It took me few days to catch up on my writing about Solidworks World 2018. But I’m not done yet. Now it is a time to catch up on all writing about Solidworks World. Also, this year, I was attending SWW18 with my OpenBOM badge, which means I didn’t join special sessions organized for analysts, press and media reps. So, I was eager to follow blogs written by people who actually had a chance to attend special demos and other stuff prepared for analysts and press.
My attention was caught by Monica Schnitger blog – 10 things I think about Solidworks World 2018.
There are some of them that I found very interesting related to Solidworks new cloud-based software xDesign and expansion of Dassault Systemes 3DEXPERIENCE platform among Solidworks customers
xDESIGN, SOLIDPWORK’s entry into browser CAD, also demos well (and CEO GianPaolo Bassi showcased a number of user projects) but I didn’t talk to any current SOLIDWORKS users who were thinking of switching, even if they were interested in trying out xDESIGN. In part, people aren’t convinced that they’ll always have suitable WiFi, even in their offices, and are concerned about lost productivity. One important point: SOLIDWORKS staff typically talked about coming enhancements being in the desktop version and/or xDESIGN — it sounds like both versions will co-exist for the foreseeable future.
WiFi and internet access was long time issue for people criticizing cloud software, which is not new. That was a separate topic in long debates between former Autodesk CEO Carl Bass and Onshape founder and CEO Jon Hirschtick – check here. However, potential loss of productivity mentioned by Monica is an important and alarming thing. This is something that hard to tolerate and it looks like will be a benchmark for evaluation to jump from proven desktop Solidworks to cloud version of anything.
So, getting into co-existence between desktop and cloud versions of Solidworks can be actually a good news for Dassault Solidworks that will have an unlimited time to experiment about how to bring xDesign with the most compelling features and functions for customers to transit. However for other CAD players working on cloud software (eg. Fusion360 and Onshape), it can be not so good news. Solidworks is probably the biggest potential market for them. If customers will question jumping from desktop CAD to cloud CAD, cloud vendors will have to bring additional compelling reasons to move in a way new workflows that can be impossible to support using desktop CAD, unique cloud-based features, special integrations with other cloud software, etc.
What is my conclusion? There are lot of interest about new cloud CAD software these days. New cloud vendors and existing CAD developers are doing huge progress and software looks great. However, according to Monica Schnitger, Solidworks users aren’t jumping fast from desktop Solidworks to cloud software. It is a good time to think about what are compelling reasons to move to the cloud and what is missing in today’s cloud CAD thinking to justify migration to cloud software from existing desktop environment. Just my thoughts…
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Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of OpenBOM developing cloud based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups and supply chain. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.