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14 Apr 2011

News from Russian CAD/PLM Market: Nov 2010 - March 2011: #24

David Levin

This is a brief overview of the Russian CAD/PLM market, based on blog publications.

In the first part you can find couple general facts related to the Russian market and/or reflected in our English publications:
- Space & CAD in Russia: 50 Years since Gagarin’s Flight,
- What Publications on CAD/PLM are the Most Popular in Russia?
- CAD Revolution: Inevitable and Already Started
- A Hot Discussion around BIM at
- "The Dassault Systemes Success Story" by Francis BERNARD
- From COFES-Russia and COFES-Israel to The Big COFES at Arizona
- Russian Social Networking: In and Beyond the CAD/PLM Market
- Microsoft in Russia: +25%
- CAD for military service
- In 95-99 usage of illegal software for biz in Russia decreased by 20%.

In the second part of this paper, I present some news on the activity of particular vendors at the Russian market:
ASCON, Autodesk, Dassault Systemes & SolidWorks, Intergraph, LEDAS, and some others.

I. General News

Space & CAD in Russia: 50 Years since Gagarin’s Flight
Gagarin On 12 April is the 50th jubilee of the first man flight to the space. Rocket and space technology has always been on the cutting edge of technological progress; however, back in 1961 developers of “Vostok” could not use CAD because such tools simply did not exist – the first CAD prototype, as we understand it now, appeared only in 1963. Russian Principal Designer Sergey Korolyov, and his colleagues used traditional engineering tools for that period – a drawing board and a slide rule.

The article published at with a support of the PTC office in Moscow outlines modern situation in the Russian space industry. In particular the overview is based on the story presented by Alexander Philatov, the Head of the IT Department of “Progress” Samara Space Centre - the company that for over fifty years has been producing legendary launch-rockets, originating from R-7: “Vostok”, “Voskhod”, “Molnia”, “Soyuz” - that Russian cosmonauts used to fly and that delivered automatic stations to the Moon and other planets. Today at “Progress” everything works on the basis of 3D models – from master-geometry to specific mock-up workpieces. “Progress” uses a lot of CAD and PLM tools from various vendors and the paper gives some impression how all this software co-exists in Samara.

“Progress” is actively involved in cooperation with Samara State Aerospace University named after academician Sergey Korolyov. The best graduates stay with the company. Furthermore, the University now has a specialisation directly oriented to “Progress” Space Centre – automated product lifecycle management. First students graduated in 2009 and many of them are now full-time employees of the company. Students are encouraged to work part-time so when graduated they can promptly immerse in work. The IT Department also employs students of the two final years, that are eager to learn about the processes within the company and receive professional training. One of the examples of student projects is developing “AIST” small student spacecraft. Design and engineering technology of a small spacecraft was fully based on CAE/CAD/CAM systems, it included the full cycle of designing separate space-borne systems, satellite engineering in general, and production implementation of engineering documentation and its operational support.

See a full paper “Space & CAD in Russia: 50 Years since Gagarin’s Flight”.

What Publications on CAD/PLM are the Most Popular in Russia?
Some simple conclusions from my blog post:
- Autodesk and ASCON are definitely the most popular CAD vendors in Russia,
- Inventor hardly enjoys popularity of Autodesk, however its popularity at the level of SW, DS, PLM,... is perhaps honorable for Autodesk,
- People are VERY sensitive to the topics of (il)legal software which from my point of view reflects a considerable progress in overcoming the problem in Russia - definitely an important topic to discuss separately,
- People are more and more interested in technology, trends, overviews, test drives... - if they trust the authors:),
- As always and everywhere, people are obviously attracted by topics of competition, conflicts between vendors, ..., whatever flavor of sensation...
CAD Revolution: Inevitable and Already Started
In September 2010, Vladimir Malukh and Dmitry Ushakov were invited by organizers of the Autodesk CIS Forum to make a talk on long-term trends (say by 2020) on CAD/PLM. The presentation done by Vladimir had a great success and became the basis of an interview published at in January. To give a more pronounced position of isicad, Vladimir’s paper was extended by the appendix combining an interview with Vladimir and some elements of a Round Table, involving along with Vladimir Malukh, David Levin, and Dmitry Ushakov.

