In February, Dassault Systèmes’ Elsa Hoche hosted a webinar discussing the importance of the cloud as a catalyst for digital transformation. The webinar, which is available for free replay, shared the latest insights on how businesses are evolving from distributed groups with information silos, to truly collaborative teams on a unified platform, all accessing a single source of information. The presentation offered plenty of insights from leading analyst firms and real-world customer examples as well.
Working as Cloud WW Sr. Business Development Consultant for Dassault Systèmes, Elsa has a unique vantage point to observe how the cloud has become a strategic enabler in the era of business platforms. We sat down with Elsa to get some additional takeaways and predictions for how businesses can maximize the opportunity at hand.
Q1: “Business Platforms” is already a pretty big concept for companies to embrace. How does the cloud fit into the equation, and what makes embracing the cloud so important?
Elsa Hoche: Everywhere you look, you see disruption where the stakes are so large, they’re transformational for each industry. That disruption certainly comes from startups, but also from established global enterprises that are reinventing themselves and their offerings.
For example, look at the leading automotive brands acquiring driverless technologies. The key to winning the race for the next generation of transportation is obviously no longer about producing vehicles, but will instead be defined by which companies can seamlessly integrate driverless technologies, smart cities, connected homes, and social networks into their offerings. Only companies with cloud-based digital platforms can truly integrate so many new elements to produce a new driving experience.
The cloud is the foundational element needed to manage the deluge of customer and business demands. Customers expect mobile connectivity, social interaction, hyper-personalization, digital communities and immediate gratification. Businesses need the ability to scale instantly, gain insights from Big Data analytics and user communities, and collaborate using the collective intelligence and expertise of their employees across departments. The cloud provides speed, agility, cost-effectiveness, and the ability to connect anywhere – all vital requirements to compete and deliver true innovation.
These benefits are particularly important to smaller businesses trying to break into industries where upfront investments or industry regulations act as high barriers to entry…just ask any startup in the Aviation industry! Cloud-based platforms are about democratization of best of breed technologies for all, opening a new window of opportunity for smaller players eager to compete alongside large enterprises. The cloud provides simplicity by eliminating constraints of purchasing and managing an IT infrastructure. The automation and efficiency provided allows businesses to focus on their core mission. Instead of managing new system updates and new releases, cloud platforms are automatically upgraded as part of a subscription model, so businesses always have the latest tools to stay competitive.
With cloud adoption, companies can see immediate business value from tech experimentation, quick development, testing new processes being less risky, deployment times being faster and business “subscription models” that don’t require heavy investment upfront. Cloud based platforms are the optimal catalysts for innovation – eliminating boundaries across platforms, across devices, value chains and processes.
Q2: Can you explain the different deployment strategies for cloud services, and what might work best for design and manufacturing companies of various sizes?
Elsa Hoche: At Dassault Systèmes, our cloud subscription model is a comprehensive, transparent, all-in-one package that incorporates all layers of the platform automatically. High flexibility and on-demand self-service are key benefits. At any time or location, a customer can connect via an intuitive platform on cloud and interact in real time with several users such as designers and manufacturers to contribute dynamically throughout the entire product life cycle process. With the cloud, one can add users on-the-fly and remove them, add new apps, and respond quickly to any changes in requirements needed.
With our all-in-one package, companies from start-ups to SMBs or large enterprises have immediate access to enterprise-class technology. And the cloud facilitates global operations for all sized organizations, with the ability to connect and perform work 24/7 from any location.
A company can start designing with high-level design tools such as CATIA or DELMIA for manufacturing from industrial designers/ mechanical engineers or electronics engineers all the way to manufacturing so they could perform a virtual build of a product before it is sent to the manufacturing partner, for example. The company can connect socially with its communities whether external or internal, invite consultants on their platform or additional companies to collaborate via cross-company collaboration, invite their suppliers and their customers on one single unified platform to accelerate processes and get to market faster.
A single click would be required to connect all elements of any organization on a single platform anytime/anywhere. This is precisely the key advantage that everyone is seeking – their full eco-system in one place.
Q3