EarningsAutodesk reported results last night that show its transition to subscriptions is picking up steam. Total revenue was up 11% to $618 million, knocking both its own forecast of around $600 million and the investment analyst consensus out of the park. Delcam, acquired roughly a year ago, contributed approximately $14 million but would have been factored into in management’s guidance. It was subscriptions that made the difference, up 15% year/year, adding 121,000 new subscriptions (maintenance, rentals and cloud)in fiscal Q3 and is on-target to add 325,000 to 375,000 net subscribers this year, up from earlier forecasts of 200,000 to 250,000. That’s a 50% overage; I’ll be at AU in a couple of weeks to learn why and when customers are switching to subs. One thing to note: Subscriber data got a one-time bump because Autodesk decided to begin including Delcam subs in its count; that accounts for 25,000 of the company’s 121,000 added in FQ3 — but 96,000 ex-Delcam is still a solid number in any event.

In all, Q3’s strength led the company to raise its forecast for fiscal 2015 (ending January 31). Autodesk now sees revenue growth of between 9% and 10% for the year, as compared to earlier predictions of 7% to 9% growth. That means a Q4 forecast of revenue between $640 million to $655 million.

AEC was the standout segment, with revenue up 17% to $217 million, as suites revenue grew 23% year/year. Manufacturing segment revenue increased 1% to $170 million while revenue from the Media and Entertainment segment declined 2% to $43 million. Finally, revenue from Platform Solutions and Emerging Business segment were up 3% to $188 million.

By geo, revenue from the Americas increased 11% to $231 million; EMEA revenue was up 17% to $238 million and revenue from APAC increased 5% to $149 million (all as reported). Revenue from emerging economies represented 15% of total revenue in FQ3, about on par with earlier quarters.

CEO Carl Bass said in a press release, “Strong billings and revenue growth was driven by strength in several areas including suites, our Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) and Manufacturing business segments, large deal activity, and double-digit growth in all three of our major geographies on a constant currency basis. We continue to make meaningful progress in our transition to a more recurring, subscription-based business, adding approximately 121,000 subscriptions and more flexible enterprise license agreements. As a result, deferred revenue increased significantly to a record $1 billion. These strong results have led us to raise our outlook for billings and revenue for fiscal 2015 for the third time this year.”

I think those flexible enterprise agreements mentioned by Mr. Bass have a lot to do with jumpstarting growth — but more to come once I’ve parsed the details.