A Conversation With Jacques Leveillé-Nizerolle – Part 1

A while ago I wrote an article titled “Dassault Systemes Gets Into Embedded Systems” wherein I explained (to the extent that I could understand) what the company’s so called “Systems Strategy” was. I wanted to know more about what Dassault Systemes was doing in the embedded systems sphere. So I asked the company to put me in touch with the right person, which is exactly what they did. I just got off the phone with Jacques Leveillé-Nizerolle, the CEO of the CATIA brand. Dassault Systemes is such a large entity that they have CEO’s for each of their brands, Jeff Ray being the CEO of SolidWorks. Jacques and I wandered about the place and spoke on stuff other than the Systems Strategy including CATIA on the Cloud. I am going to split the conversation into parts. This is the first installment.

Deelip: When Bernand Charles spoke about embedded systems at SolidWorks World 2010 I didn’t quite understand what he meant. Your recent acquisition of Geensoft raised my curiosity about the subject. Can you explain to me what the “Systems Strategy” of Dassault Systemes is all about?

Jacques: Sure. Actually this is something that has its roots with the way the products of our customers have evolved over the past 10 years or so. For example, 10 years ago you actually drove your car. Now you maybe still at the wheel, but a computer does about 50% of the work for you. It helps you stay out of trouble and gives you better performance. Cars have evolved a great deal. They have far more electronics than before. In fact if you have 100 people working on the design of a power train you have an equal number of people working on the Systems Engineering of that power train.

Our customers have got their CAD and PLM parts of their businesses optimized using our solutions. But most of their problems originate from the fact that a digital mock-up, basically a 3D CAD model, gives no information about how the objects behave with relation to the embedded systems being engineered alongside them. The problem is that CAD and Systems Engineering are two very separate fields and the solutions for each are separate as well. We were asked to develop the next generation of solutions which had the framework of representing and simulating a product completely – not just a 3D CAD model but also with its Systems Engineering embedded with it.

Systems Engineering is a very large domain. Recently I spoke to one of our customers who showed me his Systems Engineering environment made of 120 different non integrated software solutions. This is a nightmare for him. He needs a single unified environment for Systems Engineering, similar to what we have achieved in CAD, and he needs it fully integrated in PLM.

Part 2 >>