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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Dassault Systèmes' Cloud Strategy: An interview with Vincent Frerebeau & Garth Coleman

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CIMdata's Vice President of Research, Stan Przybylinski, recently sat down with two of Dassault Systèmes' executives: Vincent Frerebeau, Dassault Systèmes Cloud Director and Garth Coleman, ENOVIA VP Marketing, so that he could learn more about Dassault Systèmes' cloud strategy.

Their responses are combined in the post that follows, so let's find out what they had to say!

First some context ... According to CIMdata’s global PLM market research, Dassault Systèmes is the global market leader in PLM. Their CATIA and SOLIDWORKS offerings lead their respective markets, and global brands SIMULIA, DELMIA, and ENOVIA are also among the market leaders in their segments.

How important are cloud-based solutions to the strategy of Dassault Systèmes?

Dassault Systèmes has placed the cloud at the heart of our business experience strategy. The cloud is the foundation for next-generation applications and business processes on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. The platform is designed and optimized for cloud and mobility usage, connecting people, data, and resources. Since the launch of our Public Cloud portfolios in 2014, we have continuously expanded our product coverage. With the latest R2017x release in December 2016, more than 87% of our design, engineering, and governance portfolio is available as Software as a Service (SaaS) on our multi-tenant public cloud offering.

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform employs a unique data-driven architecture to enable effective CAD design and management on the cloud. This approach reduces bandwidth needs and enables real-time collaboration for true concurrent design – bringing the power of the CATIA modeling system to the cloud without the need to exchange CAD files between a cloud data center and the local client. The data-driven architecture enables a direct connection between the design, the product configuration, and enterprise processes, providing strong digital continuity governed by ENOVIA technical and business applications.

We have made significant investments in cloud operations, providing much more than a simple installation of an on-premises solution into a cloud hosting provider. As part of the SaaS subscription, we perform solution provisioning, licensing, and maintenance, and full monitoring and management of the worldwide network of multi-tenant data centers to ensure maximum performance and protection from emerging security threats.

Part of our strategy is a very strong commitment to the security of our cloud offerings. The application security within the 3DEXPERIENCE platform includes comprehensive access controls and authentication, including available two-factor authentication (2FA). All communications are done through Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS) channels with 128-bit encryption. The operating system and middleware are securely deployed and hardened according to industry best practices, and the software itself is robustly and consistently implemented with specific countermeasures based on the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) top threats. A security team thoroughly and proactively tests and validates platform services and software as part of every release, and regularly checks for emerging security threats to implement specific protocols and countermeasures against any impacted systems or software.

What about the ecosystem of infrastructure, applications, and other partners that are part of your offerings?

We partner with the best local providers around the globe to ensure high quality services, performance, and security. The ecosystem varies depending on the country of subscription. For instance, in France, our infrastructure partner is Outscale, a French provider. In Singapore, we partner with Amazon Web Services (AWS). As a result, our cloud customers benefit from a comprehensive, all-in-one package that incorporates all layers of the platform. We ensure that data centers comply with the highest physical security measures as defined by ISO 27001 standards. (“The ISO/IEC 27000 family of standards helps organizations keep information assets secure.”

Our SaaS offering has also recently launched the 3DEXPERIENCE Marketplace, where service providers can connect with users to offer their solutions, such as 3D Printing services. This is fully integrated into our cloud platform to provide even more capabilities, services, and content to our cloud users.

How does your solution and its go-to-market address the issues raised by your customers and prospects?

Our customers are telling us that in today’s experience economy, selling products and services is no longer enough to maintain sustainable growth. As the 3DEXPERIENCE company, we have designed our business experience platform – the 3DEXPERIENCE platform – to help our clients virtually imagine, design, simulate, and deliver these powerful experiences. They are able to engage their key stakeholders to keep abreast of emerging market trends, share and discuss ideas, and come up with the next big thing for their engineers to bring to market. The social listening capabilities of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform enable product managers to monitor the internet for emerging trends, competitive threats, and any news that helps them improve their product offerings. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform enables our customers to setup private communities to share and comment on ideas, and transfer them as formal requirements to business and technical applications as desired.

Small and medium business customers are also looking to get started quickly and cost effectively, with minimal initial and ongoing IT investments. And they want to be able to access information from anywhere at any time. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud meets these needs. Our cloud users quickly start designing with data-driven CAD, setting up projects that automatically track deliverables, collaborating through workflows, and managing changes across their groups. We use a subscription model that reduces up-front capital expenditures, includes regular system upgrades, and offers the ability to add and remove applications as needed to fulfill evolving needs.

Customers adopting cloud solutions have also expressed concerns around performance and bandwidth requirements, as well as application and data security. As we have mentioned earlier, we provide a data-driven architecture that reduces the need to exchange large data sets, and we offer a very strong set of security capabilities with our cloud offerings.

(Please see our cloud security whitepapers for more information:

Can you provide any information on your installed base: how many customers, their industries, etc.?

We are seeing cloud adoption of our 3DEXPERIENCE platform across many industries. For example, many startup companies in the aerospace and automotive industries are adopting our cloud solution to compete in the drone and autonomous vehicle markets. In the architecture, engineering, and construction industry, existing and emerging Dassault Systèmes service providers are offering turnkey service offerings built around our cloud solutions. These providers use the 3DEXPERIENCE platform applications on the cloud to perform the work, keep their customers updated on project progress, share information and data, and then transfer the ownership of the cloud tenant, intellectual property, and related information to their customers once the project is complete. We also have cloud customers in high tech, industrial equipment, energy power and utilities, marine and offshore, consumer goods, and consumer packaged goods industries. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud manages millions of parts, with thousands of users coming from industrial companies, universities, and other organizations.

Today we are proud to deliver best-of-breed industry cloud solutions for all companies – from small to large enterprises – through an easy-to-access, secure, single unified platform on the cloud.

Videos of CATIA customers on cloud:

Videos of ENOVIA customers on cloud:

How are your offerings going to evolve in the short to medium term (1-3 years)?

We continue to implement our cloud solutions in more data centers to comply with all local regulations and recommendations, and to maximize performance and security across our global operations. We maintain an aggressive roadmap to expand functional coverage across all domains, especially to connect file-based CAD systems to the cloud to further leverage design data into 3DEXPERIENCE platform applications from ENOVIA, SIMULIA, DELMIA, EXALEAD, and 3DEXCITE. Finally, we are increasing our portfolio of online services, with the official launch of the 3DEXPERIENCE Marketplace, and the opportunity for service providers to propose their services online to our installed base.

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