Want to look at things from all sides now? Then Autodesk, which develops 3D design, engineering, and digital entertainment software, might be on auto-dial. Since introducing its AutoCAD software in 1982, the company has offered a broad portfolio of 3D computer-aided design (CAD) software and tools. Its AutoCAD and Revit software programs are used by architects, engineers, and structural designers to design, draft, and model products, buildings, and other objects. The company also provides 3D animation software for movies and games, and applications for manufacturing, construction, and civil engineering. Autodesk is shifting it tools and services to cloud-based applications as well as developing mobile apps.
Autodesk’s biggest operating segment is Architecture Engineering, and Construction, which generates more than 40% of revenue. It develops software for designing, building, and managing buildings, civil infrastructure, and manufacturing plants.
The Manufacturing segment, about 30% of revenue, makes comprehensive prototyping software for manufacturers of automotive, industrial machinery, consumer products, and building products. The segment’s lead product is Autodesk Inventor.
The AutoCad and AutoCadLT business, more than 25% of revenue, is the home of Autodesk’s flagship product and biggest revenue producer, AutoCAD, and its companion that allows sharing of documents, AutoCAD LT.
The Media and Entertainment segment, more than 5% of revenue, offers computer animation programs such as Autodesk Maya, for design visualization, visual effects, and games production.
While the US is Autodesk’s biggest single market, accounting for more than 35% of sales, most of the company’s revenue comes from international customers. The Europe, Middle East, and Africa region generates 40% of sales and the Asia/Pacific region accounts for about a fifth of sales. The company’s products are translated and localized for users who speak German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Korean, and simplified and traditional Chinese.
Sales and Marketing
About three-quarters of Autodesk’s sales are made through its network of some 1,600 distributors and resellers around the world. Tech Data Corp. is the company’s biggest distributor, accounting for about a third of revenue. The company sells directly to enterprise and named account customers as well as those who buy from its online store.
Autodesk got a break in the three-year decline in revenue when sales inched 1% higher to $2.05 billion in 2018 (ended January) from $2.03 billion in 2017. The company’s switch to a subscription sales model might have turned a corner in 2018 with subscription revenue rising 106% to about $1.2 billion accounting for about 50% of the total. The increase was somewhat offset by an 18% decrease in maintenance plan revenue. Revenue increased in all of Autodesk’s international markets while it fell about 2% in the US.
Autodesk’s net loss was a bit lower at $566 million in 2018 compared to $582 million in 2017. The company had higher expenses in some areas because of added personnel to deal with the transition to subscriptions.
The company’s cash holdings were about $1.1 billion in 2018, off from $1.2 billion the year before.
Autodesk, one of the older software companies in Silicon Valley, has embraced the cloud and subscription sales. The company has made much of its software available as a service, meaning that customers can get access to it from just about anywhere. That’s especially true of AutoCAD 360, a mobile version of its AutoCAD software. The construction industry, which is turning to digital applications, has quickly taken to the mobile app and the company’s cloud products.
The move to a subscription model for selling software follows the path taken by many other software companies. While the switch can hurt revenue and profit during the transition, it can result in better performance over time as customers keep buying without a new sales push every two or three years. By 2018 more than 2.3 million Autodesk customers had become subscribers, up from 1.2 million in 2017, while more than 1.4 million remained on maintenance contracts.
On the product side, Autodesk is moving into 3D printing, the step beyond the 3D modeling of the company’s software. The company has made several acquisitions of companies with 3D printing capabilities and has made research investments in the technology.
Autodesk began a restructuring program in the fourth quarter of its 2018 fiscal year to realign spending toward its priorities. Areas of investment are digital infrastructure, customer success, and construction. The company expected pre-tax restructuring charges of up to $150 million in 2019 for employee reduction packages and facility consolidations.
With some 65% of its revenue generated overseas, Autodesk is vulnerable to trade turmoil and quick changing economic conditions. About 10% of its sales are to customers in Brazil, Russia, India, and China, countries with some sort of political or economic uncertainty.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Autodesk acquired BuildingConnected, a digital network for the construction industry with about 700,000 participants, for about $275 million in 2019. BuildingConnected centralizes the bid management process and risk analysis, adding to Autodesk's offerings for the construction industry. The company is to integrate BuildingConnected's tools with its Autodesk BIM 360, Revit, and AutoCAD applications.
In 2017 Autodesk acquired Assemble Systems to bolster its offerings in building information modeling (BIM). Assemble sells a software-as-a-service product that allows construction managers to better use BIM data. Autodesk intends to integrate Assemble's product into its new BIM 360 project management platform.
In 2016 Autodesk acquired Solid Angle, the developer an advanced, ray-tracing image renderer for high-quality 3D animation and visual effects creation used in film, television, and advertising worldwide. Acquisition terms were not disclosed.
111 MCINNIS PKWY
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Phone: 1 (415) 507-5000
Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: ADSK
Stock Exchange: , NASDAQ
Chairman: Crawford W. Beveridge
Interim Co-CEO, SVP, and Chief Product Officer: Amar Hanspal
Director of Corporate Development: Alan White
Employees (This Location): 400
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