Educating the market

With a new product range targeting the project management of design and manufacturing, Intercad's sales director, Jarmo Ronnenberg, is out to educate the market on PDM. Richard Noone caught up with Ronnenberg to hear the latest in design software integrationARN: What is Intercad's core business?

Ronnenberg: Intercad's core business is to provide solutions for the manufacturing industry, to improve the design and manufacturing of their technology. This includes the SmarTeam suite of Product Data Management (PDM) products.

How long has Intercad been going in Australia?

1988 was when Intercad was founded. There were three founding directors which used to work with the American CAD (computer aided design) companies. Basically the idea was to do something in Australia, which is driven by Australia, because a lot of our technologies are dependent and controlled by the American suppliers.

How would you describe Intercad?

We're a solutions provider, so in that sense we're an integrator. What we basically provide is solutions for everything the customer wants. There are three criteria we use for this. One, that it is easy for the customer to use. That it's technically adventurous, we quite often have picked up products in their early days, which have led that technology into the country and therefore, we have customers that buy products from us just because it is represented by us. Thirdly, they know that this is something new, and indeed, something better.

What are the biggest issues in getting PDM out into the marketplace?

Awareness. We have always introduced products which have been new in the technology, and one of the things we've always found to be important when introducing new products is educating the market.

What are some of the strategies you use to educate the market?

For some of the products, we work very closely with the universities. We also do a lot of presentations and seminars, for awareness promotion purposes.

What feedback do you get from your awareness campaigns?

Generally, I guess the understanding is not very good initially. So we are sort of experimenting ourselves to find a level that makes the customers, prospects and the industry in Australia understand what this [PDM] is about. It's not one of those things which is urgent [mission critical], but over a five to 10 year period it is important.

What adoption rate do you foresee and what size do you think the PDM market will be in the next 12-18 months?

The market is basically, let's say if you take it for five years, bigger than the CAD market. In 18 months, and this would be a fairly conservative guess, $5-10 million.

Are there many competitors in this space?

There's no clear competition at this stage, so the market at the moment [begs the question], "who will move into this space?"

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