What About The 6%? #sww13

So at the time of this writing SolidWorks WORLD 2013 has officially wrapped up and many of the 4,500 users that descended upon Disney the last 4 days have probably started their trek back home. A lot of them are probably itching to get back to their dark & musty corner of the basement to try out all the cool stuff they just learned.


As a pre-requisite, this article is not meant to tear down anyone or anything but is simply some food for thought and a seed for some constructive discussions hopefully.


This morning I was able to watch the General Session from Monday in its entirety. One of the things that really stuck out to me from that video was the statement that “94% of the users surveyed approved of the current offering”. This is a great number considering around 250,000 users were surveyed but this also means that about 15,000 users (or 6%) were not satisfied currently. To take it a step further, of the 2,000,000 licenses sold (a milestone reached in December 2012), 120,000 of them are not satisfied if that approval rating continues to hold true. Likewise, is 12.5% of the total user base really a true depiction of the entire SolidWorks community?


Anyways, for the sake of this article lets assume that approval rating does hold true. My question is, what is SolidWorks doing about the 6% that don't approve of their current offerings? At my company I can compare it to a goal of being on-time will all of our deliveries 100% of the time. Now if we were on-time 94% of the time I would be pleased BUT what would really bother me is what happened the other 6% of the time. So, is SolidWorks holding their hat on the 94% or are they “upset” that 6% of their users do not approve? Is their answer / solution packaged in a new software like SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual (which needs to be a whole separate post) or is it included in some of the new features announced for SolidWorks 2014 (which again will need to be a entirely separate post)?


What are your thoughts on this? Are YOU satisfied with 94%? Should SolidWorks be satisfied?


draftsight released to the masses!

splah screen_draftsight

I am a little late getting to the party but on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 Dassault Systemes removed the beta tag from the 2D CAD offering DraftSight and released it to the public.  Some of you may have forgotten that this product was still in beta (like I did).  This was probably due to the over 400,000 downloads during the beta period.

Here is the official press release:

Dassault Systèmes’ No-Cost 2D CAD Product DraftSight Now Available for General Release

More Than 400,000 DraftSight Downloads During Beta Test

VÉLIZY-VILLACOUBLAY, France, – February 23, 2011 – Dassault Systèmes (Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA), a world leader in 3D and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions, today announced the general availability of DraftSight for Windows, a no-cost 2D CAD product for CAD professionals, students and educators.  To date, more than 400,000 users have downloaded DraftSight.  Originally launched in Beta version in June 2010, the general release for Windows includes many key enhancements and updates based on user feedback.  DraftSight is available for download at http://www.draftsight.com.

DraftSight allows users to create, edit and view DWG files.  DraftSight generally takes just a few minutes to download and runs on multiple operating systems, including Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Mac OS (in beta).  In conjunction with DraftSight, Dassault Systèmes launched an open, online community, where users can access support and training resources, along with an environment to interact, ask questions and share their opinions.   The DraftSight community is one of the first social networks designed by engineers for engineers, designers and architects.  Based on user feedback generated within the community, enhancements and updates have been made to the general release of DraftSight for Windows. 

The DraftSight community is based on Dassault Systèmes’ SwYm online collaboration and social innovation platform.  SwYm communities incorporate the best of Web 2.0 features such as: rich profiles, blogs, micro-blogging, “iQuestions”, wikis, media sharing spaces (data, audio, video, and even 3D), status updates, and more all within a unified layout that optimizes the user experience and facilitates and accelerates collaboration.

“DraftSight has been overwhelmingly embraced by the CAD and engineering community since its launch in June 2010.  A lot of hard work has gone into this product, including many enhancements made during the beta phase,” said Aaron Kelly, senior director, DraftSight, Dassault Systèmes.  “Users provided great feedback that enabled us to identify areas of improvement that we have implemented into the general release for Windows, increasing the overall performance and usability of DraftSight.  It’s important for our users to remain vocal about what they want to see in the product as we continue the development of DraftSight.”  

Specific updates include, but are not limited to:

· API support (available for a fee) – Enables customers to write add-on programs for DraftSight in C++ and other supported programming languages

· Localization of Help Files – Now available for users in multiple languages (English, German, French, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Turkish, Korean, Polish, Russian, Czech)

· Command Variables Enhancement – Enables users to set and change system variables directly from the command line

DraftSight users have a variety of support options to choose from, including no-cost Community Support, as well as fee-based Premium Services that offer telephone and email support, network licensing and access to DraftSight APIs.  Specifically designed for educators, the Education Premium Service includes a Classroom and Campus Pack with curriculum materials, network licensing and telephone and email support. 

“As an instructor, I always try to provide my students with the tools to create and succeed on their own,” said Thomas Mewerter, drafting instructor at South Central Louisiana Technical College.  “DraftSight’s compatible structure and ability to work with DWG files gives students the freedom to download the product for free and work outside of class.”

For more information, visit http://www.draftsight.com.  Also, follow DraftSight on Facebook and Twitter


About Dassault Systèmes

As a world leader in 3D and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions, Dassault Systèmes brings value to more than 115,000 customers in 80 countries. A pioneer in the 3D software market since 1981, Dassault Systèmes applications provide a 3D vision of the entire lifecycle of products from conception to maintenance to recycling. The Dassault Systèmes portfolio consists of CATIA for designing the virtual product – SolidWorks for 3D mechanical design – DELMIA for virtual production – SIMULIA for virtual testing – ENOVIA for global collaborative lifecycle management, and 3DVIA for online 3D lifelike experiences.  For more information, visit http://www.3ds.com.

CATIA, DELMIA, ENOVIA, SIMULIA, SolidWorks, and 3D VIA are registered trademarks and DraftSight and the DraftSight logos are trademarks of Dassault Systèmes or its subsidiaries in the US and/or other countries. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective owners.

So what does this mean for you?  Not a whole lot.  I would highly suggest that if you are currently running a beta version of the software you go and download the latest release and enjoy some of the bug fixes that are corrected.  All in all I am extremely pleased with this as a 2D CAD program.

Do you use DraftSight already?  If so, how much time each week do you use it?

the jeff ray legacy

JeffRayAs most of you know by now, SolidWorks Corporation has a new CEO.

Jeff Ray, effective January 5, 2011, is moving on to a position as EVP of Global Operations for SolidWorks Corporation parent company Dassault Systemes.

Roopinder Tara wrote one of the best articles I have read in a long time about Jeff as a man.  This is an article you need to read.

Jeff Ray: A Gentleman Walks Off the Stage

Jeff was always open to talking to you and was always quick to respond to emails that were sent his way.  Jeff’s leadership and likeable character will be greatly missed but I am sure that Bertrand Sicot, the new CEO at SolidWorks will carry on the legacy that Jeff has instilled at SolidWorks.

season of change

Bertrand%20SicotYesterday, in a shocking press release, Dassault Systemes announced that their will be a switch in leadership at SolidWorks Corporation.

Bertrand Sicot (left) will be taking over for Jeff Ray as CEO of SolidWorks.  Jeff, who has held this position since 2007, has been appointed the Executive Vice President of Global Operations and also has become a member of the executive committee of SolidWorks parent company, Dassault Systemes.

Bertrand has been working at SolidWorks since 1997 in sales, both in Europe and in the United States.

As of right now I have not seen a time frame of when this change will take place.  I am hoping to talk to Bertrand at SolidWorks WORLD 2011 in a couple of weeks to find out more information about the change.