Last week has been an eventful one for the .dwg CAD world. Autodesk veteran of 26 years, Heidi Hewett jumped fence and joined Bricsys in a move that took many in the industry by pleasant surprise: not an unexpected move though.
Over 90% of Bricsys partners have had some kind of prior Autodesk connection: as reseller, ADN partner, training center or similar. This is a trend that has been happening at several levels, but when a senior Autodesk veteran joins Bricsys, the news is bigger and reinforces the draw-down Autodesk has witnessed in the past few years.
Heidi is not the first senior Autodesker to join Bricsys. Don Strimbu, who is the VP of Communications at Bricsys, is a direct import from Autodesk and Malcolm Davies, who manages Bricsys sales in the US (under the Techevate company) is a former Senior VP of Autodesk.
A little background helps here! Autodesk created the .dwg format along with AutoCAD in 1982, and grew the format until 2014 or so. Precisely around this time, we saw the rise of the alternative brigade like Bricsys, IntelliCAD and dozens of others, in all hues and colors. The Open Design Alliance grew exponentially during this time and the .dwg format became even more ubiquitous and alive. All this at a time when Autodesk declared there is no more life in DWG.
Sensing the winds of change, Autodesk attempted to stamp and re-claim ownership of the dwg file by labeling Autodesk-created dwg files as "Trusted" and all others as "Non-Trusted". The infamous "Trusted DWG checks" only helped more users to know what was brewing on other side of the fence.
The fact that big-ticket migration from Autodesk is happening only to Bricsys and not to any of the other half-a-dozen .dwg software out there is a very strong endorsement of the Bricsys brand and the road map CEO Erik de Keyser and his team have laid out. In more ways that one, this move is one positive "Trusted DWG" vote for Bricsys (pun intended) , and I am sure there are many more to come.
For long, Autodesk has been the self-appointed custodian of the .dwg format, and there was no one to challenge it. Demonstrating proven abilities to store and extract advanced spatial and database information inside .dwg files, ODA and Bricsys have snatched the pole position from Autodesk.
ODA's untiring efforts behind the scene may not be visible to many but the fact that full-fledged BIM, 3D direct Modeling and Sheet Metal information is stored nicely inside a single .dwg file is a testament to the innovation possible in dwg, something Autodesk wrote off five years back as a no-go.
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