SWW09 Monday General Session (Part 1)

The General Session hall filled up quickly.  As I mentioned, excitement was in the air.  Over 4300 people filed in quickly to take their seats.  This was well over this year’s goal (something like 3500 {unofficially}).  The music started and then we were greeted by Jeff Ray’s enthusiastic and confident entrance on to the big stage.  He presented us with a report card about how well SolidWorks is doing.  Despite his cheerful presentation about the progress SolidWorks Corp has made over the past year, he gave the company suprizingly low markets on their progress.  Of course, there are likely some people that felt he was being too generous.


He stated that customer satisfaction is now 91%, with very satisfied now at 43%.  Customer Portal had 1.2M visits last year with 10M hits.  SolidWorks now supports 16 languages, up from 12 last year.

Ray then revealed that according to customer feedback, SolidWorks is running 65% faster on large assemblies and drawings, giving 8x the time savings with new tools such as Speedpak.

Customer interface has been a focal point of improvement, along with giving a more consist user experience by providing wide screen and multiple monitor support.  He announced that 50% of users now spend 70% of their job time within SolidWorks. 

Ray gave a shout out of sorts to the SolidWorks blogging community and even discussed Twitter’s role in the SolidWorks general online community; even to the point of announcing the SolidWorks World 2009 twitter hash #SWW09! (More about this later.)

He stated that the areas where Solidworks needs to improve are installations, upgrades and managing SolidWorks design data.  The phrasology he used was that they needed to “obliterate” each of these.  I think he meant that they will work on obliterating issues with these.  For example, they want to make it easier to access the design data so that users can focus on why they have SolidWorks (designing) instead of hunting for files.

He then showed appreciation for all attendees, noting that some are here dispite the fact that they are recently out of work or had expense cutbacks at their company.