I suppose I have to ask obligatory cloud question. Dassault, particularly their SolidWorks business, have made quite a lot of commentary recently about their intentions for putting apps on the cloud that may entail some possible changes in licensing models and the like, away from your industry.
Oracle had a fairly well attended event yesterday for customers on cloud computing here in New York. So something's going on obviously. I'm just curious as to your thoughts on the cloudiness issue.
PTC president James Heppelmann responded:
We're ready to be on the cloud. We are on the cloud in a limited way right now [through our Windchill PLM software]. But I don't think that the cloud in and of it self changes that much in our industry. It's a different sort of deployment option.
This is an application that runs on a server and whether that server's in your data center or up in somebody else's being run for you and delivered to you as a service -- what that technology does and the business advantage it brings to you is what's most important.
I don't think SolidWorks is going to go on any big growth spurt because they're putting apps in the cloud. I just don't feel like the cloud has proven itself in many industries, quite frankly...
The truth is, it's worked well in pretty select industries like CRM [customer relationship management] and there's a whole lot of industries it hasn't been very impactful to. So we'll keep monitoring it.
- We've had this Windchill on-demand thing for quite some time.
- Agile had an on-demand solution.
- The Arena guys -- previously known as bomb.com -- have a pure cloud solution.
So the idea of clouds for PLM [product lifecycle management] is not a new idea, but it is an idea that really hasn't seen much adoption on the customer side and, as I pointed out many times before, that there's a technical issue around bandwidth and large data sets.
And then there's a sort of emotional issue around the protection of crowned-jewels-type IP [intellectual property]. People are just a little afraid to put the latest thinking of their corporation, their latest design up into a cloud when they're not 100% sure that it's safe up there.
It seems like it should be [safe], but it's a real concern that doesn't seem to go away.