This will be my last post on this topic for a while. I don’t think it can be flogged to death because the very serious nature of this problem needs to be hammered upon until these people either get it right or get run off but I am going to give it a break for a bit after this post. Sorry if the idea of PR and marketing as twenty-four year old failures offends some but when the very nature of the survival and prosperity of the Solid Edge division of Siemens is still threatened by the incompetence of these people it needs to be said.
So what got me fired up today? I was looking for articles on CW4SE (CAMWorks for Solid Edge) and ran across Evan Yares fine article on ST5 from last year.
I remembered it well and took a minute to re-read it. What leapt out at me this time was the following and I quote,
“The SolidWorks versus Solid Edge competition was shaping up to be a major brawl. Both were clean-sheet products that promised to challenge the hegemony of PTC’s seemingly unassailable Pro/Engineer CAD program.
Unfortunately, Intergraph made a number of missteps with Solid Edge:
“They built Jupiter to be a universal CAD platform. This added a lot of program overhead that made Solid Edge fatter and slower than it would have been were it to be fine-tuned for MCAD.
In the middle of development, they went back and re-worked the core program code to use the (newly available) Microsoft Foundation Class (MFC) object model, instead of their internally developed object model. This caused a year’s delay. As a result, Solid Edge didn’t ship until about 6 months after SolidWorks.
They used the ACIS geometric modeling kernel, which, at the time, was not a match for Parasolid.
They didn’t have their sales channel strategy together.”
They didn’t have their sales channel strategy together! And I remember from SE V20 comments to the same effect from Roopinder which became known as the basis for the famous phrase “The best software you’ve never heard of”. This is a problem that evidently goes back to 1990, the very beginning of SE and according to Evan was one of the large contributors to SW taking off before SE. Evan is a smart guy and I trust his judgement and as far as I am concerned looking at where we are today with SE/Siemens what has changed?
Lets be honest here for a moment. Would many prospective customers buy software they don’t hear all that much about compared to the media blitzkrieg of SW? What have been the ramifications of this? I think it is easy to state beyond a doubt that failure to market well has starved SE of cash for development. Development which would have kept it equal to the best that SW had after adoption of parasolids and placed it on an equal technical footing. And they would have been much closer in market share from that point on. If marketing had done it’s job the launch of the whole ST program could have been with a much better product rather than one that had to stumble for two years as more generous funding brings better things to life more quickly. If marketing had done their jobs a well-funded launch of ST as a robust product in ST1 with a large advertising budget that could have been in place because of prior sales profits would have put SE perhaps even with SW in sales by now and ready to pull ahead. Is it unreasonable to say that this has cost SE well over a billion dollars over the years?
THIS is the true cost of this marketing and PR Culture Of Failure. Year after year and sad to say now decade after decade.