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Chris D

VW Architect vs Revit LT

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Every CAD/BIM software product has its strengths and weaknesses.

And some have stronger strengths and weaker weaknesses.

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To put it even more simply, it's all about the shareholders.

@Bob-H

Autodesk has an aggressive sales model, but it's naive and a little ironic to make an ?it?s all about the shareholders? accusation against them in support of Nemetschek?s corporate structure, particularly in relation to the development of Vectorworks.

If simplistic rhetoric and one-liners like ?it?s all about the shareholders? could be countered with equally simple rhetoric like ?follow the money? we wouldn?t need the discussion that began in this thread. It was the unquestioning embrace of the narrative / rhetoric Jeffery Ouellette and Wes Gardener included in their promotion of the openBIM initiative that sparked interest here.

Autodesk and Nemetschek are both public companies, but that?s about where the similarities end. Autodesk is an AEC technology company primarily focused on AEC technology and the AEC industry. Autodesk has a typical public company structure and a typical public company ownership profile. It has a board of directors and management team stacked with the types you?d expect to be running an AEC technology company in a coordinated and industry relevant manner. Their major shareholders are funds and institutions with the largest holding appearing to be around 6%. There isn?t a single stakeholder or shareholding capable of controlling or dictating product strategies or corporate governance away from their core objective of AEC software development.

If you?re looking for an example of share ownership being the tail effectively wagging the corporate dog, then Nemetschek is the one you should be scrutinizing. Nemetschek is not an AEC technology company, it?s a stock holdings company controlled by a three member supervisory board of which one member represents a 54% controlling stake. Under the supervisory board is a single executive representative to interface with the subsidiaries. An executive, whose experience and expertise is in financial management, now holds that position. Prior to that, over the past couple of years their longstanding CEO (since Allplan in the 90?s) quit, and another new CEO was sacked, effectively due to conflict caused by the supervisory board's power to prevent management from aligning the company strategically with the industry.

The conflict with the two previous CEOs, having backgrounds in technology, coincided with the establishment of the openBIM initiative. You have to ask why their ex CEO, Ernst Homolka?s exiting statement made it clear he wanted his hands washed of where Nemetschek was being directed by the supervisory board. Why didn?t he just go quietly into the night from a successful roll in the company, without the need to distance himself from Nemetschek?s direction, if there wasn't a problem he didn't want blowback from?

After years of being educated on the importance and necessity of the ?non-proprietary? nature and ?openness? of the IFC standard on these boards, Nemetschek is attempting to exercise a level of control / ownership over the IFC standard through openBIM's structure and participant requirements. OpenBIM attempts to circumvent the use of vertically integrated collaboration regardless of a software?s IFC compliance and export capacity. I?d urge you to read into the how, who and whys evident in the openBIM literature. I?d also urge you to research a little into the nature and strategies of holdings companies, they?re typically established to protect a primary interest by buying up competing interests within the same market.

How is it, that while Nemetschek has been doing very well financially the Vectorworks' subsidiary has been unable to release software that isn't seriously compromised by bugs? The lament is, while we think we?re investing in the development of Vectorworks, the Vectorworks subsidiary may not be the beneficiary of that investment. Worse still for mac users, both BIM softwares available for mac are owned by Nemetschek while neither were the primary interest of Nemetschek. AllPlan is Nemetschek?s baby, a Eurocentric, Windows only, BIM platform receiving somewhere around 5 times the investment for a fraction of the user base that the Vectorworks subsidiary claims to have.

It?s always preferable to be using software and tools produced by companies with honest public relations and ethical corporate behavior. If you are truly concerned with corporate governance and shareholder influence Bob, follow these links through and build your own perspective based on the information available to us on both these companies. I?d be very happy to be set straight by you or others on this discussion and the future of Vectorworks under Nemetschek?s ownership.

PS Apologies for confusion over the deleted post.

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To put it even more simply, it's all about the shareholders.

@Bob-H

If you are truly concerned with corporate governance and shareholder influence Bob, follow these links through and build your own perspective based on the information available to us on both these companies. I?d be very happy to be set straight by you or others on this discussion and the future of Vectorworks under Nemetschek?s ownership.

PS Apologies for confusion over the deleted post.

