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12 Nov 2012

October helps to better understand the market of Engineering Software in Russia

David Levin

cover 99 The cover of the 99th issue (October, 2012) of reflects several events related to the Russian market of engineering software. Some of them mainly belong to the genre of marketing. However, smart marketing not only can shape customers’ demands but in the long run transforms vendor’s virtual manipulations into their innovative software… Some important characteristics of the Russian market are described in the reports from numerous events held in October. Unfortunately, most of the links are in Russian however, I will try to give you some flavor of the state of art.

October, 2. ASCON’s autumn harvest

ASCON held its Technology Forum in Yekaterinburg, a one-million city in the very industrial and intensively developing Ural region. (Below you will see that ASCON was not the only company which chose Yekaterinburg for its forums). The company has a lot of new things to demonstrate to the market, some of them were presented in the September cover page with a title “The Autumn Harvest” and described in the isicad publications: "ASCON Releases DEXMA as a Competitor to PLM 360", "Cooperation between ASCON, Bricsys and LEDAS Brings Variational Direct Modeling to KOMPAS-3D", "Production management system - «GulfStream» with elements of Advanced Planning&Scheduling"(in Russian), "Lotsman-24-AEC for Android"(in Russian), and some other.

The Forum in Yekaterinburg was held in a big business center, where the room did not have enough seats for everybody wishing to attend:

ASCON October 2012

Perhaps, more important is that at the forum ASCON presented its 14 technologic partners, i.e., the companies (including LEDAS) who participate in creating and improving ASCON products.

It is especially pertinent to mention here that in October, it was announced that ASCON and Autodesk began to cooperate within the Autodesk Developer Network program. The press release says that the cooperation enables the Autodesk CAD systems such as AutoCAD 2013 and Autodesk Inventor 2013 to be integrated with the ASCON’s PLM and production management systems like LOTSMAN and VERTICAL as well as with rich libraries of models built by ASCON. According to reliable sources, negotiating the deal was not simple and took a long time; its results are really welcome by a lot of customers.

By the way, note one of the ASCON’s news of October: The Electroshield Group from Samara renewed its 300 licenses of KOMPAS-3D and KOMPAS-Graphic V13.

October, 2-4. Bricsys Technologies Russia is moving Bricsys into the MCAD niche

The Bricsys Annual Conference at Amsterdam was not an event of the Russian market however one of the key Bricsys results presented in Amsterdam was produced in Russia, Novosibirsk, in the office of Bricsys Technologies Russia (BTR). In his detailed and remarkable article «BricsCAD is the first ever .dwg-based parametric 3D CAD platform» (in Russian), Dmitry Ushakov, CEO BTR, wrote: “I will tell you a small secret: the whole last year, the BTR team was persistently working to turn BricsCAD into an MCAD- class product. For sure, it was impossible to plan creating a SolidWorks analogue within one year by our small team, however we have implemented something which enables right now to position BricsCAD as a software for design of machines and mechanisms".

Being 100% .dwg-compatible, BricsCAD Platinum supports the main workflow of mechanical design: from parametric 2D drafting to 3D direct modeling with geometric and dimensional constraints. It also allows organizing .dwg files into hierarchies of mechanical components to model complex assemblies with the possibility of using 30 000 standard parts, navigate on the assembly hierarchy, produce an associative BOM, and solve forward and inverse kinematic problems in real-time:

Bricsys MCAD features

ZWSoft NY action Some related issues are described in my English blog post “What is more important than a technical result of ASCON + Bricsys + LEDAS => KOMPAS-3D VDM ?”.

Maybe here is the best point to mention about intensive activity in Russia of ZWCAD - one of the main competitors of Bricsys. During recent months,, the Russian reseller of ZWCAD, has drastically increased its publication activity and announced discounts for ZWCAD+ Standard — to $440 and ZWCAD+ Professional — to $500. Also, playing with the “unlucky number - 13”, ZWSOFT announced that those who will buy 13*k licenses of ZWCAD by New Year 2013 will get a prize an appropriate iPad:).

