Unveiling the SOLIDWORKS Path to the Future of Design

Choosing the right digital tools is becoming a critical aspect of business strategy for today’s companies. When those tools are the ones you entrust with creating your company’s new products, the lifeblood of product development organizations, choosing the right ones becomes vitally important. There are so many factors to take into consideration when considering software vendors to partner with; an important one is the financial strength of that company.

In 2016, SOLIDWORKS delivered 12 percent revenue growth, well above the PLM industry average. Approximately 40 percent of new license revenue can be attributed to licenses that replaced other CAD products. In the same year, SOLIDWORKS represented around 20 percent of Dassault Systèmes’ total revenues. In the first quarter of 2017, we have continued the momentum with 12 percent revenue growth over the previous year.

You might also want to ensure that your vendor’s corporate mission aligns with that of your own company. At SOLIDWORKS our mission continues to be to provide our customers with the tools they need to make great design happen. While our mission has not changed, there have been significant changes in both technology and society. Today technology is providing tremendous opportunities in both ubiquitous computing and pervasive connectivity. Society has been transformed by the demand for innovation and lower barriers of access to information, ideas, and the new disruptive business models of the “sharing economy.”

Customers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and demanding unique experiences from products, and the choices are virtually limitless. This requires us to constantly think ahead and anticipate trends to make sure we invest in the right ways that enable us to provide all our users with the best solutions, when they need them. We, therefore, are simultaneously investing across three strategic horizons:

Horizon One: Continued investment in our core technology.  For our flagship products like SOLIDWORKS Desktop CAD, PDM, and Simulation, the priority remains breadth and depth of capabilities, performance, and reliability. We have a very large and growing installed base, with customers who have been expanding with us for more than two decades. The number of SOLIDWORKS designs created over the years is remarkable, and we are fully aware of the importance of continuity and reliable data reuse at any time so we must maintain long-term partnerships with the providers of all critical components, like geometric kernels and solvers. In fact, we have no current plans to replace any of these components. On the contrary, we have provisions in place to help ensure long-term components viability in any business scenario.

SOLIDWORKS Simulation enables every designer and engineer to carry out structural simulation on parts and assemblies with finite element analysis (FEA) while they work to improve and validate performance and reduce the need for costly prototypes or design changes later on.


Horizon Two: Expansion into adjacent areas. The nature of mechanical design is going decidedly in the direction of integrated mechatronics and connected products. SOLIDWORKS Electrical and SOLIDWORKS PCB support these requirements and provide seamless schematics-to-3D solutions that are unique in the market. Important developments are also happening in manufacturing, with the emergence of 3D printing, material science, and maker communities that demand easy-to-use and fully integrated design-to-manufacturing solutions. SOLIDWORKS is a founding member of the 3MF Consortium for the development of 3D printing standards. We have long been committed to design-to-manufacturing technologies with early support of the MBD format and the planned introduction of topology optimization.  We have also recently announced plans for SOLIDWORKS CAM, a 2 ½ axis “smart manufacturing” solution.

SOLIDWORKS CAM is a 2.5-axis milling and turning solution powered by CAMWorks that will allow users to program in either part or assembly environments.


Horizon Three: Anticipating the future. This includes our Cloud strategy, focused on the development of products based on the Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, which include SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Designer and Industrial Designer and SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Engineer, which is coming soon. SOLIDWORKS Xdesign, a CAD system compatible with other 3DEXPERIENCE applications, is currently in private beta and is designed to work in any modern browser on any device without installation of local components.

SOLIDWORKS Desktop and Cloud solutions are designed for integration and compatibility, and you can decide whether to use them in concert or individually. One example is the recent introduction of Simulation Engineer (currently in beta), a 3DEXPERIENCE Solution that can help solve complex nonlinear problems formulated on the Desktop Version of SOLIDWORKS Simulation, literally “with one click of a mouse button.”

Conceptual Designers enables designers to rapidly create and evolve concepts without design barriers, and automatically capture their ideas to use anytime in the future.


Offering Users the Flexibility of Choice

We also firmly believe that you deserve choice and flexibility to best plan for the future of your business.  Our pricing strategy favors both stability and innovation. We have no plans to replace the traditional, “perpetual” license for applications and anticipate that this licensing model will continue for the foreseeable future. We believe that your annual, optional maintenance fee has tremendous value and we strive to deliver value well beyond maintenance and support. In fact, we plan to continue to deliver additional value for your maintenance fees by providing new tools such as SOLIDWORKS Visualize Standard and SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard, and will soon have an announcement about the new SOLIDWORKS CAM solution.

We understand that business cycles and agile product development methodologies may require rapid allocation of resources for a limited amount of time. Therefore, in 2016, we introduced the “term” license, which allows you to use SOLIDWORKS software and services for specific periods of time without initial capital allocation. We also provide the increasingly popular option of “Software-as-a-Service” (SaaS) for products that run on our Cloud infrastructure.

While there has been a lot of change in our competitive landscape, at SOLIDWORKS we remain committed to providing our customers with best-in-class tools that facilitate agile product development as well as flexible business models that support your right to choose the way in which you purchase software, today and in the future.

Gian Paolo Bassi

Gian Paolo Bassi

Gian Paolo Bassi is senior vice president of 3DEXPERIENCE Works.