PLM This Week: Autodesk Second Quarter Beats Guidance, Altium Acquires PLM Integrator

Also: PTC gets new CTO, releases new app and records a deal for ThingWorx.

Autodesk Records Strong Second Quarter, Beats Guidance

Autodesk’s cloud-based PLM solution Fusion Lifecycle was one of the driving forces when Autodesk added over 100,000 new subscriptions during the last quarter.

Autodesk’s cloud-based PLM solution Fusion Lifecycle was one of the driving forces when Autodesk added over 100,000 new subscriptions during the last quarter.

Autodesk reported a strong second quarter with a revenue of $551 million, a decrease of 10 percent compared to the second quarter last year

This result beat its own guidance of between $500 and $520 million, and handily beat the Wall Street consensus of $512.3 million. This, in concert with an improved outlook for the next quarter, boosted Autodesk stock by 5 percent.

If you have been following the news around Autodesk, you might be aware that the company is going through an extensive strategic overhaul, moving from perpetual licenses to pay-as-you-go subscriptions and cloud services. This is negatively impacting their revenue now that sales are recognized over time rather than up front. In addition, the new products generally have a lower initial purchase price.

Autodesk is pushing ahead, however, and this quarter the company saw significant subscription growth. The total number of subscriptions increased by 109,000 compared to the previous quarter, reaching 2.82 million. Autodesk also added 125,000 “new model” subscriptions, for a total of 692,000. These typically represent customers already possessing a desktop license who have upgraded to the cloud subscription model.

Autodesk’s annualized recurring revenue (ARR), which is a normalized metric often used by Software-as-a-Service providers, was $371 million for “new model subscriptions,” an increase of 82 percent year-over-year, while the total ARR landed at $1.47 billion, growing by 10 percent.

“We posted terrific second quarter results driven by growth in new model subscriptions, the end of perpetual license sales, and diligent cost control,” said Autodesk CEO Carl Bass. “We’ve now seen several quarters of strong growth from our new model subscriptions, as our customers and partners embrace a model that has greater flexibility and a better user experience.”

Bass also added that it was a record quarter for cloud subscription additions, with products like BIM 360, and Fusion 360 leading the way, and Fusion Lifecycle (formerly known as PLM 360) also seeing significant growth.

Looking ahead, Autodesk projects a third quarter revenue of $470 million to $485 million, and $2 billion to $2.05 billion for the fiscal year. Autodesk CFO Scott Herren also added that Autodesk remains confident in the long-term goal of growing its subscription base by a total of 20 percent by its fiscal year 2020 (which is in 2019).

Altium Acquires Leading PLM Integrator

Electronic Design Automation (EDA) software developer Altium has announced it completed the acquisition of Perception Software, a provider of enterprise PLM integration solutions.

Altium paid $7.9 million for Perception Software, which offers solutions related to the integration of Electrical CAD software, which among other things is used to design printed circuit boards (PCBs) with PLM systems.

Founded in 2006, Perception Software is a provider of integration software that helps to bridge the gap between Electrical CAD solutions and PLM systems, in terms of data sharing.  It’s a long-time partner of Altium, managing the integration of its EDA solution Altium Designer with Oracle’s Agile PLM. Perception Software also has partnerships with competing EDA software developers, such as Mentor Graphics.

According to Altium, Perception will a continue to operate independently post acquisition and continue to maintain its strategic relationships with major EDA companies and PLM suppliers in order to support the customer base on its current solutions, EDAConnect and Xplorer.

Altium engineers will also be working to integrate Perception’s EDA-to-Enterprise PLM technology in their flagship electronics design ecosystem.

“With Perception’s innovative technology and expertise in enterprise integration, the EDA industry as a whole stands to benefit with a more connected and seamless product design ecosystem,” said Henry Potts, chief operating officer at Altium. “Our acquisition of Perception Software will enable Altium to successfully address the enterprise integration gap between engineering teams and organizations in new and innovative ways.”

