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SUMMARY -- Maintenance time again. Packages - Upgrades?


SUMMARY -- Maintenance time again. Packages - Upgrades?

------ Original post ------

Does anyone have any info to share on maintenance on Pro/E packages, price
and or discount information would be great. I am also interested in how
the bundles are configured and if there are any discounts associated with
the bundles. We are in the process of looking at making a 3 year deal and
want to see if that is our best option. As it is we have not really seen
any payback on our last 3 years of maintenance. We did one upgrade which
was actually available before our last maintenance was due but since then we
have done nothing. We are on WF3 and wont move to WF4 yet until the
corruption issues with ILINK 3.4 have been resolve but then we will be
stuck again. And WF 5 is coming soon. So it is a major quandary. Parent
company will be moving us to corporate DB system in the next 12-24 months so
we do not want to go through the major data migration switching to PDMLink
or INTRALINK 9.X Prior to our last maintenance deal we also paid for
package upgrades I don't remember the name but is was something like
enterprise or enterprise LX from Flex 3C bundles. There was a matrix with
the package differences spelled out that circulated around the exploder
during that time. If anyone has that I would love to get a copy.

Items to ponder or just random fodder: You make the call.

Should I just let my Maintenance laps and buy again in 2-3 years. What
would $120,000 buy me in new software bundle packages then?

How bad is this recession, I took a 10% pay cut, shouldn't my maintenance
cost come down some too?

If my maintenance costs do not come down will I be forced to take another
pay cut or just get let go?

If Windchill is such a great corporate capable PDM system why hasn't my
management team ever heard of it?

If PTC gave there software away for $0, they could still make a fortune on
maintenance, because their infestation would be larger.

PTC should take lessons from Microsoft-Dominate the market with low cost
product that everyone would use, then once you have them, creep the price up
and watch profits soar. Don't forget your maintenance..

------ The responses -------

We're going through the maintenance renewal dance ourselves right now.

I don't have the exact costs / packaging of licenses we will be going
forward with, but our current maintenance runs in the $150,000 range each
year (we normally do 3 year agreements as well, though I think it's
interesting that PTC is offering greater discounts and longer terms - up to
5 years - than they have in the past). We are on WF3, hope to move to WF4
in the next month or so, probably WF5 sometime late in the year or early

We don't use any of PTC's vaulting solutions - never have, though we are
thinking of running a pilot on PDMLink sometime late this summer, or in the
early fall. It will let us know if there's any advantages to switching
vault software, which as you know can be a large, complicated, and expense

Remember that if you let your maintenance lapse, PTC's policy is you would
have to pay your back maintenance before you could upgrade to a newer
version of Pro/E - just about all software vendors have a similar approach.
If you're like us, we don't call PTC's technical support folks that often
(maybe a dozen times a year), and we may upgrade our version of Pro/E once a
year. Doesn't sound like much for the amount of the maintenance dollars
does it..?

I'm certainly no apologist for PTC products, but the issues of maintaining
and coordinating the upgrades of several complicated pieces of software
(whoever the vendors are) is never an easy task.

I use Pro-Engineer WF4 M060 every day, with Pro-Man, Behavioral Modeler,
ISDO, and Tool Design Option.

I think that PTC underestimated the drag down on Pro-E upgrades that
Interlink upgrades causes. Especially with the history of the death of
Pro-PDM, and the pain of upgrading to interlink 9.x

But, either way they get their money. I think that their confidence in
their position (arrogance?) shows when they arbitrarily reassign their
'packages' and don't grandfather current users into the new system.

Microsoft's product models only worked in a growing market. Wordperfect was
'the king' of office word processing before MS Word (It ran on almost any
system imagined from ATARI ST, AMIGA, to CP/M, and XENIX).

The main driver for MS products was the Windows operating system (paradigm
shift) which Wordperfect didn't embrace.

We need another paradigm shift.

I personally think that the next paradigm shift will be a common document
format for the definition of 3D data across all Engineering products. I
hope that someone like ADOBE will do it with the Acrobat 3D product, or
E-Drawings will expand to include all phases of design documentation. The
decoder (reader) of this data must be similar to the current .PDF file
format model, with free readers available.

Since the replacement of VAX and UNIX workstations with MS Windows
workstations, the CAD market is essentially mature, and most (if not all) if
the largest CAD installations are not going to replace their existing
solutions. Except for the push of IT departments, I think most Engineering
departments would be perfectly happy with Windows XP64 Pro.

If you are a competing CAD/CAM/CAE product, you are left selling 1-3 seats
at a time to new businesses with high sales and support costs.

Now with WF 5, I am hoping that Mechanica LITE, and Pro-Manufacturing LITE,
are actually useful (and more importantly, accurate) modules included in the
base system.

I personally don't like buying all of my Engineering software from one
vendor, because you are not focused on any one product.

As long as the interface issues are worked out, I don't mind CAD from one
vendor, CAM from another, CAE from another. (the Solidworks Gold partner

I had an Excel spreadsheet showing the package breakdown, but I can't seem
to find it now. Someone on the list sent it to me, so you should get it. I
can scan my printout if you don't.

If you had the Flex 3C, I think that you now have Enterprise SE. That's
what we have. We recently went through an analysis on our maintenance costs
and benefits and determined that renewing was of little value and the risks
to not renewing were minimal. If you can download one of the early WF5
production builds, there's no reason to renew unless you are getting
significant benefit from tech support or something. We should be able to
get WF5 before our maintenance is up and none of our clients are on WF4 yet.
So the need for us to have a new version is gone until WF6, and that's
likely 18 months or more away. Once we have a need from a client to get a
newer version or build, we'll certainly get back on maintenance to take care
of the customer.

It seems that for you, saving $120K would make you a bit of a hero in the
company. The downside should be minimal and PTC will likely be more
flexible once you look to come back.

A few gems I learned during my research (A caveat - This is the first year
I've been involved with the process, most of this info was learned from
other users or VARs, keep that in mind when considering it.):

List price for Enterprise SE maintenance is $4K per seat. A 10% discount is
supposed to be easy to come by, 15% was mentioned as possible for us with
less than 10 seats. More seats = bigger discounts are possible.

A multi year renewal also gets you a bigger discount.

If you let maintenance expire, PTC will put you on the 'Winback' list. I've
been told by a VAR that the Winback sometimes is an attempt to restore you
to maintenance by reducing your maintenance cost by reducing your
functionality. Supposedly folks are surprised by the loss of functionality
after the fact, but I can't verify if that happens. Just be wary of what you
are getting with a Winback offer.

PTC policy is supposedly that they will only require 9 months of back
maintenance, so don't let anyone charge you for more.

Then someone else was asking about light versions as part of packages

I was looking for the same kind of info, unsuccessfully, after seeing the
following listed for an upgrade from Foundation to Foundation XE in a
newsletter from Sequoia. I was curious about what APX was, as well as the
functions included in Mechanica/Manufacturing/Manikin Light.

Upgrade from Pro/ENGINEER Foundation to Foundation XE and get the added
functionality of:
Mechanism Design Extension (MDX)
Assembly Performance Extension (APX)
Design Animation (DAO)
Import Data Repair (IDDO)
Mechanica Light*
Manufacturing Light*
Manikin Light*
*Must be on Wildfire 4.0 MO70 or later

So I dug around a little on and came up with these links.

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