CAMWorks for Solid Edge misses September

Not much to report here on CW4SE but since I had a guy email me regarding whether or not Wire EDM was in there yet I decided to follow up. As of yet I do not have a seat so my information is coming from another one of the Beta Testers who did buy.

First off, assemblies was promised for sure for September as was EDM but this has not happened as of 11-2-13. Predator Editor is available to SolidWorks buyers but not Solid Edge buyers so as of right now the SE guys are stuck with state of the art Notepad editing for their posts. The Geometric web site for SE users has not changed since basically the SEU2013 event so still no forums and no public face for CW4SE users anywhere I can find. Searching Youtube videos still does not show any new Geometric activities where CW4SE is concerned and the very short list of new stuff is from VAR’s. Siemens, SE and Geometric appear to have pretty much dropped off the face of the Earth since SEU2013 and no one seems to know much about anything amongst my contacts.

I know Geometric is working on their new verification stuff and that they are having problems with Mill Turn and evidently these promises and integration schedules with SE may be taking second place behind these other problems. It would seem to me that rather than putting your new customer off you would get them up to speed first and then worry about these other things but you know sales guys. We promised these new bells and whistles and we don’t have enough talent to do all we promised so lets have a meeting to figure out who gets put off. It looks like SE is the one. I also know that they are looking into working on the TDB and posts but who knows what will happen and when.

To reiterate on the tool library it is a vestige from many years ago and apparently not a concern of Geometrics. Talking to the other beta guy today and it is an irritation to him to. I can understand as there is not one tool in their library that is typical for what my shop uses and the same is true for your shop to I bet. Talking to a guy that does this kind of work he says that even though Geometric is stuck on stupid with the ancient Access data base it is still possible to port SQL data to it and make things like the Milling Advisor from Volumill (if you don’t have this it is a free ap and you need to get it) be fully integrated within CAMWorks. To make things like tool databases from manufacturers be importable. What the deal is, is that this has not been important to Geometric and so it gets stonewalled. I begin to wonder here if Geometric over promised what they were capable of delivering on to Solid Edge and while they have an excellent cam program they also do not have enough programmers now to take care of business.

I read about their stock numbers and their financial audit for last year from India and supposedly they have had 22.7% 2012 to 2013 revenue growth. Who knows if the public face of any company can be trusted today with all the Enron type things that go on but this is their claim.

So we have 65.10 market share for the US and Europe is 23.89 for a total of 88.99% of all revenue for Geometric. The reason I bring this up is to illustrate something of the stonewalling ignore it until it goes away attitude I think may be the driver behind why some things are not updated or finished with Camworks. I made mention to some of the CAMWorks guys how weird and counterintuitive some of the language chosen to apply to features is. This is important when you have been brought up in a certain way and your mind trained to look at things in a certain fashion. Quick, how many of you US readers can look at 22 degrees C and tell me what it is in F ? It is not that you cant do the math it is because your whole life has been spent looking at temps with farenheit as a reference. I have told the Geometric guys I have spoken to about how weird is it that a pocket can be an open slot or an island is a boss. Why not change it to something more user friendly for the vast majority of your customers? Something that works with the mindset and logic of your customers? These kinds of things make programs a lot easier to learn for the vast majority of users.

Well, we would have to do that for everyone and their languages to and that is just to tough. No not really. I think it is safe to say that English is the language of the US and Canada and over in Europe for England and a strong prevalent secondary language for the continent. Needless to say English is also widely spoken in India too. So this now becomes we don’t want to change the language for what, 75% of our users. Is it unfair to assume this kind of number? I don’t think so and I consider this when I look at progress in other areas. It becomes a sort of litmus test for me for the real intent of a company which in this case is Geometric. I am coming to the conclusion that they will leave rough edges if they can get away with it and that this is with intent.

