An article today I am reading today http://den-media.com/portal/wts/cgmcgbbe8sibbsyAqcksD86ckBkrAwa has jelled some thoughts in my mind. While I despise the idea that Carl Bass and Autodesk want to establish a feudal overlord cloud kingdom I am really coming to admire their plan for doing so. If they reconsider this cloud only paradigm they will probably be the powerhouse that will take the SolidWorks throne in the future and not Solid Edge. I hate to say this but this referenced article has me thinking hard here about the possibility for the first time that Solid Edge might not be the heir.
It has been a struggle for SE for years under UGS and now Siemens with gosh awful marketing and publicity. Thanks Larry, Curly and Moe and I hope you know the grace period you have been given for three years with Dassault screw-ups now has to be shared with Autodesk. Because of your corporate paralysis and your inability to do anything worthwhile in a major way for YEARS I truly believe that you have allowed a hungry, organized and totally capable rival to in a very short time threaten to take the place that should have been yours. And Carl Bass won’t have much trouble whipping you sorry individuals most thoroughly when it comes to appealing to new customers in spite of the cloud he proposes. I sit here today just fuming and it is hard to describe the total and complete contempt I feel for a company that is so ossified and preserves such incompetents and failed policies with such vigor. I really wish someone would buy Solid edge out from Siemens hands at this point in time if this is all the opportunity you three stooges ever care to give them. This brilliant software deserves much more than you can deliver.
Here is why I grow increasingly mad with this situation and it is not just because of a couple of ads. It is because I see a well conceived plan being made and executed and absolutely no coherent plan from Siemens to counteract it. Frightful thoughts keep creeping in to my mind that the three stooges may not even discern this is happening or worse even care.
First off MCAD is just design stuff and if you do not have a method to build these designs by you are incomplete. This has been one of the problems with SE forever and the closest they have ever come to software that can’t go away from them is NX Cam Express. OK look I am thrilled that CAMWorks is now integrated with SE and I have bought into it. But deep down inside with all the acquisitions going on this last year and a half I wonder when Autodesk will buy this too and then I will be in the same boat as HSMWorks and Delcam users. I believe that Autodesk has totally bought into this end to end idea and further I think Carl Bass himself designs and builds and he gets the connection. And unlike Siemens Stooges he cares and he has a plan.
This is what I see. If I were Carl and just twiddling my thumbs one day idly dreaming of beating my rivals, I bet he does that you know, I might decide to take SolidWorks place in the market. It is pretty clear that Solid Edge is a good product but Siemens has no clue on aggressively marketing what they have. And you know when you go toe to toe with Siemens, a company that has a hard time getting past meetings to plan on meetings and retains numerous people who specialize in ways to say no, action will win the day. So what to do,,,, Hmmmmmm,,, I know, lets create a cohesive complete rival ecosystem and clean everyone’s clock.
First we will buy HSMWorks. It is a powerful program that has good tool paths, is really quick and easy to learn and allows you to generate toolpaths the way most shops I know prefer to do so with a great logical intuitive GUI. And it is attached to our arch rival. Now that you have bought this no one can take it from you and you can plan however you want. You have a job shop with gobs of different parts each day and don’t want to fool around with complicated Tech Data Bases this is it. In the mean time you continue the 2.5 axis FREE machining package that now is entering into its second+ year and also port it over to inventor where you do the same. I know this level of functionality in Surfcam for instance is about $4,500.00. They aren’t giving away cheap crummy junk here.And you treat the old SW users right and with respect and defuse all the bad vibes the takeover caused. My friends shop was given two years free maintenance for HSMWorks to defray the cost of him having to get a full seat of SW AND they gave him a really serious discount on a second seat just for the cost of maintenance basically. You are now creating loyalty from HSM users and giving them exposure to your 3D offerings via things like Fusion 360. No this is not a capable midrange MCAD program but it gets you in their minds eyes and you are going to improve it.
Now lets tackle the thorny problem of 3D design. I know Inventor is not what will draw many to my company so what do I do now? OK, Delcam has a pretty good modeller out there and a really stellar suite of manufacturing products. As a matter of fact when it comes down to strictly making things I think Delcam has everyone beat for variety of strategies from machine probing to 5axis dental implants to you name it. If it has to do with measuring, verifying or various machining strategies overall they can’t be beat. Single things out there like Volumill are better than Delcams HSM stuff but overall no one beats them. I think I will buy them to. You know what says Carl, I really like this ownership thing and the control it brings me. Hmmm, Should I buy Geometric to? Hey Mabel, set a meeting up for me with Mr Big at Geometric for next month. I need to get the ball rolling there to.
So now Carl has all the pieces needed to assemble a cohesive and complete manufacturing from design cradle to build out grave ecosystem that will appeal to huge numbers of people over time above and beyond the ones he has purchased. And they are treating those who have been bought out right from users to VAR’s as far as I can see so in this case so far the buyout company looks to be on track not to run old customers off. And he solves the stigma of only having Inventor to offer to MCAD prospects. I see all these buyouts and for the first time I am beginning to reconsider the idea that they mean to force everyone to the cloud. I think there might be a line of demarcation here and they will end up offering most to autonomous and cloud customers because way to much proprietary manufacturing information goes along with the Delcam purchases and many of them will not go to the cloud. I don’t think Carl intends to just throw them out. But if he does then the Autodesk plan of conquest will be short-lived and they wont do it and SE wins then in spite of gross Siemens marketing and PR ineptitude..
