PTC CEO Jim Heppelmann and Onshape founder Jon Hirschtick celebrate the acquisition [Source: PTC]
A sudden announcement from Onshape indicates they’ve been acquired (or about to be) by PTC.
The announcement, from Onshape CEO Jon Hirschtick, says:
“I am pleased to share with you that Onshape has entered a definitive agreement to be acquired by PTC. This is an exciting next step for Onshape that will help us broaden the scope of what we deliver to you, and broaden our reach in the market to bring Onshape to more users even faster.
I want to first emphasize that our top priority as we become part of PTC is to preserve and enhance what you and I love about Onshape. Our beloved Onshape team remains the same. Our product strategy and roadmap remains the same, with a continued sharp focus on our customer needs. You will still experience the same level of responsive customer support that you have come to expect from us.”
Terms of the arrangement, including the closing date, were not made public. However, it’s likely Onshape went for a high value.
“PTC is acquiring Onshape because we have a deep commitment to providing innovative technology that drives business value and enhances your competitive position.”
Standalone CAD Systems
PTC is a large software company providing a number of solutions to industry, including CAD, PLM, IoT, AR and much more. In the CAD field, their flagship product is PTC CREO, a standalone product that is widely used in industry.
But there’s that word, “standalone”. That’s where the Onshape acquisition comes in.
Onshape is also a CAD tool, but one that is purely cloud-based. In other words, you can literally run Onshape on any device that has a browser, even a tablet.
That’s a very powerful capability, as it frees the users from having to purchase and maintain an expensive and powerful PC platform. It also simplifies operations for Onshape, who can update ALL their software users with the touch of a button. Standalone software vendors must patiently await all of their users to upgrade the software on their PCs and support all versions until they do. And usually, many users don’t upgrade promptly, leading to a support gap.
PTC Cloud CAD
The goal has been to eventually move to a cloud model, but it has been financially unattractive to most of the CAD vendors. That’s why Hirschtick, the original founder of SOLIDWORKS, struck out on his own to build the pure SaaS Onshape service.
However, while Onshape was powerful, it was a relatively small player in a big market.
Now, that’s changed. PTC will integrate Onshape into their strategy, and over the long term it might even become their flagship product. This will be a big message to other CAD vendors, who have in some cases been lagging in the movement to cloud systems.
Future For Onshape Users
What happens to current Onshape users? Hirschtick explains:
There is no change to Onshape’s pricing plans.
There is no change to your points-of-contact at Onshape.
You will continue to enjoy the same level of responsive customer support and partnership that you are receiving now.
You can expect the same frequency of updates to Onshape.
The fun will really start after the deal closes.