Is IOT next for Dassault Systèmes? Report from London 3DExperience Forum

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Yup, the compass is back in town

Far from being the future of exciting Dassault Systèmes news, yesterday’s 3DExperience Forum left us little the wiser as to what it was exactly that they wanted to tell us.

We did however take away enough information from the first session to make some neat little guesses about the company’s outlook as it seemingly cosies up to embracing the Cloud.

First, an intelligent keynote session by engineer Claudia Olsson, who is lucky enough to work at the Singularity University, explained how the future of technology and design is moving at a rate of knots.
Olsson explained the convergence of technologies meaning for faster innovation, and how things such as crowd funding can accelerate anyone to their goals.

Similarly, technology means that no longer can you hide your ideas – now you launch your idea before it’s even been realised. A room full of large DS clients – think automotive and aerospace – were probably less than enthusiastic about this than the Swedish presenter was.

The only thing that Olsson didn’t touch on in her round-up of change was the Internet Of Things (IOT). Odd really, as from everything else we heard on the day it would appear to be central to the future of DS.


Following DS UK managing director Steven Chadwick’s attempt at clearing the ‘3DExperience’ marketing fog for us all to see, he couldn’t repeat enough that “Products are no longer enough, it’s about the experience”.

Its ‘three sphere’ approach to the future (the new marketing term from DS) sees Product as only one key sector – the other two being Bio and Geo – with all three being linked together.

The example of this future came in wearable technology – imagine a world where a sensor reads your heart rate, notices you are ill and sends an ambulance to your exact location – is text book IOT, and it would make a great fit for DS’ product line and other interests (its Fashion Lab sideline is well positioned for implementing a wearables market; monitoring the position and life-signs of miners underground is another).

The acquisition of visualisation technology company RTT at least got a named mention (now 3DXCITE if you missed the change) and a two minute video of some virtual Lamborghini’s driving around.

Its purpose is to move entire DS’ solution package along a further notch: Prior to the acquisition DS was linked to design, simulation and manufacturing, 3DXCITE now allows customers to also use DS for “upstream thinking, sales and digital marketing”.

A presentation on how consumer packaged goods can use the full DS workflow explained this further; the realtime virtualisation enabling not just the packaging design, but a virtual store environment, and all the metrics and simulation that can be drawn from that for marketing.

With CEO Bernard Charles unable to attend the event, veteran DS European VP Philippe Forestier took to the stage to rattle through some polished growth figures and making the statement that DS wants to be “the biggest in enterprise visualisation”.

It’s hard to propose a reason why they couldn’t do this – they have a wide range of impressive software covering everything from day-to-day CAD model building to specialist mining simulation tools – yet the marketing message was frustrating once more.

Forestier informed us that the technology cycles at DS have previously evolved every 10 – 15 years. With the ‘3DExperience’ having started in 2012 it means there’s only another 8 years of the current message to go, or perhaps less: the DS Compass, with all its Apps is now running out of space.

3DXCITE has now been pushed into the ‘north’, or ‘man with wifi for a head’ section of the compass, alongside what were previously grouped as the ‘social’ elements.

With DS cracking on at an acquisition rate of one per month, it’s hoped that the compass and the rest of the ‘3DExperience’ will soon be overwhelmed and we’ll all be able to get a clear look at the interesting future ahead.

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