Thursday, 4 March
Drafting is not a marketing tool
polish language version on SolidEdgeblog.pl |
Lukas Suma (CAD.pl) and Maciej Stanislawski
(CADblog.pl) talk with Isabelle Pellerey –
Velocity Series EMEA Marketing Director at Siemens PLM
We talked with Isabelle Pellerey during official premiere of
Solid Edge ST3 in Warsaw. Earlier this day, I had the
opportunity to talk with Tomasz Jęczarek – just minutes before
Isabelle Pellerey (Siemens PLM Software): Did you
manage to get information about five strongest advantages of
Solid Edge ST3?
Maciej Stanislawski (CADblog.pl): Yes, it
looks like I did. Technical information received directly from
Tomasz Jęczarek, will undoubtedly be interesting and useful to
our readers. But, this is not everything I wanted to find out;
therefore I tried to prepare a couple of questions, which I
don’t think will be answered during official presentations.
Please, if you would give me a minute to find them on my
Lukasz Suma (CAD.pl): And I’d like to ask about the impact,
which introducing synchronous technology had on the market.
Local market as well.
Pellerey: Answering this
question won’t be easy. Especially, since we are not giving
out exact numbers per market or product. Of course we notice
increased interest in our products, many people invest in
specialistic solutions, that use synchronous technology.
Overall, our customers can now design in 3D without
pre-planning, execute ECO (engineering change orders) much
faster, better reuse imported 2D and 3D data. 2D users can now
move to 3D without having to learn complicated history-based
methds. And while moving to Solid Edge, existing layouts can
be utilized directly in 3D. 3D users can eliminate many known
deficiencies with history based, and while moving to ST can
retain drawings and 3D designs.
However, a lot of them still work using traditional modelling,
sometimes backed by advantages derived from synchronous
technology. Especially, because at first many users of CAD
systems were very sceptical towards synchronous technology.
With the continuous development of synchronous technology we
make sure that our products offer interesting and useful
solutions for our customers. For example a simulation module,
implementation of Femap possibilities to Solid Edge
environment, allowing each user to run adequate tests and
analysis of a designing detail.
MS: Yes, that could be especially
interesting, but not for those, who already have knowledge
about analysis in finite-element method and have worked
directly in CAE programs, such as mentioned Femap.
IP: Of course,
but we are talking about slightly different consumers,
different profile of users.
MS: That’s true. That was also mentioned during today’s
IP: At the
same time Femap is only available in the English version,
which also creates a barrier for many potential users. Using a
simulation module in Solid Edge ST3 doesn’t involve such
LS: Another business question: almost
everyone says, that times of a crisis are not good for
introducing new systems, new programs and also – for investing
in them. Did you - as a company operating on the computer
engineering systems market – in any way felt affected by this
IP: Yes, in some countries people did start to pay more
attention to prices, costs of software. They pay more
attention to relation of actual costs to benefits that will
come from investment.If investments help them to make their
business more profitable, they continue to invest... more
carefully than in good economical times of course. .
And in Poland?
still invest in IT solutions. But as I mentioned, some
countries notice decrease in investments in general, also in
the area in which we operate.
MS: And what is your opinion on our market? In comparison to
other countries from the region, of course. From the point of
view of someone responsible for Velocity portfolio?
IP: As someone from the outside (not directly involved
in the Polish market) I can say, that thanks to our Polish
partners we are selling all the products that make up Velocity
portfolio. In some other countries we focus our attention for
example on CAM solutions, but here we have CAMdivision, the
best of our partners, to whom we owe, that this area of our
interests is not left without our solutions. We get specific,
exact feedback from partners, through them we also gain
knowledge of the market, which allows us to better prepare
future strategy. This makes Poland a really good example of a
country, where we sell all our products and systems which are
part of the Velocity Series portfolio. I don’t know everything
about Polish market, but I do realize, that there are many
industrial plants here, many manufacturers, many companies,
that want to invest. And all the time new ones emerge, while
in other countries such progress is not there.
LS: So now maybe on another note. There are
over 1000 new functionalities in ST3.
actually it’s almost 2000 new functionalities, new system
This is why I wanted to ask: how do you receive feedback,
information about need for new functionalities and – how many
such voices did you receive before this edition.
IP: We received around 2000 requests. For example
around 900 people asked for new functionalities regarding user
interface. Many requests concerned changes and improvements in
the SheetMetal area. However, I’m not able to give you exact
data how many requests regarding each functionality. As usual,
there were really lots of them, we look at each request and
formulate a plan to implement, At times we compile many
requests into a single piece of functionalithy so many
customers can get better served..
