Michelle Boucher and I had the opportunity to get an update on Dassault Systemes’ progress and strategy by attending a relatively small industry analyst day meeting. The event was a joint presentation for two important DS brands, ENOVIA and NETVIBES and allowed us to get a behind-the-scenes look and ask a lot of questions. What did we take away?
The DS team shared a lot of details and case studies that helped us get a good picture of the value they bring to customers. What struck us both was seeing how the two solutions are coming together and moving beyond engineering to business level functions. We heard a lot about the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform becoming a business platform that goes beyond traditional engineering and product development capabilities at their broader industry analyst event in June. It seemed like a bold claim, and this meeting shared some of the most credible evidence of progress toward that vision. In particular, we saw:
- Case studies that focused on cost, sustainability, quality, and managing complex projects
- The ability for NETVIBES to offer analytics applications that leverage common, semantically aligned data from ENOVIA
These capabilities require both analytics and contextualized product data to work in harmony. The examples shared show not only how NETVIBES is able to leverage digital twin data from ENOVIA as the product backbone but also pull in data from other enterprise systems and the cloud. One use case that really impressed me was a clever approach with one of their leading customers to help them evaluate the impact of raw material price fluctuations on their product cost. It’s not a trivial problem because much of the raw material is consumed lower in the supply chain without visibility to the OEM. I questioned how they were able to gather enough data from suppliers and was pleasantly surprised to hear that they leveraged existing component data as the base and then extrapolated across their procured materials based on a series of logical analyses and assumptions. A very practical approach that sounded more like it was coming from a management consulting firm than a software company.
DS is stepping up their role in both products and business acumen, with the intention to start offering Virtual Twin Experiences as a Service. That’s more than we can cover here, but it’s an important evolutionary step for DS as a scientific company as opposed to a software company. They are starting to view business value first with the platform as the enabler. They were very clear that they are selling enterprise transformation / value, and they deliver domain experience in addition to software.
They also mentioned three key areas of expansion:
- Transition to cyber systems management
- Sustainability and business driven Lifecycle Management
- Formulated product lifecycle management
These initiatives map well to our “Four Dimensions of PLM Expansion” that we’ve been tracking over the last decade or so and fit well into our view of the future state of product innovation platforms.
In addition, we heard a lot about their cloud solutions. They’ve seen a lot of growth, moving beyond startups without legacy solutions to transition larger, more mature accounts to the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform. They also shared a high-level discussion about their data modeling approach, based on a graph database, and the advantages it holds for modeling digital twins, what they call “digital twin experiences.”
We’ve seen ENOVIA and NETVIBES present together at a number of events. It’s clear that it’s not just a matter of convenience or economies of scale to speak about two brands at a time. It’s a demonstration of the synergies that help DS make significant progress in evolving the 3DXEXPRIENCE Platform to become more of a business-oriented platform, where NETVIBES extends ENOVIA information and provides value well beyond engineering by bringing in additional data to provide an enterprise-level digital twin. There is still a lot of work to do, but this is the clearest evidence we’ve seen of an organic evolution from an engineering-centric PLM solution to meet broader business needs that appeal beyond Engineering to the executive suite.
Thanks to Joe Horine, Susan Lenzi, and Nancy O’Flaherty for your organizing the event and to Stephane Declee, Morgan Zimmerman, and a host of other leaders and subject matter experts for sharing your progress and vision.