If the Geometric Financial report is real we know they have the money to do this right. What remains is to see if they will manifest the actions to make it right. It seems to be something that most software companies do sadly. Make grand promises and then back off, delay, work on the new window dressings over the old legacy problems and the rest of the things that gripe the hell out of paying customers. We have been well trained over the years to subject ourselves to buggy incomplete software at large dollar amounts. We have been trained to be resigned to things our own customers would flat out not pay us for until we made it right.

In all honesty I am wondering about Geometrics will to make the CAM side of CW4SE as good as the CAD side is. I have gotten spoiled by SE because they have and do take seriously their customers needs and complaints. You Geometric guys have your foot in the door of the SE user’s market first and I think over time this will/could/should be a very good thing for you. If you don’t screw it up. Remember, you were the first for SW too but you certainly weren’t the last and you lost market share there to people like HSMWorks because your program did not dedicate itself to being nearly as user friendly. HSMWorks is not technically as powerful but out of the box without days of fiddling around for the average shop which does not go for full feature recognition integration with a customized Tech Data Base it is quicker and easier to get a program out to the mill by far. This is why HSMWorks ate into your market share there. I have to tell you that time is money by the way and this is a consideration your potential customers made over on the SolidWorks side of the equation and one we SE users will make to when the chance arises. Get on the ball and make it right.

Don’t screw this up Geometric.

4 responses to “CAMWorks for Solid Edge misses September

  1. A disappointing update. I’m sitting on the fence, but with a mill coming into my shop soon, I’ll have to pull the trigger on software and I can’t play wait-and-see on Geometric’s stumbles.

    • Hi Dylan,
      I am very sad to even have to consider writing things like this. Geometric is apparently clueless on how to relate to a new potential user base. Has anyone approached you with incentives to buy or reasons to buy?

  2. Dave,

    I would imagine that you’ve been greeted with the sound of crickets over this. 😉

    CAMWorks really is a very powerful CAM program and a good relationship with the SE customer base would seem to be something they could achieve with minimal effort and additional resources placed directly with the SE development team.

    Their new G-Code Machine Simulation looks promising.
    Looking forward to seeing it in action.

    • Hi Tim,
      RE the SE users, yes they could. People are waiting on the promises to be fulfilled, like wire EDM and assemblies. There comes a point in time where the enthusiasm for a new integrated product begins to wane because the promises aren’t kept and publicly stated deadlines not met and no one says anything about anything and users and or buyers are left wondering what the heck is going on. Then we start finding out things like no post editor for SE but there is one for SW. And the ancient tool library situation and methodology written by programmers without machinist inputs to get to a CAM plan. I really believe that Geometric, or whoever owned Camworks at the time, opened the door for competitors who presented a better GUI that was more user friendly to walk into the territory that could have been primarily CAMWorks over on the SW side of things. Things that are in the program from way back when that they know irritate users and have never been fixed tell me this. Some of their own people have told them this to and they are ignored.

      Geometric is looking to me more and more like a company that has been handed a golden opportunity but they don’t have enough talent, for whatever reason, to deliver the goods and they are now scrambling around. Do I know this and can I prove it? No, but I can look at what is going on and there has been nothing for months now. What other reason could there be? Someone who really cared would have a much better public face to put on things because anyone in sales can tell you that what is never talked about won’t be sold much either.

      Add to this the utter stupidity of their really poor incentives for new people to sign on. The only incentive to sign on right now is a big one and it is integration with SE. But no financial incentives and they just can’t grasp how stupid this is when you are asking people to walk away from programs they already own and know how to use warts and all.

      I am beginning to wish that HSMWorks would have been the one at this rate. I still follow them on their forum and on other ones like CNC Zone and they always have individuals with the company that let you know they care about you as they are everywhere HSMWorks is discussed on a really regular basis. CAMWorks is nowhere at any time on the non-existent sites for SE users.

      I am getting pretty disgusted here and it is a big let down after the initial excitement to see this whole things handled so poorly. SO Camworks/Geometric, what IS your problem. Care to tell us sometime this year???

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