What are some common problems companies face when it comes to software?
EDMUNDO ROBERT HERNÁNDEZ I think that many inefficiencies lie in the fact that there is a lot of software piling up. Companies need to solve this problem fast so that they don't have to stop and figure out what would be the best way to connect all of the applications. If they don't do this then you have to add patches, and when you have too many patches then you have a “babel tower." You have to know your company's processes in order get the desired effect when implementing a new feature. We were speaking to a client worried about the budget for one of their systems. That piece of software was not useful anymore. He was worried because if he could not get the budget to maintain the software, he might be out of a job. So, he was pushing to get the budget to keep the software running even though it was useless to the company. This is a company that has more than 2,000 systems. Imagine; it's impossible for any executive on the board to know what each of the 2,000 pieces of software does for the company. These companies have thousands of people working in the IT area, which is servicing the rest of the company; it is a jungle. They are very large corporations, and they have a lot of power in the market. Of course, when you go inside these companies, you find a lot of inefficiencies that are natural to human organizations.
Can you tell me about your migration to the cloud?
ROBERTO MIKSE We have online cloud services, which we call Autodesk 360. We are offering these types of services so that the customer can leverage them. For example, we provide services that have “infinite hour service farms," where we have the software and the customers can access the services from their computers within our servers. We have a designer and an architect that work on the design, and once this is completed they do a process called rendering, which is where they have a digital photograph becoming a real photograph. This takes hours and you need a lot of CPU power for this process.
Our clients usually don't have the time or money for that process, so what they do is use the cloud, where Autodesk has its servers with huge amounts of CPU power. The customer can send the service to us, and it goes through a process here. A result that could take days on our customer's computers takes less than an hour here. That is the service we provide through the cloud. Right now, we are offering many services, which is where the cloud is. You can be anywhere at anytime, using a huge amount of power, and it doesn't matter where you are.
How sophisticated is Mexico in general in terms of IT implementation?
ERH I am pleased with Mexico. I think that in Mexico it is possible to find the latest technology. One of our customers was looking for assembler language capabilities. After going to India, China, and Israel, they were surprised to find that it was in Mexico, and we have been developing with mainframes for 40 years. The main reason for that, I think, is that the US companies were actually focusing on the US market during all these years. Therefore, Mexico had to solve and develop its own capabilities in the IT sector.
How do you foresee mobile and social media impacting your business operations?
RM It is happening already. You can create a design using a mobile phone or an iPad. One of our products is AutoCAD WS. It is part of the cloud services we provide. The customer can use an iPad to change the blueprints of a building in real time. When they do that, it automatically goes to the servers or the computers, which is a major benefit because they can do design anywhere, anytime. It is happening already.