Dassault Systemes is full speed ahead and introduced ENOVIAWORKS last week at 3DEXPERIENCE WORLD 2020 in Nashville, TN. The idea of DS is to introduce cloud-based (SaaS) solution to existing Solidworks desktop users is not entirely new. This is how Dassault Systemes explains this idea in the following video.
Which made me think, who will be target audience for this product and how ENOVIAWORKS will live in balance with other SOLIDWORKS PDM products and competitive offerings.
While marketing videos are always funny and entertaining, the devil is in details. How it will work? What functions will be available in ENOVIAWORKS and how these features will come compared to existing PDM systems (PDM Professional and Solidworks Manage).
Catch up on some of my early reading – How to navigate between SOLIDWORKS PDM Systems on premise and on the cloud? and How many PDM systems do Solidworks customers need?
Here are few thoughts to share when you will be considering one of the options.
1- SOLIDWORKS PDM (Professional or Manage)
On-premise PDM (PDM Professional or Manage) is a safe harbor option for any Solidworks customer today. These PDMs are mature over decades of the development and provide features and functions known for a long time. While the price is obviously one of the biggest concerns when it comes to Solidworks PDM decision, I can see an additional concern related to the way companies are doing business today. With growing needs for a distributed work, collaboration and global access to information are quickly becoming a big deal. And existing Solidworks PDM infrastructure has nothing to offer to customers to work remotely.
2- ENOVIAWORKS SaaS
ENOVIAWORKS can be an interesting option. It will bring a modern technology for collaboration and data management to users, while leaving existing Solidworks desktop untouched. 3DEXPERIENCE is a powerful and comprehensive solution and it will provide a lot of features and functions. But, it will come with a caveat. Again, the details are important. As far as I understand, ENOVIAWORKS is out of the box solution with no much flexibility. It is kind of hit or miss. If the solution does what needed, you can enjoy SaaS (assuming subscription cost worth it). But, if customization is needed at certain stage, migration to advanced 3DEXPERIENCE roles can be prohibitively expenses (as for the moment, I don’t see ENOVIAWORKS subscription price available online – all links lead to “contact sales” option)
3- Decision urgency and non-Solidworks alternatives
How urgent is the decision about PDM? Is there a sense of urgency to buy PDM? All existing PDM customers already have a solution and probably should not worry about ENOVIAWORKS. New PDM customers and new Solidworks customers are obviously an immediate target. Going back to a safe choice (on premise PDM) or jumping into a new SaaS offering (ENOVIAWORKS)? I can see customers deviating towards the SaaS option as less complex. Going with an on-premise solution with non-Solidworks PDM can be even riskier these days as a chance for these PDMs to provide a migration path to ENOVIAWORKS is even slimmer. Choosing other cloud-based (SaaS) products means replacing Solidworks with another CAD software tool, which might be not part of the plan. To use free tools like GrabCAD Workbench can be too risky if GrabCAD will stop to support the new Solidworks version (and refocusing in 3D Printing business).
What is my conclusion?
3DEXPERIENCE is adding a new PDM option for SOLIDWORKS customers. Will it be an obvious choice or a tough decision? What is better – existing PDM and SaaS option? In my view, these two options are hard to compare and more information is needed most from the side of ENOVIAWORKS. What functions are available out of the box, what functions can be configured? What is subscription cost for ENOVIAWORKS? It looks like the next few years will be interesting for SOLIDWORKS PDM market. Just my thoughts…
Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of OpenBOM developing cloud-based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups, and supply chain. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.