AIF 2022: Energy, transformation and the agile design studio

Brandy Ryan Brandy Ryan June 14, 2022

2 min read

In Conversation with Thomas Heermann and Marek Trawny

Four men in the foreground talking in 2 pairs. All of them are wearing glasses. People in the background talking and looking at tablets and cellphones.

The Automotive Innovation Forum is the opportunity for the Automotive Design team to share updates, tease new releases, and connect customers as a community. Our first live AIF in two years took place in Munich, Germany. Ananda Arasu and I caught up with Thomas Heermann (Automotive, Concept Design and Extended Reality VP) and Marek Trawny (Director of Product Management) to hear about how it went and what they hope customers take with them.

Listen to the audio interview here:

AIF Recap Interview

Post-AIF Interview Highlights:

Live event energy

“It was great to see our customers in person again, with so many great conversations, strategic discussions, even technical in-depth discussions. At the same time, we were just catching up on a personal aspect with people we’ve known for a long, long time. And just having this energy in all the rooms and in the foyer and being grabbed for a conversation here and the question there … it was just amazing.” – Marek Trawny

Impressive customer conversations

“For me the most important takeaway … is that our customers are speaking about the outcome. What they have achieved by using our technologies to do something special, unique or desired. It’s not about the features anymore, or the functions. It’s about — how could we help them across all our tools to reach something that hasn’t been reached for them in the past?” – Thomas Heermann

Transformation and digitization

“The trends are there … the transformation of the automotive industry, whether it’s electrification, autonomous driving, or just the trends around future mobility in general. But what stood out for me is just the pace of change we currently see and how quickly our customers adapt to the challenges connected to that. Everyone is currently speeding up the processes and gaining efficiencies and seeing that our tools play a role in that.” – Marek Trawny

Product keynotes feedback

“I was more surprised about the more extreme reaction, the feedback to the Product Keynotes. We changed our keynotes to focus more on the design studio versus the products, and having the PMs present this together got so much customer interest then on our story. It’s a unique story, not our product story … and for a lot of studio leads I have talked to, these topics resonate pretty much what’s on their mind all the time.” – Thomas Heermann

Role of technology

“From my perspective, we see technology almost become second to what our customers need to do to accomplish their work. I think we did a good job if technology just supports them in a natural way, not really requiring them to think about it. This is key, especially when it comes to collaboration. So it’s kind of second nature, you don’t need to think, you have technology at your fingertips to just support you to get your work done. And I think if we achieve that, we’ve done a good job.” – Marek Trawny

The full On-Demand AIF Experience is live! Head over there to see Keynote Sessions, Product Presentations, and more.

We’ll have more post-AIF content for you, so subscribe to the Design Studio Blog or bookmark it for future posts. You can also check us out on LinkedIn and subscribe to our Alias and VRED YouTube channels.

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