There has been a phrase coined in the last two years to describe lousy economic conditions and no hope for significant positive change any time soon. It is basically a phrase used to describe negative things right now and negative harbingers for the future. The New Normal.
Apparently we have a New Normal for the cad world. The journey for Dassault into self immolation began a few years ago and became public when the grand announcement that all would go to the cloud and into the brave new world of the DSS future. Lots of hoopla about revolutionary new ways to do things and how it would all work flawlessly on the cloud and everything would be lovely.
The first day of SW2013 is in the books and what is remarkable is that after years of publicity and effort to produce CAD revolution we have instead the New Normal for Dassault. A twenty percent drop in attendees and I think reading comments from those there who are not part of the official SW/DSS blog squad it is clear why. Lack of hope for powerful product launches or announcements this year has fizzled enthusiasm in a big way for the product and attendance. I think Ralph Grabowski summed it up best with a comment on Deelips blog.
“It is very disappointing that after six years of development, that the best Dassault Systemes can show is a few screen grabs. Not even a canned video!
Well, at least they announced the next delay in shipment. In that, they have been consistent.”
http://my.solidworks.com/#General One of the major announcements. Welcome to the world of CAD social media. Really this is one of the three big deals so far.
http://schnitgercorp.com/2013/01/21/solidworks-world-the-first-24-hours/ Monica comments and in part I quote. I am pretty amazed at how after some pretty fluffy bits for DSS she then brings up the mental image of users who want different things than the Dassault leadership does and that users may not want to tow the Dassualt iceberg around behind the software they thought they were going to get. At least this is how I interpret what she said.
“My bottom line from the first 24 hours? SolidWorks may be part of DS but is a very different animal. Lots to be proud of but not much swagger. Loyal, excited users who want to improve the world but aren’t committed to towing icebergs. An audience that listened to a brief 3D Experience message but doesn’t see it rocking their world any time soon. Resellers that are focused on the world of CAD and closely related solutions. In all, it’s a very different vibe than we had at the 3DEXPERIENCE Forum just a few months ago, a few miles away. Best of all, DS seems to realize that it’s got a great thing going here with SolidWorks and may, just may, be backing off a bit to let it evolve as it will.”
I like quotes. I tend to think all words mean things and you see truth or evasions with many shades of reality in between. Many of us grew up with the “What, me Worry” Alfred E. Neuman guy from “Mad Magazine” Maybe the following is a little over the top but I have such a hard time trying to figure out why one of the pre-eminent software companies in the world has such a profound disconnect from the reality of what their customers want. Years of promises and evasions and broken time lines from Dassault. So I bring you “Folle Magazine de Dassault” and here is the first article.
Look folks, is CGM the next kernel or no? What about Catia Lite? Is this new “SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual” the new deal and the replacement for SW and does it have to work on the cloud? What about direct editing? Why are they talking again about unproven products rather than bringing beta tested proof of concept to the biggest annual SW conference? You read the above link and tell me I am wrong when I say the future Dassault wants for SW at this time is social media and cloud based group think stuff with out a single shred of evidence they can be made to be secure and work as promised. If I were a thinking Solid Works user I would be hopping mad over this patronizing and cavalier treatment and just what the heck have they been paying for anyway? Wasn’t CAD design software supposed to be about geometry solving the best way possible? Hate to say it Dassault but that still is the purview of autonomous seats, workstations and internal server networks that don’t go online and that’s why after all these years you still can’t make it work right.
This goes directly back to what is the corporate philosophy of the authors of the software you use to make a living. Do they have a coherent plan? Do they have a plan that includes your needs and desires? Are they honest with you about their direction and goals so you can rationally plan for your future? I read this market speak double dealing smoke screen stuff from Dassault (Sorry if you think this is a bit harsh but is it not true none the less?) that they put out to the public and expect you not only to believe but gladly embrace and pay for. Then I sit back and ponder the corporate and PR leadership mentality that evidently thinks their users are so stupid or captive that whatever drivel they put out as long as it is accompanied by many flowery adjectives and phrases they can get away with anything.
My opinion for what it is worth is that Dassault has to much pride or a true fantasy vision for the future and they are not going to back down until disaster profoundly strikes their sub numbers. How many years of successive failed concepts and failure to make this stuff work right on the cloud have already passed? And is this not still their goal reading the official press stuff? Read what they are saying and the smoke screen is there as they try the old end run gambit to fool their customers into doing what Dassault wants.
This is an article from two years ago. I asked these questions going into the SW conference that year and to date none of these have been answered.
I have a question for all you Solid Works users. At what point in time do you consider the actions of Dassault towards gutting the software you bought into, years ago in many cases, the constant uncertainty and inability to deliver on any significant promises for years now, and their determination to do what the vast majority of you clearly do not want as reason to look elsewhere? If this years conference is not a wake up call I don’t know what would ever be. Get your life rafts prepared. Legacy files or not can you afford to be where your security and desires are ignored?
I think even if you do stay the legacy file thing is going to bite you in a big way. Don’t you know if Dassault could have produced Catia Lite on the CGM kernel (which they don’t seem to want to talk about this year) they would have? So you stay and you are still going to have legacy file problems as far as I am concerned when you have to translate from Parasolids to CGM.
The light in the Dassault train wreck tunnel is two years bigger with Alfred E. Neuman watching his iPad and not paying attention to the throttle. This whole thing just fascinates me. I can’t grasp how such a company as Dassault wants to self destruct one of their pre-eminent products. Unless of course their true unstated goal is to drift away from pure CAD creation with exacting parameters and drift into lesS precise social media based things. I still have not ruled out the possibility that Dassault looks at Facebook and Google and is seeking a way to participate in social media stuff which clearly can be wildly profitable. Just grasping at straws here to try to understand what appears to be corporate insanity on the surface. The only other and scarier thought is that they truly think they are visionaries and correct.
That will lead to future issues of “Folle Magazine de Dassault” no doubt. Tune in next year for more of the same I fear.