Direct Modeling, Horseradish Leafs, BIM, and Google Translation

Yesterday, in my Russian blog, I published post “The CAD company, which is guided mainly by the opinions of current customers, will not be needed by them tomorrow” which was inspired by some hot discussions at isicad.ru. One of the discussions was about BIM (see "BIM Discussion Gets Heated in Russia", upFront.eZine #692. The second debate which is currently actively evolves is about direct modeling and it was initiated by a recent article "New Armor for Rhino by Dmitry Ushakov .

One of the readers advised me to translate my post into English, at least in order to please the mentioned CAD vendors as well as Martyn Day and Francis Bernard whom I quoted. I am not able to do this because my Russian original text is rather artistic:).  Maybe Google can help? However note that the same reader draw my attention to the wonderful translation proposed by Google for two particular words related to my post. Google seems to properly  translate Russian words list hrena into horseradish leaf but if you ask to translate hrenovyi list it gives you something different. Some explanation and excuse for this is as follows. On the one hand, reversing list hrena into hrenovyi list just corresponds to transformation of leaf of  horseradish into horseradish leaf (so that hrenovyi becomes precisely an adjective which in Russian is explicitly indicated by the ending). On the other hand, a Russian word hrenovyi, for some (strange – or natural?) reasons also means rotten, lousy… . Seems Google loves this variant much more and thus translates hrenovyi list as  f*cking sheet :).

You may ask what does direct modeling and BIM  have to do with a horseradish leaf? Well, in the acknowledgement part of my post I thanked Vladimir Talapov, the author of a fresh Russian bestseller book “Introduction to BIM” (392 pp.) published with a support of isicad, who (Vladimir) presented me not only a copy of his book but also a very important supplement – a bottle of liqueur based on horseradish leafs… See here a picture of both the book and bottle in "What Do You Need to Understand BIM Better" . I can definitely confirm that Vladimir is not only a brilliant expert and promoter of BIM but also an excellent specialist in Siberian liqueurs. As for Google Translator, everyone can judge for himself: this is Google's English version   of my Russian post in question.


Pilgrimage of CAD Companies to Novosibirsk is Going On

Now it is JETCAM. On the left - Bill King who alone has written a phenomenal amount of excellently distributed JETCAM software, on the right - Ivan Stern, founder and CEO:
What happened (and will likely happen later), can be reconstructed (and imagined) from my recent post "Bricsys visits Novosibirsk" (and "Bricsys Visits Novosibirsk -2").The difference is that JETCAM guests came to stay not for two but for five days. Such a visit provides enough time to present at LEDAS  some details of the JETCAM projects and tasks (see also "LEDAS Skills Are Used By World Leading Developer Of CAD/CAM Software For Sheet Metal And Aerospace Industries To Make Its Products Better"):  


Bricsys in Novosibirsk – 2. Shashlik under Tent

TechnoPark, Armenian restaurant Anait, and camping Bylina are the key attractions of Novosibirsk Scientific Center:). To say nothing about LEDAS-isicad, which, by the way  is somehow related with the mentioned three places.

I have already reported about visiting TechnoPark and Anait. Some part of my (especially, Russian) readers know Bylina: there, we have organized an essential part of cultural program of the 3-days forums isicad-2006 and isicad-2008. At the indicated pages you can see some noticeable actors of the CAD/PLM market in relaxed atmosphere - including dancing:).       

Here is a fragment of the Bylina camping:

Guests from Bricsys started their excursion with a dinner in a big tent:
The excursion included barbeque (more precisely - shashlik):
prepared by the two professionals:
and decorated by the girls from SibCongress, the company which organized all our Siberian isicad forums:
Looks like the guest are happy:
Belgium is a recognized world beer leader. That's why the guests are vividly interested in the Internet-based review of beer situation in Russia and Novosibirsk:
Btw Bylina is equipped not only by Wi-Fi but by a lot of other elements of high tech (doorplates: toilet and chief engineer):
Before desert - a 15-minute walk to the Berdsk bay:
Eugene Kuznetsov, LEDAS CFO, proposed Erik De Keyser, Bricsys CEO, to bathe in the bay, however Erik refused because he wants to make some more development to his Bricscad:):
No more information:) (Bylina information panel)


Bricsys visits Novosibirsk

Today a delegation of top managers (CEO, CFO, and COO) from Bricsys (a well-known Belgian and global CAD company) arrived to Novosibirsk Scientific Center for a 2-day visit. 

