Autodesk lays out multi-year plan to unify its cloud software products

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Oct 5 (Reuters) - Autodesk Inc (ADSK.O) on Tuesday laid out a five-year plan at its annual user conference to put all of its software products on a single set of technologies to better integrate its offerings with one another.

The cloud software firm got its start in the 1980s making programs used by architects and engineers for computer-assisted design tasks. Along with firms like Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and Adobe Inc (ADBE.O), Autodesk has been one of the few business software firms founded in the personal computer era, when customers paid large upfront prices for software, to successfully make the jump to cloud computing, where customers pay via a subscription.

While Autodesk navigated the business model transition, Chief Executive Andrew Anagnost told Reuters on Sept. 21 the company still has work to do on the technology that supports its products. The company has scores of different software titles used by different kinds of architects, engineers and designers - and not all of them share data easily.

For example, Anagnost said, an architect might use one of Autodesk's products to design an urban skyscraper, while a civil engineer might use a different product to design a subway station that sits beneath the two.

"These two products don't talk together at a fidelity that makes it easy for them to merge those two views of the world into one view without doing some intermediate work," Anagnost said. "We want to take away that complexity."

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Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; editing by Diane Craft

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