Octover, 3 and 4. The First Autodesk University in Russia

Autodesk University is for sure a self-speaking brand. This year, Russia and CIS have won the honor to hold such event for the first time – after a series of very successful annual forums (each of which gathered more than 1000 participants) and after a number of obviously bright, creative, and fruitful marketing projects (like SAPRYAZHENIE – a very popular roadshow invented by the Moscow office which is mainly organized and implemented by the customer’s community rather than Autodesk staff, see some explanations of Anastasia Morozova). AURus 2012 has justified the rebranding of forums: the event gathered almost 3000 participants who were definitely enthusiastic and inspired during all two days of the event. published at least a dozen pre-event articles (such as “AURus will actually last over 8000 minutes = 16 working days. Interview with Anastasia Morozova, the key organizer” or “28 of 220 items from the AURus agenda that I would like to attend”), several repors (Day 1 and Day 2), and some of the six interviews taken at the event (such as “BIM brings beauty back to design” with Chris Tisdel from Gehry Technologies, “The British beauty” with Neil Lloyd-Sherlock from Aston Martin).

Here is a small piece from the isicad-interview with Lynn Allen:
David Levin: The name of your position in Autodesk – Evangelist sounds quite strangely in Russian …
Lynn Allen: Oh yes, I know, it’s because of the religious origin… In some countries, we call it technologist.
David Levin: However for me, the word was unnatural only until your talk here at AURus and until this our meeting. Now, I can see: you are just the right example of Evangelist in the software domain. If I were much younger, I would be fascinated by AutoCAD…
(to be continued, I hope the isicad-interview with Lynn will be approved by Autodesk much earlier than the next AU in Moscow will begin:))

Lynn Allen Evangelist

Lynn Allen, the Evangelist

AURus crowd

Yes, this was definitely the biggest ever CAD event in Russia

AURus top managers

Several Autodesk VPs and top managers were very active at AURus. On the picture: a press-conference moderated by Anastasia Morozova, the marketing leader of Autodesk Russia & CIS

AURus informal

200+ presentations, an exhibition and many other serious things were combined with informal issues typical for Autodesk

October, 6. Towards COFES Russia 2013

Brad Holtz, the President of Cyon Research and COFES, after his talk at AURus 2012 visited St.Petersburg and its satellite town Peterhof to proceeed with organization of COFES Russia 2013. The event will be held in this comfortable hotel:
Petergof hotel

600 meters from the world famous Peterhof park:

Petergof park

See some other pictures in my blog post and in my interview with Brad Holtz “COFES Russia 2013 will be held on May 30 - June 1 in Peterhof, without projectors and ties”.

October 8. Lotsia Soft, the Russian PLM leader?

Lotsia-Soft is a Russian company founded in 1997. Its website says that "Today, Lotsia-Soft is a leader of the national market in the domain of development and installation of PLM/PDM/TDM/Workflow, which has been twice certified by the award "CAD Elite"" instituted by the Russian CAD&Graphics magazine. The same website announced that in January 2012 the company’s software was used at 800+ enterprises of 28 (!) industries. On October 8, Lotsia Soft held its 9th international PLM-conference in Moscow(interestingly, the company managed to purchase a nice domain name

The key impressions from the company’s website: it is basically PDM integrated with a lot of popular CADs, it includes some modules of ERP, and it is probably customized to some industries. Last but not least, Lotsia has distribution partnership with Xerox, Microsoft, Oracle, and Sybase.

The company looks solid and somewhat mysterious:). It would be interesting and useful to see some day a comparison of its solutions with those of the world and national markets. Perhaps, some publications other than purely technical or advertising made in Russian language could help to be better aware about Lotsia Soft. (BTW, I wonder what do ASCON, Appius and Top Systems think about the Lotsia-Soft’s announcement of the national leadership in PLM? Maybe it’s a kind of a lexical trick: in Russian, there are no articles, you write just “leader” – without “a” or “the”).

October 16-18. Top Systems presents its successful experience of development & installation of PLM+ERP

A Russian CAD/PLM company - Top Systems is mostly known by its solid parametric 3D CAD T-FLEX but also by its PLM+ environment which includes classic MCAD facilities, advanced PLM system, and the extendable set of ERP modules. Recently, Top Systems has caused a sensation by its several isicad-publications: one of them compared T-FLEX with SolidWorks (the comparison performed by a partner from Poland, this Russian article became a leader of visits in the history), another "The Power of T-FLEX CAD Parametric Modeling. Part I" and Part II describes powerful parametrization facilities of T-FLEX in all details and with dozens video clips.

