Autodesk, DS, Geomagic, IBM, Kubotek, PTC, Siemens, and other at COFES-Israel

The COFES (Congress on the Future of the Engineering Software) events that are annually held in April in Arizona by Cyon Research are quite well known as probably the only international multi-vendor conference with no direct marketing flavor. If you don’t know COFES visit www.cofes.com. This year the main global conference was complemented by two regional forums: in Moscow (in September) and in Tel Aviv, Israel (last week).

The Forum in Tel-Aviv was attended by about 80 people who represented all CAD/PLM
market leaders and a lot of interesting companies including international analytical agencies.

There were fourteen 12-minutes talks (including opening and concluding speeches) sectioned into four sessions. 45-minute breaks enabled some interesting informal meetings, for example I succeeded to talk to those 5 persons with whom I had had plans to meet.

Condensed format of both forums in Russia and Israel could not provide time for one of the key points of the Arizona COFES, its possibility to talk during outdoor walks. Here in Hilton Tel-Aviv the outdoor could be implemented by coming out to the terrace and feel envy to those relaxing on the beach – which was especially exciting for those who came to Israel from snowy and frosty countries.

All the presentations were quite interesting, but I would give the first three places to correspondingly: Brian Shepherd (PTC), Chris De Neef (Fast Track Consulting, Belgium), and Eitan Yudilevich (BIRD Foundation, Israel).

In his concluding remarks, Brad Holtz characterized further COFES plans: for sure the next key event will be the full-scale 3-day COFES-2011 conference "Innovations in the Face of Complexity" in Arizona.

My brief characteristics of all the presentations along with 17 photos are given in the isicad.net article "Innovations Should be More Practical, Less Political. COFES-Israel Forum Report". There one can also read my comparison of COFES-Israel and COFES-Russia.

One point from that comparison is the following. Today in Russia, the topic of innovation is politically loaded, it goes top down and is mainly monopolized by the state. Therefore, people in labs and in small companies who practice innovations, automatically - according to the fundamentals of Russian culture, consider and interpret innovation ironically if not worse. However no politics, profanation, or irony can cancel the processes objectively demanded by society and history. I’d prefer to see a situation in Russia when practicioners consider innovation as not only politics and discuss such topics more seriously and pragmatically. At the same time, I don’t want to be considered na├»ve. Obviously such general and global topics like innovation, independently on countries, are inevitably politicized and give opportunities for additional profits to politicians and analysts: be such profits materialized or reputational or other. Really important is what then happens with innovation itself...

See also official page of COFES Israel and related posts in Oleg Shilovitsky blog.


Francis Bernard, the Founder of DS and Inventor of CATIA

In my life I was fortunate to have quite close acquaintance with several really outstanding persons. In most cases when it's about mathematics and computer science, my references would not be very convincing for the readers of this blog. Francis Bernard is likely also not a popular guy among today's young engineers who discuss their everyday problems in technical forums or in Facebook. However, the keywords are so obvious and even surprising: Francis is just a co-founder of Dassault Systemes and just the inventor of CATIA.

A reason for this post was yesterday's publication of a very interesting and detailed article "The Dassault Systemes Success Story" written by Francis - as far as I can understand - in particular thanks to the request from Deelip Menezes who has put the article in his blog which guarantees a broad enough access to the memoirs in question. Francis was very kind to simultaniously permit this publication also at isicad.net and I am proud to see his article here as well. (see also a Russian translation). Few introductory words to this isicad.net publication say: Francis Bernard is well known in Russia as the founder and first director of the office of Dassault Systems Russia. Francis have had a great personal influence on the dissemination of ideas of PLM in the Russian market. This professional and human influence was also implemented in Siberia where Francis actively participated in three isicad forums: 2004, 2006, and 2008.

When we speak about such persons, intelligence goes without saying. But above this, Francis makes me think about unique human qualities of intelligentsia in the old Russian meaning of the word...


