Category Competition

Customers speak out!


Recently, I received some user comments to several blog posts. Normally I strive for non-censorsed, authentic content. Unfortunately, this user insisted on making personal attacks at me as well as other rude comments that do not bear repetition.

Among the fluff, this user did manage to articulate a point, and here is the text:

All I read about is how everyone else is terrible and Seemage is great, but I don’t hear discussions about business value that you guys have delivered. You should really start taking the high road, as I know Seemage is a decent product but this kind of lame, baseless contempt for the competition is becoming a standing joke amongst my peers. For those of us looking to buy Seemage, it would help if I didn’t have to explain to my executives why your blog always sounds like you guys have your backs against the wall….Help a brother out!

So to “help the brother out”, here is a recent email that I received from a customer, explaining why 3DVIA Composer (aka Seemage), is great:

Still very ...

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Fun of use


Everybody wants to buy software that is “easy to use”, but what does that mean? “Ease of use” is a very subjective term, something that often is impossible to define. But yet in every software evaluation I’ve been involved with over my career, “ease of use” seems to be an important criteria for product acceptance. But ease of use does not guarantee product performance or avoiding the purchase of shelfware.

I believe that it’s time to introduce a new concept, and to forget all about “ease of use”. We need to start using a category where we can rate a piece of software on its “fun of use”. “Fun of use” means that users enjoy working in the software – which inherently means that the user is happy and effective and looks forward to using the product to get their job done...

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Technology Asset Yard Sale


A couple of weeks ago, both Right Hemisphere and Anark announced the sell-off of their gaming divisions. While the similar timing for two separate companies to make such division sales is coincidental, it is interesting to see that they are both abandoning their core and founding technologies. And the more interesting observation is about the sales themselves. Whenever a privately-held company restructures, or divests, there are always some interesting questions to ask about the action. Certainly if a company is meeting and exceeding their sales and profitability goals, the equity holders and investors are going to be happy and are not going to be interested in interfering and in selling off assets and divisions of the company.

Indeed, it begs the question as to why these two companies ha...

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Content creation or content management?


Many times I am asked to explain how 3DVIA Composer “integrates” into a PDM or PLM system. While this is a perfectly valid question, what I find interesting is that this question is often asked before anyone even begins to use the software, and sometimes it is even asked as a pre-requisite or must-have before further consideration of the product.

I find this line of thought to be extremely backwards. Asking to see the integration before seeing the content creation system is like putting the cart before the horse. And unlike the chicken or egg debate, the answer to this question is obvious: content creation must always come before content management...

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Beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing



Ryan Foss was a guy with some ideas. He happened to share those ideas with some folks at Right Hemisphere, and now alleges that his ideas were actually stolen by them. He blogged about this on April 30, and you can read his story here.

It goes to show that you always need to watch your back, create contracts, look at the fine print,  and always beware of the wolf in sheep’s clothing. This is especially true when implementing a new software system.

In their efforts to build a system that reuses 3D CAD and PLM data for the downstream user, Right Hemisphere has embedded the requirement for a server-based product. One that is necessary if you want the slightest chance of seeing any of the proposed benefits of their product...

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Ancient references



Many people are familiar with this illusion of the “old lady, young lady” image. This old/new paradigm seems to be all the rage lately. On American television, we witness countless new reality shows featuring celebrities from the 80s and 90s, desperately trying to find new fame. While sometimes entertaining, there is also an embarrassing undertone to the shows, like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

It’s very similar to how PTC is reviving old Itedo Isodraw references and massaging them into wonderfully new Abortext Isodraw references. These retreads from the past, pure 2D technical illustration references, are being re-framed and re-branded as great new references that are fully leveraging 3D in new and innovative ways...

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3DVIA your iPod #59: “Knocking out the competition”



You’ve heard us rant about the exceptional qualities of 3DVIA Composer, and how we make better reuse of CAD data than other competitive products such as Isodraw. I’ve shown 3DVIA Composer to people hundreds of times, and I never grow tired of the look of amazement on peoples’ faces when they see what we can do. But what really amazes me is how quickly our customers can go from purchasing our product to being productive and generating positive returns: it’s a tribute to our architecture and ease of use.

It’s why we win benchmark after benchmark, why customers continually choose 3DVIA Composer over other products, and why customers actually turn off those products in favor of 3DVIA Composer.

