COFES2003: A Technology Summit Like No Other

Research Report: Peter Marks and Brad Holtz
Peter and Brad share preliminary results from a joint research project that explores SMB (small and medium sized businesses) focusing on key differentiators for competitive advantage.

Peter Marks, Managing Director, Design Insight Brad Holtz, President & CEO, Cyon Research Corporation

Peter Marks is Managing Director of Design Insight, Santa Cruz, CA. An internationally recognized consultant in the area of new product development, he has helped scores of companies identify innovative points of differentiation and back them up with disciplined design processes. Marks is author of three books in the area of new product development and e- Design columnist for Computer Aided Engineering magazine.

Brad Holtz is President & CEO of Cyon Research. An internationally recognized consultant, he has spent the past 20 years consulting within the engineering software community, providing insight and analysis of the CAD marketplace. He also serves as chairman of The CAD Society. Holtz's book, The CAD Rating Guide, is widely regarded as an industry "bible"; its sixth edition will be published later this year. He is widely published and is quoted worldwide as an industry analyst.

Design and Engineering is Where Value Goes In
Engineering-software technology plays a critical role in our world-wide economic strength and standard of living. For most projects/products, 90% of the degrees of freedom are fixed by the time a project leaves the design and engineering.

Unfortunately, our $12B engineering-software industry is so small compared to the multi-trillion dollar world manufacturing and construction industries that it is too often ignored at the level of the corporate boardroom.

In this interactive planning session we discuss the situation and a means by which we can grab the attention at the boardroom level. The ultimate goal is for this increase awareness to increase the willingness of corporate boards and owners to invest in engineering-software technology to enhance their competitiveness and improve their top-line performance.

David Weisberg, Chief Industry Strategist, Cyon Research
Joel Orr, Vice-President & Chief Visionary, Cyon Research

A lively discussion of where and how the industry can improve and build itself into a more dominant technological and innovative presence.

About CYON Research

Cyon Research Corporation was founded in October of 1999 by Brad Holtz, Joel Orr, and Evan Yares, consultants and analysts, each of whom have a history of successful consulting practices serving suppliers and users of engineering software.

Cyon Research was formed in order to create an industry event unlike any known at the time—COFES: The Congress on the Future of Engineering Software. Holtz, Orr, and Yares then combined aspects of their consulting practices to work together on consulting projects. Cyon Research subsequently acquired two major publications, Engineering Automation Report and

These three areas of operation—events, publications, and consulting—are mutually synergistic: each is more effective and more profitable when grouped with the others than they could be separately.

The primary clients of Cyon Research have been the vendor community and users of technology seeking unbiased, educated, experienced consulting about their strategies for implementing, building and leveraging engineering technology throughout their enterprises. Cyon Research's close contacts throughout the user, analyst, vendor and developer community provides unforeseen benefits for clients and is one of the driving forces behind the value of the firm.

A special thanks to all who helped to make this year's COFES event possible, including:
  • CoCreate
  • Cyon Research
  • Dassault Systemes / IBM
  • EDS
  • FORTUNE magazine
  • Graphisoft
  • HP
  • Microsoft
  • Océ-Usa, Inc.
  • Web3D Consortium
For more information about COFES, see

In the end, COFES might best be described simply as a conference that makes its attendees think. So many discussions, so little time! In fact, most of the participants leave with a feeling like, "Wouldn't it be great if we could continue these kinds of discussions throughout the year?" So, if you attended, or even if you would have liked to have attended but couldn't, consider this an open invitation to share your thoughts, questions or ideas on the topics described above, or on the subject of "the future of engineering", in general. With your input, we'll work on identifying topics to be addressed in discussion forums, articles, and white papers in the coming year. Simply submit your ideas to: Email Contact. Thank-you!

Amy Rowell is the managing editor of MCADCafe, and the editor of MCAD Weekly Review.

Editor's Note: Here's what just a few of the COFES participants have had to say about this event in previous years. All the individuals who are listed below were in attendance again this year, and expressed even greater enthusiasm for the conference.

"The COFES conference was perfect for our purposes. No other conference that I am aware of provides the attendees with the opportunity for hosted personal introductions to key industry players and the chance to speak directly to those individuals about issues that affect the 3D CAD industry as a whole. We accomplished in two/three days what could have taken weeks, perhaps several months. The return for us was invaluable given our objectives."

Rick Benoit
Strategic Marketing Manager
Intel Corp

"COFES was a great opportunity to have quality discussion time with some of the most interesting people in our industry; I was glad to be a part of the conference, and will look forward to next year."

Jon Hirschtick,
Dassault Syst譥s Group Executive
SolidWorks Board Member

"As first-timers at COFES, Proficiency was very pleased to find a strong emphasis on CAD interoperability threaded through many sessions. COFES brings an intense focus to the major engineering software issues of the day, and takes a long look at how they might be resolved in the years to come."

Michael Jannery
VP of Marketing
Proficiency Inc.

"You did a great job with COFES2002! I'm glad I attended--it was very intellectually stimulating and motivational and I met a lot of new people."

Dennis Nagy Technology Business Consulting

"Other than sex, the morning keynotes at COFES [2002] were the best two hours I've ever spent in my life."

Jerry Laiserin
Industry Analyst,

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