The guests observed one of the key places - a building of TechnoPark (a business center for high tech companies) which is currently under intensive construction. 
The Bricsys management was so much impressed that it was decided to immediately go to Anait - a favourite Siberian-Armenian restaurant of Deelip Menezes and Martyn Day
There, at Anait, impressions of the day were balanced by Armenian vodka: grape - 45%, apricot - 51,  and Cornelian cherry / dogwood - 51. It looks like Erik de Keyser, Bricsys CEO is well balanced: 
 But real overall balance came when Erik perfectly and unexpectedly implemented a famous trick: drinking burning mulberry vodka - 57% . He did this so skillfully quickly that a photographer was able to catch only the very last phase of the process. In the left-hand side you can see a jealously looking Grand Master of such a trick, Eugene Kuznetsov. LEDAS CFO. Erik definitely demonstrated the power of Bricys:  


CAD/PLM in June: How I Saw It From Russia Or Within the Country. Part II: PTC, ASCON, and Autodesk

See Part I: Top Systems and Siemens PLM

3. We at isicad/LEDAS are very sorry that due to technical reasons we could not take advantage of the generous and kind invitation from PTC to attend a recent PlanetPTC at Las Vegas. I tried to extract some information especially interesting for me from twitter, from Oleg Shilovitsky, and again from Roopinder Tara. Here for the purposes of my amateur psychoanalysis I took a repeatedly quoted phrase by Jim Heppelmann “We don’t call it CAD anymore. I think we can assume that all design is now computer aided.  It’s not 1970.” Well, maybe traditionally subordinate role of PDM in relation to MCAD was for a long time haunting Heppelmann (the founder of quite/very successful WindChill) and then, finally, he has got a chance to win back by killing Pro/E, especially as such killings did just come into fashion:). Oedipus complex? I feel sympathy for the PTC at least because of its Soviet/Russian origin and by the fact that today for many of its software development managers the Russian language is native. However I do not believe that this PTC can by the overall income approach DS and Autodesk.  

Maybe because today people are very much excited by Creo, we could last week see such a twitter discussion:

The day after tomorrow (6) at the Rhino user conference in London, Dmitry Ushakov will demonstrate how the LEDAS Driving Dimensions module transforms Rhino into MCAD and how it can enhance any CAD with direct modeling facilities.    

4. ASCON, the leading Russian CAD company, is known not only by its strong KOMPAS 3D MCAD as well as PLM components but also by practical achievements in SaaS, and more generally – by their serious attention to modern trends in CAD/PLM industry. ASCON is increasing its marketing activity by investing obviously considerable resources. Of course, they organize a lot of events, in particular often coming to the end users in the cities and towns all around Russia and CIS. But last week the company held a comparatively unusual conference “Technologies of ASCON” where my attention was attracted by a statement made by the ASCON director of business development Evgeniy Bakhin: “We want our original geometric modeler to become a product to be worldwide distributed independently of KOMPAS 3D”.

Several days later, at the big event in Saint-Petersburg on PLM in shipbuilding,  Alexey Petrov, the ASCON deputy director for working with key customers, made a presentation with a message that big Russian customers, such as from defense, because of economical and security reasons, should prefer national Russian PLM solutions. This message, couple years ago more intensive, is for sure a part of marketing which maybe is reasonable (I mean - effective) when addressed to the defense customers. Alexey demonstrated a chart from IDC (however from 2007 ) which shoes that more than 70% of CAD related software in Russia is imported:

5. Autodesk CIS is implementing its Big Marketing Project called SAPRYAZHENIE (see here   about the Russian language trick with this name as well as characteristics of the project itself).  The team of Autodesk managers and experts, together with active members of the Autodesk CIS community (today – 3000+ registered members), including related bloggers, are subsequently visiting 13 cities in Russia and CIS where they with real triumph meet local Autodesk today’s and potential users: tell them about fresh products and solutions, give prompt technological consulting, explain business schemes, etc. In June, the event was held in 5 cities in European, Siberian, and Far East regions, in some cases situated 10 000 km from each other… From all what is known, heard, and seen, one can conclude that Autodesk is very smartly addressing young generation of engineering software users: kindle their interest and enthusiasm by the methods and in the language mostly natural and effective for youngsters. Note also that by the beginning of their road show, Autodesk CIS released the first issues of “The Autodesk CIS Community Magazine  which also integrates their user community…

