The pitfall of CAM as a Partner
With the purchase of HSMWorks I have to wonder if this will begin some sort of acquisition effort by Solidworks and Solidedge. I don’t think as a percentage of customers that the loss of HSMWorks was all that big of a deal financially to Solidworks. But it does affect every CAM user out there that relies on an integrated CAM program that is not owned by their CAD company and it is a big deal to them.
Autodesk has proven that last week with this HSM event that absolutely no one had ever dreamed of. SW,SE, you have been given notice. Whatever you thought was safe and an asset you could point to is not unless you control it outright. VARS found that out to as basically they were told a day later if there was an Autodesk VAR in their geographical region they were toast. I figure that means every one of them. I also figure it means SW style HSMWorks user support has ended as how can those who have no comprehensive SW/HSM background, experience or training provide this?
I want to quote from a post over at the official Autodesk HSMWorks forum a comment by an Autodesk guy. Now as far as I can tell this is a VAR employee which kind of indicates the quality of support SW/HSM users will get. My main point in bringing this up is because Autodesk cares so little for the opinions of the HSMWorks users whose world they have just wrecked that they allow this stuff to be there.
Jerry, I can see that you are one of those guys that can’t be reached…Someone went and moved your cheeses. Boo Hoo! You’ve resorted to spreading you vitriol all over this post. You also assumed that I have no experience in industry besides being in sales. On most points, you have been wrong! I have owned a manufacturing company for twenty years, and began my CAD journey with pencil and paper. I’ve lived through the DOS years (Ugh!), and stepped up to Solidworks, and Inventor. I also understand that they are just tools. I have also spent many thousands on software programs, only to see them discontinued, or the companies sold (Try investing in a 90s MRP system, and you will know what I mean). The fact is that you have no idea what the future of the software is, yet you throw out your doom and gloom like a monkey slings its own feces. I deal with the other companies that Autodesk has purchased on a weekly basis, and know firsthand that they have not only grown in their capability, but that it was the best thing that could ever happen for the companies and the customers. Better product. Bigger budgets for programming, and new markets. You obviously have the time to sling mud at Autodesk, but it has gotten to the point where it is just offensive. It serves no purpose but to make you look foolish. Dassault and Autodesk are both big companies, vying for an increased market share. They both have a solid product. I chose Autodesk over Solidworks because they were more responsive to my needs, not less. It was not an easy decision, and in the beginning, I had regrets, as SW had a better product. But I liked the people who went out of their way to understand my business. I see now that I made the right choice. But that was my choice. I would be remiss is I just stood back and let you troll all over these people with your armchair idiocy. You sir are WAY out of line. If you just can’t stand “evil Autodesk”, then switch platforms. Just stop your bitching!! OK I’m done
I think it is safe to say that Autodesk bought this for the technology and the SW HSMWorks users are well and truly screwed. There have been and will be I imagine no contractual offers given to these users to prove the words of future support will be true. In any case SW will not co-operate with Autodesk when it comes time to share the little code goodies Gold Partners have access to so HSM as it is know today is toast.
Every CAM user who has an integrated CAM program and a half a lick of sense, if they are even aware this has happened yet, has to wonder if this could happen to them. It is amazing to me how many CAD and CAM users are oblivious to events in the software world so I have no idea how quickly word of this will spread. But for those who do follow things this is bad. I have to admit that while I wait for Geometric to integrate with SE this is now worrying. What guarantee do I have that Autodesk or SW won’t do this to me with Geometric?
I think at this time Siemens and SE offer the safest mid range MCAD program out there in regards to corporate direction and long-term stability in three important ways. They own the geometry kernal they use, I don’t belierve they can be bought out ever again, and there is no current move I know of to force cloud junk down users throats. Key words when you don’t want to periodically have to make new software purchases because of dumb corporate decisions. I think they are less than a year away from completing the last part of the MCAD puzzle adding complex surfacing capabilities much which will be better than current ones and will be in ST6.
To me there is nothing close to Synchronous Tech out there and I had to laugh last week. Happens to be that a new customer uses a version of Inventor from a few years back and I imported a SAT assembly file from him. Met with him on Friday and clicked on a part in the assembly, a cutter blade from a “Jaws of Life” extrication tool, opened it up for edit and did so right away on his dumb imported geometry. Seeing is believing as they always say 😀
For some reason however SE’s masters have never until recently thought they needed more than just CAD. I trust the current leadership of SE to truly have the interests of users at heart and I base this upon what I have personally seen and heard behind the scenes and then watch happen in public and there has never been a divergence between promises made to me and subsequent actions. But this CAM thing with HSMWorks has me worried because without owning the CAM solution outright all the good intentions and promises could be out the window overnight. Guys, consider what has happened here and make sure you nail Geometric down. You don’t want your first CAM integration to be swiped from you and neither do your future users. We want what the big guys want too. Stability and the ability to securely plan for the future in the tools we elect to use.
I have waited for this for a long time and I don’t want the rug yanked out from under me like has happened with the HSM users. But in light of what Autodesk has done to SW it is clear that all integrated independent CAM programs represent real potential economic jeapordies and disruptions to the businesses that use them.
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