No Magic MagicDraw Review

Great for model-based engineering with lots of excellent features and good technical support

What is our primary use case?

I use CAE software to support my consulting practice.  I'm an independent consultant and I use it with my clients primarily for business transformation projects - define, assess and re-design business architecture to either prepare for ERP projects or to improve existing business practices. When I use the term business architecture, I'm primarily talking about looking at corporate strategy, business organizational structure, business process designs, and IT & Software architecture.  

How has it helped my organization?

The No Magic CAE tool enables me to provide my clients with an interactive solution that can be used to analyze current business architecture and make modifications to support new future state designs.

What is most valuable?

When you look at it, No Magic is an all-encompassing tool. You can use it for business architecture design. You can use it for deploying an ERP system across your enterprise, for managing new product development from cradle to grave. However, it's my understanding that No Magic CAE was initially designed and developed for model-based systems engineering and has grown to incorporate business architecture design and modeling capabilities. It takes away the mounds of paper and puts it into a model. It enables you to generate a digital model of your product or service solution that can be ran through simulations and tested before you spend a single penny on bending metal or configuring a new ERP software application. This can result in massive cost savings.

Having standard symbology is very important in the modeling industry.  The No Magic suite of products follows the Object Management Group (OMG) standards for modeling.

No Magic has an annual symposium in Allen, Texas, at what used to be their corporate headquarters location.  It's a very big event where you can learn a lot about how companies are using their software to more efficiently design and deploy new product and service solutions.  I had the opportunity to meet company executives and representatives from across the globe at their event back n 2015. Having the opportunity to observe some live demonstrations as it happened was very informative.

What needs improvement?

The software is a little more challenging if you haven't been trained on how to use it.  No Magic has developed many guides and documents to assist your learning effort, but it doesn't replace that good ole fashion hands-on classroom training.  With No Magic, you are basically give a blank canvas then you choose the modeling perspective you are going to use for your model.  

To me, one of the one of the big keys to understanding the modeling environment, is understanding and knowing what perspectives and tools to use and where due to the fact that there are tons of ways that you can model something. While there is not necessarily a right or wrong way to modeling, you need a standard approach, but you still don't use all the tools that are necessarily available in that set. It can get confusing.

When you go into creating a model, you select the perspective you want to use.  However, if you crossover perspectives, as I sometimes do, to get to different modeling elements, I have had problems with my symbology changing without being able to reverse it.  I thinks there are opportunities for improvement and will be for some time to come.  But I believe that at some point in the future, the modeling symbology will be more standardize across the various modeling perspectives.  

One of the biggest problems with model-based systems engineering is that there just isn't enough training. There are certain colleges beginning to introduce it and use it in the classroom. There's just not been a whole lot of training out there for it like there is in a lot of other areas.

For how long have I used the solution?

I started using the No Magic Cameo Enterprise Architecture (CAE) solution in 2015.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Without being repetitive, I consider the solution to be rather stable.  Just the cross over between model perspectives can cause some hiccups.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The good thing, in terms of scalability, is that you can have multiple people working on the same model through a teamwork server which enables you share models and you can have multiple people interacting on the same model. 

I do know that multiple federal agencies across DoD -- Army, Navy, and Air Force, as well as NASA are beginning to recognize the potential cost and schedule savings that can be achieved using model based systems engineering tools like No Magic's CAE.  I can foresee a future where your product/service concept begins with a digital model than can be tested, verified, validated, and approved or rejected, before the prototype development begins. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I've had good support from them. They have been very responsive when I've submitted problem tickets in the past.  I've always had the opportunity to discuss my issues with a live tech when necessary.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I've attempted to use various process modeling tools, but none are as comprehensive as the No Magic CAE software.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was a little complex. However, they just recently made a change, so the process is going to be a little different going forward.  That's part of the transition to Dassault, the company that acquired No Magic.

Deployment doesn't take that long. It's just a matter of them giving you the seat license and then you have to go to the website and/or download the application and run it. 

What about the implementation team?


What was our ROI?

Grows with every new client.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

When you purchase a No Magic product, you are buying a seat license.  I would say licensing cost ranges anywhere from $3,500 to $6,500 per seat (depending on the software and plugins you purchase).  Then you have an annual maintenance/service agreement if you want to have technical support and receive software updates.  It would probably run from 250.00-1500 per seat.  

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes.  Bizagi, ARIS, Signavio, bpm online, iGrafix, etc.

What other advice do I have?

I'd rate the solution nine out of ten. I know there are some little nuisances here and there. Still, it works. I've had good success with it. It's got a lot of capability. It's just a little pricey. On the market right now, there is a lot of software out there that's pretty pricey, and many out there that are a lot more expensive. Like ARIS, for example.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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