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Commentaries & Highlights

Thursday, November 21, 2013

3DEXPERIENCE Customer FORUM: A Focus on North America (Commentary)

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Key takeaways:

  • Dassault Systèmes emphasized their commitment to the North American market and to enabling its clients’ need for innovation and transformation.
  • Dassault Systèmes made a clear distinction between their 3DEXPERIENCE platform and V6 architecture. This should help many who may not fully grasp Dassault Systèmes’ strategy and associated terminology.
  • Multiple Dassault Systèmes client presentations clearly illustrated the value they are receiving by using Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

On November 12-13, 2013, some 1,000 Dassault Systèmes clients, prospects, partners, and employees gathered for the North American 2013 3DEXPERIENCE Customer FORUM at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, NV (with another 2,500 participating via live video feed). The sizable gathering included 70% more customer presentations than in 2012. Dassault Systèmes’ Mr. Bruno Latchague, Global Sales Strategy and Operations, 3DS Value Solutions and Managing Director, North America, introduced the two key messages reiterated throughout the event early—Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform and the company’s dedication to the North American market. He emphasized that Dassault Systèmes has supported the North American market for over 25 years and that they continue to evolve to support the changing dynamics of the market. He further emphasized that the company is highly committed to working locally with its clients in the United States and Canada, and reminded the audience of Dassault Systèmes’ North American presence. 

The North America support theme was further emphasized by the next speaker, Mr. Scott Berkey, SIMULIA CEO, who stated that Dassault Systèmes has over 2,700 employees in the region and six of ten DS brands are based in North America. Berkey used Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform to present facts about the company’s North American presence, including Dassault Systèmes’ partner economy and educational outreach programs in North America. Berkey also emphasized Dassault Systèmes’ commitment to the North American market and made comments about the support team that Dassault Systèmes has in the region. Bernard Charlès, the President and CEO of Dassault Systèmes would later restate this when he took the stage. The message was clear: Dassault Systèmes, based in Vélizy, France, is doing what it takes as a global company to provide its support and expertise in North America to the level needed and expected by its clients.

The Forum’s keynote guest speaker was Ms. Lynn Tilton, CEO of Patriarch Partners. Her message was one of rebuilding American manufacturing. Ms. Tilton, a Yale-trained poet, said “I feel like I stand at the nexus of dream, reality, history and the future.” During her tenure at Patriarch Partners, Ms. Tilton championed American manufacturing by acquiring and guiding numerous companies back to financial health. She stated that her organization is currently responsible for 75 companies, who employ a total of 150,000 workers. She stressed her dedication to transforming American manufacturing, as stated on the Patriarch Partners’ web site: “I have dedicated my life to saving American companies and preserving American jobs proving that making money and making the world a better place are not mutually exclusive options.” Her talk was well received by the audience as it echoed the main theme of the Forum. This emphasis continued with the event’s next speaker, Bernard Charlès.

Mr. Charlès began by emphasizing Dassault Systèmes’ investment in the North American market over the last 18 months. He stated that Dassault Systèmes wants to be a local company with global reach, one that helps transform American manufacturing by supporting product, nature, and life optimization. Mr. Charlès stressed that Dassault Systèmes is enabling companies and their need to design, deliver, and support experiences, not just products. He went on to comment that all Dassault Systèmes’ brands will work together on one platform—the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, and by doing so, companies will be able to connect the dots (e.g., connecting people, data, and organizations). As usual, Mr. Charlès’ presentation was inspirational with a number of visionary elements. Many of his messages were echoed by the Forum’s next keynote presenter, Ms. Monica Menghini, Executive Vice President in charge of Industry, Marketing and Corporate Communications.

Ms. Menghini picked up where Mr. Charlès left off. She focused on how Dassault Systèmes has ten brands (e.g., CATIA, ENOVIA, DELMIA, and GEOVIA, to name a few) and one platform (i.e., 3DEXPERIENCE) supporting twelve industries. Furthermore, she emphasized that the company has a total solution approach that enables companies to create experiences for their customers. Ms. Menghini provided some compelling examples of using the platform in the transportation and mobility industry, as well as the banking industry where products are created, regulated, configured, and supported in similar ways as products are in the discrete manufacturing industries. The client presentations that followed illustrated her main points, including comments from Paul Lomangino of Tesla Motors, Jonathan Mallie from SHoP, and John Wyzykowski from Pratt & Whitney Canada.