In reference to free 2D – I think this was a way to convince
and attract users to Solid Edge.
IP: There was a need for free 2D as well, there were
also such requests from users. Especially, as there wasn’t a
free 2D program on the market... Not
only is our solution free, but it include parametric sketching
and a unique “Goal Seek” tool that let’s users solve complex
engineering problems with simple 2D free-body diagrams.
MS: That’s true. At the moment of Solid Edge’s 2D Drafting
debut, it was the only free professional CAD 2D solution.
LS: Nice move:
Dear users, here we give you good free software. If you like
it, you can buy our 3D solution... Do you really think it was
a good idea?
IP: It definitely was a major investment on our part!
(laughs) And more importantly any 2D data that is created in
Solid Edge 2D Drafting can be used in Solid Edge 3D.
MS: Actually, I don’t think it was such a huge investment.
I mean, after all 2D Drafting is only an assigned part of a
completely functional version of Solid Edge ST, in some way –
it’s a part of its code. There was no need to engage experts
and create this solution from scratch.
IP: In some
ways I agree with you. When it comes to development and
implementation of this solution, there was no need for bigger
expenses. However, making this free CAD 2D solution available
on the market - this required many investments and of course
involved certain costs. Even just collecting information about
users, registration process...
MS: ...overseeing and providing access to
free licences, yes I can see now that is true.
that’s not everything. People, who register and download free
2D Drafting gain access to many network materials, that are
intended only for registered users. What is more, we provide
them with technical support, just like we do for users with
paid versions of our software. This is why, as I said before,
investments regarding free 2D wasn’t so much about research
and development area, as for servicing new users. That was a
necessity, which is shown even by the fact, that many previous
users of e.g. AutoCAD install our free solution.
LS: Do you happen to know how many new
clients you gain in this way – how many users of 2D version
decide to buy a full version?
IP: Thanks to
2D? Well, let’s start by saying, that a CAD 2D market still is
one of the biggest out there. This is why all the time there’s
a visible movement of users from 2D to 3D solutions. CAD
systems market hasn’t satiated in 3D solutions yet. In
comparison to Asia and Pacific markets – European market is
small, but free 2D tools everywhere notice growing interest.
The fact still remains though, that not everyone who
downloaded free 2D will buy 3D solutions in the nearest future.
But after all our free 2D Drafting is not only a marketing
And I think it’s one of the best!
MS: Banner on my page
www.solidedgeblog.pl, which redirects to registration and
downloading of this free tool, is – according to Google
statistics – one of the most clicked on from all that are
placed on my pages.
It allows you to download a free tool for commercial use...
MS: That’s right. As I said before, there was a time, when
this was the only available for free branded solution, at the
same time intended for a commercial use. I might take a risk
and say, that even now it still is the only verified solution
of this kind – competitive programs with similar capabilities
that are available for free, either didn’t leave the beta
stage or have very limited functionalities.
IP: Well, our
free 2D is indeed part of a proven 3D solution, which is why
such problems usually don’t occur.
Do you expect significant competition in this area?
IP: As this
is a free solution, it’s hard to talk about competition.
I would say it could be a problem only for Autodesk...
This brings me to my next question: who does Siemens PLM
Software consider as its main competitor?
MS: But do you mean other companies’ solutions – in the
context of synchronous technology – like Creo, Fusion
Yes, which one from competitors’ solutions may pose a threat
to ST’s position?
IP: Well, I must say, that in terms of synchronous
technology we feel rather safe and comfortable, at least for
now (laughs). That’s for ST3. At the same time we have
excellently integrated PLM environments. Obviously, we look
towards the future and are positioning ourselves to meet
expectations of the market, thinking well in advance.We know
the players on the market, but we feel solid and confident
MS: So it’s a little like looking from above at competitors’
Hey, hey, friends, where are you? (laughs)
I guess so. We implement ST in all our solutions, not just
Solid Edge or NX. We own the Parasolid kernel...
MS: That was a brilliant move.
right. So we will observe the tendencies, also in the PLM area
and react adequately.
And what do you think about such new ideas like cloud
computing? They are getting more and more popular...
IP: This is something, that we are letting others talk
about. Of course we are interested in this subject to some
extent... For transactional based
computing (banking for example), cloud computing makes sense.
