COFES Agenda: Clash of the Titans (or my agenda)

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It’s only a couple of weeks away (I’ve got a short trip to Portland before hand to see Autodesk’s 2010 line up for Manufacturing), but COFES is just around the corner and with a fresh off the wire agenda update, I’m looking to see what’s looking interesting. COFES Founder Brad Holtz kicks things off by presenting the results of a current survey they’re carrying out on the state of the CAD/PLM market – if you have a spare ten minutes, add your perspective if you’re actively using CAD and PLM for design, manufacture (you’ll also get a copy of the results once it’s complete).

First day is usually pretty easy going, so its nice to break yourself into the activities. If mine and Martyn’s flight goes well and they actually let him in the country again, we should make it there to see Kathleen Maher of Jon Peddie Research discussing “What’s Going to Stick to the Wall Next Year?“, will look at current trends and product categories with an eye to spotting near-term winners. Kathleen’s followed by DEVELOP3D contributor and longtime mate, Allan Behrens of Cambashi, a UK analyst outfit with a decided global reach. Fresh from safari in South Africa, Allan will be giving the attendees an International Business Update, about which the blurb says “Many consider that the true effect of recent tumultuous shifts has yet to be crystallized. While these are certainly testing times, many believe that now is the time to invest in the upturn. There are many examples showing opportunity and short-term gain at global, regional, and national levels – the challenge is how to balance often unknown risk with perceived opportunity.” Fun stuff eh?

Our Man Behrens. He really is that cheeky. And has some pretty scary looking charts I’m not even going to begin to pretend to understand.

The next day sees the event kick off proper and its a mix of keynotes, group discussions and briefings with software vendors showing off what they’re working on (Autodesk, SpaceClaim, Siemens PLM, PTC, ShareVis and Nemetschek) and what’s coming up. This is combined with briefings from a pretty impressive line-up of industry analysts discussing some hot topics.

Looking at the agenda, unfortunately there’s three that I’d like to sit in on running concurrently. Jim Brown at Tech Clarity discussing Design, Engineering, and Social Networking, Ken Versprille from CPDA talking about forthcoming trends in Design Data Quality and whether companies can actually enforce standards for CAD data and ensure they’re actually used and Jay Vleeschhouwer is someone that’s always worth catching. Recently set-free from Merrill Lynch, and possibly the most dapper man in the industry, Jay’s bound to deliver some insight into how Wall Street views the CAD/PLM world. Oh, make that four at the time.. I see that Bruce Jenkins of Ora Research is also talking about how simulation can be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the front end of the product development process. Not too sure which one will make it, but I suspect, it’ll be down to Bruce or Jim. I’ll leave Martyn to make his call on the others.

If you look at the agenda, there’s something called Maieutic Parataxis. Practically unpronounceable, apparently this means, a series of five-minute vignettes drawn from topics and ideas that, while perhaps not yet fully formed, are likely to impact your thinking about how we design, build, and interact with software in the future.


OK, back to the agenda and planning. If you want to know why we go to COFES, check our post of a couple of weeks ago. And if anyone’s got a temporary cloning machine, can I have a borrow? It could prove useful. And if you’re a twitter user, then you can follow all the action with the #cofes2009 hashtag. I’ll be tweeting from the event if you’re interested too and you can find me at