Does A Solid Edge Publicity Department Really Exist?

I have been thinking about this at great length and I conclude that in spite of what I was told about publicity and my commitment not to talk about it for a while I have to now comment. The reason for the original decision is I think still valid but there is another problem that is systemic with UGS/SE and now Siemens and it is a different one.  It is a publicity department that does not have a clue about the passing of time and what to do. 3D has asked me questions for instance about the rent SE by the month announced at SEU2013. And here we are a week after and just nothing.

Lets look at this particular problem. I believe this was one of the major vehicles being offered to entice potential full-time new customers. So here we are heading into SEU2013 and we know it exists. Karsten talks about it and speaks of it in the keynote address. So you publicity wonks, I now have a few questions for you. Why was there not a cohesive plan to promote this with details worked out and on the shelf ready to go on day one in Cincy? Why do I have to sit here two weeks later and tell people I don’t know because you either don’t know or can’t make a decision to tell the public about it? I thought the days of Bruce Boes advertising paralysis were over but by golly I find myself wanting to look behind closed doors to see if he is still here. Do you people understand that you only have one major event/product release a year and you have to utilize it to benefit from it? The buzz never burst upon the scene in my opinion because it is the same old same old long time employee total lack of vision and do it the way we have always done it because my head might hurt if I do something radical. And apparently profuse timely publicity and the free flow of information is a radical concept to these publicity people.

Here is another one. There is to be some sort of ST only version of SE that  I believe was created for two reasons at around $2,000.00 I think if I remember this right. My belief is that it was meant to be a competitor to things like SpaceClaim as a direct editing reduced function program for CAM users to use and also as a cheap way of getting the power of ST into more hands. I don’t hear anything about this and I thought this was a big deal. Evidently the PR department thought it was not as they can’t be bothered to talk much about it or provide many details about it that I have seen.

Where are the ready to go videos showing the power of ST in assemblies this year? Why were these not done well in advance of SEU2013 and posted on YouTube on 6-25-13? Now that I think about it why were there not videos on every important aspect of ST6 posted on YouTube no later than the first day of SEU2013? You knew what you had to work with six months ahead of time and I just have this vision of people standing in a room with a dart board in front of them. It has various PR categories around the bullseye and after the darts are thrown the arguments ensue and the whole process starts over again and again. I can just see it. A dart misses the board and now we have to debate if this means there was a category that should have been on there but wasn’t and nothing is ever decided or done.

I was forbidden to talk about some of the things I knew about CAMWorks because, well because someone somewhere decided that the perfect and anointed time to do so had not arrived. A totally farcical situation considering the fact that this whole integration and the company it was to be done with had been publicly announced A YEAR AGO! Do you people understand that if you talk about it and have a vendor there showing it in SEU2012 it is not secret to be hidden knowledge? Alright let me see if I can put it in terms you all might understand. When PT Barnum comes to town they make a big deal out of it and they have (shocking I know, the very thought scares me) a PARADE to entice the public to be their customers. So as I remember, you PR guys can help out here if you wish, the only mention for the next ten months about this came from a blogger that does not reach all that many people. But for months I did more to promote CAMWorks for SE than Siemens did and I just don’t get this disconnect. Is there something wrong here or am I just an idiot for thinking that if you want people to buy your product your better promote the bejeebers out of it?

Which leads me to my next topic. Where the heck is all the info, the Powerpoints and videos from SEU2013? Do you ever intend to release these? You do know the time to have done so was 6-25-13 don’t you? It should have been canned and upped on the site of choice and ready to go with links active the night before SEU started. You do want to create buzz don’t you? You do want to compel people to consider SE don’t you? Then here is a suggestion from Remedial Marketing 101. I say remedial for a reason because evidently some individuals have to be taught first that marketing has value before they are taught how to do it. Tell you what. I don’t have to sit in a room and argue with people or worry about perfect timing or whatever you guys do that stops worthwhile plans and efforts dead in its tracks. I was given a flash drive as were HUNDREDS of other attendees and it has the SEU2013 Powerpoints on it. (You know, the ones you have not released yet. But they are public and this is what bothers me so much. WHY oh WHY is this stuff not out there yet that I can find) I am going to help you guys get off the dime and give you a week to stop prevaricating. Then I will figure out how to post the whole thing to my blog.  Who do I send the bill to by the way for doing your job for you?

