It seems that one of the most talked about events in the engineering software space this year has been Autodesk’s acquisition of HSMWorks. The misconceptions and misunderstandings surrounding this acquisition have been amazing.
In an attempt to get a better handle on the reasons and implications for the acquisition, I spoke briefly with Carl White, Director of Manufacturing Engineering Products at Autodesk.
He said the primary reason for the HSMWorks acquisition was to get into production workflows that previously had been untouched (from Autodesk’s perspective). He feels that the acquisition will help round out Autodesk’s Digital Prototyping philosophy, since he believes that HSMWorks is oriented to both CAM programmers and designers.
For the near term, White said that Autodesk is looking hard at the best way to integrate HSMWorks into the workflows of Autodesk (Inventor) customers. He said that Autodesk intends to keep improving the underlying HSMWorks kernel and will remain neutral and CAD agnostic. OK, I’ll buy that for the time being.
Longer term, he said that Autodesk would be exploring more cloud options with HSMWorks, but couldn’t elaborate at this time. There’s that cloud thing again . . .
He said that the HSMWorks channel is viable and still running, but didn’t elaborate too much on that point.
In closing, White said that Autodesk realizes that it is largely dealing with mixed, and not exclusive, CAD environments. He maintained that Autodesk is not in the business of acquiring technology companies to shut them down.
This is an example of Autodesk making an acquisition as part of its strategy to becoming a bigger presence in the plug-in software business. White said that Autodesk is committed to continuing to develop HSMWorks to benefit both Inventor and SolidWorks users.
So, after talking with Autodesk’s Carl White about the fate of HSMWorks product and customers, I came away with a feeling that it may not be the doom and gloom situation purported by some, but this is one to watch closely to see what actually happens as we move forward.