Is the glass 25% empty or full?

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Like everyone else, I am pretty impressed by Dassault’s recent financial results. They’re doing well, and we wish them continued success.

But the 25% claim of PLM marketshare sounds a little tin-eared to me. First, PLM isn’t that fragmented a market, one with bazillions of players. It’s got what? Two to five major companies competing in the high-end of the market? Second, it’s looking like there’s little organic growth in the enterprise PLM market. Competitors like PTC and UGS are attempting to move PLM into the SMB marketplace.

Those moves are a sure sign that enterprise customers have absorbed about as much PLM as they are going to. When enterprise software companies have to start selling in the rough-and-tumble SMB marketplace where buyers are hard to reach and price is everything, you know it isn’t the first choice of those software companies.

What this tells us is clear: PLM is a great idea…it might even be a big business. But it’s no rocket ship to market domination and wealth.

We think we know why: PLM as most people understand it focuses primarily on engineering and back-end processes. With PLM, you start by installing stuff nobody sees but which makes them change what they do on their desktop.

Seemage, OTOH, gets installed on your desktop, creates stuff you really want right away and then permits the enterprise to integrate Seemage into back-end systems as needed.

There’s only so much plumbing the market can absorb. That’s why enterprise PLM vendors are declaring “victory” at very low levels of market share.

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