It’s not proven for CAD that happens to be processor and
memory intensive. For every user, you need a processor and 1
processor can’t really keep up with multiple users. Multiple
processor support tends to be an impossible propostion for CAD
applications because of the ordered approach used (this can’t
compute until that is done. Also the main performance
bottleneck in CAD computing is getting data in and out of
memory (and the disk). We are just not sure the cloud will fix
these or make them worse.
MS: But there have already been Siemens PLM
Software applications, smaller apps and solutions, that work
on mobile devices, from the PDM area. In my opinion, maybe it
would be sensible to prepare systems in two versions –
traditional and using cloud computing capabilities.
IP: Yes, but right now it is too early to say, whether
we are or aren’t going in that direction. We’re keeping an eye
on cloud computing, but all evidence indicates it’s not for
As for me, this would be all for now. Maciej, do you have any
MS: Of course I do. I’d like to go back almost to... the
LS: And by the way one more question
about... dates. Solid Edge ST1 was announced, if I remember
correctly, in May?
IP: Yes, there is some delay in releasing another
versions of synchronous technology. ST2 was available in
October of last year.
So what is the „waiting time”, time period between two
consecutive versions? Can we assume that it’s around a year
and a half?
IP: The factor that has significant impact on dates of
releasing new versions is also cooperation. Close cooperation
and coordination of work with a team responsible for NX
solutions. Generally our releases are around 1 year apart.
MS: And in part this answer is the introduction to my next
question: why did Solid Edge, and not NX, became the main
element of Velocity Series?
IP: Because of the simplicity of usage and rather small
level of complexity – in the meaning of working with a system,
clarity of code, simplicity of implementing new
functionalities, etc, but not its capabilities. The decision
to include precisely Solid Edge into the Velocity portfolio
came from purely technical reasons, and not... political. And
Solid Edge is better suited for smaller companies with less
complicated products or processes to manage.
MS: When did the idea to create Velocity Series came about?
And from whom did it emerge? The idea to provide the market
with a comprehensive solution, integrated programs, and not
just single systems?
IP: I think that we started working on that back in
2003, and the first official premiere took place in October
2005. We saw a need that smaller companies need to manage the
complete product life cycle in the same manner as larger
companies, but without large company staff, budge, and
implementation time.The idea of course emerged from the team
responsible for Solid Edge. We had to liaise on various issues
with people responsible for Teamcenter, for Femap... It wasn’t
a big team, but it was a productive one, and other people were
eager to participate in the work and help. And the final
product is one of my favourite ones! (laughs)
MS: Since we’re on the subject of small
teams, small groups of people, I would mention what I think is
the smallest firm providing software for 3D modelling. If I
remember correctly, Deelip Menezes was one of the first ones
to write about „Moment of Inspiration” – an application, which
comes from this exact company, and whose creator was Michael
Gibson, earlier responsible for Rhinoceros code. My question
is: Does Siemens PLM Software think about e.g. expanding
Velocity Series portfolio with this kind of solution – simple
CAD 3D system for free modelling. System, which could be sort
of a basic element preparing user for working with more
advanced applications. A step between?
IP: This is exactly why we have 2D Drafting in our
offer, which is supposed to be such a step towards a full
system, like Solid Edge ST3. As for a simple 3D modeller – we
didn’t receive any requests for such program, and we’re in
contact with many people involved in branches close to
engineering – designers, architects, for whom such a tool
could really be useful. But we’re not saying that it’s not an
option for the future.
MS: Of course, there are independent
solutions of this kind available on the market. For example
SolidThinking, which cooperates extremely well with different
„solid” CAD 3D programs. But I must point out, that the latter
is more expensive than Solid Edge ST3, and in Poland –
unavailable. So investing in buying it doesn’t really seem
But there are also cheaper programs, not to even mention
MS: ...or „Moment of Inspiration”, yes.
But aren’t you thinking about new, additional modules, for
example something connected with „green engineering”
IP: We are engaged in work on this kind of solutions
and I guess, that in some time there will be official
statements on that subject. As for now, we’re concentrating on
improvements in the mechanical design area. And with good
results. The key to a productive system that can be use for
production work is completeness. Modeling is one aspect, but
automated drawing production is a big part. Having these tools
also requires depth from standards coverage, to command set,
etc. Small “cheaper” CAD systems just don’t have the breadth
and depth—that takes years of development, large costs, and
consistent focus on customer needs.
MS: As for me, I think this would be all for now. Thank
you for the interview.
polish language version on SolidEdgeblog.pl |