Randall Newton, long-time industry watcher to the design software business, singled out cloud, analytics, mobile, and social as the four technology pillars driving the next IT revolution. Accordingly, he came up with CAMScore, an assessment method his firm Consilia Vektor would use to rate software products based on those four categories. Analytics have been part of product data management (PDM) and product lifecycle management (PLM) software for quite some time, but the more recent explosion of data — the Big Data phenomenon — is stirring renewed interest in such tools. And the other three — social, mobile, and cloud — are characteristics spawned by emerging consumer trends that didn’t exist before. So how would Consilia Vektor reconcile the decade-old products from the design industry with CAMScore?
Newton, managing director of Consilia Vektor, said he developed CAMScore “with an eye mostly toward newer products and newer technologies.” He acknowledged, “[Products] with a 20-year-old code base can try to do them, but they won’t perform like the ones written in the last two years.”
The CAMScore analysis has three major categories:
- An analysis of how the product uses the four CAMS technologies (15 points possible for each technology, for a total of 60 points possible);
- An evaluation of “openness,” a key requirement for successful use of CAMS technologies (20 points possible);
- An evaluation of the company (20 points possible).
For the CAMS section, we use the following guidelines to assign a grade:
- Zero to minimal use of the technology, 0-3 points;
- Good use of the technology, minimal integration with other CAMS technologies, 4-7 points;
- Excellent use of the technology, modest integration with other CAMS technologies, 8-10 points;
- Excellent use of the technology, good integration with other CAMS technologies, 11-13 points;
- Exemplary use of the technology, robust integration with other CAMS technologies, 14-15 points.
It’s straightforward to use CAMScore on GrabCAD, developed with the aim to integrate mobile, social, and cloud technologies from the start. Newton is currently searching for a fair way to apply the same scores to older, classic design software products, like SolidWorks, and specialized products, like SIMULIA for simulation. He said, “Maybe the way to do it is to look at the product line, not just a single product, or to look at what a brand like SIMULIA does, not just one product.”
Traditionally, analyst reports are priced in the thousands, or underwritten by a sponsor. In a departure from the usual approach, Consilia Vektor is offering the GrabCAD CAMScore report through its own website and Amazon, for $19.99., with Kindle version priced even lower at $9.99. In the words of Consilia Vektor, it’s “business analysis priced for the end user.”
The blog post introducing the report explained, “Most business analyst and consulting firms in the software industry set very high prices for their research reports, prices only large companies can afford. With the launch of CAMScore Reports, Consilia Vektor takes a different approach.”
In the same post, Newton said, “I was surprised when the research was finished and I tallied the final grade for GrabCAD Workbench. It would be like telling you how a novel ends to give out the final score in a press release. I’ll just say I believe there are few, if any, technical design programs that will achieve a similar score.”
Below is Newton’s Tweet announcing the release of the report.
— Randall Newton (@randallnewton) August 8, 2014