M5D,

Thanks for the effort in setting me straight at things - a bit extreme, but effective (and no, I'm not that concerned about what goes on in the board room). However, I noticed you didn't mention the fact that Nemetschek Vectorworks is an independently run subsidiary of Nemetschek AG. This could make a difference in any fears or concerns you may have over CEOs losing their cool over upper corporate office policies. Also, I noticed that NV just released a Chinese version of Vectorworks, so they stand a good chance of expanding in the Asian market.

On the other side, I am always amused over the upper corporate Autodesk CEOs directing their software product teams on little things like icon logos. The latest one is requirement that all software icons look like origami. The Autodesk logo - a folded paper A, looks good. But the design of the Revit logo is a very sorry looking R. Just looking at it tells me they could have done a better job.

Edited by Bob-H

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I think M5d could be spot on

I'm not that concerned about what goes on in the board room

I think we should be

I noticed that NV just released a Chinese version of Vectorworks

http://www.vectorworks.net/news/pressreleases/2012/nemetschek-vectorworks-inc-releases-chinese-language-version-of-the-vectorworks-2012-product-line.php

Had already been released I thought

Makes you wonder why the Chinese are what 6 or 7 months behind other language versions release date

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Makes you wonder why the Chinese are what 6 or 7 months behind other language versions release date

??? Here in the Benelux (Belgium - Netherlands - Luxemburg), we only got our version two weeks ago, that's also 6 months later then the Original release and 5 months later than the official release date of 31 October. It makes you wonder why there isn't any quality control on these localisations or a better localisation method...

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Bob-H

" But the design of the Revit logo is a very sorry looking R. Just looking at it tells me they could have done a better job."

Bzzzzz........bzzzzzz..............FWAPP!!!

There's your design, Revit!

T.

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- a bit extreme

Don?t sweat it, we?re just bouncing the bim around Nemey?s court.

no, I'm not that concerned about what goes on in the board room.

Yeah well, it?s not exactly how I want to spend my time either, but if you care about your software, which I think you do, it?s worth taking note of the implications flowing from what has gone on in Nemetschek?s unusual boardroom. The politics behind (Ex-CEO) Ernst Homolka?s resignation and then the dismissal of Tim Alexander L?dke (Ex-CEO) are the result of what appears a philosophical dispute over how the holdings company structure is being exploited. Ernst Homolka couldn?t agree with the supervisory board?s intent, which broadly, is to maintain segregation and ?misalign? the subsidiaries, so he resigned on principle and used his resignation statement to disassociate himself from that policy. Tim Alexander L?dke (described as a tech veteran with 20 years experience in the industry) came into the roll with Ernst Homolka still there as a consultant for the transition. He moved in the same direction as Ernst Homolka wanted to, without the supervisory board?s consent however, and got the chop for it. It's commendable that they both drew attention to Nemetschek?s use of the holdings company structure.

I noticed you didn't mention the fact that Nemetschek Vectorworks is an independently run subsidiary of Nemetschek AG.

So Bob, questions about Nemetschek?s structure and how it's being exploited were addressed in my previous post and all throughout this discussion. ?Strategic independence? is a euphemism for a few things at Nemetschek, but it would be relevant to call it "imposed misalignment?. One subsidiary is on steroids, one subsidiary is being vertically integrated within the group, one subsidiary is the progeny of Nemetschek and one subsidiary has two bastard brothers for servants that it will eventually behead for the Nemetschek throne.

Unlike Autodesk?s mundane corporate structure, where you have one brand and a united purpose, Nemetschek?s structure is inherently and intentionally divided. The corporate holdings structure is a business strategy in itself, separate and aside from the brands and products within its portfolio. It?s a reasonably inert structure, if the objective is simply to hold a greater share of a market with efficiency consolidations. Where the holdings company structure becomes opaque however, is when the objective is to unnaturally manipulate the goodwill and patronage attached to the acquired brands (that?s us), for extracting the greatest possible return at the least possible expense, until those acquisitions / brands are hollowed out shells ready for asset dumping, because they're not the main game.

Enter openBIM.

Exit two CEOs with better judgement.

"Notwithstanding the successful development of the company over the past years as well as the emerging successes in the current fiscal year, ideas concerning the future strategic alignment of the company differ between the Management Board and the Supervisory Board and can no longer be reconciled.? - Ernst Homolka

Edited by M5d

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Shortsighted, fast winnings at the cost of quality seems to be the bane of our present pathetic capitalistic existences......very interesting Reece, thanks for sharing!