Among the topics discussed: Clouds and SaaS, alternative licensing, new platforms, direct modeling, increasing prevalence of PDM over CAD, sustainability, and other. See full paper

A Hot Discussion around BIM at
This discussion was initiated by the article "Revolutions in Design" published in late September. Alexander Yampolsky, a practical and experienced engineer from Tula, a city close to Moscow, argued that collaborative work at integrated 3D-model is something unpractical for real-life AEC or at least premature. By today, the article got 50+ comments - most of them substantial and profound. People explained that BIM is today already broadly applied, that one should not consider BIM as artificial intelligence, compared BIM with PLM, gave some examples of successful approaches and technologies from MCAD that is hardly a more simple domain than AEC.

The discussion promptly continued by a series of bright and very well illustrated articles by Vladimir Talapov, a professor of Novosibirsk AEC University who is known as a strong supporter and practical promoter of BIM:
-What affects deployment of BIM in Russia
-Deployment of BIM: Conservatism and Common Sense
-BIM or not BIM: that is the question?
-BIM is actually Based on Whale (related to Frank Gehry’s sculpture of whale constructed in 1992 in Barcelona).

The text above is taken from my blog post of November. Since that time the discussion was not surprisingly completed: about 10 more related articles have been published (among them one – in English: "A More or Less Optimistic Update on BIM" by A.Bausk), and the number of comments exceeded 300.

"The Dassault Systemes Success Story" by Francis BERNARD
Francis Bernard is likely not a very popular person among young engineers who discuss in a kind of slang their everyday problems in technical forums or in Facebook. Therefore I was happy to publish a very interesting and detailed article "The Dassault Systemes Success Story" written by Francis - as far as I can understand - in particular thanks to the request from Deelip Menezes who has put the article in his blog. Francis was very kind to simultaneously permit this English publication also at as well as a Russian version at so that we could see a very big interest from our readers independently of their companies.

Few introductory words to this publication say: "Francis Bernard is well known in Russia as the founder and first director of the office of Dassault Systems Russia. Francis have had a great personal influence on the dissemination of ideas of PLM in the Russian market. This professional and human influence was also implemented in Siberia where Francis actively participated in three isicad forums: 2004, 2006, and 2008.

From COFES-Russia and COFES-Israel to The Big COFES at Arizona
For sure almost all Western readers have for a long time been aware about COFES however COFES held in Moscow in September 2010 became something new for Russia. COFES-Israel could be considered as something intermediate between Russia and Arizona. I found the event in Tel-Aviv very nice, compact, and effective, see my report for

One of the results of Brad Holtz’s visit to COFES-Russia is that in the COFES 2011 list of key participants you can find 5 persons from Russia: three – from ASCON (incl. CEO Maxim Bogdanov), one from CSD (the biggest Russian distributor of Autodesk and others), and LEDAS CEO Dmitry Ushakov who in particular is eager to discuss the LEDAS implementation of parametric direct modeling.

Russian Social Networking: In and Beyond the CAD/PLM Market
Russia is often considered as actively growing in all Internet-related directions but still lagging behind in social networking - especially at the enterprise level. For example at COFES-Russia / isicad-2010 some foreign experts talked about this lagging behind as obvious while the Russian attendees supported this discussion by their explanations why total networking is premature for the Russian market.

Recently I ran across a report of DigitalLife, whose study presented a global data on social networking and characterized Russia as one of the leaders… Read more.

Microsoft in Russia: +25%. What about Autodesk?
According to the article in the Russian daily Vedomosty (partially based on the IDC data, the Russian sales of Microsoft in 2010 grew by at least 25% while the whole Russian software market increased by only 15%. IDC estimates the Russian income of MS in 2009 as $800M and correspondingly as 1 billion in 2010. At the same time, IDC believes that the total volume of Russian software market during 2010 increased up to $ 2.3 billion which means that MS's software market share in Russia is today about 43% (looks strange to me). Read more here.
CAD for military service
February,23 was in Soviet Union a holiday - "The Day of Soviet Army". In today's Russia this day is practically celebrated as "The Men's Day" - for symmetry with The Women's Day of 8th March. However to support the tradition and use this opportunity published by Feb 23 an illustrated review of some military CAD/PLM applications: both in Russia and abroad. See the Russian original and Google-translation.
In 95-99 usage of illegal software for biz in Russia decreased by 20%
In contrast to the progress with software in bisiness, piracy with movies is still a big problem. The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) recommended Russian government to establish in (already existing and successful department "K" which fights against piracy) a special division oriented to illegal movies and more generally to Internet.

