SolidWorks Lifecycle Management

SolidWorks Lifecycle Management

Bertrand Sicot appointed CEO of SolidWorks. In my view, it becomes a corporate news of this week. I think, almost all CAD-affiliated bloggers wrote something about this event. The death of SolidWorks by Develop3D is the article you definitely need to read. My favorite article was SolidSmack’s interview with Bertrand Sicot and Jeff Ray. This is my favorite passage from Josh Mings’ interview:

About this change, I don’t see a big reaction in the user community. (Few of the users I work with could even name the former or current CEO of SolidWorks much less, even care.) Jeff took the company one direction, for the most part, aligning it with Dassault and positioning it for growth in that context. Bertrand, being the second person hired on with Dassault Systemes, I believe will follow that strategy. In that sense, DS SolidWorks Corp. stays separated from the customers. Whereas before, with Jon Hirschtick and Johnny Mac, it felt more personal, like a friend was running the company. My one hope is that Bertrand gets a sense of this. Go ahead, finish pushing SolidWorks into DS, but remember the roots man, remember the roots.

The notion of “roots” is one that important, in my view. Thinking about corporate changes, I’m always getting the association with the “lifecycle”. So, I decided to put some thoughts in the context of SolidWorks lifecycle.

Platform: Past and Future

SolidWorks was born on Windows. It was an ultimate match going back in 1995. However, nothing stands still in the world of computing platforms. To be able to react, SolidWorks will have to re-born on the cloud and adopt to other platforms. As I mentioned in my PLM Reset 2011 article, polygamy is one of the trends today. Microsoft’s dominance is going down. Obviously, SolidWorks will have to follow this trend

From Parasolid to DS Kernel

Another element of SolidWorks fundamentals – Parasolid Geometrical Kernel. The kernel belongs to Siemens PLM – a high profile competitor of Dassault. Some signs of changes in this direction were identified a year ago by during SolidWorks World 2010. It confirms the fact SolidWorks is switching a geometrical kernel and moving to DS/CATIA kernel. It is another revolutionary shift in everything SolidWorks need to accomplish.

From PDMWorks to V6

SolidWorks has many PDM and PLM partners developing various PDM options and applications. However, PDM Works / Enterprise is the flagship PDM product for SolidWorks. What happens in this space? According to the announcement DS/SolidWorks made on the SolidWorks 2010, SolidWorks is going to develop a set of new applications on top of new DS V6 platform. Some of them were previewed that week. This is the third fundamental shift in everything SolidWorks will try to accomplish in PDM space.

What is my conclusion? I definitely can see a new chapter in what SolidWorks need to accomplish in coming years. The potential fundamental changes coming from multiple directions – platform, geometry, PDM. I tend to agree with Josh – remember the roots is important. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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  • Christine

    Thanks Oleg, I think you hit the nail on the head.

    Thanks Oleg, I think you hit the nail on the head.
    Going back to the roots, SolidWorks sought to bring powerful, 3D CAD to every engineers desktop. It just so happens that some desktops are going virtual. I don’t see a major shift, and I think doomsday prophecies may be a bit overdramatic.

    One of the reasons SolidWorks was so successful was their ability to cater to small and midsized companies. I’ve heard the rumor that most SolidWorks installations are in the 3-5 seat range. In my experience, the adoption rate of Enterprise in these sized companies isn’t high. With the sunsetting of the Workgroup PDM this leaves a massive opportunity for data management. I will be very curious to see what a V6 based data manager looks like for companies who don’t have Enterprise.

  • beyondplm

    Christine, I think, companies need to be very careful when moving infrastructure, consolidate and re-shape products. This is so called “convergence” is very disruptive. I’m expecting DS to preview their V6 data manager for SolidWorks on coming SWW11. Best, Oleg