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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/comparing-the-big-dogs-ssys-and-ddd-30129605.aspx

Subject:  comparing the big dogs SSYS and DDD Date:  7/3/2012  10:01 AM
Author:  nondogmatic Number:  122 of 207

Hi Everyone,

I'm not trying to rain on anyone's parade here. But I recently became a member of SA (when Global Gains closed, I ended up with SA instead). And SA is big into DDD instead of SSYS. I'm hoping to compare and contrast these two publicly held big dogs in the sector. Not just in terms of their general focuses, but also management, style, and competitive advantages.

I'm no expert in this field compared to others on this board. My initial hypothesis is that DDD is a bit better positioned than SSYS. But I'm posting here because there may be people who can either a) poke holes in my reasoning and help me see the light that SSYS is a better bet, or b) convince me both companies are equally well positioned and so I should consider investing half in one and half in the other. OK, so here goes my super-preliminary initial hypothesis:

Given its focus on certain vertical industries and design solutions, DDD is the better choice long term. SSYS seems to be stuck on the analogy to the 2D printer industry, and wants to make its money selling "ink and cartidges." While that approach may have worked for HP, I'm not sure the analogy will stand the test of time in this space. In my opinion, a verticals/solutions approach in the technology space creates much greater customer loyalty and a wider moat. At least that's been my experience from certain successful tech companies I've owned in the GPS space (especially Trimble) and elsewhere in restaurant/hospitality point-of-sale solutions (MICROS Systems).

Admittedly, I'd still love to be able to compare and contrast the management, style, IP portfolio (moat) and other factors (something I don't have the expertise to do). And of course, I'm saying all this without making any references to the stock valuations. Just looking at the businesses.

Since I'm just throwing out a hypothesis, I'm sure there's plenty that I've missed (or misunderstood). Thoughts anyone? (Just be gentle, as I'm already admitting my lack of expertise.)

Cheers,
J
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