Altium is one of the leaders in the fast growing EDA-space with its flagship solution Altium Designer. The company also saw significant growth during its last fiscal year (which ended June 30), increasing its revenue by 17 percent and sales by 22 percent worldwide to $93.6 and $100.4 million respectively. It should be added that revenue from the acquisition had a minimal effect on the revenue figures.

In a comment on the report, Altium CEO Aram Mirkazemi said that one of the key drivers was a recently signed partnership with Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks. He also mentioned that Altium is putting heavy focus on leveraging its ECAD solutions with Dassault’s Enterprise capabilities.

This most likely means that they are working toward a deeper integration with DS’s PLM solution Enovia. It also fits into the bigger picture of ECAD-PLM integration efforts painted by the acquisition of Perception.

PTC Gets New CTO, Releases an App, and Records a Deal for ThingWorx

PTC’s New CTO, Andrew Timm

PTC’s New CTO, Andrew Timm

PTC has been keeping busy over the last couple weeks, starting with the appointment of Andrew Timm as the company’s new CTO. 

According to PTC, Timm will drive the company’s technology innovation, alignment and governance processes, while working closely with PTC’s president and CEO Jim Heppelmann.

“Andy’s deep experience with our traditional products, coupled with his knowledge of and passion for the Internet of Things, make him uniquely qualified to drive PTC’s technology transformation, and further accelerate our ability to help customers succeed in a smart, connected world,” said Heppelmann.

Timm began his career with PTC before following his entrepreneurial spirit and starting a consulting company focused on helping customers derive business value from PTC software. He later brought his team to Kalypso, a PTC systems integrator partner, where he initiated the company’s IoT practice and worked with ThingWorx technology.

Timm’s predecessor, Jane Wachutka, is retiring from full-time duty, but will continue in a part-time role as a senior advisor helping Timm to facilitate the work of the PTC Technology Council. 

“We really value Jane, and recognise that she is one of the most successful woman technology leaders in the software industry.  She has contributed so much to PTC over the years.  Jane will be reporting into Andy in his new role,” said PTC in a statement.

PTC also recorded another win for its IOT platform when Fastems, a leading Finnish manufacturer of factory automation systems, said that it will integrate PTC ThingWorx technology into its Fastems Flexible Manufacturing Systems. The goal is to enable remote systems monitoring and condition-based maintenance, and it claims that these new service options will enable its customers to increase system uptime and production capacity.

As of May 2016, Fastems enabled the creation of new services by integrating the ThingWorx platform into its ICT systems portfolio. Through remote monitoring, service professionals will be able to diagnose and resolve potential issues and service all equipment. More uptime means lower costs and higher customer satisfaction.

“Fastems’ mission is to enable efficient and reliable production for our customers in the metal working industry,” said Janne Harri Kivinen, CIO at Fastems. “With the implementation of ThingWorx, we can now offer customers new solutions and services that will allow them to enhance production, which in turn will lead to lower costs and increased production capacity. Customers and Fastems maintenance personnel will be able to keep an eye on operations from any location, whilst determining areas requiring service.”

On the same day, PTC released the Tech Pack Access App, its first role-based app for FlexPLM 11, the latest version of its product lifecycle management (PLM) solution for retail, fashion, footwear, apparel and consumer products.

The basic idea of role-based apps is to improve the user experience by getting the right product data and features to the right people faster, and in context with their work. The first of several planned app releases, Tech Pack Access provides vendors with access to product specification data, such as bill of materials, measurements, construction details and imagery.

Finished goods manufacturers can quickly view critical product data without delay, enabling better accuracy, collaboration and efficiency during product sampling and production. Generation capabilities allow users to maintain product integrity and reduce costly errors.

Tech Pack Access is the first app that uses ThingWorx technology. By leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT), Tech Pack information can also be linked to other sources of information. For example, material data in the specs can be connected to availability and pricing of mill vendors.

PTC also said that additional role-based apps are planned to be released throughout the coming year.