It is certainly a dynamic market, tough to keep up with, and as you say there's no apples-to-apples data. Even Gartner suggests you use their data as only part of your complete breakfast.
That said, you might try Gartner's workspace management 2005 report for another data point. It lists ARCHIBUS as one of only three vendors that are in the "leadership category". Even Oracle and Intuit fell short. FM Systems did not meet the inclusion criteria - which include revenue and recent customer acquisition benchmarks. FM Desktop was not on the radar.
To be positioned in the Leaders Quadrant, Gartner’s analysis states: “Leaders have strength in application and platform technology, demonstrate a high level of Quality in product reliability and service, have strong operation and organization capability and financial stability, have global reach, and offer a strong vision of customer needs reflected in a robust development road map.” They validate figures published elswhere that ARCHIBUS has 3,000,000 users, 1,600 deployment partners, etc. That's just about all they'll let anyone quote, because they like to eat regular too and want people to buy the report.
You mention above to keep in mind that a big chunk of ARCHIBUS revenues are foreign. True, and in my opinion that's a good thing from several perspectives. At the basic level, it means that the core ARCHIBUS software is funded by a wide variety of locales and value chains and means that development costs are spread over more people. This means we at AI get better software cheaper.
I think another key issue is how the different locales further functionality. European building management practice has a professional tradition stretching back centures, is highly advanced, and the users are very demanding. Meeting those needs makes ARCHIBUS/FM much stronger. On another front, if there's a more dynamic set of needs than China, I don't know of it. And ARCHIBUS's experience in participating in that in environment --where flexibility and ability to react are paramount -- feeds back to every ARCHIBUS user.
You don't seem to have considered Facility Web, part of the FMDesktop suite. It does have limited functionality and you do get charged for numbers of licences but it does exactly what it says on the box.
Also, bear in mind that now that Autodesk have acquired FMDesktop, they will be developing the product to be even easier to use, probably with even more web applications and it has a great future in that regard. As an FM trainer with both ARCHIBUS and FMDesktop expertise, I would sincerely suggest that you make sure that you consider both products here. ARCHIBUS more than likely do have market share at present but they have been around a long time. There are many other extremely functional but newer solutions out there (FMDesktop is one of them).
To use a cliche, thinking out of the box does help with these decisions sometimes! It is not always the tried and tested that gets you to where you need to go. Taking a calculated risk can also get you there.
I can't disagree with anything that Steve says here. However, he is referring to Gartner's IWMS quadrant. That quadrant and the underlying analysis, according to their criteria, is meant to include vendors and applications that intend to cover a broad suite of integrated functionality in an "enterprise" class solution. If one wants that type of solution, Gartner's is a good analysis.
On the other hand, if one is looking for a narrow set of functions and less integration, options that aren't in that quadrant can be quite valid. For example, nobody would omit MRO with Maximo if looking for maintenance, but they aren't in the IWMS quadrant.
Mark Evans Senior Product Manager AEC Division, Simulation Product Line Autodesk, Inc.
You're right to be skeptical. The information you've been getting on ARCHIBUS/FM Web Central is not really accurate. I'm an AI dude, so I can give you a few pieces for your matrix.
o You do *not* need a team of Webmasters to use ARCHIBUS/FM Web Central. In fact, once you run the Setup routine, you have the Web product up-and-running. I've even heard people who sell competitive products admire the ease of setup of ARCHIBUS Web Central. Everything you need is right on the CD.
o Web forms to do DWF display for space management, wayfinding, room reservations, finding active work requests, even interactive forms for managers to claim and release space -- all come standard. File/Run/Setup. No coding. No scripting. No fuss.
o In fact, even if you want to get your own specialized data to the Web, ARCHIBUS/FM contains drawing publishing rules you set up with a form. Again, no coding or scripting.
o DWF display for restrictions (show all vacant offices, etc.) on the Web is dynamic. Has been since the 1990's before DWF was cool.
o You can access _any_ piece of data in ARCHIBUS/FM for reporting and editing. If you don't like the forms that come standard (and there are hundreds), the New View feature will create reports or edit forms for you on the fly without any coding. In fact, you can use the Add Field command to add a new field to the ARCHIBUS Data Dictionary and have it available in both Windows and Web, in both forms and reports, all without any coding.
o In fact, speaking of data access, you can access types of data that other packages just don't support. For instance, you can store documents of any type -- Word, DWF, DWG, Excel, Microsoft Project -- right in the ARCHIBUS/FM database associated with properties, buildings, leases, projects, work requests, change orders, etc. You can access them from anywhere right over the Web because documents are another first-class element in the ARCHIBUS data dictionary, and ARCHIBUS Web forms know how to handle documents natively.
o You can change the Web Central role-based menus and dashboards just by changing rows in a spreadsheet style grid -- again no coding.
o You can add charts, summaries, cross tabs, even multi-dimensional OLAP queries to your Web reports ... also all without coding. You can click on these charts and drill down to supporting data. You can place these charts on your own dashboards without coding.
