Making the Design Process Collaborative!

A little over a week ago, Autodesk University was held at The Venetian in Las Vegas and thousands of people gathered to listen to Autodesk executive management provide their perspectives on the forces shaping the world of design and design technology and how Autodesk plans to address them.

One statement that caught my attention was made during the keynote address by Carl Bass, Autodesk CEO (@carlbass).  He stated that Autodesk is making a radical shift in their mindset about design software: “We are changing from building tools for people to building tools for teams,” he says.

That’s quite a tectonic shift for Autodesk! Autodesk is now moving from desktop to cloud-based solutions to address the needs of both individuals and teams.  Unleashing the power of the cloud to foster collaboration holds huge potential for improved productivity and enhanced quality.

This is exactly what UNIFI Labs set out to do from day one when we released our cloud-based Content Management Solution. Cloud-based content management is the cornerstone to enable effective collaboration among people and teams.

Quality content is very hard to generate and even harder to maintain. In the past, these challenges forced designers to only trust their internally generated content and save it carefully (i.e., tuck it away in file folders) on hard drives or servers. This process allowed individual designers to “secure” the quality of the content on a single machine, which created ever increasing barriers to sharing content among teams, offices and across the building lifecycle.

We’ve seen firsthand that freeing content from the shackles of file folder opens up a wealth of opportunities.  First, the cloud enables a company to set and enforce content quality standards without slowing down individual designer’s work. Second, teams can now share content with one another without fearing of losing control over its quality.  And, they are able to access the content whether they be in the office, or the field, from anywhere.

Lastly, the cloud provides users with the freedom and security to share content beyond the boundaries of their own company. Many of our customers utilize library sharing capabilities to share content with partners when the project spans designers from multiple firms as well as with their partners across the building lifecycle. This level of inter-company collaboration is very exciting and holds huge potential for benefits to the industry as a whole!

Pushing the envelope further, UNIFI announced at AU that customers will soon be able to subscribe to manufacturer libraries that have been vetted by a robust quality control system.  This offering, combined with existing features of the UNIFI platform – structured content request form and workflow, content ratings, and sophisticated usage analytics – fosters unprecedented collaboration between designers and manufacturers.

You can read more about this exciting initiative here:

We are excited that Autodesk is embracing the power of the cloud just as we have been doing to accelerate BIM advancement and enhance collaboration across the building lifecycle.