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Accelerate Conference

Accelerate 2016 Recap

By     SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

It’s becoming a tradition. Each September our growing PLM community gathers in Boston for an event we call “Accelerate.”  It’s a day and a half packed chock-full of customer-led breakout sessions, keynotes, panels, and networking. For those of you unaware of the event or unable to attend in person, here’s a recap of our third annual Accelerate event. 

VIP Welcome Reception

We kicked the event off with a Welcome Reception at Legal Seafood, a Boston institution with an outdoor deck and great views of the harbor – the perfect setting to take advantage of the gorgeous New England weather while reconnecting with old friends and making new acquaintances.  Networking is a big part of Accelerate. We deliberately structure the agenda to maximize time for our guests to build professional connections with their peers in product development, with industry thought leaders, and with our developers here at Autodesk.  

VIP Welcome Reception

Networking Reception

We also hosted a Networking Reception the following day at Autodesk’s beautiful new Boston office, where we introduced the audience to Manufacturing industry analysts from IDC, CIMdata, Tech-Clarity, Lifecycle Insights, and Schnitger Corp. We broke the ice and had a little fun with a game we called “Analyst Feud”.  It’s not every day you get to ask analysts about “PLM Topics you would never bring up on a first date!”

Accelerate 4  Accelerate 8

Keynote with Guest Speaker Asius Technologies

Day 1 of the conference began with an inspirational keynote presentation by long-time Fusion 360 customer, Asius Technologies.  Did you know that the earbud headphones you wear everyday are making you go deaf? Lucky for you, Stephen Ambrose and Steve Lebischak of Asius are on a mission to give back hearing with their innovative designs that don’t damage your ears.  Check out their story here.

Asius Keynote  Keynote Visual

Customer Breakout Sessions

The main thing that sets Accelerate apart from other conferences is the content.  Of the 18 total sessions, 15 were led by customers! This conference isn’t all about Autodesk, it’s about our customers sharing their stories, best practices, and methods for developing better products and building better businesses. One new twist to the content at Accelerate this year – it wasn’t 100% PLM.  Now that we’re part of Autodesk’s Fusion platform, and in keeping with this year’s theme of “Innovation,” we expanded Accelerate content to encompass the entire Product Innovation Platform. While the majority of presentations were still focused on Fusion Lifecycle, there were also a few that covered design, IoT, and CPQ. 

Huge thanks to the following companies for joining us in Boston to share their knowledge.  We can’t go into detail about all of these sessions in a blog post, but we will make many of the presentations available.  Keep an eye on our Accelerate page, as we’ll continue to post new content to the site.

Big Announcements from Autodesk

Of course, Autodesk isn’t just a silent partner in the event – in fact, we tend to make some BIG announcements at Accelerate!  This year was no exception. Here are a few of the key announcements to take away:

  • We’re adding Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) functionality to our Product Innovation Platform. Expect to see Fusion Configure featured prominently at next year’s Accelerate!
  • We’ve partnered with Nutonian to bring Dynamic Predictive Analytics capabilities to Fusion Connect, our no-coding IoT solution.
  • And the moment we’ve all been waiting for… Cloud PDM is now available in Fusion Lifecycle! We announced our plans to bring Product Data Management into our PLM solution at our first Accelerate conference in 2014.  It has arrived!

Intro CPDM

Developer Panel and Lunch with the Experts

Because we knew everyone would have burning questions about our Day 1 announcements, we gave ample opportunity to answer their questions on Day 2.  We began the day with a Developer Panel, moderated by Lisa Campbell, VP of Manufacturing, and comprised of Autodesk leaders representing each of our Fusion products. I can’t think of another conference where the customers have such an open forum to discuss, ask questions, and even influence the direction with Product Development.  We ended the day with “Lunch with the Experts” where our developers and the industry analysts hosted tables and engaged in some great lunchtime conversations with customers.

Developer Panel  Lunch with the Experts

Without a doubt this was our best Accelerate yet! I’m happy to say, we’ll be back in Boston next year! Accelerate 2017 will take place September 21st & 22nd at the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center.  Save the date, and we hope to see you there!

– Jamie Eckmier