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CAD Business: Autodesk Quarterly Results and Nemetschek Board News

We report on some key business news in the CAD industry for the month of August — with analysis at bottom

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First in Nemetschek News

Tanja Tamara Dreilich has resigned from the office of the chairperson of the managing board of Nemetschek AG. As the sole member of the managing board for German software giant Nemetschek AG, Ms. Dreilich overall total group executive management.

The termination of this position was set on 26 August 2013 and the supervisory board of Nemetschek AG will be determining a successor for the office of chairperson of the managing board without delay.

The company’s expectation of Dreilich’s departure reports: “Despite the successful development of the company, as well as the emerging successes in the current financial year, there are irresolvable differences between the managing board and the supervisory board which are contrary to the contribution of my duties,” stated Tanja Tamara Dreilich.

Architosh Analysis

This appears to be a rather sudden departure. And it comes at a time when the Nemetschek Group has gotten off to a solid year in 2013, after posting positive quarters. Early this year Nemetschek AG noted how well its Maxon subsidiary was doing with its strategic collaboration with software giant Adobe. Adobe After Effects (AE) now has incorporated CINEMA 4D technology directly into that product. It will be interesting to see who the board assigns to this key position in the holding company.

01 - Tanja Tamara Drelich steps down from chair of management board of Nemetschek AG.

01 – Tanja Tamara Drelich steps down from chair of management board of Nemetschek AG.

It should be noted that at the Annual General Meeting held in May of this year, Tanja Tamara Dreilich noted that the 130 shareholders in attendance were “practically unanimous” in their approval of all agenda items for the company. In particular, pushing the Open BIM activities are a key growth driver for the group.

Autodesk Revenue Down in Quarter 2

Autodesk reported this month that its revenue for its second fiscal quarter of 2014 (ending 31 July 2013) was 562.USD million, down 1 percent from the year-ago-quarter.

On a revenue by division basis AEC revenue was up 8.5 percent to 177.USD million, while Media and Entertainment (M&E) was down 12 percent to just 43.USD. million. Manufacturing was up 2 percent to 144.USD million while platform solutions and emerging business–a difficult category to grab hold of–was also down 8.7 percent to 197.USD million.

The company is an a phased approach to selling “suites” of software (a la Adobe model) versus individual products. The affect of suites is a downward pressure and individual sales in lieu of economically more beneficial suites for end users.

Much like Microsoft’s dependence on Office and Windows for the vast majority of its revenues, Autodesk also has its key revenue generators in a few products. And despite the AEC industry’s aggressive push towards BIM (Building Information Modeling) that key product is still AutoCAD which-combined with the LT version, accounted for 173.USD million, or 30 percent of all revenue.

Architosh Analysis

Autodesk is going through a challenging array of transitions. At AIA the company told us that the cloud is front and center for the whole of the company and we are able to see that in its many mobile iOS based offerings, most of which link mobile to its 360 branded cloud. Any kind of transition which reflects fundamental adaptations to disruptive technology innovation will cause a leader in particular to make at least a few minor slips if not some major ones. The company appears to be tackling a lot of issues at the same time. Part of that fact is that the company has acquired so much of its technology product portfolio–versus develop it in-house–that they must wrestle with numerous development-side issues which can often slow down implementations of strategic visions.

Another interesting feature of this latest chapter in the Autodesk life is its tumbling M&E (Media and Entertainment) division. The final results of this division are in contrast to the results of many of its key rivals who are independents or subsidiaries of larger companies. For instance, the Nemetschek Group’s subsidiary Maxon Computer posted 9 percent year-over-year (YoY) growth from its flagship CINEMA 4D product line, a key rival to many of Autodesk’s M&E division products. One begins to wonder if Autodesk acquired too many products that actually compete for the same space in the market and if the “cost” of driving synergy and unification within their large portfolio is now hurting the company. Other companies with smaller product lines don’t have to exhaust engineering resources on getting disparate products to talk to each other and communicate within a unification scheme.