All's fine in Cloudland
Richard Hugh Davis (Canaccord Genuity analyst): So I know the cloud kind of helps you guys compete better, but one of the hardest parts that I hear from companies that are thinking about switching from one vendor to another is the fear that the engineers have with regard to their old models won't translate over seamlessly.
Is that still an issue, or is that a legacy issue? Is that a data issue or is it not an issue at all?
Carl Bass (Autodesk ceo): I think this used to be a huge issue in the industry. One of the things that we've done with both our cloud and with the products is hopefully made it more of a non-issue: we will read in models from almost any vendor, dozens and dozens of different formats and operate on them almost as if they're natively.
Look, I would be worried if I had a 77-set of plans with 12 million parts in it. So the question is not does it translate, but how do you check that it translated 100% correctly?
And so I think there are some industries that will be slower in adopting this, but I think we're getting to the point where the majority, the mainstream of customers, deal with files that come from heterogeneous systems every day and have worked through that, and have come to trust that the translation of these things just works well.
The one thing that's really good about moving this to the cloud has -- digging a little bit deeper on the technical side -- two nice benefits:
- Number one is the translations that existed in desktop products we were not able to see and could not see the failures of. When they're on the cloud, you can look at the failures.
- The second thing is as we recognize whatever shortcomings there are in the translation process, we can update those translations instantaneously.
So there's a lot of benefits: sort of while we're wholly protecting the customers' data and IP, you can actually give them a much better experience, and so it's one of the many benefits of doing this cloud-based engineering.
[Reprinted from https://seekingalpha.com/article/3473396-autodesk-adsk-carl-bass-on-q2-2016-results-earnings-call-transcript. Edited for clarity.]