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Dassault

cad-free-pdm

CAD files. Everyone who is dealing with design and engineering is familiar with this type of data. Large files, many dependencies, hard to store, share, change. That was the place where originally Product Data Management – PDM was born (if you long enough in this industry you might remember EDM or TDM acronyms too). Until very recently, PDM tools were hard to install, configure and use. Engineers didn’t like them and tried to avoid it as much as possible.

There are some good news on the horizon. CAD and PLM vendors are recognizing the need to release engineers from PDM pain and focusing on how to improve it from both user experience and license cost. If you recall one of my earlier blogs this year, I was talking about some interesting changes in PDM licensing from GrabCAD and SolidWorks – The future of free PDM.

Recent announcement from Autodesk about changes in Fusion360 packaging is not directly related to PDM. In a nutshell, it was about moving bunch of premium Fusion360 features into standard package with subscription price $25/month. At the same time, Fusion360 is providing PDM functionality and it is part of the subscription license which cost you 25$/month. Navigate here to learn more.

Another my post “Onshape quietly developed Google Drive for CAD” will give you a perspective from another cloud CAD disruptor – Onshape. A set of CAD data management (PDM) functionality is part of Onshape product. The subscription has free option as well as  $100/month option. Navigate here to learn more.

It made me think about how much are we going to pay to manage and share CAD files in a near future?

The more “traditional” CAD / PDM approach is bundling CAD data management and integration functions into PDM/ PLM products. It forms a group of relatively expensive CAD data management tools. Navigate the following links to see examples –  Aras CAD data management, Autodesk Vault, ENOVIA CAD data management, SolidWorks Enterprise PDM, SolidEdge SPSiemens TeamCenter PDM, Windchill PDM Link. The license cost and TCO is not always obvious and transparent (not very different from many examples of on premise enterprise software). At the same time, the functionality of these packages are often goes much beyond just managing revisions and sharing CAD files.

Another group of vendors and products are formed by new “cloud products” that can give you an option to manage and share CAD data. All of them are subscription based. For some of them, PDM is an integral part of a bigger product.  There are products with free subscription option under some conditions. Here is the list of vendors – Autodesk Fusion360, Autodesk A360, GrabCAD Workbench, Onshape, Kenesto Drive, Team Platform. I’m sure missed some of new cloud outfits, so please let me know about new cool names to be added.

What is my conclusion? I can see a strong trend for making CAD data management ubiquitous and near free is a reality we might face very soon. Cloud CAD vendors will lead this trend because PDM is an fundamental part of cloud CAD delivery mechanism. It will take trajectory of cost for CAD data management and collaboration to zero. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

 

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cloud-plm-first-mover

I’ve been doing lots of reading today. So, I decided to share some of them related to business strategies, sales, competition and cloud adoption. The first one from Peter Thiel’s lecture about business strategies and first movers. Navigate here to listen. Here is my favorite passage:

So even if the market starts small, you can grow your business quickly enough to stay at the same size as the growing market and maintain the monopoly of power. Now the critical thing about these monopolies is it’s not enough to have a monopoly for just a moment. The critical thing is have one that lasts over time and so in Silicon Valley there is always this sort of idea that you want to be the first mover and I always think in some ways the better framing is you want to be the last mover. You want to be one of the last companies in that category, those are the ones that are really valid. Microsoft was the last operating system, at least for many decades. Google was the last search engine. Facebook will be valuable if it turns out to be the last of social networking site. 

Another one was about selling to new vs existing customers. Navigate to the following article to read more – 87 New (Really) Marketing Automation Stats. Here is the passage:

According to Bain & Company, a 5% increase in customer retention can generate a 75% increase in profitability. And it’s 6 times more costly to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one. (Forrester Research, Competitive Strategy in the Age of the Customer, Oct 2013)

And the last one was about competition between Microsoft and Google – Everyone is talking about how Microsoft Office 365 is suddenly beating Google Apps. It speaks about adoption of Microsoft Office 365 product – a cloud version of desktop Microsoft Office. Here is a shocking numbers:

“Over the last six to nine months, Office 365 usage has skyrocketed,” he told us. “We see it on our network. We see usage of applications.” Up until last October, Google Apps was more popular, he said, and Salesforce and Box were the most popular apps used at work. That’s all changed. “Office 365 hasn’t quite taken over Salesforce.com yet, but it probably will in the next few months,” he says.

This is happening because Microsoft “is going around to every organization in the world and saying, ‘hey, you know your email, you’re on-premise Exchange server? You need to move that to the cloud. And here’s financial incentives to do that.”

All together, it made me think about cloud PLM adoption. Last week I put some of my thoughts about changing landscape of public cloud PLM usage. It is interesting to watch dynamics of cloud PLM adoption. There are companies that clearly can see themselves as a pioneers in PLM cloud. However, large PLM vendors are coming with new cloud strategies and selling them to existing customers. You can see some parallels between Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365.

Here is a news I just captured about new Dassault System 3DEXPERIENCE release 2015x. Navigate to Develop3D to read -Dassault Systèmes 3DExperience platform gets immediate update via the Cloud. Here is a very interesting passage:

Billed as ‘the largest cloud portfolio in the market’, businesses already employing the platform on public or private clouds were automatically updated to release new benefits, with more than 250 new capabilities within the transportation and mobility industry sector alone.“Every single cloud customer is already taking advantage of the volume of new enhancements we’ve implemented in R2015x, demonstrating the power of the cloud model,” said Dominique Florack, senior executive VP, R&D, Dassault Systèmes. “We are the first to truly take advantage of this model, in its simplicity, for our customers of all types and sizes.”

