Gstarsoft Launches New CAD Platform, Seeks to Expand Global Reach29 Apr, 2013 By: Cyrena Respini-Irwin
Chinese software developer sets its sights on international markets.
Building a Platform to the Clouds
The GstarCAD8 platform joins two existing solutions to round out the company's collaborative design strategy: GstarCAD MC, an app for iOS and Android mobile clients, and GstarCAD WEB, which allows users to open, edit, and save drawings via a browser. "This software will change our way of designing," said Liang Haixia. She explained that instead of printing PDFs or carting a laptop between office and job sites, it's faster to upload drawing files to GstarCAD MC on a tablet, record data on site, then access the drawings via GstarCAD WEB or on a desktop computer back in the office. "The process becomes shorter ... it becomes more convenient," she noted.
The company plans to create more mobile CAD tools in the future. "We will open the API interface and develop the software for more applications," said Liang Haixia. "We need to shift our focus ... to collaborative design," commented Liang Jiang.
Although the majority of its licenses are sold in China, GstarCAD has made headway in many regions around the globe. The software is offered in more than a dozen languages, and its fastest-growing markets are in Southeast Asia, Europe, and South America.
Priced at less than $800, GstarCAD has gained the most support in markets where cost is a primary concern. Maciej Ogorzalek, vice-president of Krakow-based reseller TMSys, explained that Poland is a "very price-sensitive market," and the cost of GstarCAD is "much lower than [mainstream systems such as] AutoCAD." According to Alexandre Miranda of Brazilian reseller Arkisoft, when it comes to the government's software purchasing decisions, "He who has the best price wins."
Even among very cost-conscious government agencies and SMBs, however, price is not the only deciding factor. Resellers also mentioned GstarCAD's tech support and interface with Microsoft Excel as elements important to their customers' selection. "Cheap is not always good — people are looking for more. It's not always the price," said Meiyu.
Meiyu explained that Gstarsoft began its efforts to enter overseas markets in 2007, with the development of its first English-language version. Today, the company is keen to make a splash in more countries, but recognizes that it must first improve the quality of its product and tech support. "We must have the team in the back, otherwise we cannot do business on the international market ... because every client believes they have a high standard of product quality and tech service, especially countries like the U.S., Germany, and Japan," Meiyu observed.
GstarCAD on the Horizon
In the future, Meiyu explained, Gstarsoft will transition away from its low-price strategy and provide more niche market solutions, such as the forthcoming GstarCAD Server, a solution for companies that wish to establish private clouds. The platform product, however, "is still the most important business for us," he noted.
In the two decades since its inception, Gstarsoft has worked hard to catch up in a CAD industry where China was a latecomer. "We lagged behind other countries by 20 years," said Liang Jiang. Lu added, "We also want to work for another 30 years; the release of GstarCAD8 will set a new starting line for us."
About the Author: Cyrena Respini-Irwin
Autodesk Technical Evangelist Lynn Allen guides you through a different AutoCAD feature in every edition of her popular "Circles and Lines" tutorial series. For even more AutoCAD how-to, check out Lynn's quick tips in the Cadalyst Video Gallery. Subscribe to Cadalyst's free Tips & Tools Weekly e-newsletter and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!