It was interesting today to hear a bit of history regarding SE.I knew of how venture capitalists had interfered with rational planning in the past but I has no idea of how bad it actually was. Beholden to it’s various masters for years UGS had their hands tied by people who were interested in how to manipulate things for quick profits. They were passed through five sets of hands. So off to the races they go to try and produce software that was forward looking compromised by demands for quick and guaranteed profits.
Of course planning ahead and investing in R&D can take a back seat to these kinds of pressures. So along came Siemens who has been in business for around 160 years. They are looking to software technology to help complete their plan of total manufacturing capabilities. Siemens decided upon UGS and the rest is history. Sales for all of Siemens last year were over 106 Billion and UGS was bought to facilitate every area of manufacturing from design to products on the shelf.
We are clearly in a state of change in the CAD world with Autodesk stating flat out you will go to the cloud. They have not asked their users if they wish this they just are telling them it will be so. Dassault is doing who knows what. They say one thing then another and their user base has no idea what the end result will be or what it will be. Some things seem certain in that all indications are that between gamification, an absolute obsession with social media and the cloud, and kernal change we all know is coming the end result will be profound problems for years if indeed the product ever regains full function. They could not migrate well from Catia 4 to Catia 5 and that was in good times when they were not being distracted by so many irrelevant directions as they are now. So they are going to go to Catia 6 and turn SW into “Catia Lite”. The track record is not stellar here and big trouble is in the offing.
Today we were told the philosophy of planning behind Siemens software and of course Solid Edge is part of this. Their planning is now expanded to a ten year time frame and they are actually implementing changes with this kind of stability in mind. Sales drive ability to fund R&D and sales for SE in the Americas is up 40% in SE licenses over last year and we are only half way through the year. 17% of this is turned back into product development.The development staff for SE is up 20% over two years ago. They own the Parasolid kernal and are not going to have to undergo a kernal change. So we have stability in both the software and the direction and a guarantee of rapid improvement in capabilities. Attendance this year is double last years and will be so again next year. There is no better indicator I can think of than these numbers to demonstrate the profound changes taking place with Solid Edge and all for the better.
I have had to change software before and it is a PITA. As a matter of fact I never want to do it again so this type of consistency is exactly what my business needs.
At this time all the indications I can find in digging around tell me that they are going to first and foremost continue to place top priority on geometry creation on a kernal they own that has prooven itself over time. So in my opinion we have the best mid range MCAD program with best in class direct editing. Solid Edge developers listen to users carefully and now plan long term with the assurance that once approval is given there will be follow through. That it is part of a cohesive plan and not just glitz to say they did something for your money for another year.
It is good to be here today and watch all the pieces come together for the soon to be largest mid range MCAD program.