A Break For Now

It has been a great time to be an Edge user with the upcoming stuff in ST6 and the integration with Camworks. At least in the technical aspects of Solid Edge there is great progress. I am pretty discouraged however with the marketing and PR side and their reprehensible general lack of planning and forethought as to how the ST6 launch is being handled. It is the sixth version in a row that has been a profound failure and I just don’t understand how this can be. I’ve spent enough time however raking them over their much deserved hot coals and have now come to a decision on prudent use of my time as you can’t help those who willfully refuse to help themselves.

ST6 is not in my hands yet and probably will not be for weeks so I have nothing to talk about there and add to that some time to learn my way around since I am earning a living while doing so. (My current projects can do just fine with ST5 so I don’t need to learn ST6 right away anyway.) As a result time is at a premium and learning new stuff is secondary. In addition my beta of CAMWorks expires July 31 and quite frankly I don’t have the money to get it for a few months as other things are more important to me right now. I have cut loose some customers earlier this year I probably should not have been in such a hurry to get rid of but they stood in between me and what I really want to do which is to manufacture and stop so much of the field work that requires my presence and takes me away from manufacturing in my shop. This transition period means money is tight while I spend time designing and reverse engineering and figuring out how to build things and what to build. It also is the future for me up until I retire so it is far more important to me than coughing up the dough for CW4SE. As a result it could be months before I will have this money in hand. For now even though I hate my current CAM software it is paid for and I can use it.

I have some comments here for Geometric and SE. I hear numbers about discount incentives for people they would like to have as customers. The numbers are not anywhere close to what it is going to take for most people to trash their investments in other programs and their accumulated legacy data. With a new program launch you really want people to switch you need to START at 50% off. CAM (and CAD to) users can put up with bad things they are familiar with for a long time if there is not a serious cash incentive to switch. You can talk logic and how much more efficient you are and integration and all that stuff, which incidentally is true in this case, until you are blue in the face and it will fail to make many users buy into what you are selling. You want a good launch you better inspire buyers with savings. I was talking to a VAR recently and I asked him what kind of discount I could get from him on CW4SE. He was kind of offended that I would want to get the best deal I could and stated that he had to earn a living and basically couldn’t give the stuff away. Well I have a business and have to earn a living too and I have to contain and control my costs however I can and I ALLREADY have lots of time and money tied up in a program that can cut my parts. I did not say that to him because somehow I knew that when the shoe was on the other foot it was irrelevant. So you guys just hang in there for as close to full price as you can and then stand around a year from now and wonder why the launch of CW4SE did not bring about the hoped for results. It’s OK when it costs me gobs of money but not when it costs them. Funny thing is that I thought the majority of all income from software was from maintenance over time and not initial sales. But then being visionary has not been a problem for marketing for some years now. I was sold SE back just before ST1 was launched for $3,000.00. This was for one years maintenance and $1,500.00 for a seat of SE Classic. I have been here since and have no plans of going anywhere for the rest of my working life. Was it worth it for SE and the VAR to get me in the gate with an incentive I could not refuse?

As a result of these things I will not be posting on CW4SE for an undefinable period of time. I will get ST6 in hand fairly soon though and that I will be posting on as interest spurs me and as time and convenience permit. It has been my habit to post at least once a week but until you have produced a blog post and especially one with a video you have no idea how much time one post can take before you are satisfied. So considering these things I have decided to take a break. I am not gone but I have a better use for my time than frequent posting on whatever topic I find of interest.

I have to admit there is another thing that really bothers me in addition to the above. I read today some garbage from Dassault about cloud this and that and I remember that when Matt’s blog for SW was shut down so was the pre-eminent site for talking about the deserved bad stuff happening with Solid Edges biggest competitor. Then his SE blog On The Edge is shut down and all the people who were following him and interested in his journey with SE have nothing to inspire continued reading. I don’t have to be privy to the reader counts to know that the Petri Dish crap the official Siemens nuts have come up with is killing things. I used to check for Matt’s stuff all the time and I know others did to. And if they are like me they see nothing in official SE land that inspires the same loyalty and based upon that I am certain of my reader counts comment being true. If Siemens does not care enough get rid of these impediments to their future it kind of kills my desire to help SE move forward. As I see it these marketing and PR people are and have been for some time collective and colossal failures at getting the SE message out and I am going to say right here and now they are the single largest threat to the technically deserved success of SE. I believe they have the capability to kill the future potential of SE and indeed will do so if they can get away with it. As far as I can tell there is only one really active purely voluntary blogger for SE and it is me. That by itself is a damning thing and another indictment of the PR/marketing people that they don’t care one little bit about stirring the pot and inspiring people to want to use their product and write about it.

