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Archive for the ‘consumerization’ Category

Tekla’s BIMsight 1.8 distinguishes itself by allowing users to work remotely

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Mike Gustafson, Product Manager, Tekla answered some questions about Tekla’s BIMsight 1.8 release, a free construction collaboration tool. This new version makes BIM collaboration LIVE and allows you to share models and communicate through the client instantly. The model sharing that was introduced in BIMsight 1.6 is now enhanced by the note sharing capability, thereby eliminating the need to send notes in email.

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Autodesk announces “pay-as-you-go” rental plan for software suites

Monday, September 9th, 2013

This morning Autodesk announced a pay-as-you-go model for all the company’s desktop software including the latest Design and Creation Suites, Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Maya and Autodesk Maya LT. A “hangout” was held this morning on Google this morning where Andrew Anagnost, SVP, Industry Strategy & Marketing for Autodesk and other industry specialists, discussed this new offering.

Businesses are increasingly adopting this type of model for consuming services and products as opposed to owning software. Options generally include renting, sharing or purchasing subscriptions such as this “pay-as-you-go” model. This way designers, engineers and architects no longer will have to be concerned about purchasing the next version of the software. New comers will also be able to get up and running on the software with few up-front costs, and get projects started with this software.

Options include quarterly and monthly or annual rental plans for customers who want to stay current with product updates, use of Autodesk 360 cloud services and support. This is a similar option to what Autodesk Subscription customers already enjoy. The rental plan will be available beginning September 2013 and applies to Autodesk AutoCAD Design Suite, AutoCAD Inventor LT Suite, AutoCAD Revit LT Suite, Building Design Suite, Entertainment Creation Suite, Factory Design Suite, Infrastructure Design Suite, Plant Design Suite, Product Design Suite, Autodesk Maya, Autodesk 3ds Max and Maya LT.

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Getting off the Cloud

Friday, August 16th, 2013

A recent article in Wired profiled some companies that have decided to move off the cloud and instead move most of their computing to some basic computers they can manage themselves. MemSQL, a Silicon Valley company founded by Eric Frenkiel, did exactly that about two years after it was founded, taking the company assets off the Amazon cloud, and saving money on managing their own computers.

‘I’m not a big believer in the public cloud. It’s just not effective in the long run,” said Frenkiel. While the cloud is great for many tasks, including launching a startup or running a small website, it may not sense for all applications. Zynga’s online gaming empire grew to monumental sizes in 2012, and promptly shifted a large portion of its operation off the Amazon cloud into its own data center.

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Bentley Map Mobile debuts for infrastructure professionals

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

The first version of Bentley Map Mobile, a Bentley app that empowers infrastructure professionals to share Bentley Map geospatial information with field technicians via Android-based mobile devices, was released recently.

In a conversation with Richard Zambuni, global marketing director, geospatial and utilities at Bentley Systems, he said that the Bentley Map Mobile project was initiated through an engagement with a telecommunications company who requested they start development work on it. “Although it works with any class of infrastructure that is managed geospatially it was an engagement with telecommunications firm that initiated the project,” said Zambuni. It is “very much a first release, and it will be available in the future on other operating systems. For upcoming releases, we are looking at including redlining, inserting special objects, editing object attributes, to support different workflows.  Bentley is working on closed loop workflows in the cloud for bringing in data. Users can publish spatial data as an i-model and it can be consumed on the Android device. They can use very large datasets and the performance is excellent.”

“A lot of our users will want to support specific workflows with this technology on mobile devices, so we have an SDK to help them develop what they need,” said Zambuni. “This will be able to be tailored to individual organizations. We will provide redlining, and object editing out of the box in future releases, but the more specific forms-based interaction with the data will probably have to be created by the users themselves using consultants. Some will have programming resources in house.”

Spatial information on smart devices is something Bentley has been moving toward for some time as the consumerization of physical formats  has coincided with the ability to view and interact with very large datasets. Plans for further releases on different operating systems are in the works; next on the list is the iOS platform.

Bentley Mobile Map is available publicly but users can only publish to Bentley Map Mobile from Bentley software. There is a free publishing utility to create i-models which works with Bentley Map Enterprise, Bentley Utilities Designer, and Bentley’s communications products, including Bentley Coax, Bentley Copper, Bentley Fiber, and Bentley Inside Plant. These are Bentley’s geospatial products that are application-specific.

“Although you can’t publish from Esri products such as ArcGIS or ArcMap directly,” explains Zambuni. “You can bring in shapefiles to Bentley Map and publish out through Bentley Map to Bentley Map Mobile, but you have to bring the data into a DGN environment to publish out.”

When this technology is deployed , it will mostly be at a departmental level to support departmental workflows, which may require that users develop their own “flavor” of the app on top of the SDK. The SDK enables organizations to make the app as light and simple to use as possible – to be used in the field by many people inside and outside of the organization who are not GIS professionals, such as construction and engineering teams, installation and maintenance teams, and inspectors.

From the press release:

Bentley Map Mobile provides the following functionality:

  • fast access to large geospatial data sets;
  • easy-to-use, standard tablet-based gestures such as pinch to zoom, swipe to drag, point to select features, etc.;
  • simple query mechanism to look up features quickly;
  • GPS integration for fast location in the field;
  • Google Maps integration for directions to located features (with network connection);
  • disconnected, view-only operation for access anywhere, without a network connection;
  • raster and vector display.

