Cloud Vampire Meets Wooden Stake of Reality

I agree with Ralph and his “Cloud is Dead” article and see little to merit consideration with the cloud. About a year ago I wrote a list of forty questions for the cloud proponents. At the time it was primarily directed at DS and SW as they were the ones touting the inevitability and desirability of the cloud for cad. They have yet to answer a single one with a provably reliable bit of software or even a solid statement of product contract details. One of the questions was a rhetorical one and went basically like this. “Are you still scrambling around trying to figure out how to make this work and doing CYA and damage control in the interim?”. I think the answer is yes.

Well is there any evidence that one of the largest software companies in the world has managed to do anything of real useable significance to the cad community? We do have N!Fuze but it is hardly a good poster child for cost effective well thought out cloud services.

Autocad is producing amidst considerable ballyhoo cloud stuff. I am so uninterested in something based on a seriously flawed set of promises that I have not given it any consideration. Why should I when they like every other cad cloud touting software company refuse to be held responsible and liable for the inevitable fallout their customers will suffer under.

All these cloud promises are based on infrastructure and systems neither owned or controlled by the cad cloud companies. First let us start with the customer. Same IT staff size, still have to buy all those workstations and servers but now in addition to that we have wholsale introduction of Murphy’s Law that the users have utterly no control over. And of course the T-1 line required to make this cloud work right is free right? Thus the elimination of touted up front cost savings from the cloud.

It will work over ISP offerings that are allready overtaxed and incapable of dealing with wholesale cad useage. Reading an article on the amount of data Netflix is using today and it is staggering. The amount of money companies are going to put into the internet infrastructure is going to be the least they can get away with and will be catering to the largest cash cows. We cad users are not this. Add into the mix the burgeoning demand by smart phone users of the internet and where do you think we will be in the food chain.

Yes I can see data transfers at the simplest level of cad. But even the idea of paperless jobsites run by IPads is laughable. [These types of comments on the web by cloud proponents show desperation on the part of cloudies in my opinion as they scramble for something, anything to justify why you should buy into their paradigm.]  The boss may have one but the majority of actual users of the data on any jobsite are going to have blue lines. The great big ones you can write on, actually see without a magnifying glass and don’t have to worry about knocking off onto the floor and breaking.

Well we have Crowd Sourcing to. Don’t let me forget to touch on the latest bit of drivel designed to appeal to corporate hands off level exec’s. Just think, won’t we all be more productive with dozens or hundreds of divergent and competing ideas in the concept and expeditious building of a quality product? Who needs planning anyway I always say. And is not the absolute cheapest vendor source always a wonderfull thing for your bottom line? As if China has not been enough to answer this question.

Yes, the cloud for some things maybe and not the grand cornucopia of bliss for all things cad. I think we are right around the corner from the most staggering leap forward in things like rendering and when companies like Nvidia manage to work out the details of GPU/CPU integration and make it affordable even rendering on the cloud will be moot. The first serious GPU useage in a super computer is happening right now and it is around the corner from our workstations. Even this bastion of cloud companies excuses for why you should love them will quickly end.

This brings us the the nitty gritty of why all this is happening. It is not dissruptive innovative technology but rather a bunch of stuff created to financially benefit the authors. The absolute proof is that they to a man refuse to spell out the rules and regulations and who is liable for what and what guarantees are there. The liabilities seem to accrue entirely to the purchaser and not the issuer. They KNOW what kind of trash they are producing and have no intent to stand behind it.

Halloween is a good time to talk about the death of Vampires I do believe.

Just an aside here. I am an unabashed proponent of Solid Edge. It began with the introduction of Synchronous tech and that plus sheet metal is why I arrived here three years ago. But I have to say that with all the cloud nonsense and kernal change stuff others are going to have to suffer under with various other cad programs that in this day and time being with a company like Solid Edge that is foward looking for the customers benefit is a real additional benefit. It did not start that way for me as all I was buying at the time was a cad program. But in light of current events in the cad world stability and regard for the customer has become pretty darned important too.

 

6 responses to “Cloud Vampire Meets Wooden Stake of Reality

  1. R. Paul Waddington

    Dave,
    The Cloud is different things each. For CAD user like me and “some” others outside the way we already use it, it will have little additional benefit and or increase our bottom lines.

    Making money is why we, each, are in business including the CAD vendors. In reality the implementation of CAD as it is being “perceived” is the sticking point and, CAD vendors, on the surface, seem to not have any answers to the questions raised by concerned individuals and organizations: an obvious “failing” of CAD vendor management or a strategy?

    Making money is clearly, and must be, a vendor priority as it is ours. Which leads to another question: is the vendors’ future income to be at the expense of the CAD vendors’ customers or as a result of improving the customers’ bottom line? Clearly, at the moment, the former appears to be the case and again CAD vendors’ inability to engage meaningfully, to allay those fears, allows this perception to grow.

