A Conversation With Think3 Trustee Andrea Ferri

I finally managed to sort out the communication problem that I was having with the court appointed trustee of think3 Dr. Andrea Ferri. I did a short email interview by sending a list of questions across.

Deelip: I would like to know the composition of the Creditor’s Committee. I want to know whether the committee has a person representing the Think3 customers in some way and who that person is.

Andrea: Dott. Sergio Salsedo, Avv. Fabio Patricolo, Rag. Sergio Quadri

Deelip: I understand that the short term plan is to pay the creditor’s whatever is due to them. That is a good thing. The most obvious way is to sell the IP of Think3 to someone who is interested. Is there any other option?

Andrea: Not only the IP. Think3 has several precious assets: employees, products, customers and partners. And more than 30 years of market presence and reliability. After the acquisition all these assets have been ill-treated but they are not disappeared. Many employees left, following Versata decision to close think3 offices, but they remained in the market or they are self-employee working already as consultants on think3 portfolio. The products are there, we have the competences to work on them and we (the think3 people) know – excuse the rudeness – what we’re talking about and what customers want. We are now restarting operations and recovering all the precious human resources that have been unwisely dispersed. Customers and Partners are there. They are astonished and confused but they are still there. They still believe in think3 product and people and we will work for them, they deserve it. I’m not saying think3 was healthy and solid before the acquisition, but it is crystal clear that after the “changing of the guard” with Versata we can see only price increase, reduction of customer services, poor support et cetera. Therefore even if this months of bad management left a sign, we are sure the company will be able to stand and fight again. Back to your question: we are already discussing with several major players about several and different options. Again the good point is that think3 has many assets. And I want to repeat the list, because they really count: employees, products, customers and partners.

Deelip: If the sale of IP to Versata is voided then do you need to refund Versata the money that they paid for the IP. If yes, from where are you going to get the money to pay back Versata?

Andrea: The legal procedure will consist in demand to the Court of Bologna like the others creditors of Think3 inc if the price was really paid.

I asked a few other questions as well. But understandably they were not answered due to their sensitivity because it looks like this matter is going to end up in court, one way or another.

Andrea also let me know that the court order documents have been uploaded to www.think3.com.

If any of you could leave a comment translating the court orders into English, I would greatly appreciate it.

 

  • Nainar

    Deelip, I really owe you one. I read a review by Jeff Rowe and left a remark also there.The real job of the social media/media is not to toe the official lines, but dig deep and find the facts and present it, without fear or favor. None of the MCAD magazines bothered to do that. It is not about money or legal repercussions. It is about standing by what you believe in. The assets of Think3 or any product company are not just its source code. But the combination of source code, people who developed it, and the customers who use it. Mere fact of getting access to source code does not guarantee success. Versata deal is a perfect example. Bloody they were not even able to fix documentation. Because it is too much for them without knowing head or tail of it. Dr.Andrea put it rightly. I do remember the conversation I had with the so called R&D Chief who visited our Bangalore Office and his cockiness to say that , “Oh, MCAD, no big deal, we have cracked much bigger cases after acquisition” and to see that they could not even pay attention to the release notes speaks volumes about their incompetency to understand what a MCAD Customer looks for or that they thought the MCAD Users are incompetent to notice the details. We all run Beta programs, keep close touch with them on what is coming up and it is really difficult for them to go and tell they developed it, when they knew nothing about it. As Dr.Andrea says, the company was going through a difficult time but it is not something that warranted a bankruptcy.It was done fraudulently and that is why it has been revoked. Watch his words, “if the price was really paid”.That really is the catch. I only hope the so called MCAD Media take a note and really be a watchdog, espousing the cause of customers and people who develop such technology intensive products and not just a Pomeranian dog of corporates writing obituaries when there is none. Think3 technology will be back in its feet for sure. All said and done, they were pioneers in bringing 2D and 3D together a decade back. They had so called Direct Editing, even before any other competitors had it. I have my own views on why they were not publicized as they should have been, but that is irrelevant. The fact is Think3 has been wronged and it has to be corrected.

    • @anainar:twitter It’s comments like these that make me wonder whether this blog is much more than just my hobby.

      I find it odd that the CAD media has largely been quiet over this entire episode. If Autodesk or SolidWorks so much as farts funny, they all go an analyze the event to death and write reviews about it. Here is a case where something potentially terrible may have happened and not many in the media seem to care. I don’t claim to serve the interests of the CAD vendors or the customers. I am simply doing what the sub-title of my blog says. And that is “keeping a close watch on the CAD software industry”, that’s all.

