final article in this extensive Interview
Series discusses the shared
problem both Nemetschek AG and Apple have in the architecture
market within the US. While Nemetschek North America
in particular dominates large global markets (like
Japan) the group's various AEC subsidiaries are often
overlooked in the US AEC market. How can this change?
What synergies can happen between these strong companies
to benefit the US situation? And what does Apple need
to do to get more focus within the US in the architectural
market? Sean answers some of these questions and also
tells us what his favorite Apple application is. Read
Shared US Problem: Nemetschek AG and the Apple Mac
have raised a very interesting point in talking about
Apple. You have at least three companies within the Nemetschek
group--Maxon, Nemetschek NA, and Graphisoft--that all
have top-flight Apple Macintosh experience. Is there
any chance that this experience will push out throughout
I don’t know. I finally got Nemetschek AG's Vorstand
to meet with Apple a few years ago, so I think they are
becoming more aware. Allplan can run on the Mac using
Apple's Boot Camp. Nemetschek AG actually has Macs in
the building now. I think Apple needs to do a better
job in explaining their market position within architecture,
especially within the U.S.. Their market share in architecture
within Europe is far better, between 20% and 30%. That
is certainly what we see. Our biggest market in the world
is in Japan. Our third biggest is in the UK. So half
the sales of VectorWorks are to the Mac base, so globally
we have a lot of customers running the Mac in architecture.
Apple and the Nemetschek Group sort of have a shared
problem in the U.S. But Apple does have an Architecture
section within their global websites worldwide. What
can they do better?
Yes, but for some reason Apple isn't quantifying those
numbers and pushing them out. If they did that they would
probably help more companies-- other than Nemetschek
AG companies--invest in the Macintosh platform.
I worked with Window XP for 4 years and came back [to
the Mac] and never looked back.
is the policy at Nemetschek North America?
People can pick their platform here. I talk to people
inside the company here, and some of them look at me
like they would never use a Mac, which is funny. It is
the same thing out in firms. They say, "I have used
Windows for 20 years, why would I switch?"
The answer, in my opinion, is because it is a better, more
stable platform. I think the hardware is better, too. But
you can't convince them. You can see it in their eyes. They
have shut down. Overall, NNA is probably about 1/3 Macintosh
is where CAD is really more emotional than a car purchase.
At least that is how one can see it.
mentioned Scia, new tools Nemetschek AG has acquired.
How will you bring some of this technology into the VectorWorks
fold if it is not cross-platform for the Mac?
They are different customers. If you compare the Mac
penetration in architecture to the Mac penetration in
structural engineering, you will see a very different
story. We would probably bring it over just for Windows
only. That doesn't mean we are telling our customers
to switch platforms. It means there are different customer
segments that would be in Windows in the first place
and would be needing that solution.
we bring another product to the Mac, we are subjected
to their engineering decisions as well. If you can build
a market case for the Macintosh then we can look for
last question: How can Nemetschek AG drive critical synergies
between all these companies to bolster their
competitive position against competitors worldwide?
Internally we are looking at engineering synergies we
can have. We have done so within the area of 3D. Arguably
we have the best free-form modeling technologies in the
world. Even if we are not sharing code, which is very
difficult to do with legacy products, the Maxon and Scia
guys both have tremendous technology with leading edge
things like "clash detection" geometry.
are starting the early process of building up communication
in the group. That will take awhile to pay off. Anytime
you bring R&D into it you are talking about years
comments you'd like to add?
Before you had lots of Mac questions, but it is nice
to see the Mac performing so strongly that we don't have
to make the Mac the subject of the conversation anymore.
a great observation.
only thing I can add to that is Apple seems fairly content
to build out its platform (the Mac platform, that is)
by building out great consumer products like the iPod
and iPhone. And I guess people can complain that they
should be focusing on making Macworld a bigger and better
event for the software folks, but as long as they are
growing Mac share, I don’t think they will listen
much to that.
Yes, while there is no “Windows World,” it
is pervasive, so you have Windows as part of other shows.
You know the Mac has succeeded when you no longer need
a show to say, “hey, look how great our platform
but Macworld is also a great show because it's a community
thing, you get to meet the Mac software community
and see what they have come up with.
I agree. I think something is lost. The consumer aspect
of the show has made it much more expensive for them
to attend. But what was worse was when we had failing
shows like Macworld New York, where it presented the
great Apple technology you love using personally?
I have Aperture at home, and what a brilliant application,
what a great interface! As long as Apple keeps doing
great things like that they are going to grow.
there's a lot of talk in the industry about trade shows,
their value and their disappearance. Now, if you want
to talk to your focused customers and audience you do
it on sites like yours.
sounds wonderful to me. (laughs)
Thanks for the great interview. We've talked for 90 minutes.
I know I've asked a lot of questions, but what a discussion!
Thank you for taking the opportunity with us.
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