subject as we were unable to disclose our development plans and progress in that direction. Still it was a great conference for us and sales accelerated after AU. We were booked to attend again in 2011 but were uninvited at the eleventh hour after Pointools was acquired by Autodesk competitor Bentley Systems just weeks before AU2011.

2012 was different again. This year I was in attendance to support two clients; both serving the ever-expanding Revit user base.

My first client, KnowledgeSmart, provided the skills-testing engine for the AUGI (Autodesk User Group International) Top DAUG competition. A major hit on the exhibition floor, the Top DAUG competition attracted more than three-hundred AutoCAD, Revit, Civil3D, Inventor, 3DS Max, and Navisworks users who went head-to-head with the KnowledgeSmart skills analysis engine all wanting to be crowned Top DAUG 2012. Rather than duplicating efforts, check out the results here on the KnowledgeSmart Blog.

My second client, ContentStudio, is a content management solution for Revit, and a relatively new kid on the block. Content Studio was built from the ground up by Revit users for Revit users to eliminate the time usually wasted when hunting for Revit families and components. Content Studio enables teams of Revit users to share and reuse Revit content across offices. The Multiple Libraries architecture has been designed to connect distributed offices so that all users can search for and access data stored in any office whilst maintaining local area network speeds for content upload and storage. This eliminates the time usually wasted by duplicating content which already exists in another office.

While Content Studio isnt the only offering for Revit content Management, it is easily the best for a number of reasons. Content Studio is the only Revit content management offering that:

Provides quality management controls for BIM managers to raise the bar for all content

Halves the time it takes to load and place a Revit family in a Revit model with IntelliSense Search and Drag-&-Drop usability

Empowers Revit users with Just-in-Time (JIT) content approvals to accelerate library population and content reuse. This eliminates the burden of advance approval which in turn eliminates the time wasted by approving content that never gets used.

Is designed as a folder-free library system for fastest family/file access

In addition, Content Studio reports provide users and BIM managers with valuable insights into company activity for uploads and downloads, and search history. Its really powerful technology. Especially when you consider the alternatives:

The Autodesk Revit US Imperial Library contains 2,725 families in 415 folders

The Autodesk Revit UK Metric Library contains 3,309 families in 417 folders

Try and find content in those libraries/folders?! It is not so easy and not so fast. To prove the point the ContentStudio team surveyed Revit users and asked them to find the Break Line family in the Autodesk Revit library. An astonishing 89% of the people surveyed failed to find the Break Line family in the Autodesk Revit library.

If the many new business orders are anything to go by I expect ContentStudio will exhibit next year at AU2013. I would also be very surprised if KnowledgeSmart wasnt invited back again by AUGI in 2013 to power the next Top DAUG.

About the Author

Joe Croser

Joe Croser ... has more than 20 years of sales, marketing and product experience in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industries. Joe is the Managing Director of Oundle Group, a business development consultancy that helps technology firms grow. Joe also ‘gives back’ as an Enterprise Programme Mentor at the Prince’s Trust – a charity that helps young people build new lives. Before starting Oundle Group in early 2012, Joe was the Vice President of Products at Pointools – a company he helped grow by more than 70% in just twelve months. Prior to that he was Global Marketing Director with Bentley Systems, Inc. There he provided marketing leadership for more than 75 percent of the company's revenue-generating products and software subscription offerings. During his five-year tenure, Bentley's revenues increased by 60 percent from $300m to $500m. Before joining Bentley in 2005, Croser served as Technology Strategy Director for Parkview International London PLC, a Hong Kong-based property developer. Prior to that he gained valuable project experience working with some of London's best known owner-operators and AEC design firms including the BBC, BAA, Richard Rogers Partnership, Buro Happold and Reid Architecture. Joe studied architecture in Oxford where he gained a Bachelor of Arts degree. Joe Croser Managing Director, OundleGroup +44 (0)7837 034 080 Follow me on twitter or get connected via LinkedIn     Contact Joe Article List Below