The advantages of Bentley Map Mobile include:

  • improving the quality of decisions made by field personnel by providing quick access to accurate, up-to-date asset information;
  • increasing worker safety by having access to current information as well as information on adjacent utilities that might have an impact on the work they are completing;
  • increasing the return on investment in geospatial data by making this valuable data available to an entirely new group of users.

Bentley Map Mobile is available to all Bentley Passport holders at no additional charge and can be accessed at www.bentley.com/BentleyMapMobile.

 

Developers take note: most iOS apps are free

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

According to a report from Flurry Analytics, 90 percent of all iOS apps available in the App Store are free. Flurry’s data is collected from the 350,000 apps that use its analytics platform. The company states that since 2010, the number of free apps in the App Store has stayed between 80 and 84 percent, but this year the number has gone way up.

Many companies, particularly software companies, have free apps that are lighter ad-supported versions of a paid app or product they sell, with less functionality. Generally companies offering these free apps are hoping that they will entice users to buy the paid version for more advanced functionality.

The report states that “People want free content more than they want to avoid ads or to have the absolute highest quality content possible.”

Some users are concerned that a free ad-supported app may allow access to their data that they don’t want. With a paid app, users have more control and can demand a certain value for their product

Flurry’s report also revealed that many developers who originally sold their app decided to make their app free after doing A/B pricing experiments. In 2010, 65 percent of price-tested apps were free. As of April 2013, that number is up to 80 percent.

For users of both Android and Apple devices, the average price of an app as of April of this year was $0.06 on Android, $0.19 for iPhone apps, and $0.50 for iPad apps.

Autodesk CEO Carl Bass on Autodesk Financials

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

In a webcast this week, Autodesk CEO Carl Bass addressed the company’s financials. “As we near the 2-year anniversary of the launch of our design and creation suites, we couldn’t be more pleased with their progress and growth. Revenue from Suites increased 50% over that 2-year period. Suites now represent 30% of total revenue, up from 23% just 2 years ago. We’re delivering exceptional value to our customers, who get to utilize and experience more of our broad product portfolio. What’s more, we have seen a meaningful increase in our ASPs. It’s a win-win. Growth in our Suites help drive the record revenue results in both our AEC and Manufacturing business segments.”

Bass went on to say that the investments made over the past couple of years in major account direct sales continue to pay off. In the fourth quarter, Autodesk had a record 45 transactions that exceeded $1 million in value. This is up 25% year-on-year. The total value for these large deals increased 36% year-on-year. For FY ’13, large deals increased by 18%.

Autodesk’s AEC business had record quarterly results. Strong growth in AEC Suites to the growing implementation of BIM across all disciplines of the AEC industry, including infrastructure. BIM 360 wins in Q4 were concentrated in construction, reflecting Autodesk’s leadership role in providing cloud and mobile technologies to that industry.

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REVIZTO communicates design intent

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Arman Gukasyan, CEO of VIZERRA,spoke with AECCafe Voice about their new REVIZTO virtual reality product designed for the AEC market.

AECCafe Voice:  How do you think virtual reality is game-changing at this point?

Arman Gukasyan: Thanks to virtual-reality technology such as Google Earth, people are able to explore settings that mirror our existing world of natural and built environments. People have become accustomed to exploring virtual environments, which is driving the demand for new applications of virtual reality technology. It is now possible not only to view a virtual world, but also to interact with the intricate details of buildings and cities – making it a game-changer for architects and urban planners.

How does REVIZTO fit into that picture?

REVIZTO allows design professionals to convert detailed 3-D building models into interactive, data-rich 3-D virtual environments that can be shared with others to visually explore and collaborate. This is a great way for project owners and other stakeholders to visualize their projects, and to provide feedback to designers and contractors before construction has begun.

 What are the areas architects are most often using virtual reality for?

Architects have used 3-D modeling tools to develop highly detailed virtual building models for construction, and to study the way their buildings will  impact the surrounding environment. REVIZTO takes this one step further by allowing anyone to easily visualize and collaborate in an interactive 3-D virtual environment everyone can understand – without having to learn how to use complex 3-D modeling software.

 Do you see REVIZTO being used in the development of 3D cities and other larger planning efforts in the future, and how do you think it can contribute?

Yes. In fact, REVIZTO’s development was a direct result of the visualization services we provided for large-scale construction projects, such as city planning for a new train station in Barcelona, and the master plan for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. While working on these projects, we saw a clear need for an easy-to-use visualization platform that enabled anyone to communicate and collaborate. REVIZTO helps architects and planners easily communicate the design intent of their projects with non-professionals. 3-D visualization allows everyone to have a clear understanding of the project and to foresee problems before construction starts. REVIZTO is a powerful tool to build projects more efficiently and therefore more sustainably.

 

Top AEC Predictions for 2013 — AECCafe Voice

Monday, January 14th, 2013

At the beginning of each year, AECCafe looks at what the current trends are and predictions for the coming year. 2012 has been an exciting year, with the acceptance of the Cloud in many facets of business, and some new areas of interest spawned from the possibilities the cloud opens up. The Cloud is still on our bucket list for 2013 because there are many uses for it that have not yet been realized. Other areas are coming forward, fueled by the urgency of the failing infrastructure and climate change that threatens existing infrastructure as well as food sources.

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