Does SolidWorks Have Competitors in the Russian Market?

SolidWorks is rather successful in Russia, the fact which was confirmed at SWW 2011 and also at the previous such events. This, as well as probably new relations between DS and SW, for the first time in history resulted in establishing a position of the head of DSSW representative in Russia. Pavel Bruk (39) who was appointed to this position is a kind of unique guy: his CV includes education in airspace design, Computervision, Innovation and Design Center in Liverpool University, Unigraphics (incl. PDM, working in Germany,…), Intel, Autodesk, Bentley Systems, and at last (since Jan 2011) – DS.

In a recently published big interview for a Russian language magazine CAD/CAM/CAE Observer, Pavel made a series of sharp statements that many people will definitely not agree. Here are some fragments from the interview.

What are some explicit functional advantages of SolidWorks in comparison with KOMPAS-3D?
This is exactly the case when it’s reasonable to consider functional differences. At present KOMPAS-3D is lagging behind at least, by 5 years. The existing KOMPAS 3D functionality, accepted methods of work, the geometric kernel- all this is non-competitive in comparison with systems of the SolidWorks class...

In a recent interview to our magazine, Eugene Lesnikov from Autodesk CIS said that it was not reasonable to compare Inventor with SolidWorks and SolidEdge, since Inventor has no "big brother" who would inhibit its growth. What do you think - as specialist who worked earlier for SPLM and Autodesk? Perhaps Inventor should then be compared in functionality with CATIA and NX?
I am somewhat surprised to hear such words from a man who definitely knows what is PLM (E.Lesnikov was earlier working in IBM with DS: DL)...Rather, Inventor has a problem with his "little brother"- AutoCAD. We have repeatedly witnessed how in the case of financial problems at Autodesk, all the powers and resources were trasferred to support platform business. Therefore, investments into Inventor are from time to time in danger ...Besides, Autodesk became involved in things uncharacteristic for engineers. Adding Alias and CAE (Moldflow, Algor, Blue) is an unsuccessful attempt to capture a part of the market with a help of Inventor…

It would be interesting to know your opinion about a couple SE-NX?
As you know, Siemens does not publish any data on such sales. In my estimation, Solid Edge is very much lost ground, especially in Russia. Perhaps, Siemens will try to catch up. It will be interesting to watch this attempt: perhaps Solid Edge can bite off a part of the Inventor market...

At the picture above: Pavel Bruk at COFES-Russia / isicad-2011.


Will Inventor Fusion within AutoCAD 2012 really improve popularity of direct modeling?

@dmitryushakov has just published a summary of the yesterday's twitter discussion on direct modeling with @bcourter, @DeelipMenezes, and @SeanDotson. Dmitry himself also took part in that twittering.

You can read Dmitry's article in Russian or translated by Google.

My own comment. Yes, all those interested in spreading DM (not least - LEDAS), in one degree or another, can be grateful to Autodesk. However I think that it's prematurely to count how many millions of AutoCAD users will be infected by DM: rather probably the majority will not only stay noninvolved but for quite a long time will still not go beyond 2D. In addition, a specific approach of very popular Autodesk (a concrete Fusion, combination of DM with a "historical" method) may distort a trajectory towards complete victory of a true pure DM - with automatic detection of the design intent - an approach which, for example, LEDAS is developing. But these observations do not abolish or downgrade significance of the move just made by Autodesk, be it only marketing or not.



Not surprisingly ASCON as the leading Russian CAD vendor very often becomes a newsmaker of the CIS market. The previous news was about the company’s 2010 results and future plans. In March, the Russian market received from ASCON a small (?) sensation: a team of the company’s CAPP solution known as VERTICAL left ASCON and founded a new company called SDI Solution.

VERTICAL is a substantial element of the ASCON’ s PLM offering, however it brought not more than 5% of the company’s 2010 income. All the rights for VERTICAL as well as its maintenance and distribution facilities stay at ASCON.

