The first general session of SolidWorks World 2012 just ended a little while ago, and I wanted to take this opportunity to share some thoughts with those of you who could not attend.
The SolidWorks community has grown a lot in the past year. In 2011 we added 15,939 new customers & 250,000+ new users, for a total of 1.7 million. To put that in perspective, if all 1.7 million SolidWorks users formed a new city, it would be the fifth largest in the United States–larger than Philadelphia. And by SolidWorks World 2013, I expect that number will be at (or above) 2 million.
I also learned recently that more than 50,000 of you have been certified through our CSWA, CSWP and CSWE programs. This is an amazing achievement, and it goes to show that SolidWorks skills are valued by employers throughout the world. So if you are using SolidWorks today, you are in good company.
SolidWorks was founded on a very simple idea—to put the power of 3D solid modeling on every engineer’s desktop. From the very first days of SolidWorks, we have focused on you, our customers. And eighteen years later, we’re still as focused on the customer experience as we were then. We have shown the world that we can build a successful business while still treating our employees, customers, resellers, and partners with dignity and respect. But we know that our products are not perfect. They can always be better. We can always be better.
Last September, we announced the 20th release of SolidWorks with our 2012 update. This release is a little bit unique, because we really focused on improving the core business processes that affect you on a daily basis. For example, SolidWorks 2012 marks the first time you can calculate and compare material costs early in the design process, directly in the software. This new Design Costing feature is already helping companies hit their manufacturing cost targets by providing automatic, real-time manufacturing cost estimates during the initial design phase. Some of you are already reporting that you can now create more accurate quotes as much as 80% faster than you did before.
We also introduced something we call Large Design Review, which lets you review your designs quickly and easily, no matter how big they are. And we added a lot of updates we call delighters, which are little changes that often have big impacts. These include an improved equation editor, as well as an easier way to place balloons in your drawings.
At SolidWorks, we’re committed to providing you with the tools you need to design products that change the world, and help you be more successful while you do it. We also remain committed to our core design principles. We want to help you solve complicated engineering problems easily, without introducing any unnecessary complications. It’s our hallmark – we call it making things “SolidWorks simple.”
As many of you know, the R&D team is hard at work building a new 21st century CAD platform. It’s my responsibility as CEO to ensure we have a strategy for taking advantage of new trends, technologies and processing power that will benefit you. You’ve probably heard us say that over 90% of the new features in every version of SolidWorks are the direct result of customer requests, and that remains true.
So on behalf of the entire SolidWorks team, I would like to thank all of you for being a part of the SolidWorks community. Our connection to the community is what keeps us excited. It’s what fires the passion we all feel when we come to work every day. And it’s also what keeps us grounded, making sure we’re always asking “are we doing the right things for our users?” Thank you again.