Since I missed the Solid Edge ST product launches in India, Dora Smith, the Director of Public Relations at Siemens PLM Software was kind enough to fly a Siemens employee all the way from Bangalore to give me a demo at the SYCODE office in Goa. Shivakumar Channal, an Applied Specialist from Siemens ran me though the various aspects of Synchronous Technology and patiently answered all my questions. Over the next few days, as and when time permits, I intend to take Solid Edge ST for a drive and find answers to a few questions that people have been asking. Questions like: (1) Is this really new? (2) Is it really a hundred times faster? (3) Does the industry really need Synchronous Technology? And so on.
As I was driving Shivakumar to the airport, I asked him whether Siemens appeared to be in the mood of licensing Synchronous Technology to SolidWorks and other competitor. “No way,” came the reply, “This is what sets us apart from the rest“.
Taking a look at SolidWorks 2009 I am begining to wonder. SolidWorks 2009 looks a lot like 2008 minus the bugs and plus a few bells and whistles. Yes, I have seen the 171 page “What’s New in SolidWorks 2009” document. I cannot believe that the SolidWorks development team has been only fixing bugs and adding bells and whistles in the past year. Something tells me that they are busy building SolidWorks 2010 ground up using the CATIA V6 technology. They had better, otherwise I believe that there is a fat chance of losing market share.
And when I say “losing market share”, I do not necessarily mean that SolidWorks customers are going to abandon ship and move to Solid Edge ST or another feature inference modeler. I mean that the flood of AutoCAD users who are steadily deciding to go 3D are more likely to adopt a software that does not convolute their minds with a feature tree and yet gives them the power of a parametric modeler.
Which brings me to Inventor. Autodesk had better be doing something related to feature inference modeling, either counting the money to buy someone or spending money to develop their own. Because I do not believe that their loyal AutoCAD customers would extend their loyality and adopt Inventor in its present state, no matter how good an offer Autodesk makes them.
As you may have already guessed, I am impressed with Synchronous Technology. I now intend to rip it apart and see whether it has got what it takes to start a revolution.
Watch this space.