IntelliCAD World Meeting – Keynote

Today was the first day of the IntelliCAD World Meeting. Cedric Desbordes, the Chairman of the ITC welcomed the 70+ attendees and announced the good news that IntelliCAD 7 is ready. The not-so-good news is that it is ready for ITC members to download and begin porting their vertical applications. There are quite a few stability and performance issues which are expected at this point in time. That’s mainly because IntelliCAD 7 is a completely rewrite and has to go through the lifecycle of a completely new software as opposed to an upgrade of an existing stable release. The ITC hopes to have everything ready by June 2009 so that ITC members can start shipping it as soon as they are done with their verticals.

Looks like the ITC has decided that it badly needs a change of image. They have hired Bob McGill as a Business Development Manager whose main job would be to rebrand IntelliCAD into something more respectable and reliable and also generate new business for the ITC. Bob had set up the OEM network at SolidWorks.

Arnold Van Der Weide, the President of the ODA, gave the keynote address on the “Opportunities for IntelliCAD Technologies in the CAD market”. He admitted that one of his hobbies was to keep a close eye on Autodesk and noted that it’s stock had crashed by 50% in recent times. He also noted that the price of AutoCAD LT doubled to $1200. “I can’t understand it“, he exclaimed. “Why should a drafting system cost $1200?“. Arnold showed us some numbers that Autodesk disclosed to it shareholders whereby he noted that the numbers of AutoCAD had dropped and that of AutoCAD LT had shot up. “Where are these LT seats coming from?“, he asked and opined that it was quite possible that AutoCAD users were downgrading to LT to maintain DWG compatibility as they moved to 3D CAD systems. This, he believes, indicates a trememdous opportunity for ITC members.

He advised the ITC members to stop undercutting each other and fix the price of IntelliCAD at $600. He drew attention to the fact that by pricing IntelliCAD at $250, they would still need to sell thrice as much to make more money. “If you are fighting a product that cost $1200 why are you selling for $250?“, he asked the ITC members

Arnold was quite critical of the ITC, an organization that he led till recently. He admitted his mistake of allowing the ITC members to completely rebrand IntelliCAD into something totally different. “Why are you not pround of being an ITC member?“, he asked. “Some of you do not have ‘IntelliCAD’ or ‘ITC’ anywhere on your product“, he observed.

He also noted that one cause of instability in IntelliCAD was that some members were changing the source code of IntelliCAD to suit their particular requirements. He advocated the need of having one standard IntelliCAD for all members and urged the ITC members to discontinue naming their products like ‘xxx IntelliCAD’. According to him there should be only three brands allowed: (1) IntelliCAD, (2) IntelliCAD Inside; and (3) Based on IntelliCAD Technology.

The bad news is that Arnold is no longer the Chairman of the ITC.

I am now going to attend the cocktail dinner. I shall write about the rest of the happennings of the day later.