A More or Less Optimistic Update on BIM

As promised in my previous post A Hot Discussion around BIM at isicad.ru, yesterday, isicad.net published in English a rather detailed summary of the isicad.ru-BIM-discussion. The English article was written by one of the active disputants - Alexander Bausk, a practical and qualified actor of the AEC-BIM market from Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine.

In his publication which contains several sections (A Doubt to Begin with, A Less Optimistic Definition of BIM, Update on BIM: the Complexity Challenge, Where do we go with BIM) Alexander not only gives an overview of seven related articles and many dozens of related comments but presents his own viewpoint on the subject.

I recommend to read A More or Less Optimistic Update on BIM by A.Bausk and invite English-language readers to join the isicad-BIM-discussion.


A Hot Discussion around BIM at isicad.ru

This discussion was initiated by the article Revolutions in Design published in late September. Alexander Yampolsky, a practical and experienced engineer from Tula, a city close to Moscow, argued that collaborative work at integrated 3D-model is something unpractical for real-life AEC or at least premature. By today, the article got 40+ comments - most of them substantial and profound. People explained that BIM is today already broadly applied, that one should not consider BIM as artificial intelligence, compared BIM with PLM, gave some examples of successful approaches and technologies from MCAD that is hardly a more simple domain than AEC.

The discussion promptly continued by a series of bright and very well illustrated articles by Vladimir Talapov, a professor of Novosibirsk AEC University who is known as a strong supporter and practical promoter of BIM:
BIM is actually Based on Whale (related to Frank Gehry’s sculpture of whale constructed in 1992 in Barcelona).

These articles provoked a not less stream of comments (about 50) than that of the article of A.Yampolsky – mostly supporting BIM but not always and not completely. One of the discussion lines was whether and why people today often identify BIM with Revit and Autodesk.

The Talapov’s series was followed by an article of Alexander Bausk from Ukraine entitled A less Optimistic Viewpoint at BIM in which a somewhat balanced opinion is presented.

At last (but not finally) isicad.ru published an article of Vladimir Malukh How MCAD is Used in AEC. Vladimir gives illustrated examples of how CATIA, SolidWorks, Pro/Engineer, Inventor, and KOMPAS-3D are fruitfully used in some serious industrial AEC projects. I believe that far beyond such examples AEC could adopt a lot from both design project decomposition and collaborative integration that by today are well developed and became common in MCAD. I would not be surprised to know about a profound isomorphism between design phases in MCAD and similar design actions directly or indirectly are or should be applied in AEC. To say nothing about a more or less recognized correspondence between BIM and PLM.

Note also that most of the people that contributed into the BIM discussion are professionals working in the domain for a long time. Also, it is worth noting that according to Google Analytics most of the recent isicad articles on BIM attracted a record number of the web site visitors.

Those who can read Russian or trust automatic translations can take a look at the above mentioned links. On the other hand, Alexander Bausk who, above all, contributed the AEC-BIM working group at COFES-Russia by his synchronous translation, plans to write for isicad.net a summary of our BIM discussion in English.

The picture above was originally drawn by children from a Russian orphanage, then was reconstructed in a Revit model, 3D-printed in Moscow by Consistent Software Distribution, and at last presented to the children who made the picture. NB: besides Revit, it obviously could be modelled in many other systems!:).


Oleg Shilovitsky unveils his Inforbix to arrange and maintain mixtures of chaotic product data

Thanks to my Siberian time difference I have an unusual chance to publish this news before Deelip Menezes:). And probably - before Oleg himself.

The new company is Inforbix.

Note that
- Oleg have been working for 10+ as a key technological specialist at DS/Smarteam,
- approximately the same competence has Vadik Vaksin - the chief developer of a new company,
- Oleg's co-founder is Anatoly Savin - a very experienced expert and businessman,
- among the advisors we can see Brad Holtz.

Therefore probably we will not wait 20 years:) to see a revolution in processing of product data.

Well, I invested all available early morning resources into my more or less detailed Russian post. here I just want to congratulate Oleg, his partners, and (future) customers.

