Ansys' SpaceClaim Purchase Enhances Engineering Productivity

G00264297

Analyst(s):

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Summary

Ansys’ acquisition of 3D modeling software provider, SpaceClaim should benefit customers of both vendors. But SpaceClaim customers will likely find managing their Ansys relationship tougher than managing their SpaceClaim one.

News Analysis

Event

On 1 May 2014, the engineering software provider Ansys acquired SpaceClaim, a provider of 3D modeling software for engineers, for a purchase price of $85 million cash plus retention and adjustments for working capital. The transaction closed on 30 April 2014.

Analysis

This acquisition benefits both Ansys and SpaceClaim customers. Prior to the acquisition, many Gartner clients who are Ansys customers reported that they also use SpaceClaim's 3D modeling software, which is well-integrated with Ansys due to an existing OEM relationship between the two. Because Ansys already embeds SpaceClaim modeling, current and prospective customers of both companies will not have to wait for technical integration of their respective capabilities, which is not the case in most post-acquisition situations.

SpaceClaim's "direct modeling" approach to 3D modeling has distinctive "ease of use" advantages for computer-aided engineering (CAE) users over mainstream CAD offerings. Its users directly push and pull geometry, which makes it simpler to use than most CAD. Therefore, engineers can be more productive since lack of 3D modeling expertise is not as much of a barrier. SpaceClaim also offers a strong ability to import and work with third-party CAD geometry and ISO standards for geometry exchange, thus streamlining workflow.

SpaceClaim users immediately benefit from a comprehensive portfolio of CAE capabilities with rich functionality that is already integrated with their geometric modeler. Ansys provides a strong growth path for SpaceClaim customers who want to continuously improve their CAE capabilities.

From an IT management perspective, this acquisition is a mix of good news and potential challenges. On the positive side, those responsible for IT governance now only need to work with one vendor for CAE and geometric modeling needs.

On the challenging side, the percentage of Gartner clients who report difficulty negotiating with Ansys on pricing and discounting is disproportionally higher than those negotiating with other CAE vendors. Therefore, SpaceClaim customers are likely to find that managing pricing negotiations with Ansys will be tougher than it was with SpaceClaim.

Recommendations

  • Ansys customers: Engineering IT managers should adopt SpaceClaim for CAE modeling capabilities.

  • Joint Ansys and SpaceClaim customers: Engineering IT managers should prepare for negotiations by monitoring developments in Ansys-SpaceClaim bundling and new pricing as it evolves.

  • SpaceClaim customers: Engineering software procurement specialists should familiarize themselves with Ansys licensing and support policies to prepare for software renewals.

  • Ansys and SpaceClaim prospects seeking new CAE and mechanical design capabilities: Managers of engineering IT assets should include the combination of Ansys and SpaceClaim on their shortlists.

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