    Dead, the Cloud? In general, I believe, it is not. Still born as a general CAD application? Probably. So in that respect I think we see eye to eye.

    Suggestion, if I may, in your third paragraph did you mean to write Autodesk (the company) in preference to, AutoCAD (the product)?

  2. Hi Paul,
    I think in general Cad on the cloud is still born. PLM type stuff may not be. It is about the money but not in an ethical way as companies can knowingly offer a flawed product which they won’t stand behind and with deceit in mind seek your money and ways to force you to pay more. Ethical companies offering this cloud stuff would spell out terms and conditions for both sides and stand behind what they do knowing they made realistic promises they could keep.
    Yes I did mean Autodesk and not Autocad. Thanks

  3. Dave, I think that talking about “CAD on the cloud” is a very narrow path. You can run your SolidEdge on your desktop and leverage lots of things that cloud can bring you. It starts from information capture and ends up how you can share your data downstream in your organization. Don’t you think so? Here are some of my thoughts about what Ralph is saying… http://beyondplm.com/2011/10/27/cloud-heads-down-cad-drafters-and-technological-analogies/.
    Best, Oleg

    • Hi Oleg,
      Cad on the cloud is a discussion because major cad companies are pushing the idea and as far as I can tell the vast majority of cad users do not want it, myself most definitely included. It is not narrow when your business depends upon cad and proprietary intellectual property and non disclosure agreements, it is your 8 hour a day focus and how you make a living. New ways for efficiency are wellcome. New ways of purported efficiency which bring security liabilities for which you are not covered and downtime, lost data and poor data throughput are not things I could ever envision as being an adjunct to my cad program. Can you name one program that operates on the cloud for cad that will make me whole irregardless of expenses if/when there are security breaches due to having to go on the web to operate? Can you name one cloud program that will work as well as my own inhouse LAN? I mean in other words can you name one company that will do this and put it in writing as a binding contract with my company because they know it will deliver as promised.

      There may come a time where the cloud/internet will be safe. Quite frankly I doubt this will ever happen as this is a moving goal post with the bad guys neck and neck with the good. It then becomes the responsibility of software companies to either make promises about cloud reliability for anything, or make written contractural promises. None are willing to commit that I can see at this time.

      You are involved with an interesting sounding program. Can it work autonomously on my PC or LAN? That is my litmus test for anything my business depends on. Checking into servers and having to go on the web to do so eliminates any program that requires this from consideration in my company. My customers expect in writing no less from me than to keep their data secure. You have to make the same guarantee to me before I can even consider the risk.

      • Dave, I agree with you – cloud is good when it helps to optimize your work and at much lower cost. I think cloud adoption will be driven by a balance of these two parameters and in context of the overall confidence about the cloud security. 5-6 years ago, few people were ready to place their cc on the internet. Today, it is quite normal.

        With regards to CAD vendors- I believe their interest to run CAD on the cloud is over-stated. I think, all of them are looking how to optimize things. Solidworks was very early (2010) announcing their cloud projects, and they pushed back. Now Autodesk seems to me coming with some “lesson learned” and improved vision of what should be done. It is an interesting time, in my view.

        Best, Oleg

  4. R. Paul Waddington

    Yes Dave,

    “It is about money but not in an ethical way……seek your money to pay more.”

    We saw a lot of this when Document Management raised its head. Because of the customization required, to do a good implementation, software dealers saw it as a cash cow; rushed in and absolutely screwed many customers.

    “Ethical companies offering this cloud stuff would…….they would keep”

    For me this, your comment, goes to the heart of the problem of CAD in the Cloud. Software vendors have every right to select/define their terms and conditions but they are failing to accept it is un-ethical to force/corner customers into a more enveloping Cloud; which is of course what is/appears to be happening.

    That is why I have done what I have done the way I have done it. I have directly and publicly denounced Autodesk’s terms and conditions (after non-negotiable invasive changes were made surreptitiously) and whilst I continue to use their software I also continue (in writing) to remind them of my rejection, of their terms, and of my terms of purchase.

    An un-resolve stand-off, for me, and a thorn for the vendor, but I am continually astounded why so many business software users have failed to do exactly the same. It is careless business practice to not ensure all potential contractual obligations/requirements are fully understood and countered. If any problems arise in my situation the vendors, I deal with, cannot hide behind their terms and conditions in the same way they can for many others.

    Software users need to not just complain, they need to document their concerns, directing them, in writing, to Cloud vendors CEOs. The alternative is to get rolled, accept the consequence and not complain when the “crap hits the fan”.

    It is interesting you used the word “ethical” because it applies (only) to people. Companies can only be “ethical” if the behavior of the management and staff are ethical. This is a point I find offends those I confront. It places the blame for a “companies actions” squarely at the feet of those responsible – a person or a group of people. It strips away their “its company policy” shield; reminding them, of the fact, it’s people who make decisions in a company – not “the” company.

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