In the wake of Autodesk's acquisition of mobile software tools provider Vela Systems, the companies are taking steps to reassure customers about Autodesk's support of Vela's products. The deal brings Vela, a field-management software player with BIM-in-the-cloud expertise, into Autodesk's orbit of CAD and BIM tools for every sector of the construction industry.

As the companies merge sales teams and develop marketing strategy at Autodesk's Waltham, Mass., headquarters, customers should see no changes "in terms of what they can expect from their Vela relationship," said Jim Lynch, vice president of Autodesk's Building and Strategic Technology Group, during a June 8 conference call to discuss the deal.

Joshua Kanner, a Vela co-founder who now has the Autodesk title of senior industry strategy manager, also said Vela's website has FAQs aimed at answering customers' questions and stressed that Vela will remain a subsidiary of Autodesk. The FAQs ask customers for some patience while the integration of the companies moves forward. "From an industry perspective, we have really been expanding BIM across the life cycle, starting with architects when we first moved Revit, then with the engineering disciplines, and now we are pushing out from the design disciplines into construction with the MEP fabrication application MAP that we acquired last year," Lynch noted.

Kanner said both companies will help each other with the mobility and cloud revolution under way in construction. "The companies complement each other. Vela has a cloud platform and mobile applications for construction execution and oversight, and Autodesk has ever-increasing cloud BIM collaboration and mobile offerings for design, coordination, document control and field revision, like Navisworks, Buzzsaw mobile and AutoCAD WS."