WelcomeMorning coffee to a shiny new week! I’ll be at PTC Live Global, the first user conference that will feature PTC’s combo of CAD + PLM + ALM + SLM+ IoT + well, whatever other initials come out of it. Last year, we all learned about “servitization”, creating bundles that combine products and services to offer more benefit to the customer than either would alone. Can’t wait to hear PTC’s word of this week.

There’s other news, though, so let’s do a quick roundup of last week.

It’s the Economy …

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that, as of the May jobs report, the US economy has added back all 8.7 million jobs lost during the recession.  Perhaps even better, the May report was the fourth consecutive showing monthly job gains over 200,000 — a first since 2000. It’s not all roses, though, as the chief economist of Dun & Bradstreet, sees the jobs news as “uneven, with business services and health care leading and middle-wage sectors such as manufacturing and construction growing but recouping only a fraction of the positions lost in the recession.”

One of the most interesting reactions to the news was this article, which asks “Where are the creatives?”. The writer defines creatives as “freelancers, the self-employed, and gig economists”. Worth a read.

In news that could have a significant economic impact, Tesla Motors announced that the company is suspending enforcement of its 200 or so patents to encourage others to work on electric cars and similar projects. CEO Elon Musk wrote in a blog post that

too often these days [patents] serve merely to stifle progress, entrench the positions of giant corporations and enrich those in the legal profession, rather than the actual inventors … Given that annual new vehicle production is approaching 100 million per year and the global fleet is approximately 2 billion cars, it is impossible for Tesla to build electric cars fast enough to address the carbon crisis. By the same token, it means the market is enormous. Our true competition is not the small trickle of non-Tesla electric cars being produced, but rather the enormous flood of gasoline cars pouring out of the world’s factories every day. We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform. 

By opening the patent portfolio to others, Mr. Musk is probably also looking to create new use cases for his battery kits, so that Tesla can produce them at an economically feasible scale.

PLMish Deals, Earnings and Other News

We had quite a bit of PLMish news last week, as acquisitions continue apace and earnings releases dot the landscape.

Hexagon acquired North West Geomatics Ltd. for its Canadian photogrammetric data and the Valtus database, likely a key component of Hexagon’s strategy to create a fee-based exchange for captured data, whether from land, air or space, where the cost of generating that data is more than covered by buyers, who may be utilities, governments at all levels, environmental groups or commercial enterprises.

Trimble snapped up Mining Information Systems, an Australian firm that offers mining-specific enterprise-level information management capabilities. MIS’s solutions enable mine production reporting and accounting, ore tracking and stockpile management, geological and mineral resource data management, and safety and workforce reporting.

Autodesk added Bitsquid, the game engine, to augment its offerings for the gaming and to add design exploration tools “using the same fluid control and immediate feedback that exist today in modern console and PC games.”

ESI Group reported that fiscal Q1 2014/5 revenue was down 7% to €20.1 million, in part because of the company’s intention focus on high value services engagements that are likely to lead to future license sales.

Autodesk acquired NEi Software without saying much about it. We’re starting to learn a bit more about how Nastran fits into Autodesk’s overall CAE picture.

Links of the Week

As you undoubtedly know, the FIFA World Cup is underway in Brazil, and once again the PLMish universe has been heavily relied on to create soccer balls  tuned to the climate, safe and efficient stadia, and tech that can determine if a goal has been scored. Now if only we could figure out how to stop the rain in Natal …

Finally, the Museum of Modern Art has acquired its first app: Biophilia from singer Björk. If you were at Autodesk University a couple of years ago, you heard from Drew Berry, a biomedical animator, about how he used Maya to visualize biological processes. For the Biophilia app, Mr. Berry created some dazzling simulations to accompany Björk’s music.

That’s it for now. Have a great week!