It seems that 3DMojo doesn’t have much nice to say about mid-market focused products from enterprise PLM players:
Designing software for small and medium businesses is not simply a matter or repackaging or re-licensing existing enterprise software. It’s a process that requires clean-sheet design, something you clearly aren’t going to get with CATIA Express.
While I tend to agree that it can be difficult to repackage enterprise products to make them useful for an engineer in a small or medium sized company, I don’t think it is impossible. The areas we have focused on in creating our velocity series products:
- Ease of installation – stripping out options and making it a few clicks to install can do a lot. It helps with the “out of the box” experience.
- Role-based UI – presenting a user with the capabilities they are most likely to use, helps new users feel more at ease. Wizards help a little as well, but the UI and a simple set of icons seem to be the key trick.
- Remove platform options – for mid-market customers having an offering on Windows/SQL fits the bill perfectly.
- Easy administration / upgrade – most engineers can learn any tool and sometimes prefer having the power of the “full” product. However, mid-market IT departments or stretched (or even non-existent) so you have to make admin easy, or the costs outside the operator will kill the returns
However, the most important decision we made early on was that we weren’t going to be concerned about who buys which products. If our “enterprise” customers want our “mid-market” products, fine by us. If our “mid-market” customers want our “enterprise” products, also fine. The key is starting with the customer in mind and giving them something they want, nit creating something you want to sell and everything else will work out just fine.