Well not really a cause for celebration as a user or as a community but certainly the Champaign corks must be popping in the UGS secret kill Solid Edge planning sessions. I was looking at Alexa page rank stats 1-1-16 just for the heck of it. So I type in Solidedging.wordpress.com and I get this.
Hmmm, curiosity stikes as I ponder how quickly SE faded into the woodwork again after the short lived social media attempts from SEU 2015 and the stellar performance of the VP Jim Miller in his once a year comments and appearance. Wonder what’s going on over there so I have a look.
UGS again and am I surprised?
It looks like 2016 will be the worst year in a long time for Solid Edge regarding pursuit of market share and the goal of a vibrant user community. What Ralph Grabowski said in regards to the publicity and marketing claims for the purported but not verifiable size of the SE base to be 500,000+ attendance of 500 or so at SEU 2015 is pretty pitiful. Now I would further like to know just how many of these in attendance were paying customers and how many were Siemens employees or VAR types. 2014 was pretty sad and over 50% of the attendees were not paying customers. I sit here today and reflect on this as I consider how useful SE is to me and how many more users there should be for this remarkable program. I just don’t think it will ever be though and I ask you readers to think back, or better yet just search Google, for what all has been out there this past year.
Solid Edge besides the inherent capabilities does have one thing I really like and it may be their saving grace this year. With the advent of Autodesk’s upcoming subscription only model at the end of this month there may be new SE customers from this direction. SE as of yet does not force subscriptions and I hope they never do. CAD and CAM software is not like Adobe Photoshop and many buyers are NOT going to go with subs only. Look for just this single problem only subs will fail in many places. Namely the problem of what version does your company use and do you want to control updates. You would be amazed at how many companies write lots of programs and routines to go with their main CAD program and they only upgrade every few years as a result. I see their IT guys cringe as stupid comments about hassle free auto upgrades to the latest version froth forth from the insane minds of various corporate babble-speak guys who will try anything to make this pig look good.
Subscription only is the CPA driven wet dream of greedy corporate types who would like to see us as CAD cotton pickers toiling in their fields. They want pay up and shut up and not pay us because we earned it from you. The technical aspects of subs only is so onerous that while Autodesk does not talk about problems implementing this they surely have them. I can see many heated conversations between Autodesk and major customers who will force a two tier system over time. I think Autodesk will have to relent on this and allow seats and subs or lose too many sales from major accounts who will only work with seats. If they give major accounts the right to new seats where will they then draw the line on who qualifies? Autodesk is gambling I think that there will not be to much loss over this and that will inspire others to follow suit. If they all become subs plantation owners then we all will become chattel with the choice only of what plantation to toil at. Once again the metric of punishing legitimate users is trotted out in part by a desire to end piracy with the not insignificant benefit to the plantation owners of data hostage taking making you pay forever. Who owns your intellectual creations if you have to keep renting the ability to use it from a plantation owner anyway? Certainly not you.
So SE has this remarkable dumb thing by Autodesk given to them along with the continued atrophy of the desire of SW users to be a paying part of SW. SW remember was down last year and will be this year. Both Dassault and Autodesk try to give customers to SE but I figure SE has no intent to entice or pursue these pilgrims wandering around looking for a place that wants them the old fashioned way. Namely by earning their loyalty to begin with by what is there and in the future by continued improvements.
I find that stopping maintenance for SE has been painless and work will continue for years to come with ST8. Because SE sold me a permanent seat this can be done. This decision was based upon what is good for me with my money based on my judgement for value received. I most certainly recommend a seat of SE to those who do not have it for to you it will be new and powerful. You may elect to drop it later as I did but try it out.
Just don’t expect Siemens to manifest a desire to see market share growth for SE. Don’t expect to find users easily so SE will require you to absorb the cost of training nine times out of ten. I don’t like Mastercam or SW but as a business owner if I had to consider hiring a number of trained individuals I would be compelled to look at them. It did not have to be this way but it is and for a company like SE to have been around as long as SW and still be this small is a remarkable testament to the short sightedness of SE’s various overseers from the past and today. Get that one pack of lady fingers out and light them off and celebrate with UGS the grand vision of this year for SE being worse than last year.