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July 7, 2014
Behind the Curtain

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This is another “Behind the Curtain” post that is intended to provide some insight into the thinking behind the moves we make at SSI.

Our stated mission at SSI is to “deliver increased productivity to the world’s shipbuilding and offshore industries by bridging the gap between tradition and technology.” You’ll notice that there is absolutely no indication of any particular industry segment, or size and type of project in that mission. It is our goal to create technology and services that suit everyone. In a previous blog post I talked about why it is important to be present in all segments of a given market.

I won’t get into the technological reasons why we believe our products allow us to scale both up and down. If you’re interested I’m sure you know where to find out: here and here. However if you’ve been paying attention over the last 5 years you’ve seen the introduction of a number of products and services that extend the breadth and reach of the ShipConstructor solution. Products like P&ID DesignValidation, WorkShare Design and MarineDrafting extend the use of ShipConstructor even earlier in the design phase. Products like WeldManagement, Electrical, PipeSupports, and again MarineDrafting and WorkShare Design, extend our reach into ever larger organizations and projects. The upcoming (with ShipConstructor 2015 this year) SSI EnterprisePlatform is a major part of this effort as well.

In the past larger shipyards would question whether ShipConstructor had yet reached a point of maturity and sophistication that was suitable for them. With projects like the LHA-6 Amphibious Assault Ship successfully built and delivered with ShipConstructor, and the recent changes to the product, we are now hearing small shipyards and design agents say that they aren’t “big enough to use ShipConstructor”.

We’ve heard those rumblings, and have been responding and will continue to do so. We’ve ensured that every one of our new products is even easier to understand, use and implement than any of the products we’ve delivered in the past. This includes improving the overall user experience in the software with better user interfaces, better and more logically arranged icons, more logical presentation of data required for specific tasks, and more consistency throughout. With ShipConstructor 2015 we’re including a more comprehensive set of libraries and standards. Setup of these standards before work can begin was a potential bottleneck for smaller (and sometimes even larger) organizations in the past. Technically, the new software will be the best release ever for smaller organizations.     

However one of the things we’ve re-looked at over the last year is how we deliver our solutions to the market.

For those that aren’t aware SSI has always had a very flexible method for smaller clients with smaller projects to implement ShipConstructor. Every one of our products was available in 10 levels; each level represented a fixed number of parts that could exist in the 3D model for that discipline (the highest level was of course unlimited in project scope and size). With pricing for a level 1 product at 10% of the full price of the product (but with the same capabilities) we had a solution for small projects that was unbeatable. With ShipConstructor 2015, the 10 levels have been consolidated into 3 editions (Standard, Premium, and Ultimate) but the price/part ratio in these editions is even better than with the earlier system.

However, during this introspective look at what we offer we realized that there was a segment of the industry that was under-served by us and by all of the shipbuilding specific software vendors. There are many small and medium size companies (shipyards and design offices) that design and build medium to large projects. These companies are often left to implement neutral CAD products that really don’t meet their requirements, or more costly and complex shipbuilding solutions that really don’t fit their business.

Suites

Along with the other changes in ShipConstructor 2015 we are adding a new offering specifically targeted at, and in fact only available to, small-medium size design and engineering departments. The new offerings are called ShipConstructor Suites. They are available in 5 different flavors and sizes. I’m not going to go into details around pricing of the Suites. Needless to say they are our most attractive solution ever to small organizations doing big things. However this really isn’t supposed to be a commercial post.

What I’m trying to say is that our mission is to “deliver increased productivity to the world’s shipbuilding and offshore industries by bridging the gap between tradition and technology.” That doesn’t just mean large organizations with large projects. It doesn’t mean just Navy projects, or workboats, or OSV’s, or luxury yachts or offshore. It means everyone.

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