SO, I am going to take a break from it all and get my house in order and my new projects up and running and just pretend for a while that I don’t care that bad planning and execution from marketing and PR are destroying the future that could and should be of the software I love to use and have supported. Right now I have neither the desire or time to spend here like I have been and I hope everyone who looks forward to reading what I have to say understands.

Thanks and Regards, Dave Ault

12 responses to “A Break For Now

  1. Dave
    May I proposed to your followers to head to my site
    From there they can access siemens community as well

  2. Here is some needed motivation for you, asshole. ;>)

    You’re house in order should include reading the CADCAM Technology Leaders group on LinkedIn where if you pay attention you might learn the limitations of CAMWorks and where Geometric has fallen so badly behind. The problems started years ago when Geometric bought out its partner in CAMWorks, Teksoft and moved most of the development out of the US.

    Consider it lucky that you’re a little low on cash because now you have the time to better understand the tools that are really missing in CADCAM. Your shop will need these kinds of tools if you do any kind of modern, low volume, multi-part, production work where it’s all about getting completed parts off the machine rather than what was done years ago which was do all OP1 then all OP2, etc. You and other CAM users should be pushing ZWSoft, Geometric, etc. for these tools. In order to do that you will have to understand what these tools are and why you need them. Right now, like most of the CADCAM press and former fog blogger Matt Lombard, you don’t have clue one what these tools are and what’s so wrong with supposedly “integrated” CADCAM.

    Jon Banquer
    CADCAM Technology Leaders group on LinkedIn

    • I am sure JB did not expect me to allow his comment through but here it is. Words of advice from someone who provably does not use anything and has no files to share or show. No credibility and no evidence of capabilities. Owner of a fake company called JBTech that produces nothing and has no evidence available it even exists. JB was a big fan of CAMWorks yesterday but this is today and so if people he does not like recommend it he will hate it. So this guy who can’t drill holes and can’t use any of these programs is going to give me advice. I will allow this post one time and remove all subsequent ones but I thought everyone who knows of JB would get a chuckle. Him talking about ZW3D is just to priceless. He could never provide any files there either but then we never really expected him to. He does have an earned reputation which he fulfills quite admirably. Why didn’t you recommend a specific program JB and then provide some files to demonstrate why we should be interested hmmmm?

  3. Although the SE sparkler shone fairly brightly it inexplicably fizzled out just when we were thinking we might wave it around some and it has left us all disappointed and frustrated, fans and tire kicking cousins alike. Basically what happened is that Siemens marketing spat on it. Unfortunately I think that PR sin pretty much relegates SE to also ran status for the ‘next generation’ of CAD regardless. Well done team Siemens! I guess as a corporate if you have been comfortable with institutionalised mediocrity you wont miss the revenue but you have to wonder how you can get away with that as an on going policy in a competitive world. The audience and their wallets have already left the building this year.. If Siemens want to revive community interest they had better do some chasing up in the next couple of weeks and I don’t mean emails. I mean fundamental change to the way things are done. Do I see that happening? Not without a few firings. Like you Dave I don’t really see the point of slapping wrists repeatedly when there is no functioning brain on the other end. I don’t blame you for abandoning the self imposed task of making up for their deficiencies either. Even being genuinely enthusiastic for SE has its limits of endurance.
    Enjoy your break Dave. 😉

  4. Dear ,

    We recently introduced CAMWorks for Solid Edge, an embedded CAM program that is fully integrated with Solid Edge. It is the only feature-based CAM product on the market that leverages synchronous technology! So now the reduced programming time that users have become accustomed to with CAMWorks . . has become even more powerful embedded within the “synchronous technology”.

    For a limited time, we’re able to offer some of the CAMWorks for Solid Edge products at a special introductory price . . .
    • Up to 25 % Discount on CAMWorks Milling Seats
    • Up to 33% Discount on Milling and VoluMill Bundles
    • Up to 50% Discount on VoluMill Add Ons
    Hurry! Promotion Ends on September 20th, 2013.

    I got this email this morning (editing quickly for a blog comment space) from my VAR. Even their discounts seem confusing. Why not just 25% or 50% discount across the board?

    • Hi Scott, I don’t think this has been well thought out and that they are just picking numbers to throw out there. Now I will say that this is far better than the 15 to 20% discount I first was hearing about. I just shuddered at that wondering how eager they were to get lots of new customers for a new product rollout.

