From Russia with CAD

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20 Dec 2006

isicad News Reviews in October and November 2006

David Levin

In October practically all Russian CAD-companies published some reports about Softool-2006 exhibition , while for many of them announcements and reports about their participation in the exhibition became the only news in September – October.

October gave us two useful PLM market reviews. CIMdata released their report «State of the global PLM market — 2006» (the state is good, while the forecast is optimistic), and Gartner also published positive «PLM-market review for the third quarter of 2006». Each of these fundamental reports in English can be purchased for approximately $5000, however, the main theses can be found in the CIMdata press-release) and Gartner-report-about-report which UGS happily published under the title «„Magic Quadrant“ of the Gartner agency positions UGS as a PLM leader».

Tenlinks, cadwire è cadalyst sites regularly publish detailed news and practically all world press releases on CAD/CAM/CAE/…PLM. It is interesting to see how often Russian companies - CAD-solutions providers – place significant English-language publications on these sites. TESIS is an obvious leader— around 10 publications per year (primarily because this company has an effective foreign face— CAPVIDIA); there are also some reports by Top Systems (approximately once a year— in connection with release of every new version of its brand product TFlex), ASCON (started making publications only in the last year (8) and now is pressing forward) and LEDAS (6-7 per year for the last 3 years).

By the way, many Russian companies still have to learn from a report made by a CADWIRE reviewer in 2002 in relation with T-FLEX Parametric CAD 7.2 release: Giving a positive assessment of the product and emphasizing its competitiveness in the global market, a reviewer, however, commented that «it is not possible to imagine that a production company in the USA would use a product made in Russia – even for free – if its provider doesn’t have a representative office in the USA…». As far as I’m aware, however, T-FLEX as one of the best parametric design tools has earned its popularity in the West where Top Systems has at least six representative offices.

Certainly everybody knows that nowadays all big companies pay growing attention to conquering the market of small and medium enterprises by creating new and actively promoting the existing easy solutions and products, focusing on the new market niches, increasing the openness of their solutions, etc. In this context the following announcements drew attention in the last month: DS informed about releasing their CATIA PLM Express and SmarTeam Design Express series; UGS — on further development of Solid Edge and about the program of free access to this product, as well as on releasing a second TeamCenter Express version; Autodesk — informs that «even children can master their products», opens a site for user testing of their developments, and organizes mass contests (winners are awarded a trip to Las-Vegas!); PTC demonstrates its special interest to the means of producing technical illustrations, which includes, in particular, its acquisition of a large profile company in the field; SAP announces a company strategy towards open standards and declares an open developers contest; Oracle publishes an attractive piece of news that small and medium businesses are moving from Microsoft to Oracle, and informs that the clients welcome its program for Linux and that IBM and Oracle joint their efforts on the Linux-program (interestingly enough Financial Times and «Vedomosti» (31.10) quote IBM Technology Director K.Clecner who said that , Oracle actions about Linux lead to market fragmentation by forcing users to support Linux-Oracle compatibility and, therefore, Linux may repeat the Unix fate).

I would give Autodesk the first place for generating interesting news in November. In herself Carol Bartz is a powerful marketing and advertising “tool”; her photographs as well as some direct and indirect references make it obvious that Carol truly enjoyed Moscow: in particular – one can see it on a unique poster created with Autodesk tools and presented to Carol.

Carol Bartz in Moscow

Judging by press reports, I can guess that at the bottom picture Carol recommends Alex Tasev (Head of their representative office in the RF and CIS) to start distributing PDM and approves his intention “to use the stick and the carrot policy to normalize the situation with licensing”. I think that recent declaration by the Autodesk CEO, Carl Bass «We don’t need PLM!» has been a successful maneuver: as if it misleads :) company’s competitors and at the same time it is kind of appealing tî production men who practice healthy conservatism. Serious analysts understand, however, that Autodesk is and will be more and more actively involved with PLM…

I would give positive appraisal of the development of ASCON publication policy: looks like the company has used professional PR services, as it’s practically the only company that gives news from Russia in the leading international magazines. Besides, in the last month ASCON radically increased the number of its foreign agents.

PCWeek Russian Edition demonstrated high level of professionalism, efficiency and growing interest towards PLM and ERP, which can be proved by the list of publications mentioned in November issue of the Tableau (with all references): CPM: IT for top-managers, ÑÅÌ (Customer Experience Management) new generation CRM, SAP ecosystem at first hand, Innovations of the "SAP Industry Forum", CATIA has started talking Russian, CAD and CAE in Europe: demand is growing, CAD market in Russia and abroad, PLM in the Magic Quadrant…

Why there are practically no news or even reports of the companies’ activities in Russia on the sites of overwhelming majority of the Russian representative offices of the leading world providers and their business partners? We know that all of them carry out productive work and their potential clients would be attracted by successful Russian cases rather than by formal references to the news on the Western market … It seems that the problem is of more general nature. A publication titled "Russian companies are lost in the Internet" says that according to the H&H Webranking rating, an average score of Russian corporate web-sites turned out to be the worst in Europe, in particular, due to poor updating rate and the news policy.

Nevertheless, this aspect is rather subjective. For me, among the most attractive November news items was a photo-report on the first billiard championship of the TopSystems company. As it is rightly said on the company’s site, «billiard is a sport that requires not only accurate eye and firm hand but considerable self-control and patience», which are important qualities of any CAD worker or a CAD-solutions provider. Besides, the pics clearly prove that the company is in a good shape so the market cannot escape new TFlex versions…

Partial translation from Russian

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