II. Some links and details about companies operating in Russia

The company is recognized as the biggest Russian MCAD vendor competing in this market niche with Autodesk (each of them estimated as keeping about 20-25% of the market).

You can get acquainted with the current state of the company in the isicad article «ASCON, the Largest Russian CAD/PLM Company: Results of 2010 and Plans for 2011».

In February-March the Russian market was attracted by a local sensation which is characterized in “Team of CAPP VERTICAL Left ASCON to Implement HORIZONTAL”. The former team of VERTICAL founded a start-up called SDI Solution (semantic data integration) and now is looking for investors to implement their plans.

My own opinion is that ASCON is very dynamic, not only taking into account the company’s attention to cloud technology and business schemes. One rather important aspect is that ASCON is very actively seeking business contacts with the Western market. A press-release "ASCON boosts its presence in Europe" is one of the illustrations. As I mentioned above, three persons (including CEO) from ASCON will participate in COFES 2011.

Autodesk is obviously leading in active marketing actions at the CIS market. I have already mentioned Autodesk Russian Forums (with 1000+ participants) that can be associated with AU. In 2011, Autodesk complements its Big Forum (already scheduled for 21-22 Sept) with a series of road-show meetings to be held in 13 cities all over Russia and CIS. The key point of these meetings is that they bring together, on the one hand, activists of a so called Autodesk User Community of CIS (3000+ registered members) and, on the other hand, local communities of the Autodesk actual and potential users. In addition, Autodesk CIS is continuously extending its social-networking activity: above all, today they have user blogs on almost every Autodesk product, the situation which is so far not typical for the Russian market. Autodesk CIS have organized an extremely active promotion of the 2012 series with publication in all popular media including It’s worth mentioning that the biggest Russian software distributor Softline has started distribution of AutoCAD for Mac OS X.

It looks like marketing investments and creativity of Autodesk on the CIS market are well justified: the regional Autodesk results of 2010, that can indirectly be extracted from official reports and unofficial comments, are very good.

For illustration, consider two examples of the contracts that along with commercial effect have considerable social impact and add to the vendor’s publicity. First, the Bolshoi Theater purchased a number of licenses (Revit Architecture, 3ds Max, and AutoCAD) to modeling and simulation of staging and production. Second, in the framework of creation of the Skolkovo Innovation Center, a Russian company “EngineeringEnergyProject” starts designing all Skolkovo energy communications based on Revit, Civil 3D, and AutoCAD.

Today, April 14, a new head of the Autodesk CIS was appointed. It is Alexey Ryzhov who since 1999 has been working for Microsoft – also in Seattle.

Bricsys is noticeably extending its business in Russia, therefore isicad asked Erik de Kaiser, the founder and CEO, to tell for the Russian readers more about his company. In one of his answers Erik told: "… Russia is a country with a great engineering culture and a huge potential. We work together with an increasing number of Russian developing companies. Historically we have very good experiences with Russian developers. It may be interesting to know that we have a team of 14 outstanding software engineers in Nizhni Novgorod. This Russian team works on the core of the Bricscad product. For us the Russian market has a huge growth potential. Since 2003 all our software products are available in the Russian language. Recently we have released the new Bricscad Classic for LINUX in Russian and we are positively surprised by the immediate interest in the Russian market, confirmed by the large number of daily downloads. Bricsys will continue to explore new capabilities and new alliances with Russian developers. We have already a close collaboration with the LEDAS Company, based in Novosibirsk. We are also focusing on the Russian application market… Russia should always be in the top 3 of our most successful markets. We will do whatever we can to make this happen".

The full big interview with Bricsys CEO translated in English is here.

Dassault Systemes
Within the reported timeframe, I want first of all to mention an explosion of DS Russia networking activity: the Moscow office started publications in Russian LiveJournal, Habrahabr, and Facebook (the latter is translated at One more interesting news is that the Moscow office moved to another place and doubled its office rooms.

There was one but rather important English isicad-publication "CATIA V6, ENOVIA V6, DELMIA and 3DVIA Composer Automate Nuclear Power Plant Construction Process". And of course, the next news about SolidWorks in Russia obviously characterize DS Russia developments.

