project collaboration powers are joining forces.
Autodesk has agreed to acquire
Constructware, a leading Web-based construction-oriented collaboration
service company, for $46 million.
Based in San Rafael, Calif., Autodesk
owns the Web-based design and project collaboration service
Buzzsaw. Officials from both Autodesk and Constructware say
they plan to combine the products into an offering with more
features than either has now.
Starting at different ends
of the development path, the two companies have pursued the
goal of a unified collaboration product and a standard way
to communicate construction information, says Amar Hanspal,
vice president of Autodesk Collaborative Solutions.
Constructware approached the collaboration
problem from the construction end and Buzzsaw from the design
The acquisition will let them join
their services in the middle. “We realized we could
keep walking down the path that we were on and take five or
six years to get there, or take the best that we knew and
the best things that Constructware knows and accelerate getting
that to the industry,” Hanspal says.
Autodesk expects to close
the deal in 30 to 60 days, but already has its board of directors
Ga.-based operation will continue operations “pretty
much as usual” for the short run and keep its operations
center and “the vast majority” of its approximately
65-person staff, says president and CEO Scott Unger. The integration
of the Buzzsaw and Constructware teams will happen “very
quickly,” he adds.
there will be a significant integration with all the Autodesk
products and services,” Unger says. “Buzzsaw’s
success, and they have had a lot of it, is on the design side
of the fence. Constructware has the detailed project controls
associated with construction, including bid management components
they don’t have. It’s a terrific complement.”
co-founders Unger and Brian Moore, vice president for product
management and development, will continue to have a role.
“They are not going away,” says Hanspal. “They’re
one of the reasons we wanted to acquire Constructware. They
are a good bunch of people, they have the interest of the
customers in mind and they are people who are intimate with
the construction industry.”
Although new titles have
yet to be determined, Unger says he expects to become head
of product marketing and product management for the Autodesk
Collaborative Services division, which will include Buzzsaw
and Constructware. Moore will be tasked with developing product
vision, setting direction and innovation “and how the
two products will come together,” says Hanspal.
Both brand identities
will be kept intact initially, says Unger. “First we
have to determine what we will do with the solutions, and
then the feedback we receive from the market will determine
if we keep one brand, both brands, or introduce a new brand.
We both have very strong brands and we recognize that.
That’s a great concern.”
Constructware was founded
in 1994 and funded principally by Moore and Unger with venture
capital, angel investments and some employee participation
that comprises a minority ownership percentage. No construction
companies were investors, Unger says, and investments will
be “100% settled” in the cash transaction.