Heaven help me and I know JB will have a field day with this but the day Jon Banquer makes more advertising sense than what I am seeing from the PR wonks at Siemens or SE or whoever it is responsible for this mess I just cringe. Can you imagine that even he is getting this right but none of the paid advertising people are? I have to admit that I find defending inaction is not a task I am up to and so I am not going to. I guess the idea of “The Best Software You’ve Never Heard Of” has legitimacy as advertising genius to “The Best Publicity Department We Never Hear From”.

I think hands down SE in its combination with CAMWorks is the single most powerful mid range MCAD program for manufacturing out there. I believe in it enough to spend my own time promoting it and I don’t get compensated to do so. As a matter of fact it costs me some money and time out of my life I can’t replace because I do believe in it. It makes me furious to watch this neglect from those who are paid to promote SE not do so and not do so for year after year. I can’t conceive that once again we are heading down the path of anonymity and the opportunity provided for PR with SEU2013 is being squandered for reasons I don’t know and can’t begin to fathom.

Why don’t you people get off of your dead rear ends and start earning your money? I am at the point where I don’t care if people in the PR department are offended because I darned sure am offended. What do you people do with your time? What can you possibly be thinking to let this precious time go by? Dassault and Autodesk are doing everything they can to destroy their businesses and all the plans that Karsten and his team come up with for the future are just shot down by your incompetence. This is your last year to get it right. I don’t believe this hiatus of coherent planning at Autodesk or Dassault will last more than another year. When they get whipsawed by declining on-maintenance and new customers they will reconsider their ways and your free ride will be OVER. These guys know what they are doing in PR and they will eat your lunch.

The question is do you even care?

Update 7-9-13

Had a Faroarm rep here today at the shop. While talking I of course mention SE. I mention SE because he was talking about Faroarms being integrated through Dezignworks to work with Solid Works, ProE and Inventor. We continue talking and he is familiar with SpaceClaim because some of the machine shops that have Faroarms are using it with the new Spark program. He has heard of SE just a few times over the last five years.  WAY TO GO MARKETING AND PR!! I know very well there are a number of SE users in Tennessee which is this guys district but he does not and this is the result of a total failure to effectively communicate the SE message here.  I hate it when people look at me like I am delusional when I say this software they have rarely or never heard of is better than SW. I just wish I could send these people straight to the publicity/marketing departments of SE so they could see what dismal failures they have been at getting the word out.

The primary reason he had not dealt with SE is because nothing has been set up with Faro to work natively inside of SE. And of course the lack of any publicity for SE reaching him through the internet or other media.

8 responses to “Does A Solid Edge Publicity Department Really Exist?

  1. Hello Dave

    Unfortunately I have to agree with everything you have said in this post. There is an old saying in marketing: “The more you tell, the more you sell.”
    It does seem that the SEU13 presentations and the detailed What’s New have made its way to the Solid Edge Community site. http://community.plm.automation.siemens.com/t5/Solid-Edge/ct-p/solid-edge

    Regards,
    Theodore

    • Hi Theodore,
      I noticed yesterday afternoon that some of the stuff from SEU13 had finally been posted on 7-9-13 and thanks for the link here for others to follow. I don’t like writing stuff like this post because I have such high regard for the technical side of SE. I wish some of this admirable technical competence would migrate to marketing or publicity and inspire whoever or whatever it is exactly that is the cause of failure there.

  2. I have to wonder if a PR department exists. Seriously. Even assuming that department consists of only a single person who devotes 7 of 8 hours every day to goofing off…certainly even in that one productive hour of that one person’s day, he could upload some powerpoints…or type up some more info blurbs…or release the What’s New PDF that I finally found today (on the community site.)

    How does a community site, now TWO weeks after SEU, have more and better information available than anything direct from Siemens? Not to mention it is physically painful to look up Solid Edge information on their official website!

    • Hi Dylan,
      I don’t have a clue why what is so readily apparent to us is lost entirely on PR/Marketing. My suspicions are that these people have been there so long and have had no one to ever demand performance from them that they are now passively hiding in their little cocoons incapable of doing so without extreme pressure being applied to force the butterfly out. The culture of mediocre results being OK has lasted for so long and is now so entrenched there that I am beginning to wonder if A, can any of them be salvaged and B, would it be worth it to even try. They have been trained for years now that what they do must be OK because they keep getting paid to do so. What is the old saying about the stupidity of hoping for different results while doing the same things?
      I know for example that these people have an obsession with cookie cutter web stuff appearing professional by some unknown silly standard. They took Matt’s blog On The Edge for instance and kill it and stick it over in this coldly professional place and I bet they are killing the view counts doing so. Why do they do stupid stuff like this time and time again? Why are things so hard to find? I am interested in SE but somehow the few times I go to this Siemens SE site it is so unappealing that I don’t much have a desire to go back. My attitude color for it is GRAY just like the theme color is.