In mid-October, in the camping outside Moscow, TopSystems held its international conference “Practice of PLM+ERP installations” which was opened by a presentation on how to manage risks while installing PLM at an enterprise and then combined an overview of all available and prospective solutions, master classes on several key systems, presentation of success stories, and reports about the state of the company's business in Western Europe by the partners from Poland and the Czech Republic. Top Systems is obviously on the rise: note that the company is one of the key developers of the Russian Geometric Kernel (see also LEDAS Experts: "How our Company is Involved in Developing Russian Geometric Kernel").

Top Systems history

Talking about the 20-year Top System history...

Top Systems fishing

Fishing during the conference days is the best way to meditate about PLM, PLM+ and PLM+ERP

October 18. SolidWorks has a lot of very devoted and compassionate fans in Russia: can it increase the company’s Russian market share?

SWR Murovannaya

Elena Murovannaya,
the longstanding CEO and the iron
lady of SolidWorks Russia

We in (and in my blog) know that the word “SolidWorks” in the title of the publication is a guarantee of considerable increase of the reader’s visits to the publication pages (try “SolidWorks” in the search field at and you will see hundreds of relevant publications). And even a small suspicion of criticism against SolidWorks guarantees a lot of passionate defending comments (go to the above mentioned comparison of SW with T-Flex and you will see a heated discussion with 1000+ comments). A simple but probable explanation of such popularity is that in Russia/CIS, with its strong scientific and engineering traditions, SolidWorks is deservedly associated with a tool based on a solid technological background in contrast with some looking rash, mainly marketing-based, solutions. How this attractiveness affects the SolidWorks market share in Russia? A reliable answer is unknown and hardly possible since neither SolidWorks nor its competitors publish such data. However, one can assume that SolidWorks is definitely on a good position in the first three MCADs together with KOMPAS-3D of ASCON and Autodesk Inventor. Nevertheless, believes that SolidWorks can be distributed much better.

The distribution process of SolidWorks in Russia seems to be influenced by several factors. First, SW global sales managers are happy with the current results and seem not to be aware of the existing potential for growth. Second, DS still prefers not to promote SW distribution when SW can endanger distribution of CATIA and its PLM environment. Third, SW is the only major vendor which does not have its office in Russia (DS office absolutely does not deal with SW). The SW software is exclusively distributed in Russia by SWR –“SolidWorks Russia” – a Russian company whose well-chosen name does in no sense mean that it is organizationally related to SolidWorks Corp. or Dassault Systemes.

SWR forum crowd

SWR has a strong team of excellent CAD experts but its sales network and marketing activity are perhaps 10 or 100 times smaller than those of Autodesk or ASCON (isn’t it a good proof that SW has in Russia a great potential of growth?). I would not straightforwardly blame SWR for never using any kind of social networks or, more generally, inbound marketing however, by its societal positioning, one can get an impression that the company sells not a very popular mass product but a very sophisticated expensive system to be used only by extremely mature users. Some aspects of the sales organization do not look inspiring or clear. In contrast to other similar software products, the SW customer purchases “a software system” but not a license which, according to the Russian laws forces the customers to always pay VAT. The SW customers often are not permitted to choose a reseller (that may be geographically closer or looking more competent or proposing a better price or whatever) but should deal with a reseller who has first touched the customer – which is finally regulated by SWR. All this might look rather strange and ineffective but if everybody is happy including potential customers who are “inbounded” by the competitors, then what is the problem?

On October 18, SolidWorks Russia 14th Forum took place in Moscow. Interestingly, the Forum traditionally was held in the offices of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the registration procedure included a unique requirement “to submit a request written on the official letterhead certified by a signature of the head of the organization and its stamp”. Anyway, SWR announced that the attendance of the Forum again set a record. I am absolutely sure that it is true.

