Despite its wide range of application, CAE is a niche market.
For example, it is estimated (2004) that each year about 15 billion US$ are spent on PLM software and services. The estimated share of purchased CAE tools worldwide including services is 2.3 billion (This does not include the CAD, CAM, or PDM markets). It is assumed that the net value (total usage) is 5-6 times of the above numbers.
Because CAE is a complex and fast developing technology, it requires expertise in a variety of disciplines. Service companies who can provide this expertise are typically small to medium size enterprises- focused on one specific industry or discipline.
No single company exists that can possibly possess all of the world's CAE knowledge and experience. Therefore, it is difficult for a large company to find sufficient CAE expertise to satisfy its needs. However, by combining the best engineering talent, product knowledge, consulting expertise, training and support into a single entity, an "Alliance of Experts" can collaborate to solve the most complex CAE-problems.
Such an Alliance may function as a "virtual corporation" - providing a high concentration of CAE expertise and services worldwide not available through any individual company.
In the future, networking and building alliances becomes vitally important to remain competitive in the global market. This is especially true for small and medium sized companies.
For these reasons a company, Technology Network Alliance AG, was established 1998 in Switzerland by an international group of CAE- service companies ("Founding Members"). By combining the unique expertise of many companies into a "global corporation", the Alliance is capable of focusing the skills, resources, and people to fulfill a market need.
Today. the TechNet Alliance is perhaps the world's largest network of engineering solution providers- dedicated to the application, development, marketing and support of CAE software. Beyond CAE service companies, business support companies, renowned professionals from industry, professors from universities and even representatives of corporate companies also belong to this network.