Autodesk Taps Jitterbit to Link Fusion Lifecycle to Third-Party Apps

By embedding Jitterbit in its product lifecycle management application, Autodesk is able to give customers quick access to cloud-based third-party apps.

Autodesk Jitterbit 2

Manufacturers and other companies that use Autodesk’s product lifecycle management application, called Fusion Lifecycle, will now find it easier to integrate certain cloud-based apps.

The July 28 announcement that Jitterbit will be embedded in Fusion Lifecycle means customers can simplify the process of integrating third-party apps, such as a cloud messaging app, ERP or customer service platform in a few steps using templates. Previously, such integration would be a time-consuming process that could take IT professionals days or weeks to complete.

“The real promise of the cloud from the very beginning was to make everything automatically connect and enable collaboration and productivity. The reality is, we’re not there yet,” Andrew Leigh, vice president of marketing and alliances at Jitterbit, told eWEEK.

“At Jitterbit we’re doing 90 percent of the work so with Autodesk you can easily connect to NetSuite, Zendesk and Slack.” Additional preset integrations are being developed.

With Jitterbit embedded, Autodesk says its product lifecycle management (PLM) solution can more easily extend across the entire organization, letting users instantly connect processes in real time across different applications, instead of relying on custom-built API integrations.

The integration capabilities Jitterbit provides are in a new Event Manager feature within Autodesk Fusion that lets users browse through different applications and simply click on their choice to pull up a menu of time-saving integration options.

“At a high level, this is fundamentally about offering prebuilt integrations. You can still also visually plug and play to create integrations, but this saves a lot of time and effort,” Ron Locklin, vice president of lifecycle solutions at Autodesk, told eWEEK. By incorporating the integration features, Fusion Lifecycle is considerably cheaper than what traditional integration companies charge, he said.

Fusion Lifecycle is mainly sold to companies in three industries: industrial design, including machinery and equipment; consumer goods; and high-tech manufacturing, according to Locklin. “Typically, we’re selling to the VP of engineering, operations or product design—whatever the team is that’s designing a new product,” he said.

Enterprises are more confident than ever about working with cloud computing. “Now companies that are buying, for example, Fusion Lifecycle and NetSuite, they want everything on the cloud with no ties to a server. They’re not afraid of it,” said Locklin.

Jitterbit cites Autodesk and Zendesk as examples of how the integration can help a company. Autodesk and Zendesk users can employ Event Manager to automatically create a ticket in Zendesk each time there is a new task item created in Fusion Lifecycle. The integration also works both ways so that every time a new organization is created in Zendesk, a corresponding new customer item is automatically created in Fusion Lifecycle.

“Autodesk's integration of Jitterbit's cloud-based platform enhances the capabilities of the Fusion Lifecycle platform and delivers new features far faster than if the company had decided to build them on their own,” Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, told eWEEK. “The deal should result in significant value for Autodesk customers, as well as to the company and Jitterbit.”

Fusion Lifecycle was previously known as Autodesk PLM 360. Locklin said the name change, announced in May, was more than a branding change. It was intended to better convey the underlying engine, workflow and data management capabilities the platform provides.

David Needle

David Needle

Based in Silicon Valley, veteran technology reporter David Needle covers mobile, bi g data, and social media among other topics. He was formerly News Editor at Infoworld, Editor of Computer Currents...