19 Replies Latest reply on Sep 16, 2013 5:21 PM by Stephen Gioacchini

    PDM Enterprise alternatives to consider?

    Kevin Holbrook
      Mr Paige,
      Let me start off by saying I do work for a reseller. I wanted to give you my perspective based on the implementations I have partook in. With Enterprise being a product that is completely scalable it allows users such as your organization to start out with the basics and grow into the power of the solution. What I typically recommend is for an organization to try and get that vision of the future of the organization. Ask yourself these questions.
      What markets will we be in years to come?
      What if we buy other companies?
      What is a dream Implementation?

      Bottom line it is easier to go through this process with smaller increments then to redraw a corporate strategy with new tools. That being said there are several tools that are partners and offer very good integrations to Solidworks data but dont lose sight of the future.

      Hope this helps
      Kevin
        • PDM Enterprise alternatives to consider?
          Spencer Smith
          It never hurts to shop around, although for comparable investment I only know of one other PDM made specifically for SW...DBWorks. For more info on feature comparisons, check the "PDM Works Enterprise vs DBWorks" thread:
          https://forum.solidworks.com/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=45&threadid=9413&enterthread=y

          In my experience, DBW is a bit more powerful, but that may change as the PDMWE product matures. PDMWE certainly has the growth advantage since the development is under the same roof.

          Spencer
          • PDM Enterprise alternatives to consider?
            Alessandro Frattini
            Hi,
            my opinion, the greatest difference between DBWorks and PDMWorks Enterprise is that DBWorks Enterprise is "almost" a complete solution.
            For example, tools that are installed "free", a small / medium company can start work without surprises, having always available at least one script that can solve an urgent problem.
            PDMWorks Enterprise living instead on consulting, the basic engine is certainly reliable (also though the "vault" has serious limitations in my opinion), but needs a consultant for the implementation, which sometimes takes days and days of programming.
            The result is that the basic engine is guaranteed by SW, but the effective implementation is the task of the various resellers / consultants.
            This can give problems on interchange of documents from one installation to another, if you are pushed customization too forward.
            Another simple example for the model "shared documents" of DBWorks, against the "vault" PDMWorks Enterprise:
            Upgrade from one version to another SW (2007 to 2008).
            The process, which is typically made from DBWorks DIRECTLY on file server, PDMW Enterprise needs (as in all systems "Vault") of a local-transfer / conversion / re-transfer-on-vault.
            Note that some customers have about 1 million files, and then imagine what could count speed is this process.
            Of course I could speak here also of other "little" details such the ability of DBWorks to manage configurations in a "smart" mode, for example, with filters that allow you to work with a model in which only some parts are treated as "configurated".
            I could also mention the ability of DBWorks to manage cut-list and then produce the BOM.
            But I do not want to seem too partisan...

            Alessandro
            • PDM Enterprise alternatives to consider?
              Stacey Wilcox


              Any reason why I haven't seen any info or comparisons between PDM Enterprise and Adept. Can any one give me feedback btw these two programs
              • PDM Enterprise alternatives to consider?
                Andrew Hallas
                Stacey,

                The company that I work for uses Adept and has for nearly 3 years. We are happy with the product and the support that we receive from Synergis Software is excellent especially since we are based in Melbourne, Australia and they are in Quakertown, USA.

                At the time of our PDM evaluation we looked at PDMWorks Workgroup, Conisio (now PDMWE) and Adept. PDMWorks Workgroup was too limited as it didn't use a database and its AutoCAD support (for legacy data) was lacking. Coniso (PDMWE) when we looked at it back in 2004 looked good and would have done what we wanted, but at that time it didn't have gold partner status, cost more than Adept and the support that we received while we looked it it was minimal. Synergis Software on the other hand keep in contact with us on a weekly basis when we piloted Adept, provided good support and quickly answered any questions that we had about Adept, its implementation and how they would support us when we were based in Australia. One of the main things that made us choose Adept was the level of support that we received while piloting Adept and continue to receive and the fact that the support was coming directly from the developer of the software and not from a VAR.

                Regards,

                Andrew Hallas
                • PDM Enterprise alternatives to consider?
                  Andrew Hallas
                  Stacey,

                  We did pilot PDMWE (when it was Conisio) for a short time to see how well it would work for our company, but due to time restraints and the fact that the support provided by Synergis Software was mush better then what Conisio provided most of our efforts were concentrated on Adept.

                  I also see from one of your other posts in this group that one group in your company is using SW and another using Pro/E. At present Adept doesn't have any integration with Pro/E. You can manually set relationships up between parts, assemblies and drawings but maintaining this could become a problem and there would be no bi-directional linking properties in the Pro/E files to metadata in the database. You might want to speak with Synergis as to whether they have any plans on providing an integration for Pro/E or whether they would write one as a plugin for you. You would also want to see what the integration with PDMWE for Pro/E is like and whether it suits your requirements or not.

                  You might also want to pilot one or two of the products from your short list if you have the resources and time with you own data to see how well the product works for you and this can show up any limitations in the system that may appear. Demo's are good but they never fully show how the product will work for you. A pilot program shows a lot more than a demo ever will as demos are generally flash and slick. Piloting also allows you to do a lot of the initial setup of the system so that it can reduce your implementation time. That's what I did with Adept when we went live in around 2 weeks after our purchase and we were converting from another EDM system (Cyco AutoManager WorkFlow).

