Hard times call for hard solutions. But in the hardest of times, most microwave/RF companies can find help in software solutions. Time invested on a software tool, such as an electromagnetic (EM) simulator, can have a multiplier effect in terms of improved design efficiency, since the software helps to bypass several stages of prototype assembly and testing to achieve a new component design.

When investing in a capital tool such as a computer-aided-engineering (CAE) program during difficult times, there is always a concern for the stability of the software supplier. What if that supplier goes out of business, what will happen to the software support? One of the leading EM software suppliers, Sonnet Software, recently posted a letter from their President and Founder, Jim Rautio, on their web site to address such concerns from their customers. In the well-written letter, Mr. Rautio points to Sonnet as a private company not held hostage by shareholders looking for instant profits. He also mentions the stability of the company, the fact that Sonnet has never lost a technical support person over the history of the company. And when support is needed, it is provided by experienced knowledgeable people. In these hard times, these are all excellent reasons by which to judge a company as a critical supplier for capital equipment, be it hardware, software, or test equipment.