In the continuing expansion of their Fusion line of products, Autodesk has brought their Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) offering into the solution with their new product Fusion Configure. This is starting to round out the complete suite of Fusion branded products. How does it stack up to all of the other Fusion products? Let’s take a look.
Well, the first question I’m sure that you’re asking yourself is why are their quotes around the word new above? That is because as you’re reading this, you can’t see me do the air quotes. Plus, I can’t type while using air quotes. Also, it’s because Fusion Configure is not actually new, but is a rebranding of the latest version of the Concept product from Configure One, which Autodesk purchased in 2015.
Autodesk Fusion is a cloud-based product innovation platform (the quotes are there because I’m using Autodesk’s words this time). Autodesk is looking to the Fusion platform to unite every aspect of the product development cycle into one seamless blob built on a common technology. That technology can be seen in Autodesk Fusion 360, the central hub of the Fusion platform. I’ll save reading time here by letting you go explore that one on your own.
Fusion Configure is, at this point, a rebranding of the CPQ solution from Configure One. The goal is most likely to rebuild that product on the Fusion platform, uniting it with the rest of its Fusion friends. Fusion Configure is a completely cloud-based system, typically hosted on Autodesk servers, that allows end users to walk through the process of configuring a custom product. The tool dynamically builds a Bill of Materials and costing on the fly, presenting it to the user as they make their choices. This guided selling approach allows companies to offer customized solutions with complete, accurate information that can be guaranteed manufacturable.
Sales quote or sales order documents can be created. Fusion Configure also has CAD connectors and a Real Time 2D functionality that can be used to create models, drawings or graphics that can be used in documents or sent out as PDF files. CAD connectors include links to Inventor, PTC Creo and SOLIDWORKS.
Fusion Configure should also bring with it Configure One’s Concept Connect tool which builds integrations between Fusion Configure and virtually any outside system, like ERP or CRM or MRP, with little or no programming required. This would enable the Fusion Platform to reach outside of the typical realm of the Autodesk domain and unite the entire enterprise.
The development cycles for Fusion products are amazingly fast and new functionality is introduced weekly. We all see the shift from local workstation-based CAD to cloud-based, subscription CAD business models appearing from Autodesk, Dassault, PTC and others. Software as a Service (SaaS) is certainly something that we all need to watch.