Dassault V6, 3D Experience and “After PLM” Party

You are probably familiar with the following statements “beavers do what beavers do“. I’ve got the confirmation of that last month whenvisited PTC HQ in Waltham, MA. It was amazing to see how PTC is focused on moving PLM story to the higher level of maturity. At the same time, one of the PTC main competitors- Dassault Systems is actually preparing to the world after PLM. Yes… after PLM – you’ve heard this right!

Earlier this month during SolidWorks World 2012, Bernard Charles, President and CEO of Dassault Systems presented his vision of 3D Experience. Bernard, again, made it very clear – Dassault is a “vision” type company. In my view, Dassault is following Apple’s and Henry Ford’s paradigm not to ask customers what they actually need, but invent it in their new products. Dassault is coming to the world “after PLM”. What does it mean? Josh Mings of SolidSmack made his usual sharp catch – Dassault launches strange new 3D experience platform. Navigate to this link to read more.

Dassault new 3D Experience vision

Dassault put a new website providing more information about 3D Experience platform. Here are some updated explanations about what 3D experience means for Dassault:

DS considers ?3D Experience? as the ?after-PLM? stage. The more complex the underlying software is, the simpler the user experience should be. It’s all about optimizing products and designs in the virtual, 3D world to enable better product delivery. Some DS brands make the 3D, some enrich the experience. The image is meant as a description of the key components of 3D Experience as DS sees it: 3D modeling, content and simulation, search, social innovation, real time 3D experience.

You can get an information about Dassault’s vision by watching the following video.

But, this video was contained too much marketing and I was looking for some additional information about DS future plans. I found some interesting writeups available on UpFrontezine by Ralph Grabowski. Navigate to the following link to read more – Bernard Charles talks strategy. I found it very interesting. You can see important keywords used to explain where Dassault is going – 3D, Digital Mockup, Data reuse, Open Architecture and Affordable. This is pretty cool set of buzzwords. However, the last passage in Ralph’s post is my favorite:

“The reason why high tech is adopting V6 is because they never leave the data alone. They can ask the suppliers to connect to the system and go and access to the data where they are without moving them.”

What is my conclusion? The story of 3D Experience is inspiring. I think, Bernard got inspired by Apple story. Experience is what getting more importance these days. I’m sure you know Apple example. But anyway… MP3 players were around quite few years, but only iPod/iTunes experience turned it into what we see now. It was about “music”, and Steve Jobs created closed eco-system of “music experience”. So, Bernard Charles is probably thinking about “future design experience eco-system”. It is cool! However, here is the problem I can see. The consumer audience is different from business one. When it comes to business of the companies, IP assets, IT and many other things, companies are getting concerned about “closed eco-systems”. The last passage about V6 and data got me concerned about future Dassault openness strategy too. In the past, V6 was criticized because it locked CATIA and Enovia behaviors. Dassault “after PLM” party seems to me as a story how to create an ecosystem supporting full cycle of innovation. Very visionary… Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

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6 Responses to Dassault V6, 3D Experience and “After PLM” Party

  1. Oleg, I agree that experience is the rage these days, I just ran a workshop at service Life Cycle Management conference two weeks ago and the customer experience was one of the key points I made relitive to new services. Steve Jobs was the pioneer of the “closed” eco system because it locks in the customer and provides the most revenue opportunities for the sellers. As long as the experience is good and makes people happy this is perfect. In the enterprise SW game however I think this is never good because the locked in, closed eco system limits enterprise integration which is badly needed in the PLM space. Just my thoughts and as much as Steve Jobs transformed music he also pioneered the closed device and tablet market which I loathe! Its not good for consumers!

  2. Hi Oleg,

    There are a number of possible issues. One is about monetization. DS’ traditional PLM business is a pretty high margin enterprise. How they are going to make money from some of these new businesses is TBD, but will it kick off the same kind of money that the old business did? This is one reason it was smart to keep 3DVIA in a separate business unit (as some business books would suggest) to segregate it from the higher margin business. Only time will tell.

    The other question is the perception of leaving their old customers behind. There are many customers who are waiting for features in the existing product set who may get more impatient when they hear things like this. (Having worn a DS badge for a number of years at public events, I experienced some of this annoyance first hand.) This is another balancing act that can be managed, and will have to be with all of the large customers of all of the major vendors looking to update their legacy environments. Is DS providing a FUD cudgel to use against them? As always, it will be about demonstrating value from the new, while still providing the core functionality upon which customers rely. If they can do it, 3DExperience will be a serious differentiator. Again time will tell.

    Stan Przybylinski
    Director of Research
    CIMdata, Inc.

  3. Yes Apple does a great job at user experience with thier products. DS needs to drive this into their products not just their messaging.

  4. Chris, thanks for commenting. I believe DS is taking a very strategic and visionary approaches. The mainstream delivery is a problem (opposite to Apple :)).

  5. Stan, thanks for sharing your insight! I agree with your view on balance between future vision and existing product deliveries. DS has a very complex customer landscape and to serve all of them and support such visions as 3D Experience is clearly “balancing act”. Time will show. Best, Oleg

  6. David, thanks for sharing your insight! I agree, openness is a key these days. This is extremely important in enterprises. However, openness on expense of usability, integration and complexity is a bad tradeoff. How to find a good balance – this is a question we need to ask. Best, Oleg

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