LAS VEGAS, NV (3DEXPERIENCE) — In a city that is famous for experience, though most of them negative ones, we are being advised how experience counts more than product and services.
Ken Clayton, VP Americas Market and Global Sales Operations, opens Dassault's 3DEXPERIENCE in Las Vegas. Click here for the opening keynote video on YouTube.
You thought it was about the coffee? Nope, it's the experience.
What else would account for Starbucks? Ken Clayton, Dassault’s vice president of worldwide sales, tells how he goes there with his daughters, paying premium prices for coffee he could make at home. But he and his daughters have made it an event, an annual let’s-say-we-are-shopping-for-mom Christmas Eve that has become a fond memory. It wasn’t about the coffee, after all. It was the experience.
Product, Nature and Life. Bernard Charles preaches the new Trinity
Bernard Charlès, Dassault’s CEO, whose vision often exceeds the grasp of mere mortals, is preaching of a harmony between “product, nature and life.”
It is a message of a higher ideal, a balance of things, applicable to our existence, but can it be applied to our business? It is delivered by Ken, Monica Menghini (executive vice president, Corporate Strategy, Industry and Marketing), and Bernard, as they stand on the main stage, on top of the still very cryptic symbol they call the compass, (see below) which has all the mystery of secret sect. Does it control them?
Dassault's compass exerts its mysterious power over presenters at the 3DEXPERIENCE
Bernard has to tie a lot together. The company, once known primarily for its design software, CATIA, has grown by leap and bounds to encompass (get it?) mining, chemical modeling, Web technology (Netvibes, Exalead) and more. It’s a struggle for those who have followed Dassault from early on to keep up.
One analyst asks Bernard why Dassault keeps going after other verticals—ones the analyst is not familiar with.
With infinite patience, the wise Bernard tells how Dassault has reached saturation with the tools we have in place for design and manufacture. We must now adjust the process.
And what of industries which are new to Dassault?
“We want to be the catalyst,” Bernard says. Connecting disciplines that were never before connected.
He points to Accelrys (now called Biovia) as a perfect example. Here were chemists who were modeling molecular interaction in 2D. When they were showed 3D, it made the more complicated modeling behavior possible. Would this lead to more scientific discoveries, as suggested by one Dassault ad?
Dassault a Company with Heart
Dassault modeled the heart in 3D and it is being used in medical research. Click here for video.
The living heart is another example in medicine. Dassault has modeled a human heart, using modeling and simulation tools that previously had been used for aviation and automotive, accomplishing what medical technology, with all its billions of dollars, has not. Doctors have to explain to patients their conditions using fuzzy 2D images, grade-school quality charts and, if they are lucky, plastic models. Spines and knee joints form some recent unfortunate memories. Dassault has already made a walk-thru beating heart at its US headquarters in Waltham and displayed a holographic-type display at the show. Bernard dreams of a near future where state-of-the-art CAD technology is used in multiple new ways.
Click to see Bernard's keynote at 3DEXPERIENCE 2014 on YouTube
The affable Bernard again answered question patiently, smiling—never to condescend though clearly the room could not rise to his visionary prowess.
What are you doing with IoT, said one reporter, citing the Internet of Things, which seems to be the buzzword these days.
“Netvibes [acquired by Dassault] will be able to connect smart objects on the Internet,” said Bernard, deftly affirming that Dassault’s role had exceeded what is seen as the current cutting edge technology. No further questions on that subject.
Obviously, the press cannot keep up with Bernard. Dassault is not content with just designing the airplane anymore. That’s just a little bit of what an aircraft company does. That company needs to do market research, create winning proposals and collaborate with diverse and far-flung teams who not only have to devise a new airplane, they have to put it together. Then they have to sell it.
Dassault Systemes Takes Off From Planes
Aviation has long been Dassault’s forte. Automotive also. But only insofar as the design and manufacture. Through acquisition, Dassault has bought its way into other industries, something its followers from the press contingent are having trouble with. What would a company like Dassault know about arranging shelves in a retail store, would be another question that Bernard would have to field.
Again, the chief visionary to the rescue. Bernard explains how some of these industries would benefit from the automation that our industries have taken for granted. There may be NO other software for arranging shelves. Wouldn’t a retailer love the kind of tools we have? Tools that can model? Visualize?
It remains to be seen if industries such as retail would embrace modeling as much as manufacturing industries have. Other industries, such as mining, where there may be some software penetration already (Bentley, Trimble), may be less of a stretch.