But don’t take it from me… take it directly from one of our newest customers, Miller Formless...

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What’s a guarantee worth?


3DVIA Composer’s US offices are in the Boston area. The whole New England area — with the exception of some lost souls in Connecticut — is in the grips of a kind of mania about the New England Patriots football team, which so far is undefeated. (For our non-US readers, this is American football we are talking about here, not what we Americans call “soccer.”)

Anyway, the big news today is that a member of the opponents the Patriots played yesterday “guaranteed” that his team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, would beat the Patriots yesterday. While the game was close for a little while on Sunday, at the end the Patriots won big.

I mention this because I’ve been reading a white paper from PTC detailing a customer success in Austria with Arbortext IsoDraw.

(I would happily link to PTC’s collateral t...

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PTC to technical service writers: “One size — XXXL– fits all”


PTC to technical service writers: one size — ginormous — fits all

Many of you may remember the rock band called Talking Heads. And you may also remember their famous movie, Stop Making Sense, in which lead singer David Bryne appears onstage in an ill-fitting “big suit.”

Both the title of the film and the fit of the clothes pretty aptly describe what we think of Parametric Technology’s announcement of a “comprehensive, out-of-the-box solution for creating, publishing and delivering technical service manuals.”

We wonder why you need four separate applications – none of which are widely-deployed standards – to author content. Will tech writers prefer Microsoft® Word® or Arbortext® Editortm? How eager do you think users are to learn a new text editing tool? PTC’s press release says, “The success of any new solution hinges on an organizationâ€...

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Tone deafness in the (Acrobat) blogosphere



Allow me to detour for a moment from our usual fare of Seemage-focused commentary to lend the support and encouragement of all of us at Seemage and 3DMojo for our fellow blogger Franco Folini.

In a recent post, Franco details how his efforts to engage in open, direct communication with a blogger at Adobe was met with corporate stonewalling.

Reading Franco’s post reminded me of the most important lesson companies need to learn when they start reaching out to online communities: be authentic. If you want to give your point of view, you have to take the commentary of the community. And rule one: the community will tell you lots of things you might not want to hear.

As Franco points out, there’s a tradition of allowing voices to be heard...

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Parsing Adobe’s press releases



Isn’t this is a very cool image of the “smoke and mirrors” saying? You know, that phrase we all use when we are talking about big concepts with very little behind them?

Well, enough about that. On another point, I was reading the press release Adobe issued last week regarding Renault’s “adoption” of Acrobat 3D.

Since I write Seemage’s press releases — and these guys keep me on a very short leash to make sure that what I write is clear and not overblown — I was hoping this post will find its way to the person inside Adobe who wrote or reviewed this release and that he or she would be kind enough to answer these questions here on the blog or by email to

Truly, I’d love to be able to convince my bosses at Seemage that I should be allowed the same…uh…”freedom” to write pres...

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Concept clash: document vs. data



I’ve been reading and re-reading the excellent post by Franco Folini on Acrobat 3D.

Franco has, as always, written a clear description of Adobe’s strategy. This post isn’t in any way an attack on Franco’s point of view.

But, I do have two problems with all the fawning Adobe is getting in the CAD and PLM communities for Acrobat 3D. (You could see that coming a mile away, right?) The first problem is interesting; the second is fundamental.

My first issue is that I suspect a lot of the positive commentary about Adobe is a continuation of the CAD and PLM communities’ fascination with file formats, and more than that, the drama of file-format nuclear war. Franco talks about the “failure” of Autodesk’s DWF format. What, exactly, is “file-format failure?” And who cares, especially for an interch...

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PTC declares 3D isn’t important


As readers of this blog may know, PTC recently acquired the 2D technical illustration company ITEDO. You may also know that Seemage is offering ITEDO users a trade-up to full 3D at

In an apparent response to this campaign, PTC has been emailing its customers a discussion about its acquisition of ITEDO and its opinion of Seemage.

Naturally, both Seemage and ITEDO customers have asked us to respond. What better place to do so than on our blog? And who better to respond than Seemage’s founder Eric Piccuezzu?

Here are PTC’s emailed comments, followed by Eric’s response:

PTC: Prior to the acquisition, ITEDO communicated 3D availability in the next version of the product...

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