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Jeff Rowe
Jeff Rowe
Jeffrey Rowe has more than 40 years of experience in all aspects of industrial design, mechanical engineering, and manufacturing. On the publishing side, he has written well over 1,000 articles for CAD, CAM, CAE, and other technical publications, as well as consulting in many capacities in the … More »

Dassault Systemes: The Road Beyond PLM To The 3DExperience Platform

February 21st, 2017 by Jeff Rowe

Since its inception, I have been intrigued by Dassault’s elusive 3DEXPERIENCE, although it’s something I’ve always had difficulty getting my head wrapped around until relatively recently. A couple weeks ago at SOLIDWORKS World I spoke with David Mann, High-Tech Industry Sales Director at Dassault Systemes hoping to get a better understand what the 3DEXPERIENCE platform was all about.

After talking with Mr. Mann (in a video shown below), I now realize that the 3DEXPERIENCE platform is a comprehensive engineering and business platform, each dependent on the other and not mutually exclusive.

David Mann, High-Tech Industry Sales Director, Dassault Systemes At SOLIDWORKS World 2017

Mann said that Dassault Systemes has evolved from 3D design and mockup to PLM to the 3DEXPERIENCE, which is helping customers understand the true behavior of the products they are developing. He said one of the next frontiers for Dassault Systemes is using virtual reality for designing more compelling products for better visualization instead of physical prototypes. As for IoT, he said, “IoT is a technology and business change. We want to be instrumental in designing IoT products and transform companies that will best serve the new economy as business models change from physical products to services.”

On many different levels and in many different contexts, the 3DEXPERIENCE is just about that — experience, experience, and experience. The 3DEXPERIENCE is a departure from competing engineering software companies where it’s all about products and subscriptions. Keep in mind, though, that the 3DEXPERIENCE is geared primarily toward big companies with current and prospective customers at the CxO level, but is starting to trickle down to smaller companies. This being the case, most presentations about the Platform are relatively high level and emphasize business potential over technology implementation. The Platform’s technologies are presented in the context of strategy, experience, and culture; not as an end in itself.

Dassault Systemes’ 3DEXPERIENCE Platform

As a company, Dassault Systemes is involved in 12 major market segments/industries that include:

  • Aerospace & Defense
  • Architecture, Engineering, & Construction (AEC)
  • Consumer Goods & Retail
  • Consumer Packaged Goods & Retail
  • Energy, Process & Utilities
  • Financial and Business Services
  • Life Sciences
  • High-Tech (ECAD)
  • Industrial Equipment
  • Transportation and Mobility
  • Marine and Offshore
  • Natural Resources

That’s quite a broad range of markets that are served, and Dassault Systemes has strategically entered these markets through organic in-house development, as well as through acquisitions.

Below is the 3DEXPERIENCE compass with brief descriptions of its various points of reference and components.

In DS’s view, consumers do not just buy products anymore, but rather, experiences. For the past couple of years, Dassault Systemes has used Apple as an analogy to reinforce this thought on customer experience. Apple sells both products and supporting services that equate to an overall experience for customers – Macs, iPhones, iPads, iTunes, Genius Bar, etc. It seems like Dassault Systemes is aspiring to do the same.

A term new to me, experience management, is the key to design experiences, not just products, and is much more complex. With this proclamation, I think it’s safe to say that Dassault Systemes is in the process of switching from being a strictly PLM oriented company to experience lifecycle management (ELM)? As a big part of this, Dassault Systemes wants to move far beyond discrete manufacturing, and this is one of the primary goals of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

Simply put, according to Dassault Systemes, products by themselves are no longer enough, it’s all about experience, because experience is what ultimately drives value.

The company is very intent on connecting disciplines that have not been connected before, and Dassault Systemes wants to be the catalyst to make this happen because disciplines need help in understanding each other with the ability to communicate in a more “human way.”

Dassault Systemes is also very interested in new materials, processes, and connections between them – especially in life/bio (with the BIOVIA brand) and geo sciences (with the GEOVIA brand).

So, in looking for a better understanding and appreciation of Dassault Systemes’ 3DEXPERIENCE, I think I found it at SOLIDWORKS World 2017.

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