LAS VEGAS, Nevada (Autodesk University) - Is Autodesk going to kill AD? Not on Jay Bhatt's watch. Jay is Autodesk's VP of Autodesk's Building Solutions, the division in charge of architectural products including Autodesk Building Systems, Architectural Desktop as well as its BIM products (aka Revit and Revit-based products). "People always ask me that," says Jay says wearily. Far from getting rid of ADT, Jay tells us that Autodesk remains quite committed to ADT. "We spent more on R&D on ADT last year than we spent on our BIM products."
These words should console ADT users, who have probably felt as if they have fallen out of favor ever since Autodesk paid a whopping $133 million to acquire Revit back in 2002. They may have seen their fate unfolding as Autodesk's manufacturing division aggressively worked to phase out Mechanical Desktop, another AutoCAD-based vertical application, in favor of Inventor. But the stubbornness of of ADT users seems to be paying off. How could Autodesk ignore the sheer mass of their numbers? By Autodesk's own estimates, there are 450,000 to 475,000 ADT users out there and most of them have trouble letting go. This is Autodesk 3rd biggest installed base (behind AutoCAD/AutoCAD LT and Inventor) -- and no doubt a healthy market to sell ADT upgrades to.
But will Autodesk now have to work to win back ADT users? One person who is vocal on the subject is Martyn Day, editor of UK's AECmag.com. Martyn told of complaints from ADT users who have felt deprived of innovation--especially in the area of 3D. Autodesk at first wanted to argue this point but conceded that improvements to ADT were mostly in the area of ease of use. It was clear that 3D users would be steered towards Revit, a product built from the ground up with 3D in mind.
To emphasize how ADT is still a going concern, Autodesk staged a little demo comparing ADT to AutoCAD in the basic tasks of taking a floor plan, adding windows and doors, measuring rooms, making elevations, etc. Of course, ADT won hands down. Though greeted by a 'ho hum' by the informed among us (we had seen ADT do this for years now), it still served to show that the company was once again on a path to sell ADT to it's millions of AutoCAD users, rather than try to convert them all the way to Revit in one step.
- Revit is experiencing 94% year yer to year growth
- There are a total of 140,000 seats
- 18,000 Revit seats were sold last quarter, compared to 8,000 ADT seats in the same period