It’s taken just over a week, but at least one US competitor to the combined Autodesk/Constructware offering (see previous posts) is trying to tempt any disaffected customers away. Citadon is offering a "Special Migration Program for Constructware Customers and Partners".
Citadon aims to help firms "respond to business challenges" resulting from Autodesk’s recently announced plan to acquire ConstructWare, with 25% price discounts on Citadon CW and consultancy services (only for the first year’s subscription and for upfront training and consultancy). The company claims CW offers Constructware users:
"greater flexibility in managing the document review and approval processes, contract commitments, and correspondence necessary to complete major construction on time and within budget. In addition, Citadon CW can also be integrated with any cost management or scheduling system, so clients are not dependent on Constructware’s proprietary cost management system."
Citadon CW is the successor of ProjectNet (see my 30 September 2005 posting: ProjectNet: old technology?). In the US, its successes seem to be based on adoption as an enterprise solution in large engineering client organisations such as Parsons Iraq Joint Venture (oil and gas), Ameren Corporation (energy) and NanoSpheRx (biopharmaceuticals), or consultancy businesses in the same sectors – eg: ThermalTech Engineering.
ProjectNet was adopted by a wide range of organisations engaged in conventional architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) projects, but Citadon CW seems to have had less success in penetrating the AEC sector (the only major announcement in this space concerns its adoption by EC Harris – see my 5 October 2005 post). I have spoken to a few experienced UK collaboration users who have been approached by Citadon and they tended to dismiss CW as "too complex and too expensive" for AEC organisations.
Citadon’s "migration program" is clearly aimed at capitalising on any unease that Constructware customers might have about the impending Autodesk acquisition (Citadon’s dedicated Constructware webpage says: "AutoDesk is planning to acquire Constructware. What does this mean to you? No one really knows, and that’s the problem. You can wait and see, or you can expand and explore your options in the meantime. Take a look at Citadon.").
As a marketing ploy, though, it is surely doomed to failure: it is asking customers to stop using a proven AEC-focused product (Constructware) and switch to an enterprise solution more at home in the major utility and facility engineering world. Autodesk’s Buzzsaw solution is also well-proven in the AEC sector, and is respected as a cost-effective product; for many AEC users – particularly designers – better integration with Autodesk’s CAD tools will also tend to be more attractive than Citadon’s open integration with cost management and scheduling tools. As a result, most Constructware customers will, I think, wait to see how the integration with Buzzsaw progresses. If they remain uneasy, there are other solutions in the US collaboration marketplace that may be more appropriate to their AEC needs (and budget) than the Citadon CW proposition.