A little competition is a good thing, even when it’s with oneself — or especially when that’s the case, as Authentise sees with its new partnership with Prosper3D.
“This partnership with Prosper is important because it’s the first time we have a 3rd party on our platform which actually COMPETES against our own tools. I love it. The future of AM has to be open – there’s too much change for us to lock things down. It’s one of our 3 Core Principles,” Authentise CEO Andre Wegner tells Fabbaloo.
Those three core values include:
Focus on the user
Calling the partnership a “new milestone for open additive manufacturing platforms,” Authentise sees the integration — its first with a directly competitive third party — as both a strong business move and a statement regarding the need for openness as 3D printing continues to develop as an industry.
Prosper3D provides quoting solutions for additive manufacturing service bureaus and will through this partnership offer its quoting engines to Authentise’s user base via the Authentise Additive Accelerator interface as well as through the 3Diax modular platform. Accuracy in quotes for additive manufacturing is both critical and tricky, as our team has experienced, and access to additional solutions is key to advancing growth.
“We are proud to work with Authentise to bring our quoting algorithms to additive customers. For too long, service providers in the area have wasted time and money generating inaccurate quotes. This partnership broadens the reach of our advanced quoting tools,” says Prosper3D CEO Ilan Sidi.
Authentise values these results, even though adding capabilities from Prosper3D means integrating the competition. Wegner is clear though that this step is a logical one for his company, noting in today’s announcement that:
“This partnership shows once again how the industry can be accelerated by being open. Our customers can now choose to switch quoting algorithm at zero switch cost – they don’t even need to learn a new software. In the end, the customer and the industry benefits because competition makes products evolve faster and they know they’re always getting best-in-class. We’re not afraid of competition – we invite it. Our partnership with Prosper3D proves that.”
That question — open versus closed — is a long-running debate in the additive world. Openness fosters innovation that the community can build upon, while closed approaches protect investments and technologies. For some in the 3D printing community, “proprietary” may be a dirty word, while for others it’s simply the smart way to do business. Openness to innovation and additional solutions, though, is one of Authentise’s key tenets — and they see it as a way to “future-proof”.
For additional clarity on the partnership with Prosper3D, I turned to Wegner, who shared further insights into what these offerings bring to the table for users.
So what else should we know about this partnership?
“In general, the principles we’ve articulated are something our clients, who tend to be larger and see the market more strategically, are coalescing around. They know that the market is far from settled: new technology, material and software is entering all the time. That means they have to remain flexible. Locking themselves down with a single vendor is the death of that flexibility, but that’s just what the traditional approaches to CAD players, and even the new entrants in the market. We’ve long since maintained an open and flexible approach – our 3Diax modular platform with solutions from multiple partners such as Siemens, Autodesk, and Prototech speaks to that – but this partnership is a step beyond: We’re competing against ourselves to make sure that our clients can choose, at zero switch cost, between different services for a specific functionality (like quoting). That might sound crazy but it shows how far we’ll go to generate competition and give our users access to best-in-class,” Wegner tells us.
Openness fits well with this competition-integrating move; what about the other two core values?
“The other two principles – that data is key, and that by focusing on operator problems you’re not only saving time and money, but also reducing frustration and enabling a new platform for growth – are more self explanatory. Being ‘Open’ is still a bit of a dirty word in the industry, and we wanted to counter that: Being open doesn’t mean being less secure, it means making sure you have the best tools, and are future-proofing yourself,” he concluded.
Authentise is keen to keep an eye on the latest innovations in additive manufacturing — an area we’ve been happy recently to help them explore — as they continue to offer more developments focused on industry needs. Most importantly, they demonstrably strive to listen to the industry and provide best-fit needs. Even if the best fit doesn’t originate with them.