And talk about planing for the future! I admire the way they have slipped their product into the Superbowl in such a clever fashion where a huge audience will in many cases for perhaps the first time see what design and analysis software is. Kids in college, parents writing checks for kids in college, tech schools wanting to teach programs people have been inspired to learn. Junior on the sofa in grade school watching this with his Dad will in many cases remember this years later. You know darned well things like this have affected every one of us. And what name will they remember? Why Autodesk of course. I think they are slick to buy time ahead of time in anticipation of the SWW2014 debacle for things like Josh Mings post. I know I have not seen most of what Autodesk is doing so I have no idea how pervasive what they are doing is. I am going to bet that when they get the 3D ball rolling in a big way they are not going to give out such chintzy inducements to get new customers away from SW and SE as has been the norm at SW and SE for some time now. I still can’t figure out how I could buy Solid Edge Classic for basically $3,000.00 five years ago and no one has been able to since that promotion ran out. It’s like there is a life time limit of once for SE to be really hungry for SW users. Is SE going to profit from this since I will probably be with them for 15 or 20 years unless they get stupid? Autodesk will understand this and eat everyone’s lunch at SE and SW. I have to think this football thing is a sign of things to come. Carl has a plan and he is visionary unlike Bernard Charles who is delusionary and Siemens Stooges pervasive incompetence. He is not afraid to step out and do it. Siemens has studies and navel gazing and circular logic sessions. Talk about making more money you Siemens big wheels, get rid of this albatross of unproductive incessant meetings and those that create them so they don’t have to actually produce something or heaven forbid make a decision and I bet your bottom line would be noticeably better.
The big tech school on the north side of Nashville teaches SW, Autocad and Featurecam and they have a lot of students. I bet they may be teaching Powershape and or Inventor soon to but nope, not SE. Losers.
The other serious thing here for SE and SW in particular with their track record of vaporware is the speed with which Autodesk seems to be creating viable test beds that actually work and they don’t hide behind a shroud of secrecy when they do it. They have had a history I’ve been told of buying things and taking bits out to use in poor integrations and letting old programs die. I am not so sure this is going to happen this time.
Carl Bass, I despise this cloud thing you espouse and I think you lie about the clouds capabilities but I truly admire someone with a coherent plan who steps up to the bat. I watch with admiration as you step by step make plans to conquer your rivals in ways they seem to be in able to respond to.
For the first time I am seriously considering the idea that the stupid side of Siemens is going to be what defeats Siemens and this infuriates me.
Maybe Autodesk should buy Solid Edge and promote it as their offering for the cloud resistant customer?
Hows the CW4SE going? I think that SE is in the right company at Siemens as far as the corporate stance on no cloud and delivering geometry tools to users as first priority. It is the terrible PR and marketing side I abhor and this foolish idea that maybe SE users should be dealt with like the PLM World and NX users are. Or the idea that SE will sell itself by osmosis or something without any concerted effort or plan from PR and marketing. We are two different groups and Siemens is clueless about how to deal with us and apparently also clueless as to how to sell. I would prefer that Siemens take care of their serious internal problems and get rid of this dead wood. I listen to the things Chuck Grindstaff says for instance and they are right on and juxtapose themselves almost entirely with how I view things. And then I guess he walks away thinking that his “capable” staff will take care of it from here. Whether they want to or not I think that Chuck Grindstaff and Karsten Newbury are going to have to call off some of the things they are doing and instead concentrate on fixing this area of Siemens that is sabotaging all the good they want to have happen. I am dead serious here and I think these three stooges idiots and their accumulated smothering bureaucracies are causing serious harm that will not be recoverable from if they allow Autodesk to get the jump on them. Somehow I don’t think #2 replacement for SolidWorks would be quite as satisfying to Grindstaff and Newbury as #1 would be but this is where they are headed if they don’t fix the idiots. And I mean this year and now. Time has run out for ambivalence.
I don’t see any sign anyone at Siemens has ambitions or SE really want SW users.
I think if SW users move over it will be because they need to and they will just have to get used to the way things are.
Yes some do and some don’t. I am watching to see who prevails in the next half year.
I very much enjoyed reading this. I played about with Solid Edge back in August last year & discovered a pretty powerful CAD application suffering with a disgusting user interface and awkward sketching tool. Overall I enjoyed using it though. However, being an Autodesk guy, reading your views on Autodesk’s direction and marketing tickled me something chronic. Good on you for laying it out plainly for the SE team. Good Luck.
Yes I know familiarity can breed contempt. I struggle with this and CAMWorks for SE because it is not laid out nor does it work like the program I am comfortable with after years of use. I have to remember when learning any new program that I can’t expect it to work like the one I used to use and be resigned to things looking dumb or silly until I learn how to use the tools. The dumb clunky CW4SE Tech Database is finally starting to make sense and how to use it and the real problem was I did not take adequate time to learn the tools. I expect this is your case to. By comments from people whom I know and who have used Inventor and SE, SE is the far more capable 3D MCAD program so perhaps some day you might have another look and spend sufficient time with it.
Hope that Carl Bass does not stay true to his cloud only stated policy though as if he does you are in trouble. And the other major caveat that they do not take bits of good programs out and do poor integrations with the bits and trash the rest as history shows they have done before. If he does not do these two things he is the only one out there with a real plan of conquest right now that is being actually implemented that may work right and I wait to see. Glad you enjoyed the article, can’t say it brought me any satisfaction for feeling I had to write it.