This is a summary Oleg gave to me:

"1. Product data are located in many "data sources" in an organization (CAD files, Excel, databases, enterprise systems-PLM, ERP,CRM...)
2. Product data belongs to different "functional domains" - sales, marketing, engineering, manufacturing, support etc.
3. We want to provide an easy way to retrieve product data in a meaningful way, which means:

-- combine pieces of information coming from multiple places
-- search across multiple data sources
-- allows navigation between connected pieces of data (i.e. 3D CAD, Excel with BOM, 2D drawing in manufacturing, emailmentioning, BOM in PLM, sales order, support request in CRM)
-- allow slice & dice data in different forms - mashup data (i.e tables).

Our current phase is "design partnership". We work with design partners. For the moment, we are not saying names. We plan to provide this information later. We are looking for additional design partners (there is a form to submit on the website). We have few candidates inthe pipeline. The next phase will be a beta version. You can mention that system will be available first on cloud with additional components installed inside of company network.

We want to avoid two potential misinterpretation of what we do:
- This is NOT yet another "search system"
- This is NOT yet another "PLM"

PLM Think Tank and Beyond PLM will continue to be industry blogs completely independent of Inforbix and everything I will write on Beyond PLM / PLM Think Tank is my opinion and not represents my employment in Inforbix".


Russian CAD/PLM Market: May-Oct, 2010

If you don't receive by e-mail my quaterly overviews of the Russian CAD/PLM market, you can take a look at a web variant of the today's report at isicad.net. Below I put an introduction for this paper.

Basically, we use news, press-releases, and papers published earlier at isicad.net. However few actors of the Russian market produce English publications about their local activity in Russia. In important cases, we try to retell their Russian news just in our own words. Since autumn of 2009, we’ve got a great support from bloggers and journalists who write in English and visit(ed) Russia: this started from a remarkable series of Ralph Grabowski and then was continued by Deelip Menezes, Oleg Shilovitsky, and hopefully, Martyn Day.

isicad.ru has no data from vendors about current volumes of their sales but general situation at the Russian CAD/PLM market is characterized by:
- nobody mentions crisis,
- everybody publishes news about new contracts and organizes big conferences and seminars everywhere in Russia.

My own formulations of companies' news in few words are as follows:
- 1C with its huge small-ERP reselling network and together with APPIUS is getting closer and closer to PLM,
- ASCON strongly emphasizes its SaaS / cloud service but does not forget improving its MCAD,
- Autodesk CIS is more and more improving communication with mass Russian market,
- Dassault Systemes promotes its social networking and continues working with big industries,
- LEDAS reconfigures its business and persistently moves towards implementation of direct modeling and its applications,
- Nanosoft continues promotion of its native free platforms but balances this by more reselling of Western products,
- PTC is enhancing its (already strong) distribution network,
- Siemens PLM promotes its ST3 and continues working with big industries.
- Top Systems announced that they have a full-scale world-class PLM.

See the whole paper with a dozens links here.


About DS Marketing: The Road to CATIA V6 and SolidWorks through Facebook

On October 14, Alexey Ershov, CTO LEDAS attended Dassault Systemes’ PLM Forum, traditionally held in Moscow hotel Radisson Slavyanskaya. The purpose of Alexey were business negotiations and meetings, though along the way he served as a correspondent of isicad.ru, preparing a report from the Forum and taking an interview with Thierry Collet, Dassault Systemes Vice-President on marketing and education.