CAD/PLM in June: How I Saw It From Russia Or Within the Country. Part I: Top Systems and Siemens PLM

You may consider this post as a June part of an overview which almost quarterly I try to compose at isicad.net (see for example this). On the other hand, this post is to some extent an overview of my Russian posts of June. This combination has a contradiction since in the English isicad.net overviews I aim to present some key issues of the Russian market while my Russian blog of course includes some comments on events of the global market. Besides, my Russian posts usually include a lot of Russian cultural context which I am absolutely not able to transform into English…

1. At the beginning of June, Top Systems, the second (after ASCON) Russian CAD/PLM company known first of all by its powerful Parasolid-based  MCAD T-FLEX, held its big annual conference. At the conference the company announced “PLM+” characterized as follows:  «Its fundamental distinction from traditional PLM solutions is an essential extension of integrated software environment which now covers not only tasks of life-cycle but all its accompanying processes».  (For the first time this PLM+ was briefly mentioned by Top System CEO Sergei Kuraksin at COFES-Russia-2010 seminar in Moscow). In one of my June posts  I asked Sergei “What traditional PLM solutions he means, maybe those of DS, Siemens, PTC, ARAS or even Autodesk? What are the tasks not covered by traditional PLM that are solved by PLM+? Are there any tasks solved by traditional PLM and not solved by PLM+ based on T-FLEX?...”  

My conclusion was that although Top Systems do not follow modern trends of mobility, social networking, SaaS, and other, the company can probably succeed with some big Russian enterprises, say from defense domain, that are traditionally more conservative. (Note, that Top Systems has quite a good customer base since the company basic solutions are actually effective, however until recent time, marketing of Top Systems was rather rudimentary). Finally, I wrote that such gigantomania may be a result of some inferiority complex, and, building PLM+ may help in its satisfaction:). Later, in the comment section of my post, we had with Sergei a nice discussion, and soon Top Systems has published an article which made their PLM+ concept more clear, it looks like that PLM+ is PLM+ERP (you can conclude this from the TLAs seen at the picture below).
My above mentioned post has a title “Prompt Psycho(analysis) of Some Recent CAD Publications”. Along with Top Systems, I touched there Siemens PLM and PTC. 

2. With an objective to give Russian readers my impression about «Global Launch Solid Edge ST4» I retold and commented couple posts of Roopinder Tara. I am not going to retell them for you. One small terminology nuance attracted my attention: Tony Affuso speaks not about necessity to work more with SME but with midstream enterprises. Is small not a word from Siemens PLM lexicon? At least subconsciously?  

My own opinion about Solid Edge and its future:
- ST is a successful pioneer of Direct Modeling which will inevitably win the future of MCAD (we at LEDAS are confident about this not only from publications but from our own projects),
-Solid Edge is definitely a very good system (it’s a pity that Siemens never agreed to give LEDAS trial versions or so: was this because of the  competition between D-Cubed and LGS),
- I estimate the probability for Solid Edge  to rise from its current (3rd?) to 1st or 2dn place (today kept by SW and Inventor) or even to approach them as much as 5% - practically independent of SPLM marketing efforts,
- However  we can rather probably soon hear about something like hundreds if not thousand installations of Solid Edge to one or other “Daimler-Benz”:),  
- 5% of positive probability I give to the scenarios such as «DS actually kills SW» or/and  «Autodesk makes something crazy with Inventor »:).

BTW, I am pleased to mention a remarkable and very large interview with Chuck Grindstaff, President and CTO of Siemens PLM Software taken by Alexandra Sukhanova, executive editor of the Russian language magazine “CAD/CAM/CAE Observer” published in Riga, Latvia.
Just look at the great gallery of interviews taken by Alexandra during last several years). It would be strange to retell here the interview with Chuck called “The revolution in CAD/PLM should not lead to discontinuity of innovation process”), I can only mention that he perfectly combines his CTO role (characteristics of SPLM solutions) and that of the President (characteristics of competitors and comparison of SPM with them). It looks like he is strict and biased to DS (main and dangerous competitor?), demonstrates  indulgence to PTC (not main competitor?), and does not take seriously Autodesk (not a competitor at all in SPLM key business?)… Alexandra kindly permitted me to re-publish this interview at isicad.ru, and I hope we will see an interesting discussion.