Few months ago, I had a chance to write an article about PLM and comprehensive search. It was about enterprise search. Since then some other events happened in this domain – HP announced acquisition of Autonomy and Oracle announced about their interest to buy Endeca. Interesting enough, you can find that all major enterprise search vendors gone (acquired). I’ve been laughing with Laurent Coulliard, Dassault Exalead CEO during Dassault System Customer Conference (DSCC 2011) earlier this week in Las Vegas about the fact Dassault was the first started this enterprise search technology acquisition rally. Actually, we got it wrong, since Microsoft acquired FAST few years ago. Thinking about DS as a provider of PLM software you may think what is the big deal of enterprise search. Dassault is not like Microsoft, Oracle or HP. If you want to dig more about search and Dassault, you may read an exclusive interview Laurent Coulliard gave earlier this year to Steve Arnold of ArnoldIT. On the picture below Laurent is presenting Exalead during DSCC 2011.
So, since last year, Exalead search technology belongs to Dassault, and I wanted to find an answer on the question I placed in the title of this post – how Dassault is planning to blend their PLM technologies with Exalead? Here are some facts in pictures. Dassault is continueing to run the vision of Search Based Applications. In a nutshell, it means the following:
Search-based applications (SBA) are software applications in which a search engine platform is used as the core infrastructure for information access and reporting. SBAs usesemantic technologies to aggregate, normalize and classify unstructured, semi-structured and/or structured content across multiple repositories, and employ natural language technologies for accessing the aggregated information.
Dassault is planning to provide a very broad coverage of data from external to internal and also from unstructured to structured information. At the same time, Dassault put Exalead on the scale of industry experience by claiming to "reveal information intelligence". For the moment, it seems to me not much more than a pure marketing effort. However, this marketing effort clearly stating where DS is planning to go.
Laurent was talking about two examples of Dassault Exalead Search Based Applications: EXA-MRO and EXA-Reputation. You can see some information about Exalead plans by navigating to the following link featuring Exalead presentation on DS PLM Forum in Moscow. EXA-MRO is focusing to search spare parts during a maintenance process.
EXA-Reputation is helping you to analyze what is your brand or person reputation on the web.
What is my conclusion? Dassault is clearly innovating by adding Exalead technology to their portfolio. As Laurent mentioned during our conversation, everybody these days understood that the ability to handle information becomes very important. Search technology is an interesting competitive advantage Dassault is having. Compare it other CAD/PLM players (Siemens, PTC and Autodesk) – they need to outsource these capabilities to companies acquired by Oracle, Microsoft and HP. I believe Exalead will be used by Enovia to improve their search capabilities. I haven’t seen a demo of this, but assume Dassault will replace Autonomy OEM by Exalead. Delivery of EXA-like applications sounds like an interesting trend. However, speaking about Enovia vs. Exalead platform it is still hard to see how they are blending together. Which, of course, can be played nicely by saying – it is all part of DS V6… voilà. Just my thoughts, of course.