Does SolidWorks Have Competitors in the Russian Market?
SolidWorks is rather successful in Russia, the fact which was confirmed at SWW 2011 and also at the previous such events. This, as well as probably new relations between DS and SW, for the first time in history resulted in establishing a position of the head of DSSW representative in Russia. Pavel Bruk (39) who was appointed to this position is a kind of unique guy: his CV includes education in airspace design, Computervision, Innovation and Design Center in Liverpool University, Unigraphics (incl. PDM, working in Germany,…), Intel, Autodesk, Bentley Systems, and at last (since Jan 2011) – DS SolidWorks.

In a recently published big interview for the Russian language magazine CAD/CAM/CAE Observer, Pavel made a series of sharp statements that many people will definitely not agree. Here are some fragments from the interview which in particular gives an impression of a keen competition at the Russian CAD/PLM market.


LEDAS continued to reconfigure the company structure aiming at enlarging the business in general and balancing its three main directions:
(1) Software development services for CAD/CAM/CAE/PDM vendors,
(2) Licensing of LEDAS technology components (mainly, geometric solver, direct modeling component) to CAD/CAM/CAE vendors,
(3) Developing end-user CAD products as plug-ins for popular platforms (LEDAS Driving Dimension series).

The first direction seems to become the most profitable and promising due to unique correlation between competence in science intensive software development, experience in this domain, and rates. In addition, within such service contracts LEDAS can apply its technological tools: geometric solvers, modules to implement direct modeling, and other. During the reported period, the company got several serious service contracts that so far, according to the customers wish, cannot be published openly. The results in other directions are reflected in the following publications:
- RhinoWorks from LEDAS Revolutionizes Direct Modeling
- "Cimatron to Introduce New Motion Simulator Powered by LEDAS LGS 3D"
- "LEDAS Adds Profile Management to LGS 2D Constraint Solver"
- LEDAS Improves Google SketchUp 8 with Driving Dimensions 1.4.

To further develop the LEDAS business, some organizational changes have been realized, see a press-release and an interview:
- "LEDAS Appoints Dmitry Ushakov as New CEO"
- "LEDAS Changes Leadership to Better Guide Future Development of CAD Technology".

In the beginning of February, Gerhard Sallinger, President, Intergraph Corporation, Process, Power & Marine, for the first time in the past few years, visited Russia. At the press-conference in Moscow he told that Intergraph, an USA company, is becoming more and more European. In particular, there is a goal to see Russia as the third income provider: this is rather realistic since in 2009-2010 Intergraph growth in Russia was at the level of 30% annually.

In Russia, Intergraph not only makes usual localization of its software and documentation but provides supporting information environment which completely satisfies formal national standards. It is worth looking through a detailed and illustrated (Google-translated) report of the Mr Sallinger press-conference. Also note a press-release "NIAEP Partners with Intergraph® to Develop a Solution for Nuclear Power Facilities Design and Construction".

PTC Russia announces PTC (Russia) Innovation Forum 2011 that is the largest event of Parametric Technology Corporation for current and potential customers of the company in industry regions of Russia. The company invites to get acquainted with its new solutions (Creo, Windchill 10, Mathcad Prime etc.), to listen to customers success stories, to directly contact PTC Product Management team & local technical experts and much more. May: Moscow – 24, Saint-Petersburg – 26, Ekaterinburg – 31. June: Kiev (Ukraine) – 2.
Siemens PLM Software
On April, 19-20 the company holds in Moscow its annual Russian PLM-Forum “Siemens PLM Connection 2011”. It is expected that among its 600 participants there will be managers and specialists from design and technological departments of the leading companies in various industries, including aircraft, engine, automotive, heavy machine construction, nuclear industry, and others. Plenary session will present trends of innovation technologies, a program of development of PLM solutions from Siemens, best cases from high tech industries, and other. Sections include overview of Siemens PLM products, and master classes on directions of “Digital manufacturing”, CAE, PLM for SMB, and others.
At the above mentioned press-conference in Moscow, Gerhard Sallinger said that AVEVA is the Intergraph's main competitor in Russia. See a press release AVEVA signs contract with OJSC Power Machines.

Shipbuilding seems to be quite popular domain:"MSC Software and St. Petersburg State Marine Technical University Establish Shipbuilding Simulation Competency Center".

isicad should have to tell more about TESIS, an original and leading Russian CAE+ vendor. But for the moment take a look at a press-release "FARO and TESIS open a new fully-fledged Calibration Center for advanced measuring devices".

See also:

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