SolidEdge and the Future of Micropayments in CAD/PLM?

In order to succeed in today’s business environment, software vendors are thinking how to innovate not only with product and technologies, but with business models. Earlier this week, Siemens PLM made an announcement about the availability of their SolidEdge Design Pad product for rental in Japan. Here is the quote from the press release, which is in my view is the most interesting:

Solid Edge DesignPad can be ordered through an easy to use an on – line system. In addition to obtaining an instant annual rental subscription license of SolidEdge software, customers will also have access to an online user guide, explanations of features, demonstrations, and a self-help menu to facilitate training and accelerate productivity.

You can ask me why SolidEdge? Why in Japan? Randall Newton of GraficSpeak made some comments on this, which makes sense to me:

It appears Siemens PLM is testing a new business model for selling Solid Edge technology. Japan is a medium-sized marketwith a keen appetite for the new and innovative. No doubt the plan is to work out the kinks before rolling out Solid EdgeDesignPad worldwide.

Micropayment and the future of business models

The announcement made by Siemens, actually, made me think again about CAD/PLM and business models. Last year, I posted about the future of business models – Faltered Licenses and FuturePLM Business Models. In this blog, I was thinking about few possible future business models for PLM – subscription model, advertising model and reverse model. I can see some overlap between them. SolidEdge Design Pad rental can be easy qualify as a subscription model. However, it made me think about another one – micropayment. Micropayment is not completely new business model. Take a look on Wikipedia article.

Micropayments were initially devised as a way of allowing the sale of online content and were envisioned to involve small sumsonly a few cents.[5] These transactions would enable people to sell content on the Internet[5] and would be an alternative to advertising revenue.[6] of

Here is the idea – micropayment together with rental model can be one of the possible future models. Think about – you get the application and pay only for the time you use this. I think, users will love this. Internet companies are examination an opportunity of micropayments. I found some interesting examples of Google One Pass – an innovative way to access published information.

What is my conclusion? I’m expecting software vendors to evaluate and play with additional business models soon. Big vendors like Siemens PLM, Dassault and Autodesk can afford these experiments by playing with some of their product portfolios. SolidEdge is one of these examples. Recent annoucement of Autodesk 123dapps is another example. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

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