Dr Horst J Kayser, Siemens chief strategy officer, is onstage at the Siemens PLM analyst conference and we are finding out how big and how great Siemens is.
Siemens, a German conglomerate, best known to engineering software users for NX, Teamcenter and Solid Edge, provided to us by their PLM division, used to be known for executives in black suits. The Men in Black. The behemoth that makes all things of all scales from giant wind turbines to trains to medical devices to factory controls, and more, has, almost as a sidelight, a $3.1 billion operation as a software company. That by itself would make it the 12 biggest software company in the world.
This puts just the PLM division of Siemens up there with those for whom engineering software is a primary occupation, such as Dassault and PTC. Siemens PLM may have jumped a few slots the last few years with 2 big software acquisitions, CD-adapco and LMS. Both were acquired from between a half and $ 1 billion.
Siemens PLM makes a business out of selling its software applications to everyone, in and out of its doors. One would think selling its software to its own divisions would be reason enough for existence. Why not make it mandatory for all Siemens employees to use NX, for example, for everything that they design?
Maybe a little heavy handed parenthood but after a while all adopted children should settle down. However, Siemens is playing the nicer, kinder father. Companies acquired by Siemens have come crying that the toys they have played with so long are embedded. Ripping out a design tool and installing NX, for example, would be akin to childhood trauma, resisted and unpopular. Too bad. Siemens PLM would get a lot of mileage out of “eating their own dog food,” as software companies who do the opposite are fond of saying. Wouldn’t it be better than having to explain why a Siemens division uses SOLIDWORKS, or example?
With a software acquisition by the Siemens family being insufficient for it to be accepted as a company standard, the software is in an awkward position of having to compete with entrenched applications within a Siemens division.
This was downplayed by one executive.
Getting acquired helps get our foot in the door, says a VP who has come over in the last couple of years.
But is Siemens ignoring a sure-fire captive market by not selling to its own division? Worse, is it being damaged by retaining competitor software, like enemies in its ranks? Reply in your comments below.