                  My advise would be to choose the product that will work best for your company and within your budget.

                  Regards,

                  Andrew.
                    • PDM Enterprise alternatives to consider?
                      Daniel Eelman
                      While we have not actually used it for SW yet, we will be transitioning into a product called Kinnosa, from First Trace. We have been using an earlier generation product for our Acad & MS Office doc control for years, called eChange. eChange has been adequate, and from the demo I saw, Kinnosa is a nice upgrade from that. They apparently offer options of either connecting in to PDMworks, or just managing your SW files directly.

                      It will be a little while before we make the conversion, but once we do, and have had time to evaluate it more, I will try to post back my observations. I don't have any cost info. Since we are on a support contract for eChange, the migration to Kinnosa is included.
                      • PDM Enterprise alternatives to consider?
                        Stacey Wilcox
                        Andrew,

                        We are actually exploring a customization for ProE with Adept. I am familiar with Adept, but not PDMWE, so I know what works and what needs to be fixed. I do not really want to go through the Demo for PDMWE as all that shows me is what they do well in a demo. I want to know what PDMWE doesn't do well and I am not sure piloting is an option. It seems tough to get detailed info though any other way.

                        Stacey Wilcox
                        Project Engineer
                          • PDM Enterprise alternatives to consider?
                            Devon Sowell
                            Hi Stacey-

                            Hmmm. So you don't want a demo and you don't want to pilot, that's a tough set of conditions .

                            The SolidWorks VARs are independent companies. Call your local VARs, tell them exactly what you'd like to see, tell them to use your files at your site, that you want to drive, and put it to the test.

                            I use Enterprise and I like it.
                          • Re: PDM Enterprise alternatives to consider?
                            Steve Martens

                            Hello Andrew,

                            How is Adept working for you folks 4 years from this post?

                            Thanks

                            Steve

                          • PDM Enterprise alternatives to consider?
                            Andrew Hallas
                            Stacey,

                            Try to get a hold of the PDF manuals that come with the download for PDMWE so that you can at least have a look over them and see what it does do so you can compare it to Adept if you don't want to do a demo.

                            The only option we had back in 2004 was to pilot both systems as no one in Australia was using either of them. The only options we had that were supported by our VAR was SmarTeam or PDMWorks Workgroup.

                            Who have you been dealing with at Synergis Software. I have dealt with Janet Kiehart & Kelly Daley for sales related enquiries, Todd Dietrich for implementation, Scott Cleveland for custom programming and database conversion and Judie Cummings for support.

                            I hope that this information is helpful.

                            Regards,

                            Andrew.
                              • PDM Enterprise alternatives to consider?
                                Stacey Wilcox
                                Andrew,

                                I have started to look at the PDMWE on line tours to get a feel for the system, so far it seems VERY similar to Adept. Is it expensive to pilot a system, let alone 2 systems?

                                I personally do not deal with Synergis, I have just been tasked with this assingment as I am a little light right now. I know that one of our contacts is Steve Baumbach.

                                Thank you for the information and suggestions.

                                Regards,
                                Stacey Wilcox
                                Project Engineer
                              • PDM Enterprise alternatives to consider?
                                Andrew Hallas
                                Stacey,

                                The only cost that we incurred in piloting the 2 systems was the internal cost of my time. Management were happy to do this as they wanted us to be sure that we were selecting the right system for our needs and didn't want to pay for a system that we hadn't tested to some degree. We ended up purchasing 30 licenses of Adept and use it in Engineering, Purchasing, Production Planning, Production, QA etc.

                                Synergis provided us with a single use copy that had codes that allowed us to test the system out for 60 days. I think that they now also do provide a service for piloting where you work with one of their implementation specialists in setting the system up for you requirements for testing. This does have a charge though.

                                Regards,

                                Andrew.
                                  • Re: PDM Enterprise alternatives to consider?
                                    Stephen Gioacchini

                                    I am bumping this this old thread up to 2013. I am currently looking at moving from PDM Workgroup to E-PDM. Would like t ohear others if the is a better alternative. I have a small department of 6 designers and 7 project engineers. I feel that workgroups is ok but I would like better revision control and an easier interface. I have run into issues with workgroup that Solidworks does not support so it has become an obsolete tool.

                                     

                                    Before going to E-PDM Please let me know what other options I should consider.

                                     

                                    Thanks for the help

                                     

                                    Steve

                                      • Re: PDM Enterprise alternatives to consider?
                                        Steve Martens

                                        Hello Steve,

                                        We looked at Adept synergis, First trace/kinnosa and Enterprise (others as well, but these were the main ones i got demo's from).  Chose Enterprise, the functionality was all similiar.  The deciding factor was we had a reseller that had just brought on a couple of staff that had 20 years in the PLM/PDM world and could help set us off on a good path.  They didn't know enterprise specifically as well, but that wasn't bad as the documentation was pretty good and competant people learn anything.  I also wanted something integrated with Solidworks business plan, I knew workgroup was dieing (former reseller emplyoyee, disclosure) but Enterprise looked like it would be getting a focused effort to develop and support. 

                                         

                                        I have used Workgroup, (and a ProE product) it was a breath of fresh air moving to enterprise, no regrets.  We aren't totally integrated as it's been very busy, but I have been using the tool everyday and have no issues.

                                         

                                        All the Best

                                        Steve Martens