Whereas Dassault Systemes and Autodesk are going whole-hog into cloudifying their software, major competitors Siemens PLM Software and PTC are being cautious. They understand that CAD is a desktop program, not a tethered-to-the-Internet app.
When PTC ceo James Heppleman was asked about Creo-on-the-cloud at this week's conference call with financial analysts, here was his response:
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Cloud-based [Creo] CAD will come in some phases. Some early phases involve repositioning the product largely in its current form, but served through a cloud SaaS [software as a service] model. And then subsequent to that, we're likely to go into some deeper phases where we do more fulsome remodeling of the architecture to fully optimize it for the cloud.
But that will be an option. We're not going to take [Creo] off the market in its current form. We got a lot of customers who quite frankly use it on-premise and like it that way. So this, for us, will be an optional way to deliver the power of Creo. We're definitely not trying to flip the base to cloud. If some of them want to go there, absolutely.
I think what we see is an incremental opportunity to do a better job participating in the low end with different pricing schemes, different delivery schemes, quite frankly, digital marketing schemes, things like that, that have kind of not really been in our playbook here today. So I think this means we run the CAD business as we know it and we'd pursue an incremental opportunity enabled by a different technological delivery and go-to-market model.
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So while Dassault and Autodesk are driving customers to the cloud via executive fiat, PTC is letting customers decide.