As a child, I marveled at antiquity through my great grandmother’s many stories of life in the old west. Born in the 1890s—well before the horseless carriage—she’d speak of waking up before dawn to walk five miles to school each morning. After class, since she was already in town, her parents had her stop by the baker, butcher and general store before visiting the dairy to carry dinner and breakfast home. In the century since, we have all benefitted from the advent of department stores, catalog ordering, supermarkets, shopping malls, and most-recently, online shopping. This transformation, driven by the market opportunity of customer convenience and product accessibility, has been nothing short of revolutionary. Rather than organize products according to the provider’s convenience—meat from the butcher, milk at the dairy—they are offered to us collectively in a single location.
The focus on the buyer’s needs catalyzed the evolving paradigm, while innovations in technologies and business models have enabled it. For many 3D modeling solutions today, this same approach is necessary to survive and thrive in a world that rewards, and increasingly requires instant, global accessibility.
Mobile Device Usage
Nearly everyone you know can be seen using a mobile device- your boss, your parents, your children and your supermarket clerk all use these devices for much more than telephone calls. We expect that the activities and workflows that we need and want can be done on any device, anywhere. In 2014, half (http://www.zdnet.com/article/cisco-projects-data-center-cloud-traffic-to-triple-by-2017/) of all workloads were done in the cloud for the first time. What’s more, decision makers lead mobile adoption, with more than 90% (http://searchenginewatch.com/sew/opinion/2353616/mobile-now-exceeds-pc-the-biggest-shift-since-the-internet-began_ using a mobile device for business use. Are your customers’ expectations any different?
Access to Workflows
Whether you are doing proprietary internal CAD modeling, or building an OEM CAD solution, it’s likely that your customers, their customers, and users not only could benefit from a globally available mobile accessibility to their workflows 24/7, but that they expect it by default. If your users are internal, having mobile access to your workflows not only enables new possibilities to engage with your customers or iterate on your designs, but it means your team can work to deliver the best product, anytime, anywhere.
Creating the Right Architecture
CAD models are often very large and complex. Putting them on a mobile device may seem beyond mobile device capability, but the right architecture can enable workflows on even the largest 3D models. The visualization process can be done either on the device or in the cloud. Your 3D CAD model can be stored in your datacenter, in the cloud, or partially on the device. By carefully considering each of your workflows’ requirements, mobile CAD can be enabled on most consumer devices. Put the processing and complexity where the computing power is, either in the cloud or your own data center. This includes not only demanding 3D CAD modeling operations, but also visualization processing. Said simply, when your goal is mobile accessibility to your users, a successful implementation will push only what is needed to the device, thereby achieving a complete, yet responsive experience. This can range from view-only access, to full model creation and manipulation. In both of these scenarios, and the gamut between, use the cloud to enable mobile accessibility to your valuable workflows.
Protecting Your Intellectual Property
If you or your customers are dealing with 3D models, you are probably wondering how to ensure that this valuable intellectual property is protected. Many are surprised to learn that a 3D cloud system can actually be more secure than traditional implementations. Without configurable model access, you may be sharing this critical material via physical media or email. Once that model leaves your hands, you have no control of where it may go from there—and you may never know where it reaches. In a cloud implementation, you can provision access to suppliers, partners and customers not only on a time-limited basis- with an ability to see instantly access usage metrics- but also with full control to constrain access to only certain assemblies, details or operations. Grant view-only access to those who need it, without handing over your trade secrets in the process.
When implementing a cloud-based solution, you’ll also be able to choose public, private, or hybrid cloud options, thus realizing the benefits of accessibility while being able to restrict mission-critical data and operations to only authorized users, and only on networks you control and trust. By leveraging best-in-class cloud providers, you benefit from billions of dollars of investment and maintenance in security, and can integrate these seamlessly with your internal systems and firewalls.
Don’t force your customers to walk for miles to different vendors just to survive in today’s 3D modeling world. There are many paths to a successful cloud and mobile implementation and Spatial can help you navigate the options and offerings to most-effectively realize your desired result. Whether you’re looking for an OEM CAD Cloud solution utilizing visualization solutions like HOOPS, or building your own web based CAD software built on webGL, Spatial has nearly three decades of industry proven experience in 3D modeling that we’ll put to work for you. Please contact us ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) if you’d like to learn more.