I like to read about design software and the companies that produce and use it. Software consumes a far larger part of my life than I ever dreamed it would ten years ago when I got involved with software for machining and then design. Even if it is not software I use I still believe that knowing what is going on elsewhere serves both my academic interest in general and my desire to keep current on best practices. Over time there are issues that draw my attention and they have become a sort of litmus test for me as to where a company is headed depending on how they answer certain questions or indeed choose to ignore the same.
On occasion I talk to Karsten and recently while doing so asked him if he would be willing to answer some questions that would subsequently be posted on Solidedging. He agreed and here is the conversation we had. As an aside let me mention this. I have known Karsten for about three and a half years now. The things he says today are the things he has been saying and it is remarkably consistent for both the plans for the software and the philosophy behind the decisions that drive the softwares direction. There is a clear direction and a well defined set of goals and I have seen no deviation from these for this time frame. It is good to be where the only changes coming down the pike are those which improve your productivity.
How did Solid Edge fit into Siemens decision to buy UGS back in 2007?
One of the key reasons Siemens bought UGS from a Solid Edge point of view is to offer even better productivity solutions to our customers. Siemens had been the leader in manufacturing, UGS was a leader in design and PLM, so together we would not only cover a broader toolset for our customers, but we would also be in a position to optimize the full value chain, from design to manufacturing.
Explain the 10 year plan philosophy of Siemens as it relates to Solid Edge.
Siemens will not sacrifice long-term strategy for short-term benefit. It’s really that simple. Quarterly financial performance is important, but our long-term strategy governs our actions. For example, we take great pride in future-proof architecture, where we ensure that our customers’ investment is stable over long time frames, and they don’t have to worry about us changing architecture on them every few years. That sounds easy, but is really hard to do. But it’s also the right thing to do for our customers and a key part of our culture. After all, we are a large manufacturer/consumer of our PLM products ourselves, and know what it means to use and implement them.
Are there any intentions for Solid Edge to go to or use the cloud?
First, anybody can host software and it’s been around for a while. Customers can certainly already pick their “platform of choice” to run their systems. Having said that, as a customer you can decide to host Solid Edge if you want to, but we are not putting Solid Edge/CAD in the cloud. Our CAD innovation focus is on productivity tools, such as synchronous technology, that help our customers design and engineer better.
Will there be any kernel changes in the future for Solid Edge away from Parasolid?
Siemens develops and markets Parasolid and other core components in an open, “level playing field” environment. Parasolid is the best kernel in the industry with over 3mln seats sold and a vibrant technology partner ecosystem. It’s stable, strong, and we keep enhancing it. Our products including NX and Solid Edge are built on the same kernel/components. It gives our customers stability and interoperability across our toolset that nobody else in the industry can offer. We have no intention of changing this strategy or the kernel.
What are your goals for SE as a CAD program and as a basis for a part of a complete manufacturing ecosystem?
Today synchronous technology already is market leading in helping customers accelerate design, make faster revisions and better reuse data. We will continue to push innovation in Solid Edge, both in the product and customer interaction processes to help our users design and engineer better.
I already mentioned the importance of manufacturing for Siemens: We are a manufacturing company and our solutions are tailored to help other manufacturers be successful. You will see us continue to evolve our manufacturing footprint. For Solid Edge ST6 you can expect further enhancements to our manufacturing ecosystem. Think of Solid Edge as a platform for design, simulation, workgroup data management, manufacturing, and at the same time with full integration into our Teamcenter platform for Enterprise PLM.
Do you have any other thoughts?
If you need CAD and haven’t already checked out Solid Edge with synchronous technology, have a look! Go to our free trial at http://www.solidedge.com and/or join us at our annual Solid Edge event “Solid Edge University” in June this year. We have a great product, a really passionate team, and you can join our strongly growing community of “Edgers” that have a passion for design and being successful.
It’s always good to hear a CAD exec talk common sense, stuff that actual customers today can relate to. Having a plan that doesn’t involve ripping the rug out from under customers is practical and something I can buy in to. It’s good to hear that Solid Edge is focusing on technology that customers need to do their jobs instead of random IT adventures of dubious value.
Yes that is the way I figure it to. I expect to work for probably ten more years and at this time I don’t expect I will have to change what I use for CAD during that period. Planning by a stable and reliable customer oriented CAD company has proven to be a bigger part of the equation than I would have thought five years ago.