CADfidential31 Jul, 2007 By: Kenneth Wong
Behind the scenes in the world of CAD.
Don't Get Greenwashed
Does consumer support for environmentally friendly products translate into greater profits for companies that produce green products? Yes, to a degree, according to a recent Associated Press report. "Tech Firms Tap Into the 'Green' Movement" (July 4, 2007) quoted Richard Doherty, research director at Envisioneering Group, as saying, "Of the consumers we've interviewed, they say one or more purchases is influenced by the more-green company."
However, these green concerns also could be inviting commercial exploitation, or greenwashing. According to sourcewatch.org, greenwashing is "the unjustified appropriation of environmental virtue by a company, an industry, a government, or even a nongovernment organization to sell a product."
Want to dazzle a potential client with market demographics and thematic maps? Want to study the geographic distribution of your target consumers in far-flung regions? The data you need might already exist in various public agencies, and it might even be available for free. But how will you find the time to hunt it down? ESRI is betting that many would gladly pay a nominal fee to acquire and assemble these statistics into a presentation-ready report. That's the logic behind its latest on-demand offering, Business Analytics Online.
The product combines GIS technology with extensive demographic, consumer spending, and business data to deliver more than 50 reports and maps, according to the company. The online platform is expected to offer tools to analyze trade areas, evaluate competitors, and identify new store locations, as well as find new customers, target direct mail, and reveal untapped markets. The statistics are based on ESRI's 2007–2012 demographic data that includes population, housing, income, and home value.
Spoils of a Bootlegger
According to a Taipei Times report, Lin Jung-Peng was making a comfortable living selling 148 different types of software packages (AutoCAD and Windows operating systems among them) that he'd illegally downloaded from a Chinese Web site. His cushy pirate life in Taiwan came to an end when the police finally nabbed him. The Taoyuan District Court ordered him to make amends by paying back US$22.52 million to 10 software companies.
Autodesk and PTC are reportedly two of his biggest victims, to the tune of approximately $5.7 million and $4.4 million, respectively. The judgment may be a mere symbolic gesture, because Lin is not likely to be able to repay the astronomical sum. The two U.S. CAD giants will have to settle for an apology from Lin, to be issued in a newspaper. The not-so-symbolic part of Lin's punishment comes in the form of a two-year prison term.
PTC's Reality Check
The rosy financial future PTC painted for the press during its recent Worldwide Media and Analyst event now must be reexamined. In an update on third quarter 2007 (released July 5), the company revealed that it closed the period with revenue of approximately $225 million, roughly $10–15 million shy of the forecasted $235–240 million. "Lower-than-expected license revenue totaling approximately $62 million was the primary driver," according to the announcement. Dick Harrison, PTC's president and CEO, said, "We have already begun to implement several cost-reduction initiatives in the fourth quarter."
As a freelance writer, Kenneth Wong explores the innovative use of technology.