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Autodesk aims for 120 mn users

K Rajani Kanth  |  Hyderabad 

Autodesk, a Nasdaq-listed company that develops architectural, engineering and entertainment software, is targeting 100-120 million users globally for its consumer applications (apps) in the next couple of years, says Phil Bernstein, vice-president (building industry strategy and relations).

Currently, the company has 12 million professional users and 70 apps for the consumer segment, including games, drawing programmes and light-weight engineering applications, with a total user base of 85 million.

Through the past 17 years, all Academy Award winners for ‘best visual effects’ have been Autodesk solution users.

“We have started working on the consumer part of the industry since the last three years, with an idea to democratise our further. It is not a business we are looking to generate a lot of revenue from. We plan to raise awareness about the company through this. It, however, has grown much faster that we thought,” Bernstein told Business Standard on the sidelines of a recent international conference on green buildings.

In July, the three-decade-old company, with global revenues of $2.2 billion and cash and equivalents of $1.6 billion in FY12, had announced its intention to acquire social video service Socialcam for about $60 million.

Bernstein said now, the company was working towards moving many of its traditional desktop-based software apps to the cloud platform and ensuring these were widely available. “Our portfolio has almost 200 pieces of software. Right now, we are moving some apps (collaboration and analysis tools) to the cloud. Our long-term strategy is to move everything there. This, however, is not a trivial process; it requires redesigning, rethinking and rewriting,” he added.

He says currently, the company has 20 products regularly used in construction. Most of these are structured around understanding drawing, which the company terms building information modelling and collaboration.

Adoption levels of Autodesk solutions in emerging markets, including India, were not as high as the company would have liked, Bernstein said, adding the company believed in the next 20 years, construction industries in emerging markets had to improve their methodologies.

“The growth we are talking about now is about the 12 million houses and the 35 airports to be built in India. I think among emerging markets, the Indian market is the one most likely to be in a leadership position,” he said.

Before joining Autodesk, Bernstein was a practicing architect for 20 years and a professor at the Yale School of Architecture.

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First Published: Tue, November 13 2012. 00:06 IST