Here some of the questions:
  • Some customers still use CATIA V5 and even CATIA V4. What are your thoughts about CATIA V6 market history as Vice President, Global Marketing & Education?
  • In Russia SolidWorks is considered as a mature solution with a rich set of features, probably, the best in its class. Perhaps, there is a big potential for SolidWorks market growth (by the way, it is for sure used illegally by many engineers). Why Dassault Systemes does not endeavor to promote SolidWorks as much as CATIA, in particular, has no SolidWorks representative office?
  • CATIA Geometric Modeler (CGM) is a new product on the market although it has been used internally in CATIA for a long time. What is the reason to make it a public product now?
  • Certainly CAA licenses are less popular than CATIA itself. Do you have a specific strategy to sell CAA licenses in rather small Russian market?
  • A significant part of Russian industry is giant factories inherited from the USSR. Do you use any specific ways to deal with their bureaucratic apparatus and style of decision-making?
  • What is an impact of social networks on marketing and sales – in Russia and worldwide? Are social networks able to penetrate the world of big corporations or, maybe, they are useful for selling CATIA to smaller customers?
  • Was your experience at Oracle useful at Dassault Systemes? Is it hard to “switch” from ERP to CAD or these areas have a lot in common? Do you think that business processes in all world-level corporations are just the same?
  • Is Dassault Systemes’ 3dvia.com service commercially successful?

LEDAS about ST-3 from Siemens

In addition to the common natural interest to Synchronous Technology, LEDAS-isicad has its reasons.

First, LEDAS develops its own version of direct modeling - both incorporating it into some applications and providing corresponding technology to the CAD vendors who wish to increase competitiveness of the systems they produce. Second, at isicad.ru we regularly test new capabilities of the latest versions of popular CADs and publish (in Russian) our opinions as for example "3D marches en masse with AutoCAD 2011", "New gimmicks in Inventor 2011", "On-line KOMPAS – in the isicad’s pocket", "From idea to result with SolidWorks-2011", and others.

So it's clear that for long we have wanted to practically see what is Solid Edge with synchronous technology. Unfortunately, out attempt to obtain a trial license for this product was not successful: representatives of the office of Siemens PLM Software in Russia refused to grant such license to us, explaining that staff members of the editorial board of isicad.ru also work for LEDAS.

But recently we were happy to read a detailed characteristics of ST-3 in a remarkable series of dozen posts of Deelip Menezes. Information Deelip shared with the readers have been sufficient enough for Dmitry Ushakov to arrive to some conclusions about ST3, which he formulated in his article published in Russian the next day after Deelip's publications and today published in English translation "Synchronous Technology: the Third Attempt".

Dmitry's paper is not just a retelling of ST-3 features: it characterizes fundamental constituents of direct modeling as a general new generation approach, analyzes consequences of combination of procedural and declarative features, formulates a hypothesis about what is really done in ST-3, gives a list of references including comparatively early research publications, and other.

The paper also compares ST-3 with the approach of LEDAS, in particular Dmitry says:
"... The idea (of the LEDAS approach) is that the end-users work directly with geometry – bypassing the intermediate level in the form of features. In particular, our users can manually set any geometric or dimensional constraint between any geometric or dimensional constraint between any faces, edges, and vertices of a boundary model. What is even more important that our system can automatically recognize most of geometric constraints (parallelism, perpendicularity, coplanarity, coaxiality, tangency, equal distances and radii) and take them into account performing direct modeling operations".

The LEDAS approach is emphasized in the title of one of the previous Dmitry's publications: "Variational Direct Modeling: How to Keep Design Intent in History-Free CAD, 2008, LEDAS Ltd".

Dmitry concludes his paper with the questions: "Synchronous technology is our future but why it has to come in the same package with an obsolete apparatus of history-based parametric modeling? These two approaches can hardly be combined due to significant conceptual differences, and as result a composed solution is controversial and unnatural for the users. Can it happen that Siemens disappoints its users with an excessive complexity of its combined solution? Would it be better to keep synchronous technology in its pure form – without linking to the traditional approach? We will not get the answers to these questions now, but Siemens solution has paved the way to other vendors who may prefer different strategies for launching s similar apparatus. That remains to be seen. In LEDAS we intend to be actively involved in the process".

PS. Perhaps this article will encourage Siemens to grant isicad/LEDAS a trial license for a new version of Solid Edge.


All about AutoCAD for Windows, Mac, Linux, clouds, and other

On 7 October, Vladimir Malukh by skype interviewed Miikka Arala, EMEA Industry and Marketing Development Manager at Autodesk.

