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Commentaries & Highlights

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

2014 3DEXPERIENCE FORUM: Doing Business in the Age of Experience (Commentary)

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Key takeaways:

  • Dassault Systèmes continues to enhance its 3DEXPERIENCE Platform messaging and how it supports doing business in the age of experience
  • Dassault Systèmes continues to build out its platform with the release of additional “experiences”
  • Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE Platform is being adopted by companies in multiple industries

On November 11-12, 2014, approximately 900 Dassault Systèmes clients, prospects, partners, and employees gathered for the 2014 North American 3DEXPERIENCE FORUM at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV (with many more participating via a live video feed). Mr. Bruno Latchague, Senior EVP, Americas Market and Global Sales Operations and Mr. Ken Clayton, Vice President, 3DS Professional Channel, kicked off the event. Mr. Latchague provided some facts about Dassault Systèmes’ North American operations, including its 40 locations, 78,000 customers, and 132 partners. He spoke about how customers are moving to Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, which allows them to do business in the “age of experience.” Emphasis was placed on the new business model that “…is emerging in today’s connected society in which consumers expect instantaneous answers, delightful experiences, and simplicity.” As in the past, the Forum was filled with speakers from Dassault Systèmes’ customer base. A sampling of these include: AGCO Corporation, Anglo American, Bayer HealthCare, DURA Automotive Systems, General Electric, Georgia Institute of Technology, Honda, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Nissan, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Qualcomm, and Vans.

This year’s keynote was given by Mr. Bill Taylor from Fast Company. He stressed the need for business transformation. According to Mr. Taylor, average is no longer good enough. Companies need to stand for something special and they must redefine their engagement models. His overall message was supportive of Dassault Systèmes’ “experience” approach and it should have resonated well with Dassault Systèmes’ clients who have begun their move to the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform. It has been a few years since Dassault Systèmes introduced its next step in business enablement and its associated 3DEXPERIENCE Platform. The progress made with its positioning and adoption has been steady. This was reinforced by Ms. Monica Menghini, EVP, Corporate Strategy, Industry and Marketing. Ms. Menghini made special mention of how companies like Apple have used “resurrection” strategies to reinvent themselves and, in some cases, entire product categories. Her message fit well with Mr. Taylor’s and it clearly articulated Dassault Systèmes’ overall business experience platform message.

Ms. Menghini’s presentation was followed by a presentation from one of the event’s sponsors and key Dassault Systèmes partners, Microsoft. Mr. Chris Colyer, Senior Director, Worldwide Alliances and Channels, illustrated how mobility boosts productivity and what role Microsoft and the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform play in helping connect business processes. Mr. Colyer’s presentation was followed up by a number of Dassault Systèmes customer presentations that discussed how the presenting companies are transforming their businesses in the age of experience. The selected presenters represented the breadth and depth of Dassault Systèmes’ industry focus—from their traditional strengths in aerospace and defense (A&D) and automotive, and in newer industries like mining. Mr. David Markham, Advanced Programs Vice President, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, spoke on how they are innovating in the era of affordability, and how his company is living on the edge of rapid technology, physics, and materials science changes. Mr. Nizar Trigui, Executive Vice President, Dura Automotive Systems, provided an update to last year’s keynote given by Ms. Lynn Tilton, CEO of Patriarch Partners (owner of Dura). Mr. Trigui presented Dura Automotive’s 3DEXPERIENCE journey and how it is transforming their business. Finally, Mr. Tony O’Neill, Group Director, Technical and Sustainability, Anglo American, spoke about how the mining industry is on the cusp of game-changing innovation, and how they need to jump ahead 20 years in the next five. As with other non-discrete industries, the mining industry is far behind leaders in the adoption of PLM-enabling solutions found in the A&D and automotive industries. Dassault Systèmes is well positioned to help the mining and other non-discrete industries to benefit from PLM and what their 3DEXPERIENCE Platform offers.

Mr. Bernard Charlès, President & CEO of Dassault Systèmes, closed off the morning plenary session. He focused on describing business in the age of experience and how Dassault Systèmes is providing the necessary enabling solutions. Mr. Charlès stressed how Dassault Systèmes is harmonizing product, nature, and life, and bringing the three together on one unifying business platform. He made special note of how Dassault Systèmes is building out their platform through in-house development as well as acquisition; Dassault Systèmes has acquired companies at a pace of almost one per month over the last several years. Dassault Systèmes’ platform approach, as described by Mr. Charlès, aligns well with where the PLM industry is evolving, i.e., into solutions that underlie a company’s product innovation platform. Dassault Systèmes is one of the leading PLM solution providers enabling such a platform, and in many ways Mr. Charlès’ vision for PLM is one of the primary drivers for this evolution.