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Shortsighted, fast winnings at the cost of quality seems to be the bane of our present pathetic capitalistic existences......very interesting Reece, thanks for sharing!

It?s actually worse than just the Vectorworks subsidiary being run into the ground, it?s about the market manipulation that now accompanies the ?strategic misalignment? of the subsidiaries in the form of the openBIM initiative. Ernst Homolka (the hero of this saga) resigned about 6 months before the launch of openBIM, and he wanted people to know why. How often do you see a CEO stand up and say, despite the company raking in loads of moolah under my management I must now resign over a disagreement on policy? There?s a matter of ethics and principle here that two CEOs were willing to stake their jobs on, they were also standing up for Vectorworks and ArchiCAD customers.

Up until the openBIM initiative was confirmed as policy Ernst Homolka would have been able to keep arguing with the supervisory board to allow the ?strategic alignment? of the subsidiaries, that is, to allow Vectorworks and ArchiCAD to follow the same integrated development path that's available to Allplan. After the ?strategic misalignment? of the subsidiaries was confirmed as policy by advancing with the openBIM initiative however, the supervisory boards agenda and reasoning for using the holdings company structure took on a new meaning. Ernst Homolka was then faced with the conundrum of either, keeping his job and allowing his name to be sullied with the supervisory boards agenda, or of resigning and putting up a signpost as to why in his resignation letter that will prevent him being made scapegoat if this blows back in Nemetschek?s face. Fortunately he took the latter, washed his hands of it and should be commended for doing so.

In comes Tim Alexander L?dke and Nemetschek?s next problem begins, because clearly, he took issue with Nemetschek?s agenda and opposed it as well, except as a new CEO he went rogue to prevent his name getting linked to the policy. Remember Sean Flaherty's comment ?the new ceo may, however, change this arrangement?, well, this is the reason given for dismissing Tim Alexander L?dke in Nemetschek?s 2012 financial report; ?he failed to obtain the required approval of the supervisory board for specific actions, ..., or performed such actions although the supervisory board had refused to grant approval of such?. And the cardinal sin; ?The neglect of obligations described above also applied to measures which affect the Allplan section of the Group?. Note it?s not Allplan it?s the ?Allplan section? and measures that may align the development of Vectorworks and Archicad with Allplan are deemed to adversely affect Allplan. The decision to axe Tim Alexander L?dke was very quick, just six months into the job and six weeks after Sean Flaherty?s comment coincidently, they hired Tanja Tamara Dreilich making the traditionally one person management board two people, to give Tanja Tamara Dreilich some time before they knocked Tim Alexander L?dke off.

OpenBIM is not for general consumption, it?s for us, it?s about us keeping the faith, it?s about our continued patronage of the Vectorworks and ArchiCAD brands, with the mirage of a ?leveler? while those brands are being driven over a BIM cliff. OpenBIM is not about IFC either, IFC will happen regardless. Nemetschek is just utilizing something they had to do anyway, repackaging and marketing it, it?s a cheap, albeit cynical, exercise in extending the appearance of relevancy to the lifespan of the Nemetschek acquisitions that aren?t their primary objective.

Governments aren?t going to call for openBIM?s usage, not in it's current form, IFC yes, but not the openBIM ruse that supposedly has the rights to how BIM collaboration must occur in order to utilize IFC in the process. The scheme is anti-competitive in nature, and forced inefficiency to boot. We also know that Nemetschek is not committed to openBIM long term, from their promotion of the vertically integrated round-tripping of Allplan and Scia on their website, quote; ?The time-consuming and error-prone multiple input of design data is no longer necessary, and planning changes cause hardly any additional expense.? Autodesk probably want?s to see a government call for openBIM's use however, so they have an opportunity to attack it.

I was slow on the uptake realizing we?re the target audience of the openBIM campaign, as opposed to the broader industry, but then I didn?t know Allplan was on a different development trajectory to Vectorworks and ArchiCAD when it was announced. I?d still love to be told this isn?t happening to our software, but that seems less and less likely.

