2019.2.21:SOLIDWORKS World 2019: Expanding the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform (CIMdata Commentary)

Key takeaways:

  • Dassault Systèmes continues to extend their 3DEXPERIENCE Platform with new coverage of MES and ERP.
  • 3DEXPERIENCE.Works represents a continuation of Dassault Systèmes’ platform enablement journey, as well as its long-term commitment to the SOLIDWORKS community.
  • SOLIDWORKS World 2019 grows on its success and is positioned for more growth as it becomes 3DEXPERIENCE World 2020.

CIMdata attended SOLIDWORKS World 2019, which took place from 10 to 13 February in Dallas, Texas. The event continues to grow, with over 6,000 physical attendees and many others attending by remote connection. Dassault Systèmes clearly stated that it intends to expand the event further, both in technological scope and number of attendees. Hence, they announced that next year’s event will be called 3DEXPERIENCE World 2020. While some in the community will potentially question Dassault Systèmes’ expanding the focus beyond SOLIDWORKS, but those who have been attending for years will note that this is a natural step for the event. This step will better reinforce what Dassault Systèmes has been communicating for some time, that is, the need to expand and extend Dassault Systèmes’ full solution suite and platform into the SOLIDWORKS community—to deliver more capabilities and more value to that community.

This year’s overall theme was “Where Possibility Takes Form.” The inspiring keynote speakers echoed the theme by describing how they have used SOLIDWORKS to help enable their teams to collaborate to develop new product concepts. Ms. Tracy B. Wilson, actor, writer, photographer, and this year’s general session host kicked off the 21st SOLIDWORKS World 2019 event by welcoming the crowd and introducing Mr. Gian Paolo Bassi, CEO, Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS Corporation. Mr. Bassi gave an update on the state of the business and its over six million SOLIDWORKS users worldwide. He described how Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE Platform is allowing people to “harmonize products, nature, and life” to “create a sustainable future for us and everyone that comes after us.” Finally, he previewed the following four main announcements made during SOLIDWORKS World 2019:

  • 3DEXPERIENCE.WORKS, a new portfolio of applications on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform that are tailored to the needs of SOLIDWORKS customers and small and midsized companies.
  • The newly acquired IQMS (January 2019) is being branded DELMIA Works making its ERP and MES capabilities more readily available to the SOLIDWORKS community.
  • The introduction of xShape, a Cloud-based surface design solution tailored for the SOLIDWORKS community that can be used to design organic shapes. This new solution will be available this summer.
  • Next year’s event will be called “3DEXPERIENCE World” in recognition of the expanding capabilities being provided by Dassault Systèmes’ to the SOLIDWORKS community.

These announcements illustrate a strong commitment to providing better and more feature rich access to Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

Mr. Bernard Charles, Dassault Systèmes CEO, talked about how the “virtual world extends and improves the real world” and is having a greater impact on how we mitigate real-world issues through virtualization and analysis. He announced the IQMS acquisition and rebranding as DELMIA Works (see below). He also talked about why “we are not in a product economy anymore—we are in an experience economy” and how Dassault Systèmes’ strategies and products (including SOLIDWORKS) are critical to supporting the new economy.

Mr. Jim McKelvey, founder of Square, Inc., provided the story of how the Square credit card reader and processing service came to life. He extoled the need for new levels of creativity and collaboration that lead people to solve real problems rapidly and in a timely manner given tools that remove the “need” to “ask permission” to access information and be innovative.

On a much more inspirational note, Mr. Leland Melvin, a former NASA astronaut, painted a vibrant picture of his journey from a small town, as a minority, battling adversity and injury in athletics and astronaut training to achieving his dream of working on the space station with a diverse international crew. Mr. Melvin is using his experience to support various causes, including being the Official Spokesperson for $1M+ Base 11 Space Challenge. This challenge has 32 university teams registered for the competition, with inaugural sponsors including Dassault Systèmes, Blue Origin, SpaceX, and Firefly Aerospace. According to an official Base 11 press announcement (https://www.base11.com/melvin-spacechallenge/), “Melvin will focus on fostering greater diversity in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, and in aerospace in particular.” Base 11 is a nonprofit workforce development accelerator focused on solving the STEM talent pipeline crisis being fueled by the underrepresentation of women and minorities. CIMdata applauds Dassault Systèmes for sponsoring such an ambitious program.

MES and ERP Join the Platform

As witnessed by many announcements during the event, Dassault Systèmes continues to expand and extend the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform to support the diverse and particular needs of the SOLIDWORKS user community. Arguably, the most important announcement was that Dassault Systèmes has acquired IQMS, which brings Dassault Systèmes fully into the enterprise platform arena, especially for those small and midsize companies who use SOLIDWORKS. IQMS’ product suite spans ERP and MES capabilities marketed to small and mid-sized manufacturing companies. According to Dassault Systèmes, sixty percent of IQMS’ existing customer base are also SOLIDWORKS customers.

A related message is that IQMS will be rebranded as DELMIA Works, which clearly articulates Dassault Systèmes’ intention and future direction with the solution as part of the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform and how it wants to employ it to enable SOLIDWORKS companies. This is consistent with Dassault Systèmes’ movement in the past to other manufacturing related solutions, e.g., Apriso, under the DELMIA brand.

One of the keys to Dassault Systèmes’ successful business integration of IQMS will be its channel’s ability to understand and sell an enterprise platform. Many others in the software industry have tried to move from applications to solutions, and now to enterprise platforms, only to find that this is very difficult to do with an existing VAR channel. Education and patience will be required, as well as the integration of the existing IQMS channel with SOLIDWORKS.

Expanding the Platform for SOLIDWORKS Users

The announcement of 3DEXPERIENCE.Works represents a continuation of Dassault Systèmes’ platform enablement journey, as well as its long-term commitment to the SOLIDWORKS community. With the introduction of xShape, complementing the previously introduced xDesign, Dassault Systèmes’ commitment to delivering cloud-based design capabilities is clear. These solutions provide SOLIDWORKS desktop users with additional capabilities that leverage Dassault Systèmes’ broader 3DEXERPEINCE Platform strategy and enable cloud-based and remote collaboration working models.

Another interesting announcement was that Dassault Systèmes has made an equity investment (among other investors) in RIZE—a provider of a 3D printing solution. RIZE states that they want to “make 3D printing inclusive.” To this aim, they claim that their 3D printers are able to operate in an office environment without the need for specially trained operators and without any carcinogenic impact on the environment, while being capable of producing production parts. The machines, which will now be shipped with a seat of SOLIDWORKS, can print in several materials and embed color into the printed items. This partnership is an interesting departure into the hardware world for Dassault Systèmes; one that has the potential of significant positive returns.

Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE Marketplace continues to grow and a new service focused on finding engineering services is being launched. No doubt due to the success of the maker focused marketplace.

SOLIDWORKS’ commitment to education continues to expand and strengthen. Hundreds of students attended the event and there were special educational activities in the Partner Pavillion. CIMdata applauds Dassault Systèmes for their continued involvement in Fab Labs, Base 11, and other STEAM initiatives.

This year’s Partner Pavilion appeared to be one of the biggest in recent years. It was filled with energy and a significant number of partners focused on future technologies, especially in the areas of XR (augmented and virtual reality) and 3D printing. The Pavilion included a multifaceted manufacturing facility showcased SOLIDWORKS’ and partners’ manufacturing solutions including producing items using both subtractive, as well as additive techniques.

Overall, SOLIDWORKS WORLD 2019 was an informative, well attended event, at which Dassault Systèmes provide insights into the future of SOLIDWORKS and the continued development and value of the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform for the SOLIDWORKS community.

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