Autodesk transfers utility-industry products to SBS
Autodesk and Spatial Business Systems (SBS) announced yesterday that further development of Autodesk’s utility industry products is being moved to SBS. This news affects users of the Autodesk Substation Design for Inventor, Autodesk Substation Design for Electrical, and AutoCAD Utility Design products.
The product development, system deployment and support teams will join SBS and “work to incorporate new enhancements that will more closely integrate with the SBS Utility DataHub suite of utility integration products”.
Why? According to the press release, “This approach will allow SBS to employ their innovative, customer-focused development processes to support the new product enhancements necessary to address the ever-changing needs of the utility industry. The new products offered by SBS will be renamed to reflect the new structure.”
“SBS is highly committed to ensuring that [its Automated Utility Design product] and Substation Design products continue to grow to meet the needs of current and prospective users”, said Dennis Beck, President of SBS, in the release. “This addition to our offerings will allow us to better meet the needs of the utility industry as they deal with challenges and opportunities related to aging infrastructure, advanced asset management and the ongoing need to improve overall cost performance.“
SBS says it will re-architect its Automated Utility Design (AUD), to “conform to an AutoCAD Map3D plug-in architecture. This was necessary to make AUD available as a separate software module, working with Map3D. The new plug-in architecture has an added benefit of allowing a given release of the new SBS AUD product to run against different, future releases of Map3D. We believe this will assist our clients in making their upgrades less complex.”
The Substation Design products won’t see immediate changes, aside from branding.
Interestingly, the FAQ says that “SBS offers both perpetual and subscription-based licensing options,” which would not have been possible under Autodesk’s all-subs-all-the-time policy.
Financial details weren’t released.
I don’t think we should read too much into this, other than that Autodesk and SBS saw an opportunity and took it. I do think, however, that it’s an interesting narrowing of focus for Autodesk, which had long sought to provide solutions for many parts of the infrastructure market — and for which Inventor is just part of the total solution.