This is one of a series of posts covering an extensive interview with Bricsys CEO Erik De Keyser and COO Mark Van Den Bergh.
Erik discusses where Bricsys can go in future and the place BIM has in that.
Cyrena: So what is your vision, ultimately, of what Bricsys will become in tandem with your partners? Do you have limits or boundaries of which markets you will address and which you won’t? Are you going to be bigger than… “somebody else” one day?
Erik: If it comes to the number of customers, challenging AutoCAD is difficult. 12 million registered users. If you count illegal users it might add up to, I don’t know, 20 million, 30 million? I don’t know, nobody knows.
What are the boundaries of where we can go? It’s more or less dictated by the application markets. We have application developers in GIS, we have them in AEC, we have them in mechanical. In Mechanical 3D, AutoCAD was not present. They were present with AutoCAD Mechanical, but that’s a 2D product. If for a moment I leave Inventor out, because it’s another file format, but for DWG, the market for sheet metal and the things that Solidworks and others do, you don’t see third party applications with power participating in that market, with AutoCAD. With all the other markets, there are plenty of other applications: GIS, AEC, it’s endless. We want to bring everyone who wants to work with us, we’re going to feed and help them, and that’s more or less the boundary of where we can go.
For BIM, that’s something we are driving ourselves and it’s a huge market. There’s a lot of attention being paid to Revit [by elements of the press]. We think there are a lot of DWG users that want to move to BIM, but first of all Revit is too expensive, it’s too complicated by far, and it’s another file format. These are hurdles that not everybody wants to jump at the moment. It’s fair to say that we are working to eliminate all those hurdles. An existing DWG user, AutoCAD or BricsCAD already knows 80% of our BIM product. He has to learn 20% extra and he can participate, probably in an easier and more intuitive way than he can ever do with Revit.
We didn’t talk a lot about the differences between Revit and our BIM solution. I think in six months and a year we’re going to spend more time to really explain the differences. BIM is hyped, but there are studies that show that 19% of the people who talk about BIM are actually using it. It’s a couple of hundred thousands, it’s not millions already. There’s a lot of hype around it but the real challenge is to bring five or six million people on DWG in the AEC space into BIM. That’s our goal. If they want to stay on DWG, we are their only chance. For that part only, that’s already a huge start. If you then count all the applications on top of that and around it, the addressable market for us on that is immense.
This is the complete set of links to this interview series:
- The big Bricsys interview 1 – why invite the press?
- The big Bricsys interview 2 – making money
- The big Bricsys interview 3 – looking after people
- The big Bricsys interview 4 – thank you, Autodesk
- The big Bricsys interview 5 – perpetual licensing and choice
- The big Bricsys interview 6 – lean and focused
- The big Bricsys interview 7 – the applications ecosystem
- The big Bricsys interview 8 – boundaries and BIM
- The big Bricsys interview 9 – treading on developers
- The big Bricsys interview 10 – platforms
- The big Bricsys interview 11 – free viewer?