What is my conclusion? Cloud PLM is coming in a very interesting phase of competition – the competition for PLM mind. In many situations, it is about how to sell PLM to existing customers. These customers might have few PLM implementations already done. They are looking how to improve processes, replace some old tech and leverage cloud with low upfront cost of PLM. These customers might consider some coexisting strategies with old tools. Who will sell them new PLM solutions. If I rephrase Peter Thiel, who will become the “last cloud PLM vendor” in the market. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

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ds-solidworks-cloud

The race towards CAD in the cloud is getting more interesting every day. I’ve been watching SOLIDWORKS World 2015 live streaming this morning. Overall SOLIDWORKS show was very impressive, as usual. I look forward to keep watching it following days.

However, what caught my special attention today is a presentation of a new cloud product – SOLIDWORKS Industrial Design. Couple of interesting facts about new product  - works on top of Dassault 3DEXPERIENCE platform (in many aspects, think about it as ENOVIA V6); focus on free design with no traditional CAD constraints; leveraging cloud approach for social connection between users and collaboration. And… it is complimentary for SolidWorks users. Demo of product presented few scenarios in which design flow went between new cloud product and old SolidWorks connected by 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Sounds like a big deal.

The story about new SOLIDWORKS/3DEXPERIENCE product took me back to my comparison of Onshape and Autodesk Fusion360 visions few days ago – Carl Bass and Jon Hirschtick are in agreement about future of CAD. In my view, changes in design world towards distributed teams and ability to work effortlessly on any device without installation and manual upgrades are two main driving factors behind new cloud solutions. The story about Autodesk Fusion360, Onshape and SOLIDWORKS made me think about interesting priorities all creators of cloud CAD are thinking about. It was well articulated during SolidWorks World 2015 first day keynote –  supporting any device, information is up to date all the time, users are connected (see picture above).

It makes a perfect sense to me, since it is a great reflection of modern cloud paradigm you can see well developed in products such as Google Apps, Office 365 and others. However, this is a place where complexity of CAD data requires from cloud products to be more sophisticated. Traditionally, CAD project is combined of multiple files – assemblies, parts, drawings, etc. As you start making changes you very quickly end up with a complexity of many-to-many relationships between different versions of parts, assemblies and drawings. Move it to the cloud – the complexity won’t disapear.  Therefore, you can see both Autodesk Fusion360 and SolidWorks Industrial Design are trying to solve. I had no chance to see Onshape product yet, but my hunch Onshape will try to solve this problem too.

Autodesk Fusion360: revision control, branching and collaboration

autodesk-fusion360-rev-branchescarl-bass-fusion-360-au2014-2

SolidWorks Industrial design: 3DEXPERIENCE collaboration, branches, revision merging

solidworks-industrial-design-1solidworks-industrial-design-2

What is my conclusion? In a traditional CAD world, the problem of file revisions, collaboration and data control was part of PDM solution. Historically, CAD vendors were reluctant to solve PDM problems unless it became absolutely necessarily. PDM was complex, required services, special pre-sale process, etc. However, cloud is creating a new demand and constraints for new CAD in the cloud paradigm. With the absence of file system exposed to end user, cloud CAD system will have to solve a PDM problem first. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

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How to transform old CAD-PDM integration paradigms

January 23, 2015

Integration of CAD and PDM is a field with long history of battles, innovation and failures for the last 15-20 years. You can hardly undervalue the importance of integration between CAD and data management tools. For some time in the past CAD and PDM were separate systems. Engineers had to switch from CAD to PDM […]

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When BOM is not BOM

December 17, 2014

Bill of Materials (BOM) is a central part of everything in product development. Sometimes, people call it product structure. Manufacturers are using BOM to define list of raw materials, parts and sub-assemblies with corresponded quantities need to manufacture a product. This is over simplistic definition. As usual, devil is details and BOM story is getting […]

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PLM software lifecycle and social development roadmaps

December 16, 2014

My post few days about PLM software replacement cycle turned into discussion about the way companies are implementing and maintaining PLM software, upgrades, new versions and planning investments into infrastructure and enterprise software. My attention caught Technia on demand webinar – The future of SmarTeam. It is an example of long software development cycle, maintenance, support […]

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Social PLM: How to pull a trigger?

November 19, 2014

In my yesterday blog, I shared some of my thoughts about “Facebook at Work” and potential impact on engineering and manufacturing software. It made me think again about all discussions and stories related to social software trend and social PLM. Social was trending topic 3-4 years ago. Many new companies were founded back those days to […]

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PLM Vendors and Tunnel Vision

November 11, 2014

I’ve been following Dassault Systems 3DXforum this morning. Thanks for technology improvements these days you can be almost present at the events by combination of live streaming and social media communication. The first presentation by Bill Taylor, Fast Company editor struck me by mentioning of the idea of Tunnel Vision. I took a trip to […]

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Multiple dimensions of BOM complexity

October 15, 2014

Bill of Material topic is getting more attention these days. No surprise. BOM is a center of universe in manufacturing (and not only) world. People can disagree about terminology applied to BOM management. Depends on a specific domain people can call it part list, specification, formula. But at the same time, everybody speak about the […]

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What cloud PLM cannot do for you?

September 19, 2014

It has been already few years since I started to discuss cloud PLM opportunities on my blog. I found one of my early blogs about PLM and cloud – PLM and cloud: hold the promise? So, what changed since then? Actually, quite a lot… We’ve seen massive adoption of cloud and mobile by businesses in […]

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