Published on July 18th, 2015 | by UC&D Magazine0
ProSoft Celebrating 30 years in ’15
Company sells design software in Utah’s A/E/C market that keeps firms up to speed with technological advances.
When AutoCAD was launched in December 1982 by AutoDesk, Inc., it signaled a revolution in the A/E/C design industry – and the beginning of the end of traditional drafting methods, i.e. pencils and paper.
More than three decades later, 3D Building Information Modeling is now at the forefront of design and is changing the way projects are designed and constructed.
Kim Anderson, President and Cofounder of Orem-based ProSoft, has witnessed first hand the progression of technology, and continues to be amazed at the innovations, even as his company celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2015.
“There always seems to be something new – it seems overwhelming at times, but I enjoy the team we’ve assembled and our colleagues,” said Anderson. “We’re always challenging ourselves to get better.”
“Our big thing is to elevate people, performance, profits and perception,” adds Brandon Monsen, ProSoft Vice President of Sales. “We’re in an interesting situation. This will probably be the last full release AutoCad software, as we know it.”
Anderson said AutoDesk will be transitioning after January 31, 2016 to a ‘cloud-based’ product, similar to what Adobe and MicroSoft have done in recent years and going away from licenses and owning a box of software.
ProSoft has announced three ‘Launch Party’ dates for 2015 for local clients, including May 27 in St. George, June 10 in Salt Lake City, and June 24 in Idaho Falls. These events will help clients better understand changes within AutoDesk,along with promoting other news and happenings within the world of CAD design.
Anderson founded Professional Software Solutions, Inc. along with his brother in April 1985, and initially had three applications – Lotus 1-2-3 (which Anderson said was a “revolutionary” spreadsheet application for designers, AutoCAD and VersaCAD. Back then, PC hardware was slow and the software quite expensive and fairly limited. It made for a couple of challenging years trying to get the business off the ground.
“We started out in a single room like other technology firms, in the back of a small office in Midvale, and started doing our best to evangelize this technology,” said Anderson. “It was pretty slow early on. You had to have the right practice or project mix to make these things (hardware, software) pay for themselves and generate a ROI. This was during the days when a fax machine was considered cool technology.”
Anderson said by about ’88, IBC came out with its AT 286 computer, which helped bring the extra processing speeds needed to run AutoCAD software. “Slowly, people started to realize it didn’t take $100,000 Unix work stations – you could do 2D drafting on a desktop computer. In the beginning we sold more to one-man shops, mom and pop shops – they were more open to it. Ultimately (design) firms started seeing benefits of what CAD could do on PCs.”
By the early 90’s, ProSoft’s core business really started to take off, as virtually all A/E/C firms realized they better get on board with the newest technology, or risk being left behind. The firm opened its Orem headquarters in 1993, and also opened an office in Boise in 2012.
Monsen said it’s a never-ending quest to stay ahead of the technology curve, and that firms who consistently buy in to the latest and greatest tend to be more progressive, and ultimately, more successful.
“AutoDesk has done a great job bringing products that are relevant – now it’s all about collaboration,” said Monsen. “How do structural firms, MEP firms and architects work together as a team? A360 Collaboration for Revit is exciting and it will have an impact on how firms work together on projects.”
Anderson said in the past two years AutoDesk has made major advances to its 3D products for structural engineers and steel fabricators/detailers. ProSoft was recognized March 4 in Las Vegas as the No. 1 AutoDesk partner in Utah, and the firm also offers training and other services to businesses across the country, and even internationally. Most sales and support is along the Wasatch Front, Idaho and Nevada, but Anderson said the firm offers training, consulting and mentoring, especially when it comes to helping customers deploy and implement new technologies, and also helping with workflow issues.
“You can have the software and think you’re getting some of the advantages, but it can be exasperating or frustrating, and with some consulting help from our team, you can in a fairly short amount of time have a more productive tool, and design with fewer errors,” said Anderson.
Monsen encourages all firms – whether existing clients or not – to check out one of ProSoft’s local ‘Launch Party’ events. Getting involved and better
understanding technology tends to be a ‘win-win’ situation for all firms.
“You have firms and people that are early adopters of technology and evolve with the software,” he said. “We want to help elevate firms and their understanding of what AutoCAD can do for their business.”