I can say it has been an interesting ride the last few years. When we decided to do the initial ST release a few years ago, it was a big thing. It required a lot of resources. At the time I was planning the development of Solid Edge’s entry into FEA and we had just increased development resources for this. As you might guess, Simulation and other work was put on hold with everyone focused on Synchronous Technology. I even got loaned out to software development for the release.
The release of ST was mixed. Those that could see where we were going had some good things to say. For many types of design, it was great plus you still had all the traditional history based CAD functionality from V20 available to you. Others were more negative. We didn’t yet do synchronous sheet metal. The idea of “procedural features” was not yet well flushed out. We changed to a ribbon interface which took time to adapt to and companies were worried about having to retrain their staff while they had real work to do (oh, and the economy was starting to tumble).
For ST2, I moved back to my planning job and we were finally able to get started with Solid Edge Simulation. Development was able to focus on all the things not yet done in Synchronous (like sheet metal) and the focus was back on hitting customer requirements in the traditional environment. We didn’t promote this version as much but it was still a huge step forward. We now supported synchronous sheet metal and SE Simulation sold well with positive reviews especially around the UI. But there was still work to do.
With ST3 our focus on what the customer needed was huge. Customers were far more familiar with this new way of modeling (or in my case, familiar with the SE Simulation). They were saying things like “The transition to Synchronous needed to be easier”, “The Simulation UI is nice, but give us more functionality!” and “we really want to customize the #%$%# out of the UI” . With ST3, that is exactly what we delivered plus many, many other things.
So, today, we are “in sync” with our customers more than ever (pardon the pun :-) ). For the CAD industry, I thing we have shown there are still things PLM companies can do to give customers huge advantages in design productivity (CAD is a commodity? Haha!) For our competitors, I think we have given them a lot of new ideas on how to make design much more efficient - good luck with that ;-)