The founders of SDI Solution headed by Andrey Andrichenko, Ph.D., are going to intensively build a new CAPP system. They declared that its principles are reflected by the new company name: SDI means semantic data integration. Andrey says that all CADs are basically expert systems therefore a new trend is to change object approach by a semantic paradigm: this mainstream opens new capabilities for knowledge representation and for improvement of decision making in the CAD domain.

SDI Solution mentioned that their new system will perhaps be called HORIZONTAL.

Yesterday isicad.ru published a big interview with the founders of the new company «SDI Solution: A new Generation of CAPP» and a comment of Vladimir Zakharov, ASCON Director for Software Development, called (if I am not mistaken with an English version of the proverb) "Every cloud has a silver lining".

As I can conclude from all available information, the divorce was implemented peacefully. Probably the reason for this divorce is almost natural contradiction between comparatively-short-term industrial approach of ASCON and the will of the VERTICAL developers to promptly implement their radically new ideas.

I do not predict any problems that ASCON can meet in the near future with maintenance and local developments of VERTICAL. But of course the company should think and decide about the next generation(s) of the system.

As for SDI Solution, I am certain that they have good constructive ideas and very probably can rapidly implement a prototype. The problem will then be in industrialization, integration into (which?) PLM environment, distribution, and other... Therefore, not surprisingly, SDI Solution announced that they have already negotiated (or will have such contacts) on a partnership with Autodesk, DS, PTC, and Siemens PLM. And also with ASCON.

Btw, yesterday I re-animated my belingual twitter.


ASCON, the Largest Russian CAD/PLM Company: Results of 2010 and Plans for 2011

ASCON is keeping not less than 25% of the Russian CAD market – approximately as Autodesk and considerably more than other world leading CAD companies. At a press-conference in Moscow on 2rd March, ASCON top executives announced figures characterizing company performance in 2010 and plans for 2011.

In 2010 the company attracted at least 600 new customers, while the overall number of the companies using ASCON solutions exceeded 6000. Sales reached 662,9M Rubles (approx. $23,4M compared to $18M in 2009). ASCON is committed to the principle of open information policy and is the only player in its segment of the Russian IT-market that discloses financial results. Maxim Bogdanov, ASCON CEO: “We have achieved 20+% growth of the income although recovery of the Russian economy is on the whole quite modest. This is a result of our effective planning and determination on our business development which was based on our precise taking into account the conditions of Russian business environment and hypothesis of the Russian industry state-of-art".

More than 70% of the ASCON income relates to selling of its original CAD/PLM software. In 2010, ASCON increased a number of sold licenses for all its products:
- KOMPAS-3D (mid-range parametric mechanical CAD): by 38%,
- VERTICAL (CAPP): by 26%,
- LOTSMAN (PDM/PLM): by 59%.

With regard to industry markets, 70% of sold software products were design and manufacturing solutions for machine- and instrument- building, 30% - design solutions for industrial and civil construction.

In 2010 ASCON focused its efforts on the industries of defense, nuclear, oil and gas, oil and chemistry, and metallurgy. It's worth mentioning that 38% of the ASCON customers are from state and defense organizations. A list of new customers looks rather impressive.

Among key events of 2010, ASCON emphasizes transition of KOMPAS-3D into a class of hybrid modeling systems and launching a commercial access to KOMPAS-3D in SaaS mode.

2011: Plans and Events

In 2011 ASCON is planning to make a serious jump to reach 800M RUR (about $28M) of income.

A release of KOMPAS-3D V13 for Russia is planned in May, and in October - for the global market.

ASCON wants to expand its competence in engineering industry from traditional design to manufacturing. To implement this, the company plans to release in autumn its system GOLFSTREAM for planning and management in manufacturing.

At the above mentioned press conference ASCON organized a show to compare past and future technologies (see here a video of this episode):

ASCON web sites: in Russian and in English.

Official press-release (in Russian)