Mr. Mallie’s presentation focused on Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC), an area that many consider as non-traditional, from a mechanically-oriented PLM application perspective. (It is important to note the CIMdata has long included AEC in our definition of the PLM Economy.) He clearly articulated how and why AEC firms should use 3D design and other supporting tools. He illustrated his firm’s use of Dassault Systèmes tools in their development of Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. He also stressed that AEC firms need to think more about engineering design up front and less on site reengineering. AEC firms need to consider repeatability and can learn from manufacturing companies how to shorten construction and improve on-site resource utilization and first-time fit. 

The forum’s industry keynotes concluded with presentations from Bill Cecil from MeadWestvaco (MWV)—a global packaging solutions company, and Andrew Gaynor, from the Oracle Team—the team responsible for recently winning the America’s Cup. Both of these presentations stressed their respective 3DEXPERIENCES. Mr. Cecil cited how his firm is using various 3DEXPERIENCES to help dramatically reduce time to market for new packaging solutions. Mr. Gaynor focused on how the Oracle Team used capabilities provided by Dassault Systèmes to quickly re-engineer various components and systems related to their America’s Cup winning catamaran. These presentations represented various uses of Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform (e.g., MWV’s innovative use of CATIA Natural Sketch to dramatically cut down the time it takes to bring new packaging ideas to reality).
After a power packed morning of keynotes, there was much to discuss and digest. Much of the buzz in the halls, at the lunch tables, and in the analyst and media briefing was about the 3DEXPERIENCE platform and how to best describe it. Some still appear to be confused over the words used to describe the platform and the architecture. Having seen and heard many from Dassault Systèmes describe their intent, direction, and strategy it should be noted that the message has become fairly clear. In many ways, Dassault Systèmes is delivering a set of industry experiences that are configurations of a range of Dassault Systèmes solutions and technologies that support specific industries and their specific process-enabling needs. The tools are delivered on the V6 architecture, but they have been configured as an integrated set of process enabling capabilities.
The afternoon was filled with a series of six industry-focused breakouts where multiple Dassault Systèmes’ clients discussed the value they are receiving from using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. The day ended with a networking reception for Dassault Systèmes clients, prospects, partners, and employees in the 3DEXPERIENCE Playground. The “playground” (i.e., exhibition hall) was filled with various Dassault Systèmes displays and approximately 28 partner booths. Technology solution providers, service partners, and others were well represented, including Boxx Technologies, HCL Technologies, IBM, Integware, Kalypso, Microsoft, Technica, and Xchanging.

Day two saw an additional set of keynotes, many of which reemphasized Dassault Systèmes’ commitment to the North American market. The most inspirational keynote was given by Mr. Enrique Legaspi, Chief of Staff, of the Foundation based in Boyle Heights, CA. The foundation was formed in 2009 by, an entertainer and creative innovator, “…to TRANS4M lives through education, inspiration and opportunity.” Mr. Legaspi spoke about the foundation’s partnership with Dassault Systèmes and how Dassault Systèmes’ tools are being used to support the transformation that the foundation seeks. He often referred to the enablement of an This presentation was an excellent way to illustrate Dassault Systèmes’ commitment in North America and various STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) initiatives. Dassault Systèmes’ Al Bunshaft, Senior Vice President, and others, spoke about how Dassault Systèmes is supporting STEM initiatives in other cities, including Boston and Detroit.
The second day saw another extensive set of industry “Experience Breakout” sessions; too many for one person to cover completely. Forum attendees could choose from sessions related to transportation and mobility, consumer packaged goods and retail, energy, process and utilities, high tech, industrial equipment, and a few others. Most of these sessions were kicked off by a Dassault Systèmes employee who described the company’s applicable 3DEXPERIENCE, followed by a number of customer or partner presentations. The depth and breadth of the sessions was impressive, ensuring that much could be learned by those who were able to attend.

Concluding Remarks

The Forum’s core message was clearly delivered by the keynotes and other supporting presentations. Dassault Systèmes emphasized their commitment to the North American market and stressed how they are enabling the required manufacturing transformation that is underway. While some still struggle with fully understanding or perhaps fully appreciating Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform strategy and associated terminology, the Forum’s content was rich in examples of how Dassault Systèmes is delivering to promise. Many of the Dassault Systèmes client presentations clearly illustrated the value they are receiving by using Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform and associated enabling capabilities. CIMdata was impressed with the quality and quantity of the presentations, and expects more in future Forums as the platform continues to expand and deliver additional experiences and customer value. 

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