Ten questions were about:
- CAD as SaaS
- 3D parameterization for AutoCAD
- Direct modeling for AutoCAD
- AutoCAD: Windows vs Mac
- AutoCAD for Linux
- Mac/Linux vs cloud-based
- Handy multi-touch functionality
- AutoCAD and conceptual design
- AutoCAD and stereo display
- Will DS entering DWG-business impact AutoCAD marketing and pricing?

See full English and Russian texts of the interview.


DEVELOP3D makes the first step to the Russian market with isicad.ru

There are people who believe that magazines (especially paper versions) are not effective and will not survive. Nevertheless some are obviously attractive and successful. A good example is DEVELOP3D founded and published in the UK by well-known experts and journalists, Al Dean and Martyn Day.

DEVELOP3D is based on both high competence of its editorial board and its business scheme. The journal has printed and electronic versions - the latter is available as a blog-like web site or can be downloaded as a PDF-copy of the printed version. The magazine is free for its readers, business comes from advertising published in the paper version. The concept of the magazine combines seriousness and substance of articles with a modern design - a bright and attractive but from my point of view never going over the brink of kitsch. Everybody hopes that professional magazines are independent in their opinions, and DEVELOP3D seems to be a good example of such independence which is very important for serious readers.

isicad.ru always believed that DEVELOP3D could be useful for the Russian CAD/PLM market therefore I am glad that during a recent visit of Martin Day to Moscow and Novosibirsk, we agreed on some kind of cooperation. In particular, from now on we will highlight new DEVELOP3D publications and translate the most interesting articles into Russian. In particular we've put a block of news from DEVELOP3D on the front page of isicad.ru (see a picture above or the block itself): just as we do for the relevant Russian magazines CAD/CAM/CAE Observer, "CAD and Graphics", and PCWeek RE.


What browsers are preferred in the Russian CAD market?

Recently published data presents that probably for the first time, Internet Explorer has less than a half (49,87%) of the world browsers usage; in previous month it was 51,34% while a year ago 58,37%. Firefox has very stable second position with about 31% , and Chrome is the third: during the last year it has grown from 3,69 to 11,54%.

In Europe IE had in September 40,3% and 52,3% in North America.
In Russia such statistics is quite different: Firefox is a stable leader with 33,03%, and then: Opera (30,18%), IE (25,61%), and Chrome 8,84%.

A picture above shows statistics related to the visitors of www.isicad.ru. These data may be considered as characteristic for CAD/PLM vendors / distributors / advanced customers in Russia and CIS.


What could be seen and heard at COFES-Russia / isicad-2010

English-language publications about the COFES-Russia seminar held on 21 September in Moscow are for a few days behind the publications in Russian. I mean publications from the organizers since, fortunately, Russian bloggers and traditional press paid quite a lot of attention to the event: isicad tries to collect all such posts but they can hardly be translated...

Today I posted a relatively short English report about the event - albeit covering all parts of the event as well as containing 50+ characteristic photos and links to all video and audio (mostly in Russian):
"What could be seen and heard at COFES-Russia/isicad-2010". This is a translation of the original, I beg your pardon for not yet corrected and polished English. All kinds of feedback are welcome.

Also the agenda of the event
at its English website has just been enriched by inserting links to videos, audios, and pdfs of presentations. Access to the Forum video and audio materials is free. Access to the copyrighted presentations on the isicad web sites is available through login and password, which are passed to participants of the Forum only. The authors can of course publish their presentations on their own.


Deelip Menezes and Martyn Day at LEDAS and around

25 September Deelip Menezes and Martyn Day spent in Novosibirsk: at LEDAS office and around. In his blog, Deelip describes this day (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) and says:

"Martyn Day from DEVELOP3D and I are in Novosibirsk in Siberia to visit LEDAS, a very interesting Russian software research and development company. We spent the entire day at LEDAS and learned a great deal about them, a lot of which was highly classified and not for public consumption. I intend to write more about the company, its technologies and products after I get back to India".

