This blog is authored by myself, Pierfrancesco Manenti, Bob Parker, and Amy Rowell. IDC Manufacturing Insights attended the Dassualt Systemes 2013 Analyst event in Paris in June, and we share some of our highlights in the following perspective.
The Product Strategy
Looking at the product strategy, or perhaps we should say "architecture strategy," Bernard Charles was very keen to enthuse that V6 was now an architecture, rather than a platform. V6 was described from a number of ways. First was looking at 3D as an additive medium, where people can "create" in 3D. Second, focusing on providing a world where products could be "experienced" was also highlighted; and third, giving people the opportunity to experience it within the world they are operating in, with the plan to model the entire planet down to 1 meter scale. The acquisition of Apriso now gives greater visibility into what is actually happening within manufacturing operations.
Over the past few years, Dassault Systemes has passed through a phase of profound transformation. Being one of the worldwide PLM vendors with significant market share, it was looking for new areas of growth, beyond PLM.
The company undertook a significant program of change, including acquiring a number of non-PLM-related businesses - such as Exalead and Netvibes - and progressively moved away from its traditional boundaries of a pure-play PLM vendor. The ultimate goal of these acquisitions was for Dassault Systemes to expand its offering to the manufacturing industry and others (energy, financial, life sciences) by from product oriented, to service oriented, to customer experience oriented, much like the change that much of the manufacturing industry is undergoing now.
The DS Future: It Is All About Experience
Customer experience was the key message for this year's Industry Analyst event. Dassault Systemes (DS) fully understands that manufacturers today must have a more customer-oriented approach and believes that its offerings can help its clients create a better customer experience in a range of industries - from automotive to industrial machinery, from high tech to CPG.
The future for DS will be driven by the mega trends of urbanization, natural resource management, global health, food supply, education and globalization and, within these themes, there is a need to focus on the satisfaction of people. The evolution of the DS strategy has come from 3D design, 3D digital mock-up, and 3D PLM to where we are today with 3D experience. The idea of experience became clearer as DS highlighted different scenarios across various industries, including how 3D supports the experience and facilitates greater customer satisfaction. DS also suggested that applications will become increasingly social and, with this in mind, DS brands are going to be rearchitected and the user experience changed.
● Digital information goes beyond the physical product. The thinking being that the digital information of the product and associated with the product will drive the next level of improvement for companies as they seek to change the way they operate and meet ever-changing customer needs.
● Create a consumer experience rather than a product. This was highlighted through a number of examples of "experiences" where business-to-business transactions were "consumerised." Examples of companies configuring a bespoke piece of packaging equipment through one telephone call were highlighted, as a demonstration of the power of the experience and allowing businesses to provide superior experience to their customers.
● Expanding beyond engineering. The acquisition of Apriso has clearly demonstrated DS' intent to go beyond engineering. Areas highlighted of potential future investment include the development of a perfect system. Overall, the intent highlighted was to take an engineering approach and apply it to other functional areas. As Monica Menghini, EVP Industry Marketing commented, "The laws of design apply everywhere."
Other comments about how DS views the future highlighted some of the newer technologies. It was also refreshing to know that a key driver for the future was to "drive the experience, rather than to drive the sophistication" of the product. The complexity of today's products and services need complicated software to manage them. However, it's critical to ensure that the tools to develop the products do not become overly complex to use. Analytics was highlighted as going from "outside in." The Netvibes product allows social intelligence, where internal and external systems and data sources can be monitored, and the information provided are in a dashboard-style interface to facilitate improved decision making.
Other new technologies highlighted as being key for the future included the Internet of Things (IOT), mobile platforms, and cloud computing. Advances in new materials were also discussed, especially composite materials and additive manufacturing. The way Dassault Systemes articulated this message demonstrates the company's in understanding the changing business needs of manufacturers. As a result of its transformation phase, DS's vision extends beyond PLM, and its message is clearer and more complete than in past years.