Remember that old commercial for Life cereal -- try it, you'll like it? Well, it looks as if Siemens PLM Software is taking a page from the tried-and-true marketer's handbook to gain more visibility and consumer traction for its SMB CAD and simulation software line.
As part of the offer, users can download full production versions of the Solid Edge ST4 CAD software and Femap simulation tool free of charge for use for 45 days. The hope is that by removing any barriers with this no-strings-attached trial license offer, users will have an opportunity to download the software and experiment without any added pressure from a sales team, according to John Fox, Siemens PLM Software's vice president of Velocity Series marketing. Unlike other free trials, Fox insists that this approach, which he says is a first for the company, is not a ploy to get users to register or to submit to some sort of qualification process. Rather, he says it's really more about getting increased hands-on visibility for the software.
"The mainstream products we offer lend themselves to 'clickwrap,' " Fox tells us, explaining how it makes sense for a product like Solid Edge, but perhaps not for more complex programs where the installation process and licensing issues are more complex.
Siemens' new 45-day trial offer lets users download full production versions of Solid Edge ST4,
including sheet metal capabilities and synchronous technology.
The opening for the trial license initiative really stemmed from Siemens PLM Software's recent reorganization, which takes more of an industry focus and gives business segments such as the Velocity unit more business ownership and direct profit-and-loss responsibility, Fox notes. The company took the first steps to experiment with trial license offers with its announcement this summer of a free student edition of Solid Edge, which qualified students can download as a 12-month license and renew annually.
The Solid Edge trial includes all of the full-function capabilities you'd expect (and perhaps be surprised at), including part modeling, sheet metal design, simulation, mold tooling design, and the synchronous technology direct modeling capabilities. The Femap trial includes all finite element modeling pre- and post-processing capabilities required to use the NX Nastran FEA solver, which is also included as part of the offer. There are also no restrictions on the number of saves, part sizes, or other factors that would limit design capabilities.
Beyond the entrée into the core software programs, the offer also delivers access to learning resources to get users past the tire-kicking stage. There are dedicated user forums for each package, staffed by both Solid Edge and Femap technical specialists, where users can collaborate with others, get answers to technical questions, and gain access to tutorials and video tips intended to help them master the software.