The PlassoTech Acquisition
Amy Bunzel, Autodesk's Director of Inventor Product Management, was kind enough to answer my questions about Autodesk's acquisition of Plassotech.
Why PlassoTech, I asked? Autodesk liked PlassoTech's ease of use. The solver is fast.
PlassoTech had most of its customers in Japan largely due to the work of 3Ga, a Japanese reseller. PlassoTech is an American company, headquartered near Los Angeles, California. Both PlassoTech founders, Dr. Yuri Kizimovich (CTO and Chairman of the Board) and Dr. Tomi Mossessian (CEO and President) will be retained by Autodesk. Their new roles and titles were not available at the time of this writing.
PlassoTech had less than 10 employees.
Autodesk will be incorporating PlassoTech technology into the Inventor products. It will discontinue selling standalone products or add-ons as separate items. PlassoTech used to sell 3G.author, 3G.access and 3G.central, billed as associative with many of Inventor's rivals, including Solid Edge, Pro/ENGINEER and SolidWorks. But Amy assures me Autodesk "will honor existing relationships."
Will there be fallout among Autodesk's current FEA 3rd party developers, such as ANSYS and ALGOR, now that Autodesk has brought FEA in house? Amy says there should not be any fallout. As mentioned in her comments to the original post on this subject, she expects FEA partners, notably ANSYS, to stick around. Many of the FEA partners offer different capability than PlassoTech offered. For example, ANSYS would still offer Inventor customers non-linear and computational fluid dynamics (CFD), just two examples of high-end analysis PlassoTech did not touch.
Autodesk Inventor did have some FEA capability, though it was limited to part analysis and licensed from ANSYS. Now, presumably, Inventor can offer the whole slew of PlassoTech capability including structural, thermal and dynamic analyses. Beyond that, it is not clear if Autodesk will be offering Inventor bundles with varying degrees of analysis --at various prices -- such as SolidWorks has done with COSMOS.
Amy would not reveal how much PlassoTech made in revenue or how much Autodesk paid for it. And it sounds like Autodesk, a public corporation, does not have to reveal that information as the amount paid is deemed to be insignificant.
I wondered what insignificant meant to Autodesk, a company on the verge of breaking $2 billion in revenue. A quick look at news of acquisitions by Autodesk over the last few years showed that the lowest amount it has disclosed was the $15M it paid for Colorfront, a Hungarian company, in 2005, back when Autodesk was only (!) a $1B company.