At UGS' fourth annual Analyst/Press Event (July 16-18, 2001) officers of both UGS and parent company EDS spoke as much as regulatory agencies would allow about what may result from the merger of the UGS and SDRC product lines.
The acquisition of SDRC raises the number of UGS CAD customers from 18,000 to 24,000, and the number of seats from a little more than 1 to 1.6 million. But what will be on the desktops those seats represent?
UGS promises to protect the investments already made in both groups of products-with the proviso that some changes will be made. The first changes, not unexpectedly, will base future versions of I-DEAS on the Parasolid modeling kernel, and blend the analysis capabilities of I-DEAS into Unigraphics. Both I-DEAS and Unigraphics will be continued for the time being, but will probably become a single system in the future. While no future product names have been finalized, several presentations referred to "Unigraphics Master Series."
Seat gains on the PDM side of the business are more dramatic. UGS currently has about 18,000 seats of i-Man deployed, while Metaphase accounts for some 450,000 seats-the largest customer base in the field. Although event speakers said nothing specific, UGS seems to be positioning the two systems to be complementary-with i-Man continuing to be developed for the wor-group level of PDM, Accelis employed to transfer data back and forth between i-Man and Metaphase, and Metaphase itself positioned increasingly as an enterprise data system (EDM).
To paraphrase CEO Tony Affuso's presentation, the company plans to increase R&D spending dramatically, aiming for leadership in "repeatable digital design and design validation," and providing the "backbone for collaborative Internet and extranet collaborative commerce"-in other words, the $7.4 billion PLM market.