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Interesting article. I still feel that Onshape is more of technology proof of concept project. With the big question of "Can and will companies rely on SAAS companies, like Onshape, for product development?" Not only is the internet connectivity required but all product and IP is also stored and managed in the cloud and not on premise. If Onshape is a POC for an on-premise tool that utilizes onsite servers for CPU and data storage and virtual workstations for rendering then I see a future. The business model of free doesn't pay the bills. Monthly subscriptions helps with cash flow for both parties but doesn't guarantee continued flow. It will take a lot of accounts (10,000) to reach a $1M in monthly subscriptions. That's a lot users and that's only for $1M a month in income. Take out R&D and G&A and I don't think there would be much left. Especially with the crew that Onshape has- all very smart people.
Roopinder, You mention that Siemens is a massive company with many different divisions and execute many M&As. Siemens PLM as a software division that books $3.1B is a provider of core CAD software components. These components are licensed to many of their competitors. I'll use the same example you provided- SolidWorks (SW) owned by Dassault Systems. SW licenses several Siemens PLM components like Parasolid and D-Cubed. These are critical and core components for a CAD system. So, technically we could flip the argument and say that "the enemy is already in the camp." That is Siemens is already inside competitor software. This means Siemens PLM is making royalties for every license of software that competitors sell. If you lose the CAD business you still win with royalties. Not a bad position to be in. As will all M&A activities changing business systems is only done when it makes business sense (effects bottom line) or if there is a much large business strategy in play. As with any mega-corporation many different tools are implemented across the divisions just because of the nature of mergers and acquisitions. It's just the nature of the business beast. Siemens does use its own tools throughout its business and one could argue that they "do eat their own dog food". After all they are a multi-CAD environment with PLM. A second example would be Siemens plants that currently setup as an example of Industry 4.0 in use. As for a captured market inside all the other business units..well..change happens slowly (especially for a company the size of Siemens) and only when required for strategic or bottom line effects.
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Sep 8, 2016