A National Football League (NFL) team has 55 players on its roster. Anyone who has attended an NFL game is familiar with the barking of "Programs. Get your programs! Can't tell the players without a program. Programs..."
"Autodesk. Autodesk. Get your [computer] programs! Can't tell the divisions without a program. Autodesk..." Autodesk has a research division, a labs division, a beta program, and organizations like Global Customer Support & Operations. We don't have 55 divisions, but just the few (of the many) I have listed is a decent number.
As ideas develop over time, they tend to start out as research, appear as technology previews on Labs, get developed further and tested as betas, and then get supported as released products.
Autodesk Research is dedicated to innovation and discovery in helping to solve some of the world's most complex design problems, from pressing ecological challenges to the development of scalable smart infrastructure. The interests range from methods to help users learn powerful digital prototyping tools, to visualization and simulation techniques which enable designers to achieve new levels of performance. Advancing the state of the art in human-computer interaction, computer graphics, and digital design technology, the research team collaborates openly with researchers at leading universities around the world.
Autodesk Labs is home to innovative new technologies and collaborative development. Its mission is to involve customers in the progress of design technology solutions. The user feedback provided to Labs is really on product ideas, while they're still in an early conceptual stage. Labs explores and develops technology that is commercially relevant to customers in design – whether they're involved in architecture, manufacturing, civil engineering, movies, games, or other industries. Through an online forum, Labs provides the public with free, early access to prototypes, technology previews, and experimental web services.
As its name suggests, the Beta Portal is home to the Autodesk beta program. When existing products are nearing a new release, product development teams make builds of the software available for beta testing. This is typically done under nondisclosure agreements (NDA), since the software is not yet completed. The aim of the beta program is to put the software through its paces using real-world customer data, in other words, to do testing above and beyond the dizzying array of tests that quality assurance teams routinely conduct. The emphasis is on whether or not the software works.
The Autodesk Subscription Center is the place for customers who are on subscription to go to for software upgrades, licensing, and technical support. Recently the Subscription Center was enhanced to offer rendering in the cloud, optimization in the cloud, energy analysis in the cloud, and collaboration in the cloud. As you can tell from the previous sentence, some of the benefits of the Autodesk subscription program leverage the Autodesk Cloud.
Cartography is alive in the lab.