NEWS: Autodesk ‘reseller pressures’ lead to acquisitions in UK

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Excitech acquires Micro Concepts to boost AEC expertise and standing in manufacturing and engineering

UK Autodesk reseller Micro Concepts has been acquired by technology and service provider Excitech, reinforcing the latter’s position in the manufacturing and engineering sector as well as its core architecture and construction expertise.

The move comes as Micro Concepts managing director Peter Hurst blamed an increasingly fractious and competitive Autodesk software reseller space for forcing smaller outfits to consider their future operations.

“With smaller resellers like ourselves coming under continued margin pressures, we became concerned that longer term we wouldn’t be able to continue to deliver the specialised resources and solutions that our customers across the UK need,” explained Peter Hurst.

“We felt the best option to ensure our customers continued to enjoy high levels of service was to join forces with a larger reseller.”

Excitech has a long history servicing the engineering and construction industries as an Autodesk platinum partner, having been founded in 1985 and now employing over 130 people.

Adrian Atkinson, founder and chairman of Excitech, said: “We have a long history of servicing the manufacturing and engineering industries, so we’re excited to have the specialists from Micro Concepts join us.


“Our expertise with tools such as Inventor, AutoCAD, and Vault complements their deep mechanical design industry experience, and together we hope to develop more offerings in these areas.”

Micro Concepts’ team will be transitioning to the Excitech systems over the coming months, while remaining based out of its Cambridge office.

What does this mean for the future of Autodesk VARs?

“This isn’t the first and won’t be the last Autodesk VAR to sell up,” says AEC Magazine’s contributing editor Martyn Day, who expects the future of the CAD software reseller market to revolve around a small number of ‘MegaVARS’ around the world.

“At one point, the Autodesk VAR channel was the envy of all its competitors. Over time and changing its business model, Autodesk now goes more direct at the enterprise level and online for subscriptions.”

The net result of this has been VARs shutting down or selling off to larger, resellers that have more diverse incomes.

Excitech is a giant in the Architecture Engineering and Construction space, with 130 employees, turning over £31 million a year and it has built a successful consultancy business on top of its AutoCAD business.

While it has included MCAD, the news it has acquired Micro Concepts gives it a big boost in mechanical design knowledge and customer base.

Micro Concepts was formed in 1989 by a team of experienced engineering consultants and grew to be a significant player in the UK engineering space. This acquisition increases Excitech’s customer base by over 550.

“However, with the reward for selling Autodesk products is becoming so low for these firms, their focus will be on providing other services and support to customers to their large installed bases,” explained Day, adding that we should expect more news like this over the coming months.

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