Onshape has unveiled the culmination of 18 months’ work (and arguably, fruition of its plans since founding) with the release of Onshape Enterprise.
This follows hot on the heels of its Design Data Management 2.0 release earlier this year.
The idea here is that rather than having every user within your organisation, each with their own separately managed Onshape account, a master account is used instead to aid control and administration – and that Onshape master account also has some seriously impressive tricks up its sleeve.
As you might expect, there is a full stack of administration tools to provision services to your team, to partners where needed and to anyone else that needs access to your own named domain of Onshape (think: develop3d.onshape.com).
Compared to the absolute pain in the arse that is most licence acquisition, data management, user licensing and access provision, this is a step change in itself.
There’s no waiting for a vendor to send you the appropriate licence codes, dongles (Yup, some folks still use them), or a consultant to turn up at $1,500 a day. Sign in, add them, choose their role from a fully customisable set of options and you’re done. Of course, there’s also no install of software either, so it’s pretty much instant.
Wax on/Wax off
What’s also as key here is that you can also switch it off just as quickly.
Those that have conducted any form of administration over data and systems in their own companies will recognise that when you have employees leave, if you’ve not been carefully managing how systems are used, where data is stored and who accesses what, then you can find yourself in a massive pickle that takes time and effort to straighten out.
Then you find that your employees have been using a personal Dropbox account, half of your mission-critical data is sat there and there’s pretty much sod all you can do about it.
Here, Onshape’s cloud-based nature means that you can switch everything off just as quickly as you can turn it on – no more system, no access to data, nothing.
“But what about exports of our data?” you ask. A fine question indeed and if data has been exported, there’s not a lot you can do about it, but here’s another interesting thing to consider, at least with this system, you’re able to find out what has been exported, when and by whom – amongst a whole other host of interesting data that Onshape are exposing with its analytics and reporting tools.
Here’s the thing: Onshape, due to its nature, has been storing this information since it has been running, and it’s only now that it is exposing it.
When you move to Onshape Enterprise, you receive a set of analytics tools that allow you to dive into your data, to find out what projects have the most modelling time in them, where approved are held up, which users are most productive (and who might need a little training), where your data has been shared and exported.
It’s all there, going back to when your users first started using it.
It can be viewed as a dashboard and reports can be generated. If you’ve used Google analytics, it’s very similar, but without some of the finer points such as alerts and custom reports just yet.
So how much is this going to cost? Onshape has already readjusted its pricing model, with Onshape Standard (modelling, drawings) now coming in at $1,500. Onshape Pro (adds in workflow approval, release management etc) is $2,100 per user per year.
Onshape Enterprise currently comes in at a minimum cost of $20,000 per year. How you split that up, depends on your requirements – the prices are like this: a full Onshape user within Enterprise is $3,000 per year – a light user (for data viewing, workflow participation etc) is $300 per year. It doesn’t matter how you stack it up, you need to spend a minimum of $20K to get the ball rolling.
The cost might hit you in the face a little, but consider what this is replicating – a data, revision and workflow management system integrated into a 3D CAD system with global accessible that’s instantly available, highly configurable, fully traceable and available now.
There’s no server set-up, no per day chargeable consultancy for configuration or business process evaluation at each of your locations, no per geography licensing, no client installation and user access, no firewall configuration or VPN set-up and access.
Now tell me that it’s expensive?! If you need this class of management and access control, you’ll already be aware of how much this type of set-up costs to not only buy but to implement and maintain. It’s not for everyone, it’s for the folks working in a complex environment with complex products and complex supply chains.
Onshape is in a curious place. It’s modelling and drafting tools are growing in maturity, it has recently introduced a set of data management tools that introduce workflow management and revision control to the system.
Now it has started down the path of greater enterprise support. At each of these stages, the company shows that it’s both addressing the needs of an existing market (particularly the modelling side of things), but also looking to explore new areas and take advantage of the platform it has built.
Obligatory launch video with slow pan shots, below.