I was struck by the difference between the public face of Autodesk HSM and Geometrics CAMWorks for Solid Edge (CW4SE) and Siemens Solid Edge last Friday. What started this has been an ongoing failure of Geometric to fix problems that are systemic and pervasive with CW4SE to the point where I just pulled it off my workstation this week. I have been using Inventor HSM for CAM for months now and CW4SE sits idle as I wait for an update some day some month some year. Who knows as Geometric does not keep its CW4SE customers notified about anything. The reason I pulled it off was licensing. Once again for some unknown reason the Sentinel dongle with CW4SE is interfering with the Sentinel dongle from SE and now I have to reload the license file to use SE again. That was it for me. I don’t even use this afflicted program anymore and it STILL messes with my day. This by the way is a known problem that goes back many years on the SW side of CAMWorks and is still not reliably fixed for either flavor of CAM. Funny how I have never had this problem with SE Sentinel dongles for the last seven versions I have been on board for. So, off it goes until the next service pack comes out hopefully within the next six months to maybe fix some of these problems. I would hope it to not be six more months but who knows as Geometric does not tell the CW4SE customers they have treated so poorly anything. No hope, no updates on why things are the way they are and what is being done. I have asked Geometric, yes they do read this blog so they know I have, to come here and give updates or good news or something. They hardly ever respond and I have found this to be typical behavior. Even when I was on good terms with them they had to be pursued for information. I guess their idea of keeping you up to date is hire some PR dudes to make some glossy ads that cover over how difficult this program is to get up and running and to work reliably and to do all these wonderful things they promise. That not ONE single CW4SE customer I know of has seen to date but still they try to sell new potential victims on this efficiency fallacy. Great sounding but completely untrue in the actual experience of every CW4SE user I know.
Speaking of CW4SE customers let us take a peek behind the closed-door of the Geometric CW4SE forum which was started thirteen months ago. (“Program Smarter Machine Faster” right there at the top. Someone at Geometric has a twisted sense of humor.)
There must be very few of us judging by the participation rate here. I found only one mention from Nishant about V2015 where he stated that they would typically release CW4SE within two months of the official SE release in July 2014. Took them four plus and then it was terribly buggy so what we have is still not usable in many cases. No word on why the delay for CW4SE 2015 and now no word on when the numerous show stoppers will be fixed either. It is not like Geometric or Siemens SE don’t know about user angst. They just prefer to ignore the situation when they have no good answers not understanding that silence is worse than saying here is the problem and what we are doing about it. Perhaps they are embarrassed about it all as they darned well should be and don’t want to talk about it.
As an aside here there is a new guy who replaced Karsten Newbury over SE a number of months ago and he has squat to say about anything. No direction, no communications with users and no public face I can find. It is like SE has dropped off the map as far as Siemens is concerned with Karsten’s departure. I am coming to the conclusion that Chuck Grindstaff who is over the Siemens UGS/SE software division, could care less about SE. That he has put a place holder over SE just to say the position is filled. What else can possibly explain why SE has for all practical purposes just dropped off the map and this new guy has had nothing to say and no interaction with users anywhere? I lean towards the idea that anyone who wanted to make SE a true success story has been run off because that is not the desires of those who run it all. I see some really great people leave and in some cases they have told me why. SE is in the same spot now as SW where it appears these lesser programs are not in the future vision of the anointed leaders. This by the way does not bode well for CW4SE victims looking for relief from the nightmare they are in.
So we have Geometric with a proven history of really buggy software and now add in disdain for SE from those who bought it to plunder Synchronous technology from to incorporate into NX and are now stuck with something I figure they don’t want but can’t sell off. Wonder if SE will be subsumed into NX one day like it appears SW will be into ‘Catia Lite”. In the mean time just what are we who have bought into this to think of our long-term futures here? Actions speak louder than words and I do not like what I see and hear darned little on top of that. Thanks guys, glad you like our money but could care less about us.
You know what, if you people don’t like the way I talk about things maybe you could make some sort of effort to give me something good to talk about. When you say nothing month after month what am I to think? My experience in life says that those who keep quiet at the least could care less and at the worst know there are problems and want to hide them. I get tired of having conjecture and lousy reports to give on something I had such high hopes for.
I have watched Autodesk for the past three years and have been quite critical of what I perceived was going to be a cloud only paradigm for its customers. Even in the middle of all that I have to say they were in communication with the world about what was going on. They were working on cloud based programs and told customers about it and then gave lengthy free betas of the products to work with. Things that actually did stuff and not vaporware like Dassault was so enamored of. My main point here is that Autodesk has been the epitome of open for scrutiny. Like or dislike what was going on you at least did know.
So I go to the open Autodesk Cam forum today and read this. http://camforum.autodesk.com/index.php?topic=6395.0
I guarantee you that over in the closed Geometric forums there is not one word to CW4SE users about the current situation with CW4SE 2015. Over on the Siemens SE forums the same thing for CW4SE users. They had a guy show up one time during all this mess and say they were appointing him to “look” into the problems. That has been the totality of the evinced concern for us there. If anything is being done by either company to remediate the CW4SE mess I don’t know because neither group cares enough about their customers to be bothered to tell us. HEY GUYS, you tell me and I will post your words verbatim. Watch me hold my breath waiting for that one.
Here is a little chuckle for the day. http://allyplm-solutions.blogspot.com/2015/02/the-latest-camworks-promotion-dont-miss.html
For $4,500.00 dollars you can have the same capabilities that SW and Inventor customers can have for free. The additional consideration here is that free HSM works and makes your day productive while the one you have to pay for brings a boat load of trouble to its SE customers.
I am reminded on a regular basis of the philosophical difference between these companies and in spite of how clunky Inventor is right now compared to SE seeing more and more value with Autodesk CAM. It is nice to be wanted as a customer of a company that is making efforts to keep you in all the loops as compared to Geometric who wants you to be an ATM and keep quiet or SE where you can use a great CAD tool that “no one has ever heard of” but don’t look for anything else. Let me put it this way. I am excited about the upcoming release of Inventor HSM 2016 and I could care less about SE ST8. I used to laugh at “end of life” SW users and now have to wonder about the same for SE. I am so mad at Geometric over CW4SE and I have progressed from being excited and one of the four original CW4SE beta testers to complete fury over what they have done to the first and probably last shot ever at integrated CAM for SE.
All I can say is that if you are thinking about CW4SE stop it right now. If they started working on it seriously today it will still be some time before they can get it mostly right if they ever do. Software companies do not change things on a dime and Geometric is apparently incompetent and Siemens SE apparently did not care enough to check under the CW4SE hood to see what was going on. Let me rephrase that. Siemens SE did not and still does not even have a real oversight arm to see how integrated partners were doing. Not a stellar combination for you to put money into.
Folks, put 3-23-15 on your calendar as the day when Inventor Pro HSM 2016 will be out and we can check out some goodies worth getting excited over.
And Geometric, that lathe post you promised me in the beginning when I paid for turning over a year ago before I bought my lathe ? The one you won’t give me now but want to ATM me on? Pssst, it’s free for everyone over there with the HSM guys who care if I make money to.