      • MD

        Who actually uses Think3 suite though? Out of all of this, I haven’t seen anybody jump to their feet to vouch for Think3 the product, or to plead that it be treated sympathetically. Is that because customers are dismayed that their investment in it might go south if they don’t play nice, is it because their maintenence is worthless, or is it because they’ve given up and abandoned it, bankruptcy the inevitable result? And Versata? They portray themselves as a white knight, but are their actions simply window-dressed asset-stripping. Who’s been a long-term user? No-one, or no-one who reads your blog?

        • Nainar

          MD, it is a combination of all.I know for sure some of the largest customers are pissed off and are finding ways to get on with their life after this fiasco. Some are OEM Customers, who use Think3 software for their software building. Whether they will come out in a blog site and write about it, I doubt because they have better things of running their businesses rather than fight some one else’s battle. And mind you, it is not Versata that acquired Think3, but some one else, and that some one else sold the main asset of Think3 to Versata. Who is that some one else? And why did they acquire if their intention was to sell the assets? It is a clear case of asset stripping and they guys who did are running helter skelter now.No one bothered to find out what happened and just wrote obituaries. It is this blog that kept the focus, and provided a platform. See how many small time customers came here and complained about the Versata support in this blog. Versata gave cold shoulder to every inquiry sent by media. Ray Kurland tried to get information a couple of times, and when he did not receive any reply wrote about it. And after that it was forgotten. This site kept the item running, and see what happened? After initial cold shoulders to everyone, they came talking to Deelip because people are following the developments and there is interest and customer base who are anxious. The individual lies were collectively exposed in this blog.That the new shipments were actually old ones done in 2010 by the old employees.They did not even change the release notes. So no one wants sympathy, hell no. We all want to stress the point out the fact that Versata just wants to milk to the last $ from Think3 customer base before it decides to dump the product in the garbage. It is the last thing one expects from an acquisition. And this has to stop. Not only for Think3 for any one thinking of doing such things, that the world is not pieces any more, and the net, blog and social media will make sure that the news spreads making life difficult for such corporate raiders.

          At the time of writing this, bumped into Ray’s article. Apparently he wrote it after the court order.

          http://raykurland.com/2011/04/22/think3-the-company-officially-out-of-business/

  • Rocky

    Hi Deelip, Is there any news of the customer care website? when will it be up and running?

    • Sorry, I have no idea about the customer care web site. Who the hell owns it, by the way? Versata or the trustee?

    • Nainar

      Custoemr care site is up and running.
      http://care.think3.com/
      Use your login and try logging in. My old ID when I was an employee does work, obbviously, but you can try yours and see.. I could access MyTraining site as well! Good going Dr.Andrea and the current Think3 management.

  • I’m positive my followers will find this article really useful

  • T3_user

    Phew…phew…phew….It works….well done think3 and responsible ppl….

  • Pogo

    Versata RIP…..we will pray for your professional souls…when you get there please dont strike a deal with Mr. Satan and rob him of his hell…

  • Harison sasquatch

    If none wants to buy them will the trustee take them open source?

    • Open source will not be able to pay the creditors.

      • Nainar

        I think the employees are the major creditors.It could be a proposal worth considering as well.There are many components like Constraint solver,data translation libraries which are not open source.

        • True. But the customers don’t seem to be part of the Creditor’s Committee, which was the basis of my point that open source will not be able to pay them off.

          • Nainar

            Creditors committee is the one supposed to look after the interests of all the parties.One who is running the show is past VP of think3 Sales.whether going open source will help more people choose think3 could be worth exploring as well.I don’t know but I know the guys running the show now are veterans in think3 market place I am sure they will look after all the interests

  • Pingback: Think3 Trustee Revives Customer Care Portal | Deelip.com()

  • Gino

    strange

    type on google : sec corel trylogy

  • 123

    i´m sorry gino, im afraid i dont understand, what does that mean?

  • JhonJhon

    interesting things about corel …..

    http://www.secinfo.com/d14sr8.s1W9j.htm

  • think3 Inc

    THINK3 TERMINATION OF LICENCE AGREEMENT
    THINK3 CONFORMED COPY OF TEMPORARY MANAGEMENT
    are now translated and available on think3.com

  • Happierfamily

    Dear Deelip,

    Dott. Ferri claims that Versata does not own the Intellectual Property nor the IP. Next time he will be available for an interview, could you please ask him if the former Think3 Indian employees will get the salary (about a year of unpaid work) which Think3 claimed Versata would or should pay?
    It seems clear from what he says that soon he will be reimbursing those employees who worked for free. I am assuming that “employees” are such indipendently from where they are.

    Thank you.