HUNTSVILLE, AL (Solid Edge ST4 Launch) - Karsten Newbery, in charge of leading Solid Edge to a place of prominence among MCAD market, knows it’s going to take more than a solid product (pun intended). One impediment to wide acceptance has been the lack of Solid Edge trained candidates. Companies are buying market leading design software sometimes just because they can fill the seats with someone already trained in using it. “There’s just not enough Solid Edge on resumes,” says Karsten. “How do we make the next generation Edgers?”
Solid Edge is launching an ‘Adopt a School’ program that will, if successful, graduate ready-to-hire Solid Edge trained candidates (see press release).
Solid Edge is encouraging its VARS to target local schools and volunteer their services, supplying students with knowledge of technology – with a heaping helping of Solid Edge experience on the side.
Call it seeding the fields or a Trojan horse; it is a page from the Apple playbook. For generations, Apple computers have been a mainstay in elementary schools and higher. Ostensibly to teach computing, generations of kids grew up knowing and growing with Apple products.
Of course, it took an unwavering commitment to an ideal from Apple, plus millions of dollars and an almost infinite patience to wait it out for results. Does Siemens PLM have this sort of resources? The stamina?
Mike's background extends as far back as Computervision, which was acquired by PTC. One CV product was turned into Pro/DESKTOP and was to be the answer to SolidWorks. It wasn’t. Mike is no stranger to the academia, having done bizdev for Edutech,which launched a couple of education initives in the Mideast. If this doesn’t work, it will not be due to Mike’s lack of sales skills. He refers to his home town of Manchester, England, as the best place on Earth, which is sufficient to convince me that he would not be afraid to sell refrigerators to Eskimos.
Mike tells us that Solid Edge is quite popular in the UK where there are more Solid Edge vacancies than for SolidWorks. But Mike is realistic enough to know that breaking into education, at least in the US, will require considerable effort.
“Schools get a lot of software given to them,” he says. “Carpet bombing the schools with CD is not going to help.”
Solid Edge's “call to action” relies on Solid Edge VARs as being welcomed on campus as ambassadors of technology. How hard could this be? Mike reckons teachers, who for the most part have trouble keeping up with technology, will open their doors, as it relieves theri burden.
Mike is upbeat about its potential acceptance. He’s that sort of guy. Ideas and experience are not his problem. Karsten says he has often had to throttle the flow.
Enthusiasm and salesmanship notwithstanding, let us see what sort of commitment Siemens PLM is ready to deliver to ensure the success of Solid Edge in academia.