This past August I attended my first Autodesk Accelerate conference, and I can certainly say it was the best technical conference I have been to in years. Accelerate, over the years, has evolved rapidly. The same can be said for Autodesk’s PLM messaging. When Autodesk first held the event, the speakers were mainly Autodesk employees, partners, or paid analysts discussing how Autodesk now had a PLM offering. This year’s conference was as far from that as one could get. The frequency and density of high level technical conversations around implementing real-world engineering solutions to address specific engineering and manufacturing problems left me highly stimulated by an all new (to me) world of technical solutions.
Don’t get me wrong, Accelerate is still a PLM conference, but it is so much more. The conference has evolved into a problem and solution conference, and not a software conference. Unlike many conferences the presentations discuss the engineering ecosystem as it truly exists in many companies’ software using software from various vendors and looking for creative ways to bridge the gap between older on premise software and various cloud solutions. It’s true that PLM is there in the background, doing what PLM does. It is there as a thread to tie these solutions together, but it isn’t shoved in your face as if erecting a decontamination chamber to house data that can only get in or out through cumbersome protocols and bureaucratic red tape. It is closer to the people’s PLM rather than requiring specialists in hazmat suits.
I had not attended the even in the past, but I wasn’t the only one who noticed a shift in the feel of this year’s conference. As Monica Schnitger said in her coverage
“Yes, Autodesk still offers PLM solutions to its manufacturing customers in the cloud via Fusion Lifecycle and on the desktop via Vault. That seems to be a given today. But the company is working hard to blur the lines between PLM, which is often seen as benefiting people downstream but onerous for daily users, and routine design work. It wants to put PLM in the background as an enabling, enhancing tool that’s not disrupting creative work”
That is the real point of attending the conference. Users can bring the most complex, data driven problem, and at this 2 day event they can network with people working to solve similar problems. Peer to peer learning is certainly the goal, but here at Razorleaf we aim to solve engineering’s most difficult problems. It’s nice to catch up with some old faces and talk about where to go next, but it’s also a great chance to meet some new challenges. If you didn’t get a chance to connect with our team at the event we are still interested in hearing about your most complex engineering data problem. Contact us today.