Sure, you can do all kinds of high-end things with ARCHIBUS, and should you want to later do enterprise scale stuff -- like integrate with SAP or PeopleSoft Web service interfaces --you'll want to use some of the API's under the hood.
But ARCHIBUS has spent more effort than anyone getting more sites than anyone up-and-running. It runs the largest user's conference in the industry. If there's any usability or maintenance request, ARCHIBUS has likely done it already.
And these improvements are things that they need in actual use, not in a demo -- a fact most folks appreciate once they get scores of Web users, hundreds of drawings, thousands of records in the system. Or even 10 times that amount.
Sorry to go on about it, but it seems like people are spending a a lot of effort trying to tell you some things that ain't so.
Not to take anything away from these other solutions, but it kinda makes you wonder what they're afraid of ...
Absolutely true, not an exact match. But it's the closest Gartner report, and one of the few data points around.
And it's maybe not really such a bad data point if the question is size, users, and market share. In this regard, Garner deems FM Systems a "small CAFM company" and it rates ARCHIBUS as a company with "global reach" and "a large customer installed base".
I am doing a comparison of three different CAFM software solutions. I am looking for people familiar with Aperture, eCenterOne, and Archibus to help me score these systems. My difficulty is finding people that have experience, or are familiar with the following criteria:
Ability to Customize
Reports / Views
Other Database Compatibility
On Demand Work Orders
Installation / Start-up costs
Maintenance / Support Costs
I believe I may qualify as that someone that has significant knowledge of both applications. I have worked for several IWMS providers and have supported this industry for over 15 years. Per your questions:
*publishing: Archibus requires a full publish of the drawing at every point of update – FMystems offers functionality that does not require the user to re-publish the drawing each time information changes and if it is required, users have the option to automate this process by simply selecting the option rather than having to write a 3rd party routine to publish ALL drawings.
*reporting: both Archibus and FMystems are delivered with a built-in report writers. Archibus offers a greater number of canned reports for each of its functional areas. Both products can also integrate with advanced report writers such as Crystal etc..
*query capabilities: Archibus offers traditional options for both graphical and data querying such as record queries, highlight queries, standard drawing queries with AutoCAD. FMystems offers advanced querying capabilities way beyond the norm included graphical queries (data and graphics with supporting legends etc. within the Web interface and all other graphical areas such as the AutoCAD interface, super search feature that scans the entire database via “text string” sensitive searches, on-the-fly wizards for establishing both data set and graphical view queries, and several others.
In regards to Bill J response, and coming from a former CAFM services organization, there is validity to those statements. As a services provider there are lots of factors that lead to which application they recommend (e.g. cost to vendor / cost to customer). However, my experience has led me to quantify and document the traditional short comings of most of the CAFM applications on the market today. Therefore, I have to say that although they all have there strengths and weaknesses, and are dependent upon the customers needs, there are still fundamental requirements that are needed in order to recognize efficiencies rather than implementing technologies that require significant customization to accommodate those base line business rules. In my experience, only one or two have accomplished that goal and are cost effective from a licensing, implementation, configuration, and customer support perspective.
Gartner, like any other analyst group, is a revenue generating organization. Yes, it is a fact that the report does mention FMystems as a “small” CAFM company but in all honesty, they have more employees than Archibus today and are growing internationally everyday with great customers and partners. All the theories may be flattering to some but at the end of the day, the true measure is the customer experience in its ability to administrate the solution effectively and economically. We seem to have forgotten “value” in all these discussions.
How often does a prospect have the opportunity to speak with the head of development for a CAFM application? I don’t believe that it’s a matter of being afraid more than simple honesty. I am sure FMystems welcomes the opportunity to demonstrate, pilot or trial, its solutions for the customer to judge without this level of distraction.
Thank you for your considered additions to this thread.
I couldn't agree with you more when you say "the true measure is the customer experience in its ability to administrate the solution effectively and economically." I hope it will be obvious in the future that this principle drives the ongoing development of our solution at Autodesk. If it is not, then I hope to hear you remind me if I have forgotten “value” in our development.
Product Manager, FM Solutions
Mark Evans Senior Product Manager AEC Division, Simulation Product Line Autodesk, Inc.