The event continued in the afternoon with a series of “Industry Experience Breakout Sessions.” In these sessions, Dassault Systèmes representatives and numerous customers presented. Once again, the tracks illustrated the breadth and depth of Dassault Systèmes’ industry focus, with sessions on Aerospace and Defense; Architecture, Engineering and Construction; Consumer Goods & Retail; Life Sciences; Natural Resources; and
 Transportation & Mobility. These sessions articulated the progress Dassault Systèmes has made in building out its industry-focused solution “experiences.” While the progress made is substantial there is still a lot of investment and solution development to come. Many of the solutions discussed could also be viewed in the 3DEXPERIENCE Playground where Dassault Systèmes and its partners exhibited their support for the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform.

For the early risers, day two began with “Breakfast with Dassault Systèmes Brand Leaders.” In these brand-focused sessions, executives from CATIA, ENOVIA, DELMIA, EXALEAD, SIMULIA, and SOLIDWORKS positioned their brands, emphasized what was new, and highlighted the value their customers are receiving. Customer panels were also used to support these topics.

As with day one, day two’s main event kicked off with a set of plenary sessions, which began with a short welcome by Mr. Ken Clayton. During a session entitled “Aerospace Innovation in the Age of Experience,” Ms. Menghini, and Mr. Michel Tellier, Vice President Aerospace and Defense Industry, presented how Dassault Systèmes is enabling aerospace innovation in the age of experience. Mr. Tellier presented a rather holistic solution demonstration that included full systems modeling. Mr. Tellier’s presentation was followed by a customer story from Textron Aviation by Mr. Jon Carr, Director Engineering New Product Development. Mr. Carr described how they are using Dassault Systèmes’ solutions to keep pace with the market. Mr. Carr was followed by Mr. Brian Meeker, Principal, Deloitte Consulting (another event sponsor) who presented Deloitte’s view on how a company can strategically drive complex PLM transformation. In many ways, business transformation is critical for companies who wish to take full advantage of the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform. It will be the result of transformation that will allow companies to reap the full benefits of such an end-to-end and highly connected business platform.

Day two’s plenary sessions concluded with presentations from Dr. John Tomblin Ph.D., Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer, Wichita State University, and Mr. Eric DeHoff, Principal Engineer/CAE Technical Leader Vehicle Structures Research - Automotive Safety, Honda. Dr. Tomblin described how his university is expanding and has taken a lead partner role in business and educational innovation. Mr. Dehoff spoke on realistic visualization of crash simulation results, and finally Dassault Systèmes’ Mr. Steven Levine, Senior Director, SIMULIA Portfolio Management, described how technology is transforming lives as illustrated with the Living Heart project.

As with day one, day two continued in the afternoon with a series of “Industry Experience Breakout Sessions.” Once again, these sessions illustrated the depth and breadth of Dassault Systèmes’ industry solutions. They demonstrated Dassault Systèmes’ commitment to support traditional discrete manufacturing related industries as well as those related to nature and life. Dassault Systèmes’ has significantly expanded its solution portfolio and industry solution set over the last five years and the progress made has been steady.

Concluding Remarks

Dassault Systèmes’ 2014 North American 3DEXPERIENCE FORUM provided a solid update on the organization’s progress with regards to its “experience” messaging and delivery. Dassault Systèmes is well on its way to delivering a single, unified business platform enabling product, nature, and life. Dassault Systèmes’ clients represent the depth and breadth of Dassault Systèmes’ solution offerings. The Forum provided an excellent opportunity to hear the latest and greatest from Dassault Systèmes and its clients, and to appreciate the progress the company has made on building out its 3DEXPERIENCE Platform. To date, Dassault Systèmes’ has done a reasonable job integrating its acquisitions as illustrated in a number of the presentations, but more work is required to fully reach its vision of enabling a comprehensive end-to-end business platform that supports product, nature, and life. At next year’s event, we look forward to hearing from additional companies who have been able to take advantage of multiple components of Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE Platform.

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