Autodesk’s transition to a subscription based business model has caused the company to rethink how it interacts with and engages its customers. The desire to have a granular understanding of customer needs and behaviors is paramount, and Autodesk’s chosen path to help achieve this goal is advanced analytics. Laurent Gaubert details how, in a short period of time, Autodesk has executed numerous data science projects that have enhanced its capabilities to acquire, retain, and provide more value to its customers.
Laurent outlines the investments Autodesk has made in infrastructure and personnel. From an infrastructure perspective, Autodesk has invested heavily in breaking down the data silos that used to exist and created an enterprise data lake that puts all customer data into one central repository and allows users to access massive amounts of granular information using the latest big data tools and technologies. From a personnel perspective, Autodesk has made it a company-wide initiative to hire talent well-versed in analytics and automation and has recruited top data scientists to lead the way in adopting data-driven decision making.
Laurent also explores how Autodesk introduced predictive-modeling initiatives at every level of customer interaction from accounts, contracts, and business process, building predictive models that continuously assess the likelihood of an existing customer to purchase additional products based upon a wide variety of potential intent signals, putting in place an early warning system that predicts the likelihood that a given contract will not renew, and capturing as many customer interactions as possible so that, as users interact more and more, over time, Autodesk is able to progressive profile each contact and match them to their most likely personas, allowing Autodesk to give customers a more tailored and evergreen experience.
Although Autodesk’s big data technologies, analyses, and approaches to engaging its customers may not significantly differ from what other best-in-class analytics companies are already doing, the speed at which this cultural and organizational shift has occurred is quite impressive and has hopefully positioned Autodesk on the path to success as a subscription business.
Laurent Gaubert is the director of market intelligence and customer analytics at Autodesk. Previously, Laurent worked for Hewlett-Packard in France, holding various positions in product marketing, field marketing, channel partner management, and strategic alliances for their PC and printer business, as well as the then small startup Research in Motion. . .but unwisely left before their IPO. (He still regrets this decision.) Outside of work, besides spending time with his family, Laurent is an avid skier and windsurfer. He’s trying to get into kite surfing following the advice of some of his staff though he’s still in the learning phase.
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