Creation and collaboration software maker Autodesk is stepping outside of its usual enterprise-grade software world and dipping its toes into consumer — or at least consumerized — world of mobile apps to launch its own mobile messaging product. Dubbed Autodesk Instant, the standalone app is expected to be integrated with its exiting offerings.
The company, which makes of a whole line of design and engineering software for creation and collaboration, decided to build the messaging app in part to facilitate communications between teams. The hope is that by launching a messaging product, it could capture the attention of team members on their mobile phones, where they’re already communicating with each other.
Today, users communicate through any number of ways — email, SMS, Skype, Snapchat, and a whole host of other messaging platforms. Autodesk wants to ensure that enterprise communications between teams happens in an environment that enterprises can control, and that would fit into its existing platform of applications.
The messaging platform is pretty simple, enabling users to send text messages, photos, videos, and their location to other users. It also enables them to create groups of users to communicate with. And when users sign up with their work email address, they will be automatically added to that organization’s group.
From my limited use the app was very fast and easy to use, but it didn’t seem much different from other existing apps on the market. And, of course, getting a whole organization to adopt a new app could be troublesome when they already have an existing workflow.
That said, the app does have an SMS fallback, which allows people who don’t have the app to receive messages and respond. The big selling point should come in the future, when Autodesk integrates it with other collaboration tools that it already has.