What I can add to Deelip's posts are a few photos and two video clips that I definitely recommend to see:).

Before the beginning of a series of seminars.

Guests listen to an overview of a LEDAS application with advanced features of direct modeling to be released in December

It was especially nice when guests began to passionately argue among themselves on how to develop business of LEDAS

On our way to Armenian restaurant "Anait", Deelip is still interested in discussing with me the LEDAS pricing policy and...

... variational direct modeling - with Dmitry Ushakov.

Deelip, just do it - number 2! (see number 1)

This does not mean that after 57% Armenian vodka Deelip could not keep his spoon: this is just Siberian hospitality.

The main hero of the two video clips below is the financial director of LEDAS, a man with a lot of talents - Evgeniy Kuznetsov.

COFES-Russia / isicad-2010 was held on 21 September

Last week my team and I were very busy with the COFES-isicad preparation and the event itself, a lot of business contacts, attendance of Moscow Autodesk Forum, close communication with Martyn Day and Deelip Menezes in Novosibirsk. Also we have a lot of responsibilities such as publication of the presentations made at the event...

On the whole, lack of time was a problem for our event. In particular, we used sandglasses (see the picture above) to indicate speakers how much time they have.

Some Russian bloggers have promptly published their interesting illustrated posts in Russian. Obviously some of you could between 18 and 25 Sept read live twittering from Deelip and Oleg as well as very rich Deelip's blogging.

As one of the defects of the event, some people reasonably indicated panel presentations that somewhat looked like vendors advertizing - very strange looking in the audience of competitors. (I cannot completely agree with this but will comment this situation in details later). One of those blaimed in advertizing was Sergey Kuraksin, founder and CEO of TopSystems who made a 10 minutes panel talk speaking about his advanced PLM system. During this speech Deelip twittered: "This is not COFES!". However the photo below demonstrates how Sergey is involved into heated discussion partially provoked by his panel. At this moment Deelip twittered: yes, now it's COFES!

Initial reports and posts about the week in Moscow and in Novosibirsk have already been published in Russian at www.isicad.ru and in my Russian blog.

Today I started trying to cover the events in my English blog. One post "How COFES-Russia and Autodesk Moscow Forum were prepared" has already been published. isicad.net will later publish in English a detailed report of the events.

30 minutes ago I was heavily thinking how can I promptly but distinctly announce that COFES-Russia has been held... Suddenly a miracle happened: Oleg has just published a post (COFES: Russian Style!) that just does my challenge. Many thanks to Oleg!

Below you can see a moment of the closing ceremony: Brad keeps a winter hat (possibly a symbol of Siberia or Russia - but not of this summer with its +40C) while I keep a cactus (considered as a symbol of COFES in Arizona)...

You can take a look at the initial portion of photoes just publihed here.

How COFES-Russia and Autodesk Moscow Forum were prepared

Lobby bar of the Borodino hotel: Vladimir Malukh, Deelip Menezes, Oleg Shilovitsky, David Levin, Brad Holtz. Reflections on the fate of the world market of CAD/PLM

Deelip really loves the Moscow subway. His post about it looks like a poem.

Brad Holtz and Oleg Shilovitsky also love the Moscow subway, at least on Sunday when it's not overcrowded

Brad Holtz explains Oleg Shilovitsky a link between A.Pushkin and engineering software.

Brad Holtz is pondering over his forthcoming presentation at the Autodesk Moscow Forum. He had just listened to the recommendations of Anastasia Morozova, Field Marketing Area Team Manager Russia and CIS

Deelip, just do it!


Discussing LEDAS’ heavy technological karma...

Cadovod is one of the most noticeable and bright bloggers writing in Russian about CAD. (Cadovod in Russian sounds like a person who is cultivating CAD - similar to cultivating vegetables or something…).

Recently Cadovod published an interview with me (in Russian), which might be useful for those English readers who are interested in history, current positioning, and development trends of the LEDAS Company.

