I was unable to listen to the entire day, but found the following particularly interesting:
– Autodesk is trying to help its channel partners make it to the other end of the recession, in
part by reducing the inventory they have to hold in order to remain authorized. While no
numbers were shown, channel inventory in the January quarter was about 85% of year-ago
– The company said it has no interest in doing large acquisitions right now because of the
cost and disruption, but would consider smaller technology-based deals. CEO Carl Bass
said [paraphrasing] that many smaller companies consider themselves worth a great deal
more than does an acquirer, another factor making deals harder to close now.
– Autodesk addressed the big elephant in the room: decreased new seat sales now will
mean less subscription/maintenance/other continuing revenue over coming periods. That’s
one reason for Autodesk’s additional cost reduction measures.
– CEO Bass was somewhat brutal indescribing the latest cost cuts, saying it was "cleaning
the garage," "pruning as we should have been doing" … All true but harsh, given that this is
round 2. The measures announced in January have led to the dismissal of 700 people, and
the closing of 20-25 offices. This newest round is likely to center on employee fringe
benefits (enforcing vacations and sabbaticals, etc.) before more layoffs are implemented.
I’ve attended the manufacturing group’s analyst day as well as the user conference in recent
months, so a lot of what was covered was not new to me; listen yourself here.