Manufacturing focus dominates chattering class at COFES 2011

Thanks to a generous press/analyst attendance policy, what happens at COFES doesn’t stay at COFES. For a variety of reasons AEC discussions may not get broad coverage this year.

[Editor’s note: First in a series of articles leading up to COFES 2011, the Congress on the Future of Engineering Software, April 14-17 in Scottsdale, Arizona. This article was updated March 31, 2011 with comments from Cyon Research CEO Brad Holtz.]

By Randall S. Newton

I look forward to COFES each year the way some look forward to the start of their favorite sports season. For me it is a chance to catch up with old friends and colleagues, get a head start on summer, and take the temperature of the engineering software industry.

COFES head honcho Brad Holtz, CEO of Cyon Research, always makes sure there are plenty of members of the press and analyst corps on hand each year. After all, we are the secretaries of the club, so to speak. There is plenty of coverage of the event in the weeks that follow.

I’ve just been going over the complete list of COFES 2011 attendees scheduled to attend (current as of March 13, 2011), and I pulled out the press and analysts, shown below. It seems there is a huge majority this year covering manufacturing engineering, and very few covering AEC. (Only a few attendees, like myself, cover both sides of the street.) This is probably due to many factors, including the relative size of the two markets, the decline in sites devoted to AEC coverage, and budgets. Unlike attending a vendor’s user conference, members of the press and analyst core have to pay to attend COFES out of their own pockets.

When I asked Holtz about the difference between the manufacturing and AEC coverage by press and analysts. He noted two things: 1, the breakout sessions at COFES are about 50-50 for manufacturing and construction; 2, “if there were more press and analysts covering AEC to invite, I would.”

To the list below I have added MFG if the person mostly or exclusively covers manufacturing engineering, and AEC if the person mostly or exclusively covers AEC. For a rare few, I have added Both. By my count, there are 17 MFGs, 4 AECs, and 16 Both’s; most attendees in the “Both” category are analysts who write only for paying clients.

A note about definitions: I don’t make a distinction between “press” and “blogger.” If you write for the general public, you are press. If you write for paying clients, you are analyst. There are a few of us who do both. If the title following someone’s name doesn’t clearly identify their publication, they are a blogger with a day job.

The chattering class at COFES 2011: The press, bloggers, and analysts attending, current as of March 13, 2011. For a full list of COFES 2011 attendees, visit:

  1. Al Dean, Editor-in-Chief, DEVELOP3D Magazine (MFG)
  2. Allan Behrens, Managing Director, Taxal Limited (MFG)
  3. Amy Rowell, Founder and Principal Analyst, Four Winds Research (MFG)
  4. Brad Holtz, President & CEO, Cyon Research (Both)
  5. Brian Seitz, Senior Consultant, Cyon Research (MFG)
  6. Bruce Jenkins, CEO, Ora Research (Both)
  7. Chad Jackson, President and Founder, Lifecycle Insights (MFG)
  8. Chris De Neef, Owner, Fast Track Consulting (Both)
  9. Christine Longwell, Process Engineer, Proterra (MFG) (blogger)
  10. Dan Raker, President, ConnectPress (Both)
  11. Dave Weisberg, Chief Industry Strategist, Cyon Research (Both)
  12. David Heller, President, IBSystems (Both)
  13. David Jordani, President, Jordani Consulting Group (AEC)
  14. Deelip Menezes, Blogger, (MFG)
  15. Deke Smith, Senior Analyst, Cyon Research (AEC)
  16. Evan Yares, Owner, PureCor (Both) (blogger)
  17. Jay Vleeschhouwer, Research Analyst, The Software Standard (Both)
  18. Jerry Laiserin, Analyst, The LaiserinLetter (AEC)
  19. Jim Brown, President, Tech-Clarity (MFG)
  20. Jon Peddie, President, Jon Peddie Research (Both)
  21. Josh Mings, Blogger, SolidSmack (MFG)
  22. Kathleen Maher, Editor-in-Chief, Jon Peddie Research (Both)
  23. Kenneth Wong, Writer/Blogger, Desktop Engineering (MFG)
  24. Martyn Day, Publisher, x3d Media (Both)
  25. Monica Schnitger, President, Schnitger Corporation (Both)
  26. Oleg Shilovitsky, CEO, Inforbix (MFG)
  27. Peter Bilello, President, CIMdata (MFG)
  28. Randall Newton, Analyst & Managing Editor, Jon Peddie Research (Both)
  29. Rick Stavanja, PLM Manager, Wagstaff (Editor-in-Chief, (Both)
  30. Roopinder Tara, President & CEO, TenLinks (Both)
  31. Sandro Sozzi, Senior Analyst, Cyon Research (MFG)
  32. Scott Wertel, Configuration Manager, Nammo Talley (MFG) (blogger)
  33. Steve Robbins, Executive Editor, Desktop Engineering (MFG)
  34. Steve Wolfe, Research Director, Cyon Research (MFG)
  35. Tom Conlon, Publisher, Desktop Engineering (MFG)
  36. Tom Sawyer, Senior Editor, Engineering News Record (AEC)
  37. Tony Christian, Director, Cambashi (Both)