I thought I would take a moment to document a blog post I authored for PTC’s Creo product blog as a portfolio piece. I’ve clipped it below for your viewing pleasure:
What do small and midsized manufacturers really want?
By BOB HEBEISEN
Published: February 9, 2011
Jens Heineck is Business Development Manager and 17-year veteran at INNEO, PTC’s largest Value Added Reseller (VAR), headquartered in Ellwangen, Germany. During PTC’s MCAD Technical Committee meeting, I asked him about INNEO’s unique experience offering multiple approaches to modeling.
Bob Hebeisen: Before recently, most of our resellers sold either parametric or direct modeling. But you’ve been representing both modeling paradigms for a long time.
Jens Heineck: That’s right, INNEO has been a Pro/ENGINEER* reseller for 22 years and a CoCreate* reseller for 20 years – we were selling CoCreate for 16 years before PTC acquired CoCreate in 2007. [*Editor’s note: Pro/ENGINEER is now known as Creo Elements/Pro, and CoCreate is now known as Creo Elements/Direct; learn more about the product renaming announced in October 2010 here.]
BH: So you must see many of your customers using both modeling paradigms within the same organization.
Heineck: A few, but not many. That’s because when the products belonged to separate companies, each vendor wanted us to have separate business and sales and marketing teams dedicated to their product. So we were running them as separate business organizations. When a new prospect came to us, we would try to decide whether they were best suited for parametric history-based modeling or direct history-free modeling, and then one or the other sales team would pursue the deal.
BH: And when PTC acquired CoCreate in 2007, did you change that? Did you bring the two organizations together?
Heineck: No. Even after the acquisition it was always hard to use Creo Elements/Pro and Creo Elements/Direct together on the same model, so we chose to keep separate sales efforts for each product. Sometimes we would get deeper into a sales engagement and realize that this Creo Elements/Direct prospect could benefit from some parametric modeling in their design process, or this Creo Elements/Pro prospect could benefit from some direct modeling. But because there was no way to take the same model back and forth between the two products without breaking the history tree, there was never an easy solution we could offer.
BH: So Creo’s AnyMode Modeling will be the answer to that.
Heineck: Yes. It’s very exciting! The need is there for both modeling paradigms for many designers and manufacturers.
BH: Aside from AnyMode Modeling, what else about the Creo strategy is important to the small and medium-sized manufacturers you serve?
Heineck: AnyRole Apps is really a great thing.
BH: Why is that?
Heineck: This AnyRole Apps idea is a radical new concept in ease of use. Let me give you an example. I was skiing the other day and I was talking with this guy. We were talking about what we each do for work. It turns out he is an engineer, traveling around the world managing different teams of designers. He is “old school” – he literally hand-sketches his designs. Sketches an axle and a bracket and so forth – very basic conceptual stuff. And then he faxes his sketches to his team, and they convert them to CAD models using Pro/ENGINEER [now Creo Elements/Pro] and then he reviews the models and directs them to make changes. I asked him why he didn’t use a CAD tool, and he said years ago he had tried to learn Pro/ENGINEER and several other history-based tools. He gave up; they were all too hard, too big. So what he really needs is a simple 3D direct modeling design tool for concept development and to easily iterate designs from his staff. Maybe he needs some kinematics functionality to see how components work together. What he doesn’t need are the complexities and menu items for a bunch of features he will never use.
BH: That’s a perfect definition of ….
Heineck: Yes! As he explained it to me, it struck me that he was precisely describing Creo and its AnyRole Apps methodology – the right functionality for the right task at hand. Creo’s AnyRole Apps strategy is really the best answer for true ease of use. The need is there for this.
INNEO’s Jens Heineck sees a need for a new approach to CAD ease-of-use and for better interoperability between parametric modeling and direct modeling. What do you think? Please post your comments below.
A few notes about this blog post:
- At the time this blog post was written, it was a challenging time for INNEO and other PTC VARs. PTC’s flagship CAD products, Pro/ENGINEER and CoCreate, had just been merged and relaunched as a new product called Creo. VARs like INNEO had something like 40 years of combined product and sales history with Pro/ENGINEER and Creo, and now they needed to change course very quickly. Product strategy and development at PTC were moving very fast, and (as usual) the trickle-down effect for the VARs was really not on the radar screen of anyone in executive management. I was working very hard to fill the gap by collecting, digesting, and disseminating important information to the VARs, adapting marketing programs for the VARs, and keep them engaged. This blog post was part of that effort to keep the VARs engaged.