Podcast: Autodesk’s Lisa Campbell discusses AU Virtual, Subscription Model, Pandemic’s Impact

Autodesk's Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Campbell on going virtual with AU, customer adoption of subscription model, more

Autodesk's Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Campbell on going virtual with AU, customer adoption of subscription model, more

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Podcast: Autodesk’s Lisa Campbell discusses AU Virtual, Subscription Model, Pandemic’s Impact
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Lisa Campbell, CMO, Autodesk (Photo courtesy of Autodesk)

Autodesk University (AU), which usually fills The Venetian hotel and the Sand Expo in Las Vegas, will be a virtual event this year.

Last year, AU drew 12,000 in-person attendees. The company also live-streamed select keynotes and sessions, making them available to AU Virtual attendees for a much smaller fee. 

AU Virtual 2020 will be completely free, the company announced this week. Registration is now open.

“This is the first completely virtual AU we've ever done,” said Lisa Campbell, Autodesk's Chief Marketing Officer. “In the follow-the-sun model, the general session will be made available to everybody in different regions.”

Aside from the keynotes and talks with guest speakers, there will be a robust lineup of how-to classes—the number-one reason people attend AU, said Campbell.

“Right now, we are looking at a few spaces where we can record the keynote, spacious enough so we can take all the necessary precautions [such as social distancing].”

For the recording session, Autodesk CEO Andrew Anagnost will deliver the keynote to a much smaller audience, Campbell said.

After phasing out its perpetual licenses, the company made a concerted effort to migrate its customers to subscriptions, offered for different durations. “We find that most customers either buy a 12-month subscription, or subscribe month to month,” said Campbell. “More and more of our customers are moving to remote collaboration, leveraging our cloud products. The feedback we're getting from our customers is that the subscription model is lowering the barrier to entry.”

Small customers—companies with one or two employees—are swiftly becoming subscribers, she added. 

“We spent a lot of times cloud-enabling our hero products, like Revit, AutoCAD, Inventor, Max, and Maya. That means there are capabilities available on your desktop, but also features available from the cloud,” explained Campbell. A large part of the reason for their popularity rests with interoperability, she added—“It's because Inventor can talk to Fusion, for example.”

As partial shutdowns and social distancing limit manufacturing facilities from operating with full staff, Autodesk and other design software makers expect engineers will turn to their digital modeling and simulation software to remain productive via remote collaboration.

For the full interview, listen to the podcast above.

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Kenneth Wong

Kenneth Wong is Digital Engineering’s resident blogger and senior editor. Email him at [email protected] or share your thoughts on this article at digitaleng.news/facebook.

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