You never quite know what to expect when you attend an event and sometimes the purpose of the event is only related to the thing that impresses you the most as you leave for better or worse. Sometime back I attended the Surfcam V6 rollout at the Barber Sports Museum. During one of the Truemill demonstrations the speaker asked how many there used Truemill. There were around 75 attendees and the vast majority were current users. THREE held their hands up and two were from the same company. I was absolutely floored at how such a powerful tool was studiously ignored by such a high percentage of users. Users who in many cases already owned the Truemill add on as a part of their CAM package but for whatever reason elected not to use something that could easily double their productivity and save on consumables to boot. It was almost like a certain level of capabilities and profit were sufficient and there was no desire to improve. The speaker was a bit shocked too and mentioned that they had failed to educate users and prove the benefits to them.
The first speaker at our user group meeting in Huntsville began speaking on Synchronous Tech and asked who all was using it there. Out of 21 actual users in attendance there I was the only one to hold my hand up. Now the really sad thing is that once we began the round table the use of ST was the primary topic of interest with Tips and Tricks a close second.
This leads me to what I wish to discuss and that is the failure of the promotional and Academic outreach side of Solid Edge. I don’t have a clue as to what in the world goes on in the minds of those who are in charge of this but for only one user out of a group of motivated users who chose to spend their own time to attend because they are interested in the software they use to be a user of ST is not acceptable. This is the premier element of Solid Edge and it is the true competitive advantage to both Siemens in gaining market share and SE users who become tremendously more productive by using it. HOW in the world is this not actively pushed by VARS and Siemens is beyond me. Where are the well trained individuals who will call on various customers and arrange to have demos at the place of use to show both management and users of the profound benefits. I do mean profound. I sat there thinking of how crippled user output was because no one had sat down with them and SHOWN them what ST truly means as a liberating tool for CAD creation.
Now one of the reasons for non adoption was ‘my professor teaches us only in Ordered”. I have to admit my jaw dropped on this one and I can’t imagine a teacher who would not teach the best capabilities of the software to his students nor could I believe that Siemens had not checked in to see what the teaching staff was teaching only three miles away from the headquarters. Look, whoever is reading this let me fill you in on something. These students were HUNGRY for ST when they actually saw it being used for the first time. How in the world has this been allowed to happen? As a part of grants or academic site licenses Siemens needs to police what is being done with their products. It appalled me that here were students who were selectively being taught and the best parts were never discussed.
Of course the litany of comments from users about how hard it is to get their companies to switch over and we never have time and all the stuff we as users are familiar with. These are valid reasons. Now why are they valid? Because management has not been sufficiently exposed to the power of Synchronous they labor on in the idea that we already know ordered and we don’t need the headache of change. Kind of like we are happy because we have X% of profit and productivity and as long as we don’t know those metrics could be much better we will stay with what we are comfortable with. I daresay that not one serious effort has been made to have management sit down with Siemens after Siemens does a case study for them to prove the power to improve design time by adopting a new way. From families of parts to imported parts to edits that always happen over the life of a part and Siemens evidently has nothing going on to compel change through proof of efficiency using customer parts to prove this by.
I love to sit down with and Inventor or SolidWorks users and editing their parts in my program faster than they can and I mean by many times faster. There is no more compelling thing than proof and I just can’t grasp how this most powerful and compelling thing is not blasted out by Siemens at every possible opportunity. For my money SE is just flat out the best mid range MCAD program in the world and I spent money out of my own pocket as proof of this.
I am a perfect example of how Siemens should be doing this. Back in 2008 I am shopping for good MCAD and the choices have been narrowed down to Solid Works and Solid Edge. I have attended two demo days with SW at this point in time in Nashville. I had attended nothing for SE because, well because there was nothing then to attend. However, I get a call one day from a guy with a company that used to be the VAR for the Huntsville area. He describes ST1 and called me down there to have a look. This is what I saw. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bk5-1sZ6cY My mind took one look at this principle of direct editing and I could see so many ways this was what I had been looking for without knowing what I was looking for. BUT IT TOOK SOMEONE WHO COMPELLED ME AND USED MY PART TO PROVE HIS POINT TO ME. No canned demo by some sales jock showing the same tired official Siemens polished presentations but a user who took my part and proved the principle of ST to me in a way I could not ignore.
Solid Edge is the best midrange MCAD program in the world. There are things that will be here for ST6 that will eliminate any other software as a contender for utilitarian value king.
You guys need to kick someone in the butt and get them on the ball where the dissemination of the value of Solid Edge is concerned or you can still produce the best MCAD program in the world but still be second or third place in market share. If it were me I would be less patient with mediocre efforts and the apparent corporate satisfaction with the status quo.
Dave Ault signing off shaking his head in disbelief over how this can be allowed to continue. Throw this stupid Loco Motors thing in the dustbin and get real.