Can you discuss the leadership transition a bit? Will Richard
maintain some role in the company?
Flaherty] Richard is going to remain as chairman, head of
the outside board. That will keep a high level of corporate
continuity going through the transition. I'm not sure if you
know this but I've been around the company nearly as long
as Rich. I joined Rich within the first six months of the
company's founding. In fact, we are celebrating our 20th anniversary
of the company this June 6th.
the corporate buyout from Nemetschek AG, Rich has been grooming
me for this position. I've been doing most of the product
strategy for the past 10 years. When AG bought us it really
forced us to take a good hard look at what kind of company
we were and what our customers wanted. That's where the four
key abilities of Nemetschek North America came from.
The four key abilities?
spoke about these during the VectorWorks 11 unveiling event.
The four key abilities are: Usability, Affordability, Adaptability,
and Availability. We see Usability as our key strength over
our rivals. People find VectorWorks very easy to learn and
we talk to our architect customers in particular they always
tell they bought too much technology over the years and that
they can't use it all -- that they never figured out how to
do this or that with so much of the technology they purchased.
For us, we deliver things they can figure out...and more and
more of what we are doing is going back to what people actually
want to do but haven't been able to do because they couldn't
figure it out. Everyone always says their technology is easy
to do but it's mostly marketing mantra.
does "Availability" mean in the four key abilities?
is key also, it means people have flexibility and choice with
their hardware platforms...and their languages. VectorWorks
is widely used globally because it is available in so many
not sure if people realize this but most VectorWorks use is
nearly evenly split between three global regions: North America,
Europe and Asia/Australia. And Australia and New Zealand have
recently really started growing for us.
China becoming a growth market for you?
are very interested in China. As you know the world economy
is quickly changing. You have very inexpensive growing markets
in places like China and Russia, and more customers are working
on large projects using teams in locations around the world.
So the language support is key for us and so is the language
support in emerging markets. Maybe the documents stay in English
or German but teams in Russia or China want to be able to
market up the documents in their native languages.
keep hearing about outsourcing in the US in the high technology
sectors. Do you see evidence of this type of outsourcing happening
in the CAD-based industries?
It's happening now. It's happening in China and Russia and
it's happening with remote or regional offices or subsidiaries.
It is cheaper for companies to set up in these regions where
salaries are vastly lower than in the developed markets like
the US and Europe. We have customers in Germany who are telling
us about their needs for working with [CAD] draftsmen in China
a changing global economy, language support and the basics
of collaboration are more important than many of the promises
in BIM (building information modeling). A lot of our customers
are just looking for low tech collaboration. They want good
PDF support with markup abilities.
I can see the obvious economic benefits companies have when
they embrace global markets this way, but how is the BIM part
of the equation fitting into this global picture?
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