Thoughts on the Bricscad Affiliate Program

Last month I received an email from Bricscad inviting me to become a Bricscad affiliate. For those of you who are not familiar with Bricscad, it is low-cost alternative to AutoCAD. I hadn’t looked at the program in a couple of years, so I got a copy and was impressed with it. Perhaps I will pose a full review of it later but for now I want to tell my opinion of GlobalForce DIRECT, the distributor of Bricscad products in US and India. They appear to be based in India, and that may be the source of the problems I ran into. [I was wrong about this. refer to the reply posted by Kanti Purohit ]

First let me say that after my review I was fully prepared to recommend this CAD program for existing users of AutoCAD that want to switch from Autodesk. If you can be happy with 90 percent of the functionality at 30 percent of the price and jump off of the spiraling upgrade costs of sticking with AutoCAD you may want to check it out. Bricscad uses the same .DWG file format that AutoCAD uses so there is no translation required when sharing drawings with your consultants. The menu system looks enough like AutoCAD 2008 that existing AutoCAD users can be productive with Bricscad in less than an hour, no re-training required. And if all of this is not enough, your existing AutoLisp programs will run without modification (90 percent of them anyway).

However, when I tried to sign-up I ran into problems. The email gave me two different ways to sign up. I could fill in the form on their web site, or simply respond to the email. I replied to the email and have still not received a response. I then went to their web site and clicked on the form. The form was a simple email response form where you fill out a couple of required fields and it forwards an email to them. One of the required fields was my phone number. It would not forward the email until this field was filled out correctly. I suppose I am not smart enough to enter my phone number in a format that it liked. I tried 5 or 6 different combinations. I live in Colorado and I almost never have a need to call out of the country so I am thinking that there must be some special way for someone in India to call here, but by then I just gave up.

Note to GlobalForce DIRECT:

If you are serious about getting affiliates in the USA you should not put so many obstacles in their way. If you send me an email requesting a response, and then never even acknowledge that response, it gives me serious concerns about the level of support an end user of your product could expect. If you intent to provide reasonable support to users in the USA, your web site pages should not present them with obstacles that get in their way. It is not good enough for a CAD company to have a good product. It must also have a good distribution and support network. Because of this I will not be actively promoting this product. [After posting this I received a call from Tony Flynn and then from Kanti Purohit who explaied the technical problem they had and again offered me the opportunity to become an affiliate. After I receive the conformation email I will let you know.]

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4 Responses to “Thoughts on the Bricscad Affiliate Program”

  1. AutoCAD IntelliCAD Says:

    We got the same email and quite frankly felt a little offended by the “offer”. 5%. that’s about $25 USD to you and me. How generous. Now, granted these are affiliate referrals but what’s going to happen to not only our brand and our reputation when those customers start calling us for support? We just tell them to take a hike over to bricscad? The idea that our customer relations should suffer so some unknown face at another company can take the bulk of the profits from selling software does not sit well. To date we have not had a response to our inquiry either.

    • Ronny Says:

      It appears that you sell a Cad program called progeCAD. Because you appear to be a Bricscad competitor, I am interested in knowing why you wanted to become a Bricscad affiliate. Is your post just spam? If not, perhaps you could tell me a little about progeCAD and why a seller of progeCAD might consider also selling Bricscad?

      • AutoCAD IntelliCAD Says:

        We were interested because Eric De Keyser contacted us in late 2008 and asked us to get involved with the United States distribution of Bricscad. We were intrigued by the offer, and although we never ended up in an arrangement, we have kept an eye on the company and the software. Besides, the email was delivered to us regarding the “opportunity” to become bricscad affiliates.

        As for why we might be interested, we have many other concerns besides the progeCAD involvement that offer alternatives. Such as, a company which offers services for an open source alternative to Microsoft SharePoint, vertical products running on a variety of platforms, heck, we even offer AutoCAD on one of the websites we represent.
        Our primary drive for the CAD world is progeCAD however. Wanna know why we represent that software instead of others? The people involved with the company, the company itself, and the socially responsible manner in which they do business. After spending several years at the helm of the ITC I got to know all the members, and progeSOFT struck me as the type of company that would not only be a reliable partner, but a good friend as well.
        As my Granny Anna Banana Rosanna Danna used to say… All ones eggs should not be kept in the same basket, just as an egg should never, ever, sit on the wall…

  2. Kanti Purohit Says:

    Dear Ronny:

    First, I appreciate the positive comments about your experience with Bricscad.

    Second, I apologize that you had trouble entering your phone number on our website. And regarding your email response, I have searched all my emails and couldn’t find any under “Ronny Hart” which is how you are registered on Bricsys website. Unless, of course, you are also registered under a different alias.

    Third, and probably the most important in the context of your post, GFD is headquartered in good old Massachusetts. Our team is spread across the USA. I am personally based in beautiful New Hampshire!

    Finally, we not only became the distributor of Bricscad products in the US; but also for India. And, we have a separate team in India for India.

    Here is the opening paragraph of the press release: “Brussels, Belgium and Boston, MA, May 26, 2009 (PRWIRE) – Bricsys NV, developers of the Bricscad product, and Global Force DIRECT, a veteran sales group with deep management experience in the CAD industry, today announced that the two companies have reached agreement granting Global Force DIRECT licensing rights to market and sell the Bricscad product and applications across North America and India.”

    And, here is the link to the full press release:
    http://www.bricsys.com/en_INTL/home/news/GFD.jsp

    I’ll be happy to talk with you further and answer any questions if you would call me at the number listed in my email. Or, if you prefer, I can call you at the phone number in our Bricsys records.

    Kanti Purohit
    Bricsys US and India
    PS: I manage the Bricsys business for both US and India.


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