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A design software and services company, which offers solutions to customers in the architectural, engineering, construction, manufacturing, infrastructure and digital media markets.
Autodesk's main advantage in today's market is its foothold in colleges. If any engineering, agricultural, etc. wants to hire a person who has been through college, the company must use Autodesk's program or suffer the costs of retraining its employees to use another program. Once the company is hooked onto Autodesk's program, there is a high switching cost along with the retraining cost of the company's employees. In turn, the retraining costs and its foothold in colleges give Autodesk a wide economic moat in today's market. However, Autodesk's wide economic moat is in today's 2D market. They still do not have a wide economic moat in the 3D market of tomorrow. As companies start to switch to 3D imaging, they will inevitably choose a cheaper, easier to learn program like Dassault's or another competitor's product.The companies that have already started switching to 3D have gone with Dassault's program. Autodesk will still have a wide moat in the 2D market, but most likely, the 3D market of tomorrow will go to some other company.
I agree with everything you say, but the college entry idea worked nicely for Apple. Personal preference aside, as an investment, I think they will hold a lead here for a while. It would take a disruptive change in corporate purchasing habits to lose their lead in the States. I do not own ADSK, and very often I prefer a yellow note pad and pencil.
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