How do you truly know what your peers want outside of just asking in your circle of acquaintances or perhaps in a blog what they use for cadcam and why? Do the answers you get reflect axes to grind or accurate data? How often do you get to see meaningful results that truly do indicate what these may be?
Yeah, call up your CAD company and demand to see the data they use to make decisions by and see how far that gets you! So you do ask around in every manner you can to get answers but even then is your small base of users asked truly indicative or just a result that like users tend to congregate together and answer accordingly?
I participate in the Cyon CAD survey each year and as a result I get to read their rather pricey results. SO, I sit down to read it this morning and this year was a real eye opener and a reminder that each of us can see the world as it is for ourselves and extrapolate this to be the norm without really knowing this to be so. Solid Edge users led all other large population mainstream cad user groups for a preference for best in class solution over the concept of well-integrated solutions. http://cyonresearch.com/whitepapers Lots of other things in there too but get the report if you want to know more. One could assume this could partly be a result of not having choices for SE for so many years that there is no expectations to have choices here. But this idea might be dispelled by the same, although to a lesser degree, stated opinion of all other mainstream CAD program users to have best in class to.
It appears that I may well indeed owe an apology to Siemens/SE for thumping on this integrated bandwagon. It looks like the vast, and I do mean vast, majority of actual users, according to this survey, want best in class CAD first and foremost and then are moderately interested in the integrated ecosystem of apps. This survey does not cover CAM so I am making an assumption here that CAM would correlate into these statistical results just like the CAD related apps did.
To say I was shocked at these survey results is a real understatement and sheds light upon what has been a series of baffling, to me anyway, decisions to seemingly concentrate solely on CAD and forgetting the rest.
Now I still hope for and really really want integrated CAM but at this point in time if it does not happen I can understand why. Would it help to sell seats of SE? Yes I think it surely would but I begin to think it may well be regarded by the majority of potential and existing SE customers as the icing on the cake and not the cake which is what they were shopping for.
Today also brought me back to why I bought SE in the first place and my decision was based solely on CAD capabilities. I needed sheet metal and I wanted the potential I saw in direct editing. I have to tell you that the first time I saw ST in action I could immediately see tons of ways that this was what I had been looking for. You see, without knowing these tools existed at the time I just kind of figured that history based was what I was stuck with until I first saw ST in action. I had looked at Ironcad before and I know it had a type of direct editing too but it just seemed like a bizarre interface and way of working to me and I never went further with it.
I find it interesting that my SE peers placed a strong emphasis on best in class CAD over everything else as that is precisely what I had done too without thinking of the choice having been made in those terms. I just wanted what worked and cam was not my principle problem at the time.
I also found it VERY interesting that over every other cad program in the survey the where the question of preferences was asked by program that SE buyers led in selecting best in class as their first choice as a percentage of users.