In October Autodesk announced that Autodesk Moldflow Insight, their premier plastic injection analysis platform, was being made available on Autodesk Cloud. I had the opportunity to chat with Bob Williams, Marketing Manager for Autodesk Simulation products, about what this means to professionals that deal in injected plastic product design. My initial view was simply another great product was being pushed to the cloud, giving users the ability to offload their meshing and analysis to someone else’s server. This is not insignificant by any means.
It’s All About Access
During our conversation, however, I learned something that was equally important to this portion of the industry.
|Bob noted that many companies that need injected component analysis, only require these capabilities a few times each year. “In the past some companies could not justify having access to that type of technology because of the significant upfront investment. They would either not perform the analysis, or hire outside consultants when these were needed. Additionally you would need to purchase more powerful workstations which represents an additional investment. The Cloud opens up the ability for people that will benefit from simulation, to do so without many of the historical barriers that existed in terms of what was needed in order to actually own this software and run it locally on your own hardware.”||
Cloud Service Access
Many Cloud services are immediately accessible through product subscriptions, such as Optimization for Autodesk Inventor Professional subscribers. Through their subscription they receive so many ‘Cloud Units’ to use as needed for Optimization, and once these are exhausted, more units can be purchased. However, Autodesk offers access to some other Cloud services by way of a service subscription, rather than subscription of a particular desktop product. This is the case for Autodesk Moldflow Insight WS.
It should be noted that Moldflow Insight WS is a complete service, and not a select sub-set of the Insight desktop tools.
The price models are dictated within the channel providers, and as a result are not made available for me to relate to you, however Autodesk stated that the savings are no less than 33%. That’s a lot of moolah. Not only that, you get the Cloud computing on top of the price reduction. “You pay for what you need” Bob pointed out.
The Cloud offering cost is divided into 2 sections. There is an initial Cloud service fee, and then the ‘Cloud Units’ which are purchased as needed for particular analyses. As noted in the article linked above, there are 3 tiers of cost models, depending on how much usage companies expect.
Many of my colleagues are quite critical of Autodesk’s ownership (and the lack thereof) policies, where users really don’t own the products, but simply paid for the right to use them. While I agree with many of these reservations, I understand the nature of the policy, and am aware of the issues. It’s not a deal breaker for me.
Autodesk Moldflow Insight WS does push us farther into this realm, where we simply pay to use it. The reality for us is that we never had ownership at all, and the Cloud services only differ in the location of the processing. Since I want the processing on someone else’s server anyway, it’s a win-win scenario for me, and I think for most companies that cannot justify the expense of the desktop product and hardware this is a break through in capabilities.