Among the questions, there are:
Why did you decide to found LEDAS?
How did cooperation with DS start?
Should CAD vendors build their own geometric solvers or should they license them from Siemens or LEDAS?
Does LEDAS plan to produce its own CAD?
Why did LEDAS start building CAD-oriented applications?
and other...

We at isicad decided to translate that interview and now you can read it in English at isicad.net.


ASCON Unveils the First Ever CAD-on-the-Cloud

Three days ago, ASCON unofficially unveiled its KOMPAS-on-the-cloud system. Along with traditional leak (a brief post in the Russian CNews), ASCON has given an access for testing of its cloud CAD to isicad.ru. See a prompt review by Vladimir Malukh (in English).

The official announcement of this SaaS system is expected at COFES-Russia / isicad-2010 . In the agenda, you can notice a presentation of Oleg Zykov from ASCON: «Russian CAD companies will not wait for imported wings to take off to clouds».

Along with a plenary presentation, KOMPAS-on-the-cloud will definitely be touched at the COFES-Russia working group 5 "New business-models for engineering software". BTW, judging by the preliminary applications for participation, this WG is the most popular among seven WGs of the event.


My vision of the plenary session at isicad-2010/COFES

In these remarks I would like to review the plenary (morning) session of isicad-2010 / COFES-Russia.

I must confess that initially we had hot discussions with Brad Holtz about the style of this event. Brad reasonably wished it to be a COFES Forum, and I was trying to explain that Russian vendors or (to be more precise) vendors in Russia are more used to workshops, which enable to supply certain vendor information to the audience (primarily – tell your clients about your solutions), while forums as some kind of meetings to discuss problems common to all attendees raise some doubts in the eyes of our vendors … The ends were gained by a kind of art: isicad-2010 is boldly called Forum and COFES-Russia goes by seminar – just in case... :). I take the liberty to further on refer to our common event as the Forum.

Jokes aside, overall the event has good chances to become a true Forum. First, the Working Groups and the concluding Round Table (combined with a press-conference) undoubtedly are the sites for forum discussions. Second, the final composition and format of plenary sessions justify the Forum style - if not completely, than certainly to a considerable degree. To be able to include maximum possible number of conceptual talks, we have drastically cut down the average time for presentations, introducing three options: 5, 10 and 15 minutes (excluding the Invited Talk). It is implied that to outline the essential ideas and concepts, define global trends, specify generally important problems, and the like, does not require too much time, unlike describing features of a new product or its new version. I’d like to emphasize that all speakers and companies that they represent showed full understanding of this approach and did not insist on extended time for their talks.

For advertizing, I dared translate into Russian the title of the invited talk by Brad Holtz simply as “A Vision of Global CAD/PLM Market till 2015”. In original it sounds more sophisticated: «Cyon Research Report: A vision of global market dynamics for design and engineering software, including results and implications of recent surveys of the global engineering software community».

Martin Steuer, who represents Autodesk – the general Forum partner, will focus on the issue that, gradually overcoming public skepticism, is becoming more and more pressing – the role of “sustainable design”. The established Russian translation (“environmentally rational design”) somewhat reduces the idea of globality, while an English word sustainable emphasizes fundamental concept of sustainable development which is more and more globally recognized as a scenario for survival of mankind. Thus sustainable design can be considered as a projection of a world-wide objective to our industry. Today most market leaders devote much attention to this topic, and Autodesk have accumulated considerable and generally valuable results in this field.

The 5-minute talk by Oleg Shilovitsky is the introduction to the agenda of No.1 Working Group: "Trends in PLM” and an invitation to active participation in discussions. Besides, Oleg believes that the boundaries between not always clearly defined PLM, ERP, PDM, CAD,.. should and will become more precise in the future... Today these boundaries are mostly tentative, thus the solutions are far from being steady and reflect a mesmeric magic of Three-Letter-Acronyms (TLAs)...