      The 50% off part by the way is the best the Beta testers have been offered for the CW4SE package after their time was spent so all things considered it is a pretty good deal for prospective customers. I wonder if I can go back now and ask for 50% of their “special” pricing and get that?

      As a reflection here. Don’t you just love how all these VAR’s quote you pricing and then make you swear to never tell anyone what the prices were on the quote they send?

      • I’m not supposed to say whether or not I got special pricing. If I did. Which I may or may not have.

      • Scott, I have received the same email and it is an official promo at their site for whoever is interested.

      • R. Paul Waddington

        I’m intrigued a vendor would impose an clamp on a customers right to disclose a quoted price?
        Who (would) accept(s) a quote with such a condition and – of those – who would consider s/he is bound to honour it?

      • Hi Paul, “This proposal and any content, documentation or information associated with this proposal are confidential information and may not be distributed or shared in any form, verbal, written or electronic, outside your organization without prior written approval of blah-blah-blah” is the kind of stuff they put in there.

        Some time back I was quoted a seat of NX CAM and was offered a 30 day trail of it from the same vendor. The condition there which was really laughable was that if I did so I could not use it to cut parts that were production parts for sale to my customers. Like I am going to spend my time creating new and useless things to try NX Cam on! I am going to try any CAM program on my toughest production parts FIRST because they are the things causing me to look.

        I have discussed VAR salesmen with a guy who used to sell for one and he says it is a power trip and they are all about controlling the situation. Here in the US that can be a real problem. I was looking into Mastercam at one point and a recommended VAR, Barefoot CNC out of North Carolina could not sell to me. When I told Mastercam their only real shot at my business was if this was allowed they said “they had to protect their dealers”. I was not in Barefoots area and the answer was no. So piss on a customer and the rotten VAR protection society stays for Mastercam. So much for the free market idea of service and support and pricing should determine who succeeds and there are real stories of wretched Mastercam VAR’s who show up once a year to get a check and survive because of this.

        I don’t know about the legality of these things but I presume unless you are willing to fight it in court since you sign the paper or opened the email you might be bound. These VAR’s are foolish however if they think users don’t talk about them in specifics behind closed doors whenever possible naming names and numbers to those peers we trust and they will never know and can’t do anything about this except head it off by dealing with customers with integrity. And clearly those of us with a public voice do not have to get into exact specifics and accomplish the same thing by giving recommendations in public for or against VAR’s in generalities and know that intelligent users can read between the lines. One of the two VAR finalists I am considering did not have these do not tell provisions in their proposal or email that I could find and I am paying attention to that.

      • R. Paul Waddington

        Hi Dave,
        Have been following, with some concern, your recent posts and have been holding my tongue as I am not so sure I can add much in the way of useful comment. Suffice to say I believe you are making a very worthwhile contribution to the industry we are part of and would not like to see you stop.

        In particular, your comments relating to marketing. I have quite an interest in SE for my own reasons but remain a users of Autodesk products. I may have a slightly different view – than you – of what I think Siemens ‘should’ do but have not given my thoughts the flesh needed to speak up. Autodesk are not good ‘role models’ in the area of marketing to engineering and I am sure I would not like to see Siemens go the same way (talking marketing not cloud) as either Autodesk of Dassault. Will say tho’ Dassault are quite adept at marketing in the upper reaches of corporations.

        Taking the none disclosure of information bound in quotes a little further tho’:

        If when quoting for a job I had reason to include/impose non-disclosure conditions – and I have had reason to an several occasions. I would, and have, made the fact and my reasons known before submitting the quote. That provides the recipient the opportunity to withdraw the opportunity, ignore and or not accept a quote from me. With my conditions and reasons known – in advance – if my quote is received/accepted/opended my previous actions are considered contractual and therfore binding and, very definitely easily enforcable. I would have thought our two countries trading rules were similar in this area.

      • Hi Paul, I would never advocate for SE to adopt the corporate robber baron philosophy of Dassault or Autodesk. The lies and misrepresentation these two companies make on a regular basis to customers and potential customers about the cloud fraud they wish to perpetrate upon them is NOT a role model for Siemens. I do however like the publicity and marketing of both Autodesk and SW.

        The cloud, such a monumental fraud fraud that Dassault and Autodesk have here and they would not put their own source code online but want you to and then absolve them of any difficulties when you lose your IP. Lawyers field day, MBA/CPA version of a wet dream and a users worst nightmare in living color attached with hostage fees just to use your own creations.

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