Gal Raz is a blogger in Israel who has written insightfully on why Dassault Systemes had to kill of Solidworks. For 15 years he was a sales rep for Solidworks Solutions and a CSWP, and is now a sales manager for a local Autodesk VAR.
Here, I've condensed his reasons, which he published in May; read the full explanation in two parts at his site displaystatesen.blogspot.com:
- Part I: SolidWorks's Dilemma - How to kill a successful product?
- Part II: No shortage of challenges to SolidWorks for the coming year
Solidworks's Dilemma: How to Kill a Successful Product
1. As a new startup in 1995, SolidWorks derailed PTC Pro/E by being the first MCAD system to run on Windows only. Today, SolidWorks doesn't want to be derailed by someone else.
2a. To grow quickly, SolidWorks licensed technology, rather than build in-house. Today, however, it is the only major MCAD system to license a kernel. (Inventor, ProE/Creo, Catia, and Solid Edge/NX all use in-house kernels.)
2b. Because Siemens PLM blocked SynchTech to Parasolid licensees, Solidworks does not have easy access to direct editing technology.
3. Dassault worries about its position, with PTC successful in PLM, and Autodesk successful at everything else.
4. To resolve the file (and other) conflicts with Catia, Solidworks needs to deploy on Dassault's CGM kernel. Existing Solidworks can't do this, and so a new Solidworks based on CGM needs to be written.
5. Solidworks is today the oldest MCAD package. After 17 years, it needs to be rewritten from scratch to use today's programming techniques.
6a. The personnel changes at Solidworks are to ensure that Dassault's dictates will be followed.
6b. To focus on V6, development of Solidworks effectively stopped with 2007.
7. Solidworks is the only major MCAD company failing to invest in new external technology through significant acquisitions (cf. T-splines), because Dassault feels it can provide all needed technology.
In his concluding remarks, Mr Raz asks:
[Customers] are expected to get new software with a new interface, different file types and more. What will happen to all the applications, macro, patterns, and engineering information [with the switch to V6]? What happens to customers who invest now in Epdm [Enterprise PDM] for their engineering information management [with the switch to Enovia]?
PTC last year had bumps in the switchover from Pro/E to Creo, mainly because of overhyping a replacement CAD package that won't be up-to-snuff feature-wise for three releases. Solidworks has the same problem, but for the opposite reason: underhyping by failing to make clear a roadmap it owes its one-million-plus users.