"Notwithstanding the successful development of the company over the past years as well as the emerging successes in the current fiscal year, ideas concerning the future strategic alignment of the company differ between the Management Board and the Supervisory Board and can no longer be reconciled.? - Ernst Homolka

Edited by M5d

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It?s actually worse than just the Vectorworks subsidiary being run into the ground, it?s about the market manipulation that now accompanies the ?strategic misalignment? of the subsidiaries in the form of the openBIM initiative.

Strange policy considering Vectorworks has 4x more users than ArchiCAD. When Vectorworks finally curls up its tootsies because it has been left in the dust, don't you think at least half of this clientele will be tired of Nemetscheks dirty ways and go Revit!? Remember changing a car or computer brand can be an yearly thing but changing BIM platforms is a life time commitment for many......

Edited by Vincent C

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Well it certainly casts light on the awkward situation Robert and company are in trying to develop a half decent product:

The board on one side cutting funds and generally being purposely plump,

and us on the other side screaming for them to get their asses in gear.......

Perhaps we should start sending Wishlist items to members of the board instead :grin:

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Strange policy considering Vectorworks has 4x more users than ArchiCAD. When Vectorworks finally curls up its tootsies because it has been left in the dust, don't you think at least half of this clientele will be tired of Nemetscheks dirty ways and go Revit!? Remember changing a car or computer brand can be an yearly thing but changing BIM platforms is a life time commitment for many......

Allplan is the long longterm plan it seems. I think NV's 450,000 user base figure is possibly viewed through rose coloured glasses, never the less there's at least a couple hundred thousand businesses whose own development is subject to Nemetschek's manipulation of their software's evolution, particularly as it relates to BIM.

It's wrong, they're playing with the subsidiaries and their subsidiary's customers like puppeteers, and yep, it will leave a bad taste in the mouths of their customers if what appears to be happening at their expense becomes apparent. It's not as risky for Nemetschek financially as you might think though. Nemetschek is structured the way it is precisely for this purpose. They already have a 68% equity ratio, (whatever that means) and I'm sure I read somewhere that the Vectorworks and ArchiCAD acquisitions had fully paid for themselves, so it's all gravy from them now. The point of the holdings company structure is so the acquired subsidiaries remain as isolated unentangled SKU's ready for sale at the drop of a bad quarterly statement. I'm oversimplifying for sure, but that's the intent that's on display.

Edited by M5d

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Well it certainly casts light on the awkward situation Robert and company are in trying to develop a half decent product:

Yep, morale is probably pretty low around the halls of NV.

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It's not as risky for Nemetschek financially as you might think though. Nemetschek is structured the way it is precisely for this purpose. They already have a 68% equity ratio, (whatever that means) and I'm sure I read somewhere that the Vectorworks and ArchiCAD acquisitions had fully paid for themselves, so it's all gravy from them now. The point of the holdings company structure is so the acquired subsidiaries remain as isolated unentangled SKU's ready for sale at the drop of a bad quarterly statement. I'm oversimplifying for sure, but that's the intent that's on display.

Yeah, that doesn't surprise me at all, that's what I meant here:

Shortsighted, fast winnings at the cost of quality seems to be the bane of our present pathetic capitalistic existences......

The Banking Community around the world have already demonstrated this fact quite well including the fact that not many boardroom members have been legally felled for it either......they're all enjoying their mega yachts in the Caribbean as we speak.....so much for morals and social awareness......

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Well it certainly casts light on the awkward situation Robert and company are in trying to develop a half decent product:

Yep, morale is probably pretty low around the halls of NV.

Probably explains the fact they are looking to fill so many job vacancies......

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Probably explains the fact they are looking to fill so many job vacancies......

That post did make me wonder if there was high turnover occurring.

They probably also avoid these forums for their sanity's sake, could be company policy by now.

Company policies :

1. Never look at the community boards!

2. And have a nice day!

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Allplan is the long longterm plan it seems.

I'd be fine with this if they had a transition path for existing Archicad/Vectorworks customers and a Mac version.

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Well it certainly casts light on the awkward situation Robert and company are in trying to develop a half decent product

The number one wish on the N&M list is to speed up development:

http://needleandmortar.com/wiki/main-headline-wishlist-for-v2014/

When I met with Robert, Biplap, etc. and pushed this point I didn't get much a verbal response but I did get a knowing nod of the head in agreement. All this insight from Reece goes a long way to putting this in context I think.

