View all Blog posts

Accelerate 2015 Recap

By     SEPTEMBER 9, 2015

Last week we held our 2nd annual PLM 360 user event at Boston’s Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center. If you couldn't make it, here is a walk through.

Accelerate 2015 – Making the Perfect PLM Sandwich

The mission of Accelerate 2015 was to bring the PLM community together to learn, network, and share strategies for solving their product development and manufacturing challenges. For a day and a half, Autodesk customers, as well as Autodesk newbies, subject matter experts, top market analysts, and industry press gathered at the venue to fill the halls with enthusiastic conversation around PLM and the Future of Making Things. With an audience of over 300, our attendance was nearly double last year’s. It’s exciting to see how rapidly our PLM community is growing and to see what amazing work they’re doing with PLM 360!

Like we did last year, again we took a customer-focused approach to the event. You can think of it like a sandwich. The conference started with a thin slice of Autodesk at the beginning, another thin slice of Autodesk at the end, with a whole lotta customer goodness in the middle.

Lisa Campbell, Autodesk’s VP of MFG Industry, Strategy and Marketing, acted as emcee for the event and kicked things off by introducing Scott Reese, our VP of Cloud Platforms, who gave a glimpse into the future of things Autodesk is doing with Big Data. (You can see a recording of Scott’s keynote presentation here.)

Future of Making Things Art

But the meat of this PLM sandwich was all customer driven content. We had over a dozen customer breakouts – the presentations spanned from big companies (Owens Corning) to startups (Automatic). They covered a broad range of topics from the technical (ERP Integration) to the social (Getting Buy-in from Management).  All the presenters did an amazing job and sparked a lot of lively post-session discussions.  Here’s a snapshot of the customer breakouts.

QFC: Managing Organizational Change: The Human Side of PLM

Excellims: Taking Your Startup to the Next Level with PLM

TaylorMade: Fixing the Flow of Information

TSM: Business Intelligence from Your PLM Data

Club W: Wine and PLM

Owens Corning: Case Study

SureTank: Getting PLM Buy-In from the Bosses

Automatic Labs: The SKU Explosion – PLM for Fast Growth

Greenpoint Technologies: Solving Real World Challenges with Emerging Tech

GSD: Operational Integration of PLM 360

Spark/Autodesk: Igniting the Spark of Innovation with Ember

Swivl: Rotating in the Right Direction – Product Repositioning and PLM

Thanks to PLM 360 customer, Swivl, who set up a few of their devices at the conference, we may actually be able to bring you a couple of recordings from these breakout sessions shortly!

One new addition to the agenda this year, and one of the clear highlights, was the Customer Advisory Board (CAB) panel.  The CAB is a small group of customers who act as a steering committee for PLM 360, helping to guide the product developers at Autodesk. A panel of 4 CAB members (Cory Peterson/HGST, Robb Johnson/Inphi, David Keeley/TSM, Richard Noriega/Vacco ), hosted by Brian Schanen, fielded questions from the audience about PLM generally and PLM 360 specifically. All shared that nothing like this has been seen at any other event, where customers are encouraged to share the good, the bad, and the ugly with such refreshingly honest conversation. Some takeaways from the panel are that clearly everyone loves the workflow engine, but reporting apparently could use some more work. If you’d like to keep the conversation going throughout the year, join us on Ideastation.

Adding a little spice to our sandwich, we peppered the agenda with some Market Analyst interactions.  On day 1, Marc Halpern from the analyst firm Gartner sat down for a fireside chat with Andrew Anagnost, SVP of ISM at Autodesk. They spoke about the changing nature of innovation and design. And also looked into the evolution of PLM itself, from a traditional linear process to a more holistic and sustainable model of a Product Innovation Platform. 

Day 1 ended with a panel of PLM Analysts in a drinking game. (Yes, you read that right.) Last year, our panel of esteemed analysts (Allan Behrens/Taxal, Chad Jackson/Lifecycle Insights, Monica Schnitger/Schnitger Corp, Stan Przybylinski/CIMdata, Jim Brown/Tech-Clarity) had a conversation about “What’s Brewing in Manufacturing?” over beers.  This year we added a little twist.  The analysts were back to talk about “What’s Shaking in Product Development?” this time over cocktails and a round of Buzzword Bingo.  The questions from moderator Ron Locklin, Director of PLM, and the audience were engaging and thought-provoking (sometimes the answers from the imbibing panelists were too.) On a more serious note, Allan Behrens on the panel was also raising some funds for a cancer charity, learn more here.  From the analyst panel we rolled right into our outdoor reception in the gorgeous New England summer evening.

Who knew you could have so much fun with PLM?

The second day of Accelerate started with some serious acceleration – a keynote from Autodesk customer, Briggs Automotive Company.  BAC are a startup who are shaking up the auto industry with their revolutionary design for a street legal single seater performance car, the MONO.  It’s a thing of beauty with a fascinating story behind its creation. To top off the conference on day 2, Lisa Campbell brought out Autodesk’s Sr. Manager in charge of PLM, Jared Sund to give a sneak peek at what’s coming for PLM 360. Jared revealed some pretty exciting stuff in that final slice of Autodesk content – free access to third-party users, PLM 360 Beta, Integration with Everything. We’ll no doubt be covering these in detail on Under the Hood as they roll out.  

What a delicious sandwich it was!

If you’re looking to have a scintillating conversation about product development (and really, who isn’t?), there’s no better place than Accelerate. If you want to hear what people were buzzing about, the community got pretty active on social.  Search our event hashtag #XLR8PLM on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

In the end, the thing that makes Accelerate so unique and such a great success is clearly the audience. Accelerate is all about bringing the community together to learn from each other.  Autodesk just provides the stage, then we step back to let you do your thing.  We can’t wait to get you back on stage to do it again next year! Want to see pictures, videos and tweets from the event? Check out our Accelerate landing page.

Jamie Eckmier, Sr. Marketing Manager