TV Report: “Turning PLM on Its Head” – Meet Dassault’s New Generation Leader Olivier Ribet
Verdi Ogewell posted on January 18, 2019 |

A new generation of leaders are emerging within the French PLM developer Dassault Systèmes—ones who are confident and playing offensively. Olivier Ribet is one of them.

Under the wings of the company’s chief, Bernard Charles, Ribet has moved up the ranks at Dassault and was recently appointed Executive Vice President EMEAR & Cross-Industry.

Ribet wants to turn the traditional product development process on its head, he says in today’s PLM TV News report. Instead, he advocates a “back casting,” experience-first model initiated by Dassault’s CEO: swap the traditional starting point with a position where you’ve already moved ahead to what kind of customer experiences you want to deliver.

It’s a simple message: “Begin at the end point.”

“It changes entirely the way you think about developing the product. It’s about connecting mechanical engineering, software engineering, simulation engineering, manufacturing, product planning, finance people, marketing folks and others who are going to come together with only one ‘obsession’ on their minds: What will be the end outcome that we want to deliver in terms of experience for the customer? It’s a totally different mind-set,” Ribet asserts in the interview.

He also claims that IoT and digital twins are key technologies in the experience-first concept.

“But what about the 3DEXPERIENCE platform in this context,” I asked Ribet. Tough competitors such as PTC, with the leading IoT solution ThingWorx, and Siemens PLM with MindSphere, have both come quite far, “so, what have you got?”

Ribet and Dassault have a lot of it, as it turns out. Watch the TV report to find out his answer, and more about his views on competition.

It’s almost impossible to write about executive leadership in Dassault without mentioning Bernard Charles. He is one of the most influential personalities in the PLM business, always focusing on the outermost horizon of development, and thinking about the next way that industrial companies will realize their products. 

As an intellectual with a science-based approach running in tandem with a tough, technologically inspiring leadership style, Charles has always made a strong impression—not only among Dassaults’ customers, but also within his own organization. 

Bernard—people tend to call him by his first name—has always rooted his ideas in the perspective of the whole, the seamless digital chain of tools that can handle the entire value proposition. From the original idea, to the product in the hands of the end-user feeding data back to the PLM system, it all is to be used in the next innovation loop. 

LEONARDO DA VINCI AND DASSAULT’S 3DEXPERIENCE. In this symbolic picture, Dassault illustrates its coupling with the “industry renaissance” concept by publishing one of Italian Renaissance universal genius Leonardo Da Vinci’s sketches of an “airplane” side by side with the modern CATIA/3DEXPERIENCE version.
LEONARDO DA VINCI AND DASSAULT’S 3DEXPERIENCE. In this symbolic picture, Dassault illustrates its coupling with the “industry renaissance” concept by publishing one of Italian Renaissance universal genius Leonardo Da Vinci’s sketches of an “airplane” side by side with the modern CATIA/3DEXPERIENCE version.

The Industry Renaissance, According to Dassault

However, things are always changing. So, how does the path into the future look today, in the era that Dassault calls “The Industry Renaissance?” He explains how in today’s TV report.

Dassault’s executives appear to be true believers in Bernard’s scientific reasoning around the new digital world. His theories have multiplied in the organization, and it’s no surprise that the new generation of leaders, regardless of who they are, reflect Bernard Charles' ideas.

Thinking Outside the Box

Thinking outside the box has always been a good basic ingredient in the development of new and innovative solutions. In more than one way, this is also a distinctive feature of Dassault Systèmes' chief. Few business leaders in the PLM industry have made such a strong impression both inside and outside their company as this charismatic and influential personality. This impression comes not only from of his strong visions and technological innovations, but also his role as entrepreneur and tough business leader. With a blend of inspirational rhetoric, expressive Gallic charm, a scientific approach and a dose of “hard pinches,” he has dominated Dassault Systèmes for more than 20 years. The outside world has felt his presence, as well, especially when it comes to industrial IT support in the product realization area.

There are few companies in the IT world that are as sustainable, or have managed to cement their global top position in PLM as Dassault Systèmes has under Charles’ leadership. Dassault has continuously grown and is still a leader in a market where progress and disruptive technology places enormously high demands on the players who want to participate in the game.

DRESSED FOR DAVOS IN WINTER TIME. Dassault Systèmes CEO and president, Bernard Charles, is one of the most influential personalities in the PLM business. Here, he is captured during a CNBC TV interview in Davos during the World Economic Forum, a congregation that assembles the elite of the world’s political, economic and corporate leaders.  “Today we are talking about something new that we call the ‘experience economy.’ It’s an economy that drives the value of the usage first, as opposed to the value of the product or the things we produce, or even the services we provide. So, the center of gravity from a social standpoint, economic standpoint and value creation standpoint is moving from capabilities to usage value, and this is a phenomenon that will not stop in this century. It’s accelerating,” Charles states in today’s TV report.

DRESSED FOR DAVOS IN WINTER TIME. Dassault Systèmes CEO and president, Bernard Charles, is one of the most influential personalities in the PLM business. Here, he is captured during a CNBC TV interview in Davos during the World Economic Forum, a congregation that assembles the elite of the world’s political, economic and corporate leaders. 

“Today we are talking about something new that we call the ‘experience economy.’ It’s an economy that drives the value of the usage first, as opposed to the value of the product or the things we produce, or even the services we provide. So, the center of gravity from a social standpoint, economic standpoint and value creation standpoint is moving from capabilities to usage value, and this is a phenomenon that will not stop in this century. It’s accelerating,” Charles states in today’s TV report.

Of course, the dominant role of the Dassault chief is manifested in several ways.

