AEC Systems: Autodesk Reseller (Australia)
Australian software reseller turns years of experience and Autodesk software into happy customers and repeat business.
"Having worked both for Autodesk and for the competition, we knew all about the strength of the AutoCAD and Autodesk brands. When it came time to start our own shop, we knew which side we and our customers should be on."
—Greg Gudgeon, Managing Director, AEC Systems
When Greg Gudgeon cofounded AEC Systems in 1996, he’d already seen a few things in his career. Between them, Gudgeon and his business partner had been investigating and selling CAD-based software to the engineering industry, and held important sales positions both with Autodesk and that company’s competitors.
In fact, prior to starting AEC Systems—now one of Australasia’s largest Autodesk Authorized Resellers and an esteemed member of the Autodesk Developer Network (ADN)—Gudgeon ran the largest MicroStation dealership in Australia and New Zealand.
It is just that depth of experience on both sides of the Autodesk equation that ultimately led the duo to start the company in 1996: "Our vision in starting AEC was providing a truly complete solution to our customers," says Gudgeon.
"Having worked both for Autodesk and for the competition, we knew all about the strength of the AutoCAD and Autodesk brands. When it came time to start our own shop, we knew which side we and our customers should be on," he says.
"Our unique insights gave us a well-rounded view of how this market worked, and a competitive advantage from the start."
In its 15 years of existence in the planning, design, and implementation of exceptionally large integrated systems and networks to the architectural, engineering, manufacturing, and civil markets, AEC Systems has transformed from a fledgling reseller to a trusted adviser on many multibillion-dollar projects.
In the beginning, Gudgeon admits that AEC Systems mainly provided customization solutions and add-ons to traditional AutoCAD® software
Even then, however, a deeper, more customer-focused model was in place and gaining traction: "From the start, we set about building a team of like-minded people," says Gudgeon. "Our early phases were really about ‘verticalizing’ AutoCAD, but our sales model was about engaging with and building strong relationships with customers."
"Within the first couple of years, we were able to become the largest Autodesk partner in Australia and New Zealand. By working closely with our larger accounts to determine what their most pressing needs were, we were able to engage most of them with the development of more far-reaching corporate training plans and customized approaches."
"It wasn’t too long before our experience and expertise gave us a pretty recognizable and reliable brand in the market. We had engineers who were trained and schooled in these Autodesk technologies, so it made perfect sense that we would provide more in-depth consulting services and project advice."
As their customers placed more and more faith in AEC Systems, the company continued to nurture existing relationships even as it sought out new business and expanded its service offerings.
Through all the growth and change, however, the company’s initial goal of establishing and maintaining strong customer relationships never wavered: "We’ve found that there is no bigger compliment than repeat business," says Gudgeon.
"Having customers return to us for more requests is what has underpinned our business and made it possible. Our customers see us as part of their business, and ask us to review important technology plans and advise them on crucial decisions. As the business evolved, our customers looked to us to build technology plans for future projects."
While AEC Systems’ position as an Autodesk reseller remains strong, recent high-profile, large-budget projects have transformed the company into an even-more-trusted adviser with companies in Australasia: "Our business has really morphed in the last few years, to the point that we are really like a systems integrator now," says Gudgeon.
"Our membership with the ADN is an important part of strategic business process because it enables us to maintain strong relationships with local and divisional Autodesk teams. We are still deeply involved in the integration and customization of the core Autodesk tools, but AEC Systems is increasingly asked to work with and use the data out of the enterprise systems we’ve recommended to our customers, and then creating ways of moving that data across the larger systems."
With as many as 8 multibillion-dollar projects currently on its to-do list, AEC Systems continues to see its success, and its responsibilities, grow. The firm is now engaged in more thought leadership, technology planning, and multiyear engagements than ever before, and it is all due to its proven experience with Autodesk software and Building Information Modeling (BIM).
"We now have a strong BIM management consultancy business," explains Gudgeon. "We are working more and more with consultants, constructors, and building owners to transform their processes. Our largest projects at the moment have budgets of 128 billion and 65 billion dollars, respectively."