Are you a design engineer in a mid-size company? If so, get ready to be courted by PTC. To be fair, all of the major CAD vendors, including UGS and Dassault are reaching out to this market. I just happened to be part of PTC’s SMB lovefest this week, at which the CAD vendor talked up its SMB strategy and announced a few product and pricing tweaks that make its offerings better tuned for this sector.
PTC trotted out nearly all of its major execs, including CEO Dick Harrison and Chief Product Guy Jim Heppelmann, to talk about the SMB space, including how these customers grapple with the same complex collaboration and global design challenges plaguing bigger businesses. “SMB needs for technology are similar to large business,” Heppelmann pitched the crowd, “but their tolerance for complexity is far less.”
With that in mind, PTC talked up a number of points about its product line. Its ProEngineer Wildfire 3.0 offering was touted as an open, highly scalable CAD platform to be available in April in a variety of SMB-friendly, packaged configurations. For example, the base 3D CAD design and modeling capabilities are now offered as the $4,995 Pro/Engineer Foundation XE package; adding core PDM functions sets you back another $2,000, and you can layer on design extensions like free-form surfacing and top-down design if you move to the Advanced XE tier for $9,995 a seat. Looking for more enterprise capabilities? PTC’s got the answer with two higher-end versions, priced at $19,995 and $24,995, which throw in collaboration and project management functions, and additional simulation & analysis and visualization capabilities for the entire shooting match.
In another move to court the SMB set, PTC announced its Windchill PDM product will support in April Microsoft SQL Server 2005, allowing SMBs to jump into PDM with infrastructure software they already know how to use and support.
For CAD users who’ve written off PTC as big-company focused, the time might be right to take another look.