Dassault Systemes has been trying, since 2010, to get Solidworks users to trade in their desktop computers and move on over to its V6 cloud-based CAD system, now known as 3dexperience. It’s been a long haul, and the more Dassault tries, the more Solidworks succeeds. Since 2010, the number of Solidworks users has grown to over seven million*, and license and other revenues give Dassault over a billion dollars a year, one-sixth of its total revenue.
The problem is that Solidworks is fundamentally incompatible with 3dexperience:
Model storage Discrete files Enovia-based database
Kernel Parasolid CGM
Operating system Windows Web-based
Pricing Reasonable Expensive
Typical user 2-man shop World’s largest corporations
That's a big disconnect.
Let the Goose Keep Laying
The company no longer talks of killing off Solidworks. At once time, its lifespan was measured in a decade, but now it's become a goose Dassault is no longer quite so keen to slay. But, still.
The glimmer is there, as execs imagine seven... million... 3dexperience users -- and the added multiples of revenues that would flow from them. So, the French company keeps crossing the Atlantic to tempt, suade, and threaten those 'Mericans.
The threaten part came when the corporation abruptly renamed the beloved “Solidworks World” as “3dexperience World.” The suade part comes each year with 3dexperience software dominating the talks from the main stage as Solidworks is diminished. And the tempt part comes from offers each year making it easier to try 3dexperience: pretty please.
This Year’s Offer
Each year, we in the CAD media pool wonder what Dassault'll serve up as the deal clincher. This year, it was up to senior vp of 3dexperience Works Gian Paolo Bassi to announce the offer.
He said, “We feel that everyone in the Solidworks community should be taking advantage of all that 3dexperience Works has to offer” and so “starting from July 2023, we will be including cloud services with every seat of Solidworks.” (You can view his speech on this subject at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8CAqGWmeSw&t=3962s.)
The inclusion of cloud services in Solidworks being announced
A cheer erupted from the audience. But what were these "cloud services" that Solidworks would be including. He did not say, although a bit later he enthused, “This is eDrawings on steroids!”, referring to the Solidworks’ original viewing software. Other speakers subsequently spoke of Solidworks users getting access to 3dsWymer, a piece of collaboration software that’s short for “see what you mean.”
Then there was a reference by other execs to “new” Solidworks customers getting access to whatever they’d be getting access to in July, leaving existing customers up in the air.
Here's What Solidworks Users Are Getting
It turns out getting "cloud services" did not mean getting Solidworks Cloud (a stack of nine programs, with 3dsWymer at the bottom), let alone 3dexperience Works. It means getting access to the cloud, with emphasis on services.
What Solidworks Cloud consists of
The new offer offers the following:
- Collaborative Industry Innovator role
- 3dexperience Connector for Solidworks for product data management
- 3dsWymer link to 3dsWym for social collaboration
Ah, there’s that 3dsWymer that got mentioned by other execs. Note that in Dassault lingo, a “role” is a collection of 3dexperience apps thought to suit a particular discipline, such as sheet metal design. In this case, the Collaborative Industry Innovator role gets you 3dexperience Connector and 3dsWymer.
What It’s Gonna Cost Solidworks Users
Dassault sells expensive software. So Solidworks users aren’t getting this offer for free. CIMdata dug into it and reported the actual details at https://www.cimdata.com/en/resources/complimentary-reports-research/commentaries/item/20925-imagine-bringing-solidworks-users-to-the-cloud-3dexperience-world-2023.
- The software bundle normally costs $1,500 a year.
- New customers as of July 1, 2023 must purchase two years of maintenance to get it free.
- Existing customers must pay an extra $300 a year.
(If I misunderstand the offer, then I hand it over to the fine folks at CIMdata.)
So, in the end, it is not as thrilling an offer that it otherwise might have been. I wonder if at next year’s Solidworks 3dexperience World, the offer is reduced to no-charge.
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*) This number typically includes educational users, who have no choice over which MCAD system they learn at college. In the past, Solidworks has stated that 1/6 of their users are commercial users.
Very comprehensive and true article. It hits the nail. Chapeau, Ralph. I reposted it in LinkedIn.
One small correction: 3DEXPERIENCE is Enovia based, not Delmia based. Regards from Germany - Zsolt
Posted by: Zsolt Engli | Mar 17, 2023 at 01:18 AM
Thanks for the correction, Zsolt. I've updated the text in the blog.
Posted by: Ralph Grabowski | Mar 17, 2023 at 04:46 AM