For example, there has been a monolithic tendency within the Dassault that Bernard built, which has been stronger than in its competitors. But competition has hardened—not least from Siemens PLM and PTC—and Dassault has, step by step, been forced to accept that the market is diversified when it comes to the program landscape. As a result, in recent years Dassault has opened up to meet the need to be able to handle and work together with other solutions, which has largely been the customers' requirements. The way forward has, to some extent, been adapted to this.

This is the heritage that meets Dassault’s new generation leader, as it does the PLM market’s financially most successful player. Although Siemens PLM has come closer over the past few years, Dassault remains in the role of strong market leader in financial terms.

Dassault’s Revenue Structure During 2017

Taking a look at Dassault’s revenue structure reveals that the company is still mainly considered a CAD company, according to CAD/CAM/CAE Observer, Number 6 2018 which quotes CIMdata’s 2017 numbers related to direct revenues. More than 50 percent of the revenues came from Dassault’s CAD solutions CATIA and SOLIDWORKS (53 percent together).

PDM (mainly ENOVIA) represented 24.7 percent of the revenue total, while CAE (simulation and analysis) landed at 17.2 percent. Dassault’s direct revenue total for 2017 was almost $3.7 billion.

That gave the French developer the leading market position in 2017, followed by Siemens PLM (about $3.2 billion), Autodesk ($2.1 billion) and PTC ($1.2 billion).

It’s interesting to note that Siemens PLM is less dependent on CAD revenues compared to Dassault. The German PLM developer took in 26.9 percent of the direct revenues from CAD (mainly from NX, with a smaller portion, 3.7 percent, from Solid Edge). Another 24.7 percent came from PDM, while EDA (Electronic Design Automation tools) brought in 23.7 percent of the revenues.

In Autodesk’s case, 82.5 percent of the revenues came from CAD, while PTC was a bit less dependent on this sub-PLM area with 44.6 percent. PDM (Windchill) was the number two revenue generator in PTC, representing 31.1 percent of the total, while IoT (mainly named “Other tools” in the statistics) stood for 22.7 percent.

IoT À LA DASSAULT SYSTÈMES. For Dassault, a true twin is one that is truly a MBSE-based (Model-Based Systems Engineering) model, Ribet said in the PLM TV News interview. “The function, the logic and the physics of the object are perfectly mapped from a digital standpoint,” he added.
IoT À LA DASSAULT SYSTÈMES. For Dassault, a true twin is one that is truly a MBSE-based (Model-Based Systems Engineering) model, Ribet said in the PLM TV News interview. “The function, the logic and the physics of the object are perfectly mapped from a digital standpoint,” he added.

IoT Solutions in Dassault’s Portfolio

In this article’s introduction, we talked about Dassault and what they have in terms of IoT-related tools.

“A lot,” asserts Olivier Ribet in the PLM TV News interview. “We have two big things in Dassault Systèmes’ portfolio. If you are on the production line in the factory, we have a bunch of technologies in DELMIA; in Apriso in particular. We also have intelligence solutions that can interpret data coming from the machines. Not just one machine from one vendor, but any machine from any vendor can be monitored to ensure that the manufacturing execution system (MES) as well as manufacturing optimization management systems that are governing your entire production line can be fed with the data from the production line, re-injected in the model of your MES, be re-modeled and re-computed based on multiple what-if scenarios, such as, ‘what if this tool is broken,’ or ‘what if we decide to change this variant or configuration of the product model.’”

Based on this, Ribet explained, you can re-model your production line the way you want. In fact, in DELMIA you can not only monitor the data, but also entirely re-model how your AGV (Automatic Guided Vehicle) or your robots, tooling, or how the walk instruction for the people in the production have to change to adapt to what you want to modify. 

Partnering with Amazon, Microsoft and Others

That’s the production line and factory side of the business – What about IoT and products in the field? How do you capture the terabytes of data and feed them back to the system?

Here Dassault is partnering closely with players such as Amazon, Microsoft and many others who are processing the data coming back from the sensors and actuators.

“But we re-inject only what we need into the 3DEXPERIENCE platform,” Olivier Ribet said. He continued, “At the same time, we have the Exalead technology, which is a Big Data and analytics environment where we can add more than just a basic big data way of looking at IoT information. When you know that a specific machine is sending you information, for example, that the temperature in your machine is too low at 26 degrees Celsius, then the question is: what do you do with this data. Can a traditional IoT platform interpret this data and make sense of it? No, it cannot, unless there is a perfect true complete digital twin of this product.”

STARTING AT THE END-POINT. Olivier on stage, talking about the “experience first” concept. Swap the traditional starting point against a position where you’ve moved ahead to what kind of customer experiences you want to deliver. “Begin at the end point,” is the message.
STARTING AT THE END-POINT. Olivier on stage, talking about the “experience first” concept. Swap the traditional starting point against a position where you’ve moved ahead to what kind of customer experiences you want to deliver. “Begin at the end point,” is the message.

Why Ribet is Not Impressed Over Competition

This said, it turns out that the new Dassault EVP isn’t very impressed over what the competition offers in terms of digital twins. Siemens’ approach with three digital twin aspects—one for product development, one for manufacturing and one for the product in the end-users hands—doesn’t meet his approval.

Why? Learn more about this, and how Dassault defines a true digital twin, how Dassault wants to put it at work, and how they handle a situation when a customer wants to mix like Siemens’ Teamcenter with Dassault’s CATIA in automotive, in the above TV report.   

You will also hear more from:

  • Bernard Charles, Dassault Systèmes’ CEO and president, who talks about the product-first concept and the experience economy.
  • Marc Halpern, VP and PLM analyst at Gartner Group, defining what makes a digital twin.
  • Peter Bilello, CIMdata president and well-known PLM analyst, who talks about the digital twin in relation to the digital thread.

Recommended For You