A reader commented on Part 1 of my SolidWorks As A Service series suggesting that I talk to Jon Hirschtick, a man with one of the most impressive titles that I have ever met – Co-Founder, Board Member and Group Executive at SolidWorks Corporation. He mentioned that Jon spoke of looking into SaaS at SolidWorks World 2009 during his keynote. I found this to be excellent advice and sent Jon an email. I asked him to take a look at my series when he found the time and let me know how far I was from the truth, especially since my earlier quest to find out what SaaS at SolidWorks really meant landed me with PR people who ended up giving me no useful information whatsoever.
Jon’s “quick reaction” was that I was over-reacting and was being a little short-sighted and narrow-minded. However, he went on to say:
But, I HAVE NO IDEA WHEN OR WHETHER CAD WILL MOVE TO SAAS/CLOUD. REALLY. I like to talk about the potential of “CAD in the Cloud” because I think it is interesting. And I get paid to think about new, interesting, and usually crazy concepts. But CAD, and SolidWorks in particular, is an installed app business and that is likely not to change for a long while. However SaaS/Cloud CAD is much more interesting than you think. I have presented my thoughts on this publicly (including last year’s SolidWorks World).
Jon has promised to send me a more detailed response later when he gets the chance. And I definitely look forward to it.
Here is the thing. I use this blog to write my thoughts. I call things as I see them. At times I get it right, others I get it wrong. And quite frankly I don’t care which way it goes. The point is to encourage discussion and debate, the outcome of which is always something good. In fact Jon started out his reply to me by saying:
Thanks for writing and thinking and stimulating discussion about yet another interesting topic for the CAD industry.
I wish SolidWorks PR would not be so paranoid about disclosing information that helps in better understanding the statements that their own executives make. It really goes to serve no purpose other than confusing their users and everybody else.