October 19. Bernard CHARLES visited Moscow to announce that DS leaves its competitors alone to play with PLM

The DS 3DExperience global road show headed by Bernard Charles as well as “what might mean 3DExperience?” were described in many details and commented by many outstanding global bloggers. My note is about the annual DS Forum held on October 19. The forum was initially (2004) held by/with IBM with active participation of the first director of DS Russia, DS founder and CATIA inventor – Francis Bernard. Until this year the event was called “PLM Forum” but now was rebranded into 3DExperience Forum. The first ever visit of a DS President to Russia became a sensation; Mr. Charles brought with him not only a tough EVP Monica Menghini but also a team of top managers whose domains of responsibility characterize DS business interests in Russia:
- Vice-President Marine and Offshore Industry Alain Houard: there is a huge project to build a number of helicopter carriers based on a French license;
- Vice-President Transportation and Mobility Olivier Sappin: AvtoVAZ is increasingly more oriented to Renault;
- Vice-President Energy, Processes and Utility Stephane Declee: nuclear energy is a very attractive sector of the Russian industry where Bentley Systems and Intergraph are already quite successful (take a look at the isicad-article “Russian Nuclear Stations Builder Applies 3DEXPERIENCE”;
- VP Sales Aerospace and Defense Patrick Fardeau: these industries are traditional for DS – also in Russia, however a competition with Siemens needs more and more attention and efforts.

Monsieur Charles demonstrated not only CATIA-like operations at iPad but also his readiness to courteously follow traditionally-imagined-Russian-traditions (assuming it is really vodka):

DS Forum 2012 Charles vodka

Some more Russian flavor related to DS:
During the 3DExperience Forum, you could see a Russian sport car from Marussia, the Russian internationally operating company which uses SolidWorks and CATIA, acquired control share of Virgin Racing, participates in F-1, and sponsors DS Moscow Forums:

DS Forum 2012 Marussia

GEOVIA is a new DS brand recently composed from the acquisition of Gemcom Software International whose Russian distributor Gemcom Software Russia (GSR) also became a part of DS. Olga Stagurova, CEO of GSR, a young lady with PhD in mathematics, was one of the key speakers at 3DExperience Forum

DS Forum 2012 Geovia Stagurova

See our isicad-reportage from the DS Forum.

October 18-25. By hosting ESI-Russia, Delcam Ural strengthens its already strong multi-VAR position

From the front page of the Delcam-Ural web site, one can justly conclude that the company is probably the broadest-band VAR in Russia. ASCON, Siemens PLM, JetCAM, SolidWorks and of course Delcam are among its partners. For about ten years Delcam-Ural was an official Russian representative of ESI Group and generated a lot of serious customers; on October 18 this resulted in opening the Russian ESI Group office.

On October 25, in Moscow Delcam-Ural held the Third ESI Conference “Technological Analysis as the Essential part of Effective Manufacturing” which, judging even by the key words of the Russian report, was amply representative and devoted mainly to the virtual prototyping in aviation industry. On October 27-28, in Yekaterinburg, Delcam-Ural organized a seminar announced as presentation of “(a) integrated information systems based on the solutions of Siemens PLM Software and (b) new features of Solid Edge ST5”. It is worth noting that the seminar was supported by “A regional union of the enterprises of the defense industry”.

October 25-29. SDI Solution is a partner of everybody?

SDI Solution was initially known as the team of CAPP VERTICAL which left ASCON to implement HORIZONTAL. Since that time the company has been one of the noticeable newsmakers of the Russian market. However, all news I have so far noticed are about establishing partnerships - although exciting, such as with Autodesk or SKOLKOVO foundation. On October 25, SDI announced its next partnership – now with a big Russian integrator Borlas and on October 29 – another one - with Siemems PLM. It is so far unclear how all this affects the real business and revenue of SDI…

October 30. Location and industrial development of Yekaterinburg attract all vendors

Map of Russia Note that Yekaterinburg, sometimes called the capital of the Ural region, is a fast growing city with about one million population and known as one of the Russia’s prime locations for industrial consortia. In October, this positioning of the city and the region was confirmed by the above mentioned events of ASCON and Delcam-ESI as well as by the already traditional and popular Autodesk’s SAPRYAZHENIE (see a link above – in the section about AURus) held in Yekaterinburg on October 30.

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