There was so much activity at the PlanetPTC event in Paris this week, it’s hard to say what one thing drew most of the 475 plus that registered.
As you might expect, everyone was curious about the new Creo suite and how it would impact existing PTC software. Many were there for the training sessions or to get face time with a PTC expert. Others most wanted to see what was going on in the industry overall—networking with other manufacturing professionals and talking to PTC partners.
Whatever their reasons for attending, everyone had plenty of personal attention. Plus, they all had the chance to go home with armloads of butin (that’s the French word for swag, the free promotional stuff you get at trade shows). More about that later.
The two-day event began with a welcome address from Jim Heppelmann, CEO, PTC and Karim Zein, Director General, PTC France. With the introduction of the Creo initiative, some industry insiders are calling this the beginning of the “Heppelmann era,” and it felt almost historic to watch him introduce his team and vision for the next 20 years of product development software.
Following the welcome address, Brian Shepherd, Executive VP, Product Development, and Mike Campbell, Divisional VP, Design and Visualization Products, PTC, talked in more depth about and demonstrated Creo. I’d already seen the demo during the Creo launch back in October. But it was interesting to see how it played with others, especially those seeing it for the first time.
You can see people nodding their heads as most understand right away that calling the CAD industry “mature” all these years has been, um, premature. There are still so many barriers to overcome, like interoperability, ease of use, etc.
Soon after the Campbell demo, the crowd broke out into sessions to find out what was new in their own pet PTC products and how Creo was going to impact staples like Pro/ENGINEER, that is, Creo Elements/Pro.
The event included educational sessions, demonstrations, and expert panels for all the PTC products.
I was especially curious to see how PlanetPTC Live’s UX Lab would be received. Throughout my career, I’ve seen that high tech software customers have no shortage of ideas for improving the software they work with every day. And while PTC responds to customer feedback of all forms, there is nothing quite as convincing to a software developer as seeing user after user fail to “intuit” the “simple” interface the engineer has crafted.
In France, the UX Lab tested a new concept being developed in Windchill. I think we will all benefit from the volunteers who gave their time to try it out and give feedback.
As someone who travels around to several of these events, I look forward the most to seeing the customer presentations and Solutions Expo, because those change with geography. In Paris, we heard a fascinating presentation from Bénéteau, the largest sail boat manufacturer in the world, talked about adopting a PLM environment using PTC products.
Those are just examples. Schneider Electric, a large energy management company, talked about how it had globalized its technical documentation, and EDF and Cryostar talked about how they improved design with PTC products too.
And over on the expo floor, we saw ARES, Cadesus, Thales, and many, many others. All of them deserve their own blog posts, but I don’t have enough room to give them much more than a shout out. I hope you were able to check them out, and if you weren’t, they all have web sites I hope you’ll visit.(Caption: Visitors to the Solution Expo could see Creo first hand)
Okay, now, about that butin. I only bring this up because there are still several PlanetPTC Live events coming, and you’ll want to know how to get your own armload of swag.
Here’s how it works: We’ve printed scratch cards with prizes like posters, mouse pads, USB drives, t- shirts, etc. You get scratch cards when you register, when you let us record you on our flip cam (specifically we want you to tell us what you think of Creo), when you wear your PTC t-shirt, or when you go talk to Mike in the Solution Expo area and see one of his Creo demos. The more you participate, the more stuff you get.
Paris was everything we hoped: Educational, informative, personal. If we didn’t see you there, we hope you’ll make it to one of our future PlanetPTC Live events. You can find the dates, locations, and schedules at PlanetPTC Live.