Autodesk expands into CPQ with Configure One acquisition

Oct 29, 2015 | Hot Topics

Autodesk just announced that it has acquired Configure One for its Configure, Price, and Quote (CPQ) offering, eponymously named Configure One. [Sorry to use configure 3 times in 1 sentence.]

This is a big deal, as configure-to-order becomes more important in markets as diverse as machinery and consumer products like jewelry. Configure One enables companies to define a base product and rules around it for assemble-to-order, configure-to-order, and engineer-to-order. The demo I saw some years ago had views that enabled marketers, sales teams, engineers and product managers define configuration rules quickly and apply them to very quickly generate quotes. Pricing is, in fact, one of the big problems with engineer-to-order products. It requires accurate models both from a bill of material perspective and at a costing or price book level. Quotes need to take into account variables such as volume discounts or specific customer contracting — not an easy task. Configure One’s quote generator handles both pricing and quote generation, including text that details options selected for the design and can generate drawings or images that are specific to the configuration — not generic. That’s pretty cool.

Why would Autodesk want to bring this capability in-house? In the blog announcing the deal, Autodesk’sSenior Director of PLM and IoT, Brian Roepke, writes that “Autodesk customers are seeing greater demand for more personalized and tailored products, and they need the ability to design and manufacture with much greater customization in order to grow and remain competitive in their industries … The addition of Configure One to our portfolio will provide enterprise-level CPQ capabilities for companies that develop, sell and manufacture configured products.” Mr. Roepke writes that Configure One today counts as customers “more than 200 companies across the industrial machinery, industrial components, building products and specialty vehicle industries”, and says that the “existing Configure One team will continue to sell and support the product as we complete the integration of Configure One into Autodesk … We’re committed to ensuring that Autodesk and Configure One customers continue to receive the high level of service and support they are accustomed to, and we look forward to realizing the benefits from integrating our technologies.” That’s important, because Configure One currently has relationships with PTC’s Pro/E and Creo, DS’ SolidWorks as well as Inventor to create CAD models, drawings, renderings and production drawings.

Details of the deal were not disclosed, but Mr. Roepke’s writing implies that it has already closed. I’ve asked Autodesk to clarify how/if this will affect Inventor Engineer-to-Order (ETO) and will update once I find out.