When should you upgrade?

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Ahhhh….SOLIDWORKS 2009 SP1 is out and a young man’s fancy turns to upgrades.

When should you upgrade to SOLIDWORKS 2009? Some people jumped in and started using it when it is still in the beta stages. Others won’t even open the box until it hits service pack five or higher. Who is right?

If you allow me to be vague, the answer is actually easy. The person who makes the most money with their decision. <duh> …but I say that to remind you this is a business decision, not something to decide on “just because”.

If you won’t even look at the software until it reaches SP X, you could be missing out on new functionality that could be saving you money. Every day is lost opportunity/income. If you incorporate software too soon [before your suppliers upgrade, or before a needed function works as it should] you may be painting yourself into a corner waiting for the rest of the world to catch up to you.

  1. Do some research. Read the newsgroups, forums, and blogs. Be aware that some people don’t know what they are talking about; doing something wrong; have faulty hardware; or using the software in a totally different way than you do.
  2. Talk to your VAR. Not your sales rep. He donno anything. The technical support guys. Ensure they know what kind of things you do with SOLIDWORKS and ask them how many tickets they have been getting on different parts of the software.”What does life look like up there in the ivory tower?”
  3. Most importantly test the software yourself. “Trust but verify”. Ensure that you reproduce everything that you do when in production -from creating sketches to producing your BOM output. If something is different, the test environment is the time to find out rather than being under the gun and frustrated by a deadline.

It’s all about your return on investment. Choose wisely young grasshopper. Everyone works differently and has different objectives. No one can make this decision for you.