In the analyst meet at the SOLIDWORKS 2015 launch at Bangalore, India on 22nd September, Bertrand Sicot, SOLIDWORKS CEO explained the new offerings and answered a specific question on the company's strategy for the SMB (small and medium business) sector, a sizeable and growing market to be addressed in Indian manufacturing and globally. Due to the diversity and geographical spread of the SMB segment, it is a 100% indirect sales model common across countries, through resellers who provide proximity to users. It is a key segment generating 75% of the revenue from 99% of the SOLIDWORKS licenses.
SOLIDWORKS's go-to-market strategy is based on three factors:
- Ease of use of products - functionality , usage on multiple devices etc.,
- Ease of training - quick onboarding in a few days with online support and content
- Affordability - cloud type of deployments avoiding initial investment
For affordability, cloud deployment which is part of SOLIDWORKS 2015 can bring the advantage of ongoing opex instead of upfront capex. SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual was the first step 4 years ago for a collaborative platform on the cloud that can be used for design, collaboration and document exchange with external partners too. As the name says, it is for initial stages of the design process where detailed design is not required. SOLIDWORKS Industrial Conceptual is the next planned product. But SOLIDWORKS is not aggressive in growing the cloud based deployment. Customers have concerns over security in storing sensitive information on a public cloud. RoI for SOLIDWORKS adopters comes from better quality of their products, faster design & development and anticipation of problems with the product proactively using simulation. Online service is provided especially for the SMB users who expect quick resolution to issues since they do not usually have inhouse technical expertise.
To go beyond individual user organizations to a collaborative 3D ecosystem, My. SOLIDWORKS is an interesting crowd sourcing type of concept. Registered users can post their challenges online and get their questions answered from the experts. Interestingly, in IDC Manufacturing Insights 2014 APeJ survey, 'collaboration applications' was the top most priority in the future plan of manufacturing companies looking at cloud adoption. It should be interesting to see how these initiatives get adopted by the market.