Representatives of those vendors that successfully implement such solutions in real markets on a daily basis, may justly disagree with magically vague interpretations of such concepts as PLM. The presentation of Laurent Valroff and Artem Avedyan (Dassault Systemes) promises to demonstrate to us that development of today’s TLA is related not only or not so to the need for significant clarification of basic solutions, but rather to expansion of the field of employment of such solutions. The expansion that may turn out to be quite radical and not so obvious.

Sergey Kuraksin will certainly his express not less (and possibly even more) pragmatic vision of PLM. What kind of magic we can talk about if Top Systems has developed and is implementing a PLM-package, understood not only as a full-scale world-class system for which there is real demand, but also as a system with important embedded qualities so vital precisely for a Russian market. Perhaps the global market should pay more attention to this solution?

The 5-minute talk by Deelip Menezis is the introduction to the agenda of No.2 Working Group: “Intelligent methods of 3D-modeling”. Whatever you may say, but the issues of geometry concern majority of vendors and users, therefore any news that some cure-all solution has been found (direct modeling? synchronous technology?) leave no one indifferent, and today every global CAD leader must have an actual or an announced solution in this field. However, Deelip Menezis, who is familiar with all such solutions of the industry leaders, recently wrote in his blog that in Moscow he would state that contrary to the rumors the problems of geometry were not solved at all (“nothing is further from the truth”).

After such Deelip’s statement, the 15-minute presentation of Bruno Chollat “The Role of 3D Direct Modeling in the Product Development Cycle” will be especially interesting to listen to. Bruno represents SpaceClaim, which is positioned as the leader in the field of direct modeling, and, judging by the title of his presentation, he interprets this technology as today’s reality.

Another counterbalance to a useful Deelip’s skepticism will be the 5-minute talk by Dmitry Ushakov, of LEDAS. The company is developing a version of direct modeling, which emphasizes the end quality – automated support of user’s intent rather than technically important and actually supported by LEDAS characteristics (parameterization and history-free design). At No.2 Working Group Dmitry plans to give a more detailed account of the opinion of LEDAS experts the true essence of intelligent 3D-modeling.

According to the preliminary statistics, the most popular Working Group, and its agenda, promises to be WG-5 "New Business Models for CAD/PLM market (cloud computations, open code, free platforms…)". It is not surprising that ultimately everyone is interested in business... Nanosoft Company recently has broken into the market with sensational business models, first of all, based on a free-of-charge platform. Thus, the presentation of Nanosoft CEO Maxim Egorov should be of special interest: we hope to learn about the company’s experience, possible evolution of its business policy and even “unclassified” plans. This presentation can be the introduction to WG-5, which will also be moderated by a Nanosoft representative Dmitry Popov.

Most certainly WG-5 will have an exciting discussion as ASCON has registered as one of the active group members. The title of a short introductory presentation “Russian CAD companies will not wait for imported wings to take off to clouds”, which on behalf of ASCON will be delivered by Oleg Zykov, is self-explanatory. At WG-5 Oleg hopes to support his plenary talk with a short demonstration.

IT history goes along with the drama of software developers: to some extent their heroic intellectual deeds and breakthrough are often devaluated by subsequent hardware development. It is simply my flirtatious self-irony: in fact I am convinced that achievements and endeavors of software programmers are not in vain, they will always be required and their devaluation is not possible… Still, new hardware capabilities certainly open totally new horizons and software developers must be extremely sensitive and closely follow hardware development so their next heroic deeds are not based on obsolete platforms… That is why the talk of Anton Dzhoraev (NVIDIA) is so important to us. “New graphical capabilities to support next CAD generation” will round up the plenary morning session. Anton will continue his talk at WG-6 “New Hardware Technologies for Engineering Software”.

New hardware technologies certainly cover state-of-the art broad-format printing that will be generously demonstrated by HP – the general Forum sponsor. In the lobby HP will organize a display/exhibition of its new products and their capabilities will be discussed at WG-6. HP capacity will be further demonstrated at the exhibition of students projects.

See also Round Tables and Their Moderators... and Media at COFES-Russia... .