Autodesk Reinvents Teamwork in the Cloud

As Yesterday’s Tools Fail Today’s Engineers, Company Ushers in New Era of Making Things

LAS VEGAS — (BUSINESS WIRE) — December 2, 2014Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) cloud-based tools like A360 and Fusion 360 empower designers and engineers to work in whole new ways and are reinventing the modern design and collaboration experience. At Autodesk University, the company announced that A360 Team will be available globally later this month.

Yesterday’s means of collaboration are failing designers and engineers who require an entirely different scale of working together and sharing information. Enormous 3D model file sizes, data with a very high level of fidelity and precision and 3D visualization are just a few of Autodesk customers’ requirements. Reliance on email and traditional project management tools results in clunky workarounds and lost productivity.

Understanding the unique needs of designers and engineers, Autodesk pioneered A360—the first cloud collaboration tool geared for design and engineering projects. A360 Team is a modern tool for working together that breaks down silos, brings teams together across time and space, and enables data management to recede into the background and essentially be invisible to the people using it.

“The reality is that all projects — no matter what you are designing and making — are done in teams,” said Amar Hanspal, senior vice president of Information Modeling and Platform Products at Autodesk. “Nobody works on design projects in isolation. A360 easily connects project team members working together so naturally they don’t even have to think about it—it just happens.”

Connecting Projects, People, and Data

The future of working together with A360 is based on three guiding principles:

  • Simplicity: A360 removes the complexity of setting up teams, managing and working together on design and engineering projects. Team members can concentrate on core activities and not get caught up trying to understand different file formats, versions, and locations. Teams also have the confidence of having access to the right information, in the right format, at the right time.
  • Invisibility: When teams are working together on projects, they need to focus on the task at hand. A360 removes distractions by ensuring tedious tasks like version control “just happen.” It eliminates the constant frustration of moving between different tools, newsfeeds, platforms, screens, etc. — the collaboration experience becomes invisible within the tools you use day-to-day.
  • Integrated Platform: A360 also serves as an extensible collaboration platform for third parties to build integrated applications on top of as Autodesk has done with Fusion 360. Its APIs allow developers to seamlessly integrate a user’s context and role into a project. A360 puts the project, whether it’s one component of a large assembly or a sleek consumer product, at the center of it all to keep team members, clients and other stakeholders informed and involved throughout the entire design and fabrication process.

Form, Function, Fabricate: The Project is at the Center

Fusion 360–a cloud-based 3D CAD/CAM tool for product development--was the first Autodesk product to incorporate A360. Since its inception, Fusion 360 has included modern A360 collaboration capabilities that serve as a single space for people to work together.

In this modern way of working, traditional data management is no longer required. With Fusion 360, teams know they have the latest designs and the ability to roll back as needed, and sharing designs with key stakeholders is simple and intuitive. A breakthrough with this approach is that designers now have the ability to branch iterations of their work and merge it back in later if needed. This gives designers the ultimate flexibility, and was never possible with historical approaches to data management.

Reinventing Teamwork in the Cloud

A360 Team, which became commercially available in North America in September, already counts more than 60,000 users among the manufacturing and engineering industries.

“A360 has been a really accessible tool for us. Team members that were previously not involved in design are now coming on board and beginning to contribute to existing projects, taking on new initiatives and expanding our entire team’s skill set,” said Calvin Domenico III, president of DGF Technologies, a Massachusetts based consulting company who provides engineering services in a diverse range of specialties. “In addition, having an integrated CAD/CAM package with Fusion 360 that actually works well allows us to operate on a single platform and move quickly. And that's exactly what we need to be doing.”

A360 Team offers viewing for more than 100 2D and 3D design file formats within a Web browser without downloads or plug-ins. Its advanced search goes far beyond text search and lets users easily locate components embedded within models, assemblies and designs.

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