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CAD/CAM Corner

Design Tool Sector Soars

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Rob Spiegel
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Good news
Rob Spiegel   7/27/2011 8:25:34 AM
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This is good news, Beth. Sounds like there was only one down year. Since 2008 represented the high-water mark and 2010 had 9 percent growth, only 2009 was down. Looks like the trends in mobile, cloud and environmental are helping to push things up. The environmental compliance duty will likely continue to push this sector, since new regulations are always on their way, and old regulations are always getting revised.

Douglas Smock
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Re: Good news
Douglas Smock   7/27/2011 8:43:11 AM
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Interesting story Beth. This story confirms two bigger trends we've been seeing. One of the emphasis on productivity-oriented spending. Companies are showing more interest in investment that boost productivity of existing working workers than in making new hires. The second is an increase in interdisciplinary collaboration that Alex wrote about recently.

It's also interesting to see product lifecycle management (PLM) defined so broadly, including mechancial CAD. I had always though of PLM as a niche that dealt with an expanded view of product data management.

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Good news
Beth Stackpole   7/27/2011 9:02:17 AM
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It is indeed good news. I think given a range of factors, from increasing regulation, which Rob mentions, and companies' willingness to invest in technologies over new hires (thanks Doug), to innovation lying at the heart of companies' competitive strategies, are all important to building a business case for CAD/PLM investment.

To your point Doug, PLM has long been positioned as the superset, encompassing MCAD/ECAD and other design tools as the content creation piece with PDM being the repository backbone. But even the concept of PDM has expanded, with it not just being "the one version of the truth" for engineering data, but a broader repository that includes customer requirements, service data, even marketing requirements.

Loring Wirbel
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Re: Good news
Loring Wirbel   7/27/2011 11:38:38 AM
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Great news, and surprising, frankly. Most companies I talk to seem as frozen as the proverbial deer in the headlights for buying new development tools, hiring new employees, etc.  Hope this trend continues, debt ceiling pact or no...

 

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Good news
Beth Stackpole   7/28/2011 8:40:27 AM
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I think you're right, Loring, on the frozen hires, but I guess as a relative expense, investing in design tools is a less costly way to wring more productivity out of what you have. In covering this area, I hear over and over again how moving to more of a digital prototpying process saves invaluable time and money. And that's not just vendor speak. It's from hands-on engineers in real companies.

TJ McDermott
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License costs
TJ McDermott   7/28/2011 3:29:42 PM
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The software companies have turned to annual subscriptions as a way of guaranteeing their revenue.  How about lowering the annual cost to improve sales?  I have never once felt like I've gotten a good deal from an annual subscription.  When I see software bugs cross major revisions, I know that my money is NOT being used correctly.

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