The Slow Motion Trainwreck of a CAD Colossus


CIMdata comments on major events and trends in the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) market.

Dassault Systèmes Takes to the Cloud (Commentary)

PDF | July 14, 2011 

  In part I quote, 

  “The application which gave this meeting its name last year, 3DSwYm (See what You mean), had a more prominent role this year. Beyond its use to power the DraftSight community, 3DSwYm was central to many of the “experiences” shown in the industry tracks. Dassault Systèmes sees this social computing platform as a force multiplier, letting the crowd leverage the cloud, so to speak. With the general availability of the 3DSwYm platform, the market will decide. Mr. Florack also stated that “mobile is inevitable,” and showed an early version of an iPad V6 application, with content channels that users can “follow.”   ( Ha Ha, here’s your IPhone type stuff again Roopinder:-) 

  Other Analyst sessions included updates from all of the Dassault Systèmes Brand CEOs, and several industry leaders. The message was consistent from all: experience is central to the company’s strategy. All Brand promises revolved around the notion of experience. Lynne Wilson, CEO of the 3DVIA brand made a telling remark, one that has been prominent in the trade press recently, and is core to the Dassault Systèmes strategy—people who grew up with games and the Web have different expectations. Meeting these expectations with powerful, yet easy to use business applications is a huge challenge to all PLM competitors, not just Dassault Systèmes. At least outwardly, the industry messages shifted from 2010, from a plethora of industry-specific business processes to experiences, like the “Global Science Solution Experience” in Life Sciences, drawing on the biointelligence project that Dassault Systèmes helped initiate in 2009. Those processes still exist, but they are no longer the lead in the presentations, which is consistent with the overall “deliver experiences competitors can’t match” theme. According to Dassault Systèmes, those processes are old school, and Dassault Systèmes is certainly trying to change paradigms, which is the “Dassault Systèmes Way,” another messages consistently used in the industry slides.” 

   Don’t you just love mindless corporate PR babble? A really scary thought here is that they probably think we believe they sound erudite and will get excited over what they say.


    Dassault is bringing a philosophy of “socially immersive experience” to their software. This is great for goof offs but is a failed recipe for corporate productivity. And as an aside here this does not even get into the cloud aspects where infrastructure problems and security risks have not been solved. Can any of you reading this prove they have been? Go on, I dare you to try. Every smiley face PR release from self interested vendors you can find I can find actual reports of failures far exceeding yours in number from people reporting on real life results. Or into the aspects of kernal change at the core of the cad tools. 

    Gen Whatever, todays colledge grads and professionals according to HR gurus must be allowed sufficient time each day for social interaction, or “experience” as Dassault would say, unrelated to the job. Must be kind of like the chain smokers routine used to be where they would take off and burn one leaving those who did not to take up the slack. Now we have the socially enlightened ones who do the same leaving the productive socially inept backward looking no tweeting neanderthals who don’t to pick up the slack. Reality is if you tweet a bunch during work hours that is time not spent at what you are employed to do. Reality is if your software is dictating tweet type tools be used by you, you are not spending time at what you are employed to do. 

  So now we have the promotion of this “Experience” mindset by Dassault/SW whose reason ostensibly for existance is to promote and enable effective manufacturing principles and paradigms. Here the reality is that if your new software tools do not contribute to to productivity and efficiency they must be doing the opposite. Kind of like writting Tweet software for engineers when what they want is effective geometry creation. 

  I think the words picked to talk in public about software offerings are a window into the soul of a companies leadership.  The “Velocity” mess was the outward manifestation of a company that had no clue about users or marketing  in the recent past with UGS. Today we see an even worse set of concepts by Dassault and it is a window into the missdirection coming straight from the top. This is not going to be reversed until some time in the future after a lot of businesses and customers are lost and existing incompetent management is fired and replaced.

    Contrast this with the current direction at Siemens SE where the corporate directives are dedicated to “Design Better” and they mean it and are implementing it with this odd concept of better geometry creation tools on users desktops where work is actually done. Assuming of course copious tweeting is not going on. But the beauty of an autonomous cad seat freed from the vagaries of web and cloud and “immersive” stupidity is that a company can quite easily keep social junk away and keep the reason for employment with better more productive tools a reality. You did as a company hire individuals to generate profit didn’t you? 

   It is to me a fascinating thing to watch developments in our CAD and CAM industies for better or for worse. I stand and watch Dassault/SW and read what all the actual users of their products are saying and the response of actual users to new offerings. I just can’t grasp with how such a huge and fundamental dis-connect from reality can emanate unchallenged from the top of Dassault.

4 responses to “The Slow Motion Trainwreck of a CAD Colossus

  1. Rick McWilliams

    Mobile engineering design is a farce. I tried a stand up workstation for two years. Big monitor, fast workstation on a fast network. It was good for my muscle tone. I found that I cannot think as deeply as when sitting down. Real design reqires concentration.

    Corporate babble seems to be an emotional carrier that connects well to the ass kissers in the corporate environment.

    • I have a good workstaion both laptop and desktop. I agree that good design requires concentration and sitting helps. What I find of even greater value though is autonomous software that resides solely on my PC giving me all the power and none of the numerous show stoppers that “CAD on the Cloud” brings. One of the neat things with SE is that I have my main license for my desktop but then I can get a Home Use license for my laptop. good fo six months at a time and no extra cost, which allows me to work in the field with all the same capabilities as my program on the desktop. And it has nothing to do with or reliance upon the Cloud.

      Corporate babblespeak is what it is but it leaves you to really wonder how dumb they think readers and users truly are. Get the 30 day trial Rick, you have been on the fence for some time and you need to start checking SE out. The SW quicksand under your feet is going to start sucking you under some day.

  2. Thank god some bloggers can still write. My thanks for this piece…

  3. Very enlightening read!!

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