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May 17, 2007

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» The secret sauce for a mega-integrated PLM system is from 3D Mojo
If you're like me and you have Google Alerts sending you daily emails of news in the PLM world, all you've seen over the last week is discussion about Oracle's $495M (!) acquisition of Agile. Now, this is obviously a significant event and you'd expect... [Read More]

Comments

Mike Keffer

I agree with David that any potential value to Oracle lies in Cimmetry's core IP, that is, the native file format filters that Cimmetry possesses spanning 2D CAD, 3D CAD, documents etc.

However, we should take into account Adobe's potentially comparable technology to Cimmetry as a result of Adobe's acquisition of TTF. And Oracle's increasingly close relationship with Adobe in the past year.

In addition, there's the sense that continuing to decode and decrypt CAD formats, as Cimmetry does all in-house, is becoming increasingly difficult as the CAD vendors tighten the lock on their formats. Basically does Oracle want to stay in this game of decoding CAD formats and is the cost-benefit worth it versus partnering with Adobe for it?

Now Autodesk has acquired Navisworks (another collaborative 3D visualization player, and a good one at that) for $25 million in cash.

Maybe we've come to the point where the big gorillas, be it CAD or document publishing companies, have taken back the "viewer" market from the independents, and Oracle just may not want to position itself in the viewer market.

Donato Mangialardo

mhh Interesting discussion. I agree with David that Cimmetry might be helpful within Oracle/Agile PLM. But I don't believe that owning a viewer technology is an absolute must. PLM products that well integrate with the MCAD/EDA authoring tool distribution formats (or other formats, see Adobe, Actify, Seemage etc) work very well and keep things simple. I don't believe in the all-encompassing (endless scope) PLM

Anyway, as far as Oracle, I seriously doubt they will keep any focus on Cimmetry's OEM deals with competitors and especially the standalone viewer business that is dead flat anyway. Oracle is too big of a company to focus on anything else (they were not even focusing on PLM since last week...).

And, I disagree on the fact that there is no independent PLM company of worthy note. Software as a Service (Saas) is a clear shiny and rising star in enterprise software; who is ready to deliver PLM with that model (which is, Arena PLM) is clearly emerging, just like Salesforce.com did for CRM. But this is another topic ...

Alberto Savelli

Hi all.

I must admit that my post was a little bit provocative. Your point does make sense: the viewer is needed for a PLM product. So the question is: will Oracle push their PLM against CAD author's ones?
And: will Oracle be able to push AutoVUE as stand alone viewer? I still think not. I guess Adobe is more interested in this business.

David Opsahl

Gentlemen,

A couple of thoughts.

Oracle will NOT throw Cimmetry away. To the contrary, Oracle desperately needs Cimmetry technology (as opposed to Cimmetry business) if it intends to be successful in PLM/PDM, which clearly it does (otherwise, its a waste of $495M). Looking at the market now, there is no indepedent PLM company of worthy note and all of the primary products on the market has its own embedded viewer. That is no co-incidence.

Moreover, AutoVuew is a perfect fit. It is the best multi-platform viewer out there, and Oracle needs to remain multi-platform. The CADView3D product is NOT an in-house Oracle development; it was technology acquired from Assentive Solutions (formerly Adaptive Media) several years back, is primarily streaming-based, and is unsuitable for mainstream manufacturing (was more targeted towards the Plant Design/AEC markets, which is where Oracle's PLM product was originally targeted at the time of the acquisition).

I would submit this is a technology acquistion (certainly from the Cimmetry perspective) not a business acquisition. As I understand it, the bulk of Cimmetry's revenues came from OEM contracts to competitors, not from end user sales. If true, then this would explain the difficulty Agile has had, and I would assume Oracle would have discounted this in valuing the transaction.

It is indeed getting interesting.

Bachir Bounab

Hi Alberto,

Why do you think that Oracle will sell Cimmetry?! Oracle are positionning themselves in the PLM market and they need a viewer to integrate to their products. They need AutoVue at least for that. They had even developed their own viewer CADView 3D which is not comparable to AutoVue.
I guess, they will at least integrate AutoVue, which is the best viewer on the market, to their product line.
Now, whether Orcale will continue to sell AutoVue stand alone, that's not clear. My guess is Yes. AutoVue does integrate SAP and other Orcale's competitors that Oracle will like to penetrate.

Donato Mangialardo

I cannot see how Oracle might be interested in Cimmetry. Beated up and upset for the recent, major debacle of his toy in the America's cup, Larry Ellison comes back home and finds this new company, which includes a number of products, based on at least 5 code bases (Agile 9.2, Prodika, Agile Advantage (a branch of 8.5), Cimmetry and the automotive PLM/Supply chain Software, whose name I cannot remember). On top of that, Cimmetry has a completely different technology/platform/businsss.

What he's going to do? Probably just some math.

If I were a Cimmetry user, I would be very nervous

Franco Folini

Alberto,
Selling Cimmetry could be an interesting option!
Cimmetry is currently suffering because of the acquisition by Agile. The main part of their business is with OEMs. Becoming part of Agile they lost the privileged status of neutrality. Many OEMs don't like using a technology (AutoVue) that is fully controlled by one of their competitors (Agile). Selling Cimmetry or making it an independent spin-off, could really revitalize the visualization company.

Franco

Alberto Savelli

Hello Franco.
I see also another possibility: Oracle will throw away Cimmetry, since it is something that is too far from their traditional business.
What do you think?

bye

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