September 22, 2008
Dassault Systèmes Presents PLM 2.0 Vision
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Jeff Rowe - Managing Editor

by Jeff Rowe - Contributing Editor
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Dassault Systèmes (DS), announced its ENOVIA Customer Conference Asia Pacific (ECC AP) in Tokyo, Japan attracted more than 500 of the region’s leading executives. The two-day event provided a showcase for customer testimonials, industry best practices, while also featuring special sessions on sustainability and the emergence of the global eco-design trend.

Themed “Collaborate to Innovate” attendees had the opportunity to hear how some of the world’s leading companies, including Mitsubishi, Nikon and Toshiba have leveraged PLM solutions to help them maintain their innovation advantage. In addition, the conference featured Dassault Systèmes’ executives sharing how PLM best business practices are helping customers address challenges and develop new opportunities.

Attendees at ECC Asia Pacific learned more about “PLM 2.0” and experienced Dassault Systèmes’ V6 PLM platform through education, training, demonstrations and customer presentations. The V6 platform delivers a single platform for all PLM business processes, available to anybody anywhere, spanning engineering/manufacturing groups, business and end-users. V6 also gives intelligent access to IP, regardless of its data source or location.

“Designed to provide our customers with an opportunity to share experiences and learn more about the latest developments in PLM – particularly around the PLM 2.0 vision and V6 platform, ECC Asia Pacific provided us with an invaluable window into the practical application of our vision, strategy and product road map in the real world,” said Joel Lemke, chief executive officer, ENOVIA, Dassault Systèmes. “ECC Asia Pacific represents the culmination of a series of three regional events over the past six months including North America and EMEA.”

ECC Asia Pacific highlights included:

• Keynote addresses from the platinum sponsors including IBM, Microsoft andNS Solutions;

• General session customer success stories from companies including TUV Rheinland Group and STX Shipbuilding;

• A presentation by Marc Halpern, research director, Gartner entitled “Global Competitive Challenges Demand New PLM Software Priorities”;

• Six industry-specific tracks featuring customers, such as Toshiba in E&E; Nikon in semiconductor Larsen & Toubro in Power, Process & Petroleum/Shipbuilding; Pacific Brands in apparel;

• In-depth presentations and breakout sessions on the new V6 PLM platform and how it helps customers achieve PLM 2.0.

• Day Two will feature sessions with Dassault Systèmes’ key technology leaders focusing on a variety of topics, including four tracks dedicated to IP management, business process collaboration, mid-market solutions, mastering the supply chain and V6 infrastructure and deployment.

Commentary By Jeffrey Rowe, Editor

OK, we didn’t actually attend this event. I was in Chicago at IMTS (more about that in coming weeks), but the content and significance of the Dassault event is very noteworthy for a number of reasons, but mainly the further introduction of so-called PLM 2.0. This is something that really hasn’t received a tremendous amount of attention, coverage, or widespread use, yet. However, I believe that’s about to change.

In January 2008, following the notoriety around Web 2.0, one of the key commercial players in PLM, Dassault Systemes, introduced the notion of PLM 2.0, that encompasses a social community approach to PLM, providing a more level playing field for introducing PLM to a wider customer base. More about Dassault’s initial PLM 2.0 foray a bit later.

Web 2.0 is an evolving term that describes the changing trends in the use of World Wide Web technology and web design that aims to enhance creativity, information sharing, collaboration, and functionality of the web. Web 2.0 concepts have developed and evolved web-based communities and hosted services, such as social-networking sites, video sharing sites, wikis, and blogs. Although the term has been used since 2004 and suggests a new version of the World Wide Web, it does not actually refer to an update of any technical specifications, but rather to changes in the ways software developers and end-users utilize the Web.

Web 2.0 websites allow users to do more than just retrieve information. They build on the interactivity of "Web 1.0" to provide "Network as platform" computing, allowing users to run software-applications through a browser. Users can own the data on a Web 2.0 site and exercise control over that data. This contrasts to older traditional websites, the sort which limited visitors to viewing and whose content only the site's owner could modify.

PLM 2.0 is somewhat analogous to Web 2.0 terminology and concepts in the domain of PLM. More than a technology, it is a philosophy where:

  • PLM applications are web-based (in other words, Software as a Service)
  • PLM applications focus on online collaboration, collective intelligence and online communities
  • PLM expands to new usages like crowdsourcing and real world web, extending the reach PLM outside the enterprise
  • PLM business processes can easily be activated, configured and used, with online access

    Today, PLM 2.0 is still more an idea and a concept than a reality, but I think more and more PLM offerings will embrace its underlying concepts, and Dassault is one of the pioneers that will help it into the mainstream.

    In late January Dassault Systèmes announced PLM 2.0 and its new V6 platform. In other words, V6 is Dassault’s next generation platform for PLM 2.0. Dassault touts PLM 2.0 with the promise of “PLM online for all, as a 3D online environment for everybody to experience products virtually where all user interactions generate Intellectual Property (IP).” Has this promise been totally fulfilled? As far as I can tell, no, not yet.

    “PLM 2.0 is to PLM what Web 2.0 is to the Web, harnessing collective intelligence from online communities. Any user can imagine, share and experience products in the universal language of 3D. PLM 2.0 brings knowledge, from idea to product experience (IP), to life. It merges the real and virtual in an immersive lifelike experience,” said Bernard Charlès, president and CEO, Dassault Systèmes. “With V6, IP can be put to use immediately via ‘networked’ PLM solutions, so that anybody can ‘test drive’ a virtual product in the real world.”

    “V6 delivers a single PLM platform for all PLM business processes, available to anybody anywhere, spanning engineering groups, business and end users. V6 also gives intelligent access to all IP no matter the data source location, with MatrixOne technology built into the foundation. V6 is an open platform, embracing SOA standards and rapid to deploy,” said Dominique Florack, senior executive vice president, Products - R&D, Dassault Systèmes.

    As with all things Dassault, I wonder if SolidWorks will be brought into the PLM 2.0 fold? I would like to think so and I think it could be an innovative development for the so-called mid-range. However, will it actually happen? SolidWorks with PLM 2.0 capabilities might prove to be too attractive to customers who are already having difficulty choosing it or CATIA. I sure like the potential for live MCAD collaboration across the Web, though, using my sub-$500 netbook and a WiFi connection. PLM has real possibilities and, ultimately, I think they will be realized, although I can’t predict the form and level at which it will occur.

    The Week’s Top 5

    At MCADCafé we track many things, including the stories that have attracted the most interest from our subscribers. Below are the five news items that were the most viewed during last week.

    SolidWorks Corp. announced that Flexsteel Industries is using SolidWorks in its quest to become the fastest, most accurate, and most interactive furniture maker in hospitality design. Hospitality presents a demanding design challenge as hotels, motels, time-shares, and similar businesses constantly update their rooms. They use furniture design as a critical brand differentiator, whether introducing comfort into the commercial setting or moving toward the contemporary with glass, chrome, and metal. Since embracing SolidWorks software, Flexsteel has increased design speed while simultaneously improving accuracy and quality. Flexsteel creates new designs for every customer, some from
    scratch and others from sketches, shop drawings, and specification charts. Flexsteel has tightened collaboration with these customers through the use of SolidWorks’ eDrawings email-enhanced collaboration program. Engineers can take clients’ materials and dimensions, design a piece, and send them an eDrawings file with a lightweight 3D digital model. The customer can review, rotate, pan, zoom, and mark up the new design. The customer need only install a simple software plug-in, the free downloadable eDrawings Viewer, not a full CAD application.

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    -- Jeff Rowe, Contributing Editor.

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