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Flaherty] I am convinced BIM is the right approach in the
end. But the way I see it there are actually two types of
BIM. There is Design-BIM and there is Construction-BIM. We
are focused on Design-BIM. Nemetschek AG's ALLPLAN in Germany
is clearly focused on Construction-BIM.
Germany, for example, they are heavily invested in automation
in the construction industry. It is really amazing what they
are doing. And for the part of the market moving into automation,
ALLPLAN has compelling technology.
Architects produce everything in 3D models that go directly
to the factory, which then produces the concrete curtain walls,
for example. That's the goal of Construction-BIM. I've been
in Germany recently and it's shockingly close to that now.
VectorWorks is going to evolve but stay focused on the design
side of the BIM equation?
I see BIM as actually splitting the
market in two, much like PLM (product lifecycle management)
has split the MCAD market in two.
aerospace they aren't even doing dimensions anymore because
they never produce paper documents for manufacture. It goes
from design to engineering straight down the line to the subcontractor,
without any paper. For aerospace PLM is essential, but that's
not the US construction market.
Is there any chance that those ALLPLAN-like Construction-BIM
technologies may find their way into VectorWorks?
North America has always been a design-side focused company.
From a technical standpoint our code base is not so similar
to ALLPLAN's because of our Macintosh and Japanese-language
support. When NAG first bought us there was some talk about
a universal CAD strategy but since they became a holding company
we all operate independently. ALLPLAN is very 'downstream'
oriented. We are not interested in that. In the European markets
where we sell both products I think we can coexist well because
of our different focus.
Who is your competition, who do you try to steal market share
Autodesk with Autocad is everyone's competition. If you look
in most markets we are cross-shopped against Autocad and ArchiCAD.
maybe the term everyone is throwing around out there but if
you look at the market the vast majority of users are using
regular Autocad without any add-ons and they are just drawing
lines. BIM is the right way to do things ultimately, but it's
not the only problem confronting architects with CAD. They
care about other things like energy analysis and cost estimation.
Estimation is a good example because the old-style way of
doing estimation is still very accurate out in the industry
and customers often aren't willing to learn how to punch in
the values into the CAD program to do takeoffs.
about the whole easy-modeling phenomenon with SketchUp? What
do you think about that? What is that telling the market?
team has really done a fantastic job and in a certain way
their popularity is actually demonstrating how far off focus
other company's BIM visions are. Their walls don't even have
thickness, yet architects are really taking to this application.
Clearly they are showing that architects are more interested
in the design-oriented model approach and that it's less about
all the detail. The DesignWorkshop
folks tried to do the same thing before them but the hardware
back then couldn't back them up.
also really pleased to see that Brad brought SketchUp to the
Macintosh market. We are working with them on different strategies
where our applications can work together more.
will clearly second your opinion that I am happy to see that
Brad decided to bring SketchUp to the Macintosh market.Ê From
our conversations they too are very happy about that decision.
It has opened up a good market for them.
now has a powerful modeling component but as a BIM application
it doesn't truly support the ability to slice up a model yet
and provide views.Ê Is that in the plans for a future version?
are multi-view needs...and that is a weak point for us at
the moment. It's a core part of BIM and we are attacking that
area. We made big strides with the development of the viewport
architecture in VectorWorks, which needed to come first. Sectioning
is in the pipeline and it's an area we are all talking about.Ê
Industry Series has grown your market share, can we expect
future expansion in other disciplines?
We have no near term plans for expansion. ARCHITECT is are
most popular series product, but we've also had tremendous
success with SPOTLIGHT and it's now the dominant [CAD] product
in the US theater industry. And more and more people are using
it in related industries...
is very popular in set-design and exhibit design. Both have
the same needs: how lighting looks in a finished design. We
know that in every small city there are these bands performing
and often they do elaborate lighting displays to go with their
music. It's very popular. So we are branching the product
out in related directions and it's been going very well.
about civil engineering and road design? Do you see a need
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