From MultiCAD, to Multi-Cloud. Thoughts about Cloud Realities…

September 27, 2011

I think we are actually in the beginning of a very interesting time. Obviously, you know a lot of things about Multi-CAD. No need to explain. However, I think we are slowly moving into something new – I’d call it "Multi-Cloud". It is less than one day passed since I posted "Autodesk Quietly Launched Their Cloud". Well, it is not quiet anymore, and you can see a lot of blogs and social media coverage coming around Autodesk Cloud news. You can navigate to the following link to learn more. Autodesk is bundled quite many tools on the cloud o strength their cloud offering. However, Autodesk cloud activities coupled with some older news and rumors made me think about future cloud realities. So, I wanted to share it with you.

Dassault and Autodesk: Cloud File Share.

I wanted you to note two products – Autodesk Cloud Documents and Dassault V6 SolidWorks n!Fuze. There is one similar thing that shared between all these events. It is about how to move us from our local storage, we use for CAD files and other document, to the cloud.

I actually tried Autodesk Cloud Documents yesterday (you can take a look on my blog from yesterday). In a nutshell, Autodesk Cloud Documents is a place where you can upload your AutoCAD drawings, Autodesk Inventor Assemblies, DWF files as well as any other documents. As soon as you have done, you can exchange it with other people, view, make a comment and retrieve from multiple devices.

Let me talk about Dassault V6 Cloud store. The product I want to focus on is called SolidWorks n!Fuze. I posted about n!Fuze before. Simply put, n!Fuze is cloud-based product which allows you to upload SolidWorks drawings and any other files. You can then collaborate, exchange and use 3DSwYm communities to collaborate between people uploaded and exchanged documents.

Google Drive Rumors

Another product I want to mention (or actually rumors) is Google Drive. Actually, the prototype of Google Drive is existed today Google Docs. In online discussion, you can hear many bloggers and publishers are agreeing that Google will re-brand their Google Docs into Google Drive. However, specifically for this conversation the detail level of how it will happen actually doesn’t matter. It means only one thing – Google will provide an even bigger place to store your documents online and collaborate (aka working together).

Multi-CAD vs. Multi-Cloud

We are going to face a new problem with CAD and PLM software. Before today, Multi-CAD was one that many people tried to resolve. For the last few years, the problem of Multi-CAD collaboration started to disappear. It doesn’t mean you can easily move from one CAD system to another. At the same time, industry developed different methodologies how companies can either use the same CAD systems in-house and collaborate using information (documents) from multiple CAD systems.

Multi-Cloud Future?

So, you thought, Multi-CAD was your biggest problem? Not anymore… Multi-Cloud is going to rock now. What does it mean? We will see a growing amount of providers of cloud solutions. As you see from my earlier letter, both Dassault and Autodesk are working on their cloud offerings that help them to share document and other content. In addition, the specific offering coming from CAD/PLM providers, another company (i.e. Google, Dropbox, etc.) started to offer their platforms (also) to share document and information. So, I can clearly see conflict of interests between all companies mentioned above.

What is my conclusion? In my view, the conflict is clear. In a short period of time, we are going to see multiple companies are asking for their customers to join their cloud programs. With the obvious absence of differentiations and, in addition, the competition coming from non-CAD companies, customers will have to make a though choice… Most of the products for this purpose were developed in past few months (or at least 1 year) and introduce a limited and competitive functional background. I think, customers will have to make their "multi-cloud" decision. Welcome to the new "cloud" reality. Who do you think will drive in the future Multi-Cloud enterprise? A good question. I want to know your opinion. Please, speak your mind. It is only my opinion, and I’m looking forward to discussing with everybody.

Best, Oleg


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