Bass Delivers Autodesk University Keynote

By Hal Reid

This year's keynote was given by Carl Bass, Senior VP, Design Solutions Group, introduced by Carol Bartz, who appeared via video.

Mr.Bass established three benchmarks for AutoDesk software;

  • Power
  • Simplicity
  • Community
Mr.Bass noted that while in the last 20 years, the PC was 1,000 times faster and dramatically better; software generally could not make this same claim.

What was needed was vastly better visualization and software that could capture relationships in terms of workflow, collaborations and function. Software had too many models and concepts, was too apparent and could actually limit productivity, as more time was spent making the software work rather than doing what the software was designed to address.

His concept was that "software should disappear into the background". It should support the principle of "least astonishment".It should be easier to learn, be more reliable and easier to deploy.Software should let us "do what we can dream about, but not do without computers"

While software should be more reliable, easier to learn and easier to deploy, More importantly, it should create a sense of community through being collaborative and supporting interoperability.

Building on this vision, Scott Borduin, Autodesk's' Chief Technology Officer in the following presentation addressed three key themes for AutoDesk. Transforming data into information, Lifecycle Management and merging CAD and GIS.

"You are your company's critical data providers." And as such, this transformation (data to information) requires the end result to be information that you could trust, find, review, comment and pass on, track and update and had continuity across a process, whether it be a construction project, a manufacturing process or any workflow that needed a persistent record of events.

Lifecycle management was the process of design, built and manage, all the way through to the point of facility retirement.Information collected throughout these processes should be available across the lifecycle so that the logic established in the design, the details of what was actually built could be used in the management of the end result.When time necessitated, and what had been built to be adapted or retired, that information continuum would be current, so that what was done, why it was done and how it was done was available for what needed to be done.

These concepts present by both Carl Bass and Scott Borduin came together in the area of Emergency Response when John Hansen, a new AutoDesk employee and a former Fire Chief showed CAD-GIS integration as a tool for first responders.What was needed was not just maps of the infrastructure, but also the CAD drawings of the buildings affected, augmented by visualization tools showing the inside of the buildings.This included models that showed the effect of chemical contamination (plumes or spills) or blast radii on top of maps and imagery as well as building footprints. All of this could be available in real-time, to the emergency responders whether in command vehicles or command centers.

Mr.Hansen validated the themes presented by Carl Bass and Scott Borduin of powerful yet simple to use and learn software, easily deployable, using current and accurate data from multiple sources (community), bringing it together with CAD and GIS in one environment.

Published Thursday, December 11th, 2003

Written by Hal Reid

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