I see that Allplan 2013 has 64 bit support:

http://www.nemetschek-allplan.eu/Software/engineering/Features.html#c29831

Shall we raid the NAG boardroom with pitchforks?

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Well!...if all this conspiracy theory is in fact true, For us VW users the bright side at least is that we still have good old school 2D tools, and were not simply stuck with a bunch of crappy 3d BIM tools.

I'm taking this all in, and I think I'm going to fall back on my original plan...use a hydrid 2D & 3D workflow and simply STOP FIGHTING with Vectorsworks SLOW and CONVOLUTED evolution into BIM.

There's no point in trying to change things that we are not sure we can change...LIFE IS TOO SHORT and I need some time left to ride my bike.

Screaming on these forums hoping reasonable ears at Nemetschek will, to the very minimum give us users an acknowledgment that they are working on XYZ problems has proven to be POINTLESS (ie: publish a known-big's log for each release and service pack, check out Modo from Luxology for this). They systematically reply on these forums with a defensive tone or with the same response I'd expect if I asked the question to a dairy cow.

NNA has adopted a very open development roadmap with us users, so you REP's at NNA that may read this post, here's another chance to prove me wrong.

Ciao...gone biking!

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an earlier comment of mine...

Might be an easier proposition to move users over to Allplan than to recode VW to do what we've been asking it to do.

I wonder what the recent hiring at NV indicates? Unsettled employees? Or a commitment to VW development?

I'm starting to get decent results from VW - what a waste of time it would be if it all went pear shaped.

Fritsch, I'm gonna join you...

Edited by Kizza

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For my one-man residential practice using a mixed 3d/2d approach works well. I expect to be retired before SFR plans are required to use full BIM... if they ever are!

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Well!...if all this conspiracy theory is in fact true, For us VW users the bright side at least is that we still have good old school 2D tools, and were not simply stuck with a bunch of crappy 3d BIM tools.

Unfortunately there are a bunch of these for free around the net......

....just to put the record straight, VW is not crappy even when it comes to BIM, 'our' main hash is in the fact that it is falling behind the competition fast.....

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Well!...if all this conspiracy theory

Pick at the bones / links. As for the events, had there been a conspiracy we?d be in the dark about Nemetschek?s intent. Refusal to acquiesce, not complicit involvement is how this came to light.

The participant requirements were withdrawn from the openBIM scheme sometime last week. They?re yet to be removed from www.vectorworks.net/openbim/faq and ArchiCAD?s site. BuildingSMART has posted a notice stating the scheme is being ?reorganised . . . under new criteria to ensure an open approach in which all software vendors can participate.? Unfortunately all this will address, or remove, is the liability within the scheme. It doesn?t address is the policy that Ernst Homolka flagged in his resignation statement, the ?misaligned? fate of our software.

I'd be fine with this if they had a transition path for existing Archicad/Vectorworks customers and a Mac version.

I?m with Vincent, this is a dirty business by Nemetschek and the repulsive side of capitalism. There?s a whirlpool of disregard around the centre of this. Disregard for their CEOs, disregard for the ?secondary? brands and disregard for the ?secondary? brand?s staff and customers.

It would be nice to take our software back from this situation, particularly for the sake of AEC on the Mac.

Here?s a Utopia: Based on Nemetschek?s 2012 annual operating budget and using some crude arithmetic around my annual C4D and Vectorworks subscription; it would take 25000 users at $2000 a year to create a crowdfund of $50 million annually. Enough to take the staff at Vectorworks and ArchiCAD holus-bolus. Invite Ernst Homolka and Tim Alexander L?dke to act as directors of the fund, and give it a mandate to produce a three pillar A E C BIM package based on modern foundations and partnerships.

At V1.0 establish some sort of share structure that makes employees and user subscriptions the basis of share ownership to prevent a Nemetschek style raid from ever happening to it.

How long would it take to get V1.0 out the door with the combined knowledge of the staff at the ArchiCAD and Vectorworks subsidiaries and twenty five thousand beta testers (lol) three, four years?

Everyone keeps saying Vectorworks needs rebuilding from the ground up, well this would be ground up. I?d commit to it yesterday for a genuine stake in my software!

I know, but we could, couldn't we?

Edited by M5d

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