  3. I think Luc’s page is getting better and better, but the official Siemens stuff outside of the closed board is unapproachable corporate junk….and that’s probably the problem. Solid Edge seems to be a bullet point in a corporate portfolio when it comes to marketing…..The official site layout for Solid Edge IS getting better, but boy, it sure feels like a glacial pace.

    Here’s a link to a blurb that was in the “News” feed of the Solid Edge area of the Siemens website http://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/en_us/about_us/newsroom/press/press_release.cfm?Component=207962&ComponentTemplate=822

    This is talking about a release that is not available yet, with no information on WHEN it will be available! I know Dan has said that they don’t have an exact release date, but they’re shooting for the end of the month. How do I know this? The closed message board. If I was a potential customer, WHERE can I read this information on their site? I couldn’t find it! Their “What’s New in ST6” dedicated area has no info on this, either….

    I’ve got a friend who was very interested to hear about a pay-per-month model for the software. He uses SolidWorks at home right now. He is awaiting any drips of info on this that might happen to fall out of the plugged mess that is the Solid Edge marketing faucet.

    Don’t get me started on what they’ve done with Matt’s blog. The only site outside of the official garbage that posted actual deep dives into sections of the software without throwing out corporate technobabble and things like “XXX% WORKFLOW THROUGHPUT INCREASES” and they decide to put it down like a sick dog. I DEARLY hope the plan with that was not to hire the only independent CAD guy who had any serious interest in Solid Edge, and then promptly shut down his lines of communication with users and have him do anything BUT that.

  4. Yeah I know. It is like these entrenched marketing PR whoever’s were scared to death to have a breath of fresh air in there. And Heaven forbid the idea of free flow of information to potential customers. I have to wonder if it was a deliberate effort to smother Matt or if it is just a perfect example of how sterile the AHEM creative mindset is there and they just had no idea what to do with something not grown from approved internal PR/marketing Petri Dishes. I wish these people would fear inaction more than action because they are killing SE”s potential with their paralysis.

    What really boggles my mind is how after five years we have gone in a circle where PR is concerned. I have asked for instance for things to promote in this blog for SEU13 and you know what I got? Two lousy little film clips. Three weeks before, THREE WEEKS BEFORE SEU13 I get these and that is pretty much it. I have asked in the past year for links to things of interest and I don’t get squat. Maybe it is because they haven’t created anything to give out. I think these people just drift along all year until it is panic time and then it is to late. It takes planning and effort to do things right.

    I have argued against this dumb XXX% from being connected with anything I am quoted on. One of my pet peeves and does anyone actually believe that kind of lazy PR claim? I mean I am sure they have guys with stopwatches there to make sure the claims are true and it is such a perfect world the way it always ends up evenly rounded to 50 or 100 or 500%. In my world I never get nice clean percentages like that. As far as I am concerned that kind of stuff is what happens when someone does not want to really dig into what is there and present a well founded and researched message. Blah blah 500% yak yak is quick and easy and they get away with it.
    SE has a great message based upon truth of it’s inherent capabilities and they want to talk marketese and not specifics. To borrow a phrase Don’t Get Me Started 😉

  5. “Don’t Get Me Started 😉 ” Dave I’m afraid to ask what happens if we “get you started”.

    For my 12+ years of being an SE user, I’ve heard the squawk that Innographics, UGS, and now Siemens is going to start doing more with PR and Marketing, but nothing ever materializes. I like you spend many hours of my own time doing what I can to help promote Solid Edge, but there are some times I wonder WTF am I doing this for… like you I don’t get paid for my time, but I do wonder why the folks who are suppose to be doing this Marketing stuff are getting paid!

    • Hi Bob,
      There is a long and sad history here. Siemens has the capability to break this string of lousy PR policies if they just would. I don’t quite understand though how a company that has ten year plans as it’s corporate planning metric overlooks the PR side of the equation that helps to guarantee that all the money spent in acquisition and R&D generates profits. All I know is what I see and it is the same old junk. It is quite clear after this year and all the powerful SE things to talk about with ST6 and SEU13 that marketing and PR remain hopelessly inept.

      It is no wonder SE users are so hard to get motivated for this fledgling SE community. They have been bludgeoned with so many years of stealth PR marketing stupidity that no one really believes outside of the Universities that anything exciting is going to happen.

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