When we think about the biggest CAD software companies, we think of the Big Four who make more than $1 billion a year:
#1 Dassault Systemes ($2.6B)
#2 Siemens PLM Systems (?)
#3 Autodesk ($2.3B)
#4 PTC ($1.3B)
(? - We're not sure where Siemens PLM places, as the mother corp doesn't report on its CAD division, but analysts figure its revenues are roughly as large as or larger than Autodesk's. In this article, I use a EUR-USD exchange rate of 1.3.)
What's changed in recent years is that non-CAD vendors have been buying up CAD software, some of whom are pretty big. Indeed, it could be argued Siemens belongs in this category.
Today's news that Hexagon of Sweden bought Vero Software of England reminds us that Hexagon also own Intergraph, the largest CAD vendor of plant design software. At $3.1 billion a year, Hexagon is almost as big as Autodesk and PTC put together. As Shawn Foster (@kcflatlander) said on Twitter, "Plant, mining, etc do not market like buildings and other markets, so many would not know how huge Hexagon really is." The last time Intergraph reported revenues (2008), they were at $0.8 billion.
As of August, Hexagon will own a stable of CAM programs that's nearly bigger than all the Big Four put together. It benefits from Vero's own acquisitions spree that collected together Alphacam, Cabinet Vision, Edgecam, Radan, SURFCAM, VISI, and WorkNC. Hexagon says those seven CAM packages will add about $100 million to its revenues. Only.
The other big non-CAD CAD vendor is Trimble, who we think of as a seller of bright yellow GPSes for surveyors. They own SketchUp and a bunch of BIM software, and their reveues are just under those of Autodesk, at just over $2 billion a year.
Well, then there is Oracle, who many years ago bought out Cimmetry of Canada (and its AutoVue CAD file viewer) via Agile. Oracle's revenues are $37 million, about half that of Siemens AG. Other "new" CAD vendors include 3D Systems (bought Alibre) and ANSYS (bought SpaceClaim), but both are under $1 billion in revenues, and so don't belong in the club.
So now when we speak of a CAD vendor, it's not necessarially a company that was founded by a group of guys in the 1980s writing a rudimentary CAD program out of their homes. As certain huge corporations recognize the power of the data stored in CAD files, they arise themselves from their slumber, casting about for a suitable prey...
Makes me wonder if Dassault Aviation might reaquire Dassault Systemes. Then there's the strong links Bentley is forming with Siemens PLM.