Autodesk University Preview

About this Issue…

Welcome to AECWeekly! This was the first year that I received a recorded message on my voicemail from Autodesk technical evangelist, Lynn Allen, alerting me to all the exciting things to look forward to at Autodesk University (AU) at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando this year. Read about what will most likely be talked about at this year's conference in this week's Industry News.

I will be covering the conference for both AECCafe and GISCafe this year. Look forward to seeing many of you there.

AECWeekly is a news magazine featuring important industry news profiles, a summary of recently published AEC product and company news, customer wins, and coming events. Brought to you by AECCafe.

AECWeekly examines select top news each week, picks out worthwhile reading from around the web, and special interest items you might not find elsewhere. This issue will feature Industry News, Acquisitions/Agreements/Alliances, Announcements, Awards, Implementations, Financials, New Products, Around the Web, and Upcoming Events.

AECWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think. Please send me your comments.

Best wishes,
Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News
Autodesk University Preview
by Susan Smith

Autodesk Chairman and CEO Carol Bartz
This was the first year that I received a recorded message on my voicemail from Autodesk technical evangelist, Lynn Allen, alerting me to all the exciting things to look forward to at Autodesk University (AU) at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando this year.

Other than that piece of promotion, Autodesk University seems to stand alone from Autodesk insofar as finding out about it via the Autodesk website. I ended up doing a Google search to get to the AU site, which offered a no-nonsense presentation of what is to come. "Looks like training, feels like empowerment," is the title of an introductory piece on the AU website penned by Autodesk chairman and CEO Carol Bartz, and could be the theme of this year's conference.

Whatever the preparation, Autodesk must be approaching this conference with trembling anticipation. With a 26 percent increase in net revenues for the company's the third fiscal quarter ended October 31, over last year's third quarter performance, Autodesk is doing so well that I'm sure we'll hear the numbers repeatedly over the coming days at the conference. For the third quarter, Autodesk reported record net revenues of $378 million, a 26 percent increase over $300 million reported in the third quarter of the prior year.

According to the press release, for fiscal 2006, it forecast revenues between $1.511 billion and $1.521 billion and earnings per share of $1.32 to $1.34.

Fiscal 2007 revenues are expected to increase in the 10 percent to 12 percent range compared with the current outlook for fiscal 2006, while earnings per share are expected to be between $1.16 and $1.20, the company said.

According to Bartz, Autodesk's performance was driven by strong growth in new seats and subscriptions, increasing penetration of its vertical and 3D products and continued improvement in profitability. As was reported in August for the second fiscal quarter when Autodesk announced record revenues of $373 million for its second fiscal quarter ending July 31, 2005, the company saw growth across all product divisions and markets, which derived from revenues from new seats, upgrades and subscriptions, and increased sales of vertical and 3D products.

A tiny fly fluttered its wings in the ointment after Autodesk made the announcement, as stocks fell in after hours trading on Inet, after some analysts declared disappointment in the results and outlook, which they had forecast to be higher than reported, according to Reuters Estimates.

Autodesk reported fiscal third quarter net income at $95 million or 38 cents per share, up from $74 million or 30 cents per share in the same period for 2004. The word from Reuters Estimates was that analyst had forecast third quarter earnings at 30 cents and revenues of $376.4 million. The news of this sent stock down 8.7 percent or $4.11 per share, to $42.99 per share. There was recovery however, as shares closed the regular trading day higher by 3.1% at $47.10.

Some recent announcements from Autodesk have me curious as to how they will fit into the bigger picture for the company. Greater connectedness has been a concern of customers for awhile now, and Autodesk is working hard to satisfy that request with various tools, incentives and initiatives. Recently announced were free tools for DWG users: DWG TrueConvert for converting DWG files between newer and older versions and vice versa and DWG TrueView for viewing DWG files.

Retirement of some older versions of AutoCAD has both spurred some new sales but also created a need for an avenue to access older versions of AutoCAD via the new versions. Earlier this year, Autodesk also added the RealDWG Initiative technology for application development to support application developers who read/write DWG.

A new addition to the lineup of events is the DWF Developer Conference on Monday, November 28 running concurrently with AU at the same hotel. According to the press release, the company will also will formally launch a new DWF Developer Program that "provides developers with world-class support and joint marketing activities. Members will gain access to Autodesk technical support teams, use of the DWF developer logo, listing on the Autodesk Web site, and additional marketing support including co-marketing funding to help bolster go-to-market programs."

To register for the DWF Developer Conference, visit the AU link and add the DWF Developer Conference to your Autodesk Developer Network (ADN) conference registration.

Other regular features of the AU conference include Autodesk Developer Day, Autodesk Training Center Conference (ATC), AUGI Meeting and Beer Bust, AUGI PlayPen for testing out some of the new software solutions, Keynote Presentations, "Birds of a Feather" luncheon, Innovation Awards, and special Industry Receptions. A special Disney/MGM Studios Party will be held in the evening which will include game shows, movies, rides and food and drink.


Acquisitions/Agreements/Alliances

Bentley Systems, Incorporated announced that it has completed its acquisition of the Research Engineers International (REI) business from netGuru, Inc. The business features the STAAD.Pro line of leading structural engineering analysis software, which is now offered by Bentley worldwide.

STAAD.Pro facilitates the design of steel, concrete, timber, and aluminum structures for buildings, plants, tunnels, bridges, and more. It offers a state-of-the-art user interface, visualization tools, and advanced finite element and dynamic analysis capabilities for multi-material design.

netGuru, Inc. (Company) shareholders approved the sale of Research Engineers, Inc. (REI) to privately held Bentley Systems, Inc., the leading provider of software and solutions for the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) market, for $23.5 million.


Announcements

Synergis Software, an independent division of Synergis Technologies, Inc., announced its three-step approach for helping attendees considering a data management (DM) solution make the most of their participation at Autodesk University in Orlando, Florida from November 28 - December 1, 2005. First, attendees can drop by Booth #400 to speak with the industry's leading EDM experts and get a demonstration of Synergis Adept 6, a solution that offers a combination of powerful functionality, ease of use and implementation, and affordability for organizations that want to significantly increase their productivity and bottom line today without breaking the bank.

EngineerSupply starts a web blog for product reviews of engineering, architectural, surveying, and construction tools and supplies. With the blog, EngineerSupply is are able to communicate freely about random thoughts and insight to the AEC Industry and the products they sell. The Blog carries posts of interesting articles, how-to's, product reviews, and anything that the company represents. Visit the blog.

More than 50,000 Mississippi residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina are now living in emergency housing installed and readied for occupancy by Bechtel National, Inc. (BNI) under contract to FEMA.

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