You would think that after making a product that everyone says they want, that product would be automatically and universally accepted. Not true. Ask Coca Cola, whose "new Coke formula" introduced in 1985 after millions of dollars of market research including thousands of taste-tests, met with lukewarm welcome and had to be embarassedly withdrawn.
In our industry, this is happening with Creo, a direct modeling, easy to use, 3D MCAD package, meant to replace Pro/E Wildfire, old history-based software. It was exactly what customers were saying they wanted.
Creo was introduced with much fanfare, an overly theatrical prison break, symbolic of the constraints of the old CAD parametric, history-based systems. Here was direct modeling. Freedom.
Two and half years later, only 25% of Wildfire users have converted to Creo. PTC hopes 50% will do so by end of 2013.
"The SMBs [small and medium sized businesses] are doing much better [of converting], says PTC CEO Heppelmann. "It's the enterprise customer that is lagging. We won't be able to convert them until all the data they have can transfer."
Understandable, as design data for a big company is a vast investment. You are not going to convince John Deere (one of PTC's biggest customer of Pro/E) that it should switch to Creo for a few bells and whistles. I imagine they are quite comfortable in their "jail."
"We knew they weren't going to jump onto Creo 1.0," says Hepplemann. "Or 2.0. But by 3.0, we think they will come."
Creo 3.0 is not due til later this year
The risk to PTC is that their best, most high profile customers, will be stranded on an island from which PTC has sailed. They may well see Creo off in the distance, a very different CAD system which will get more different with each release. If they have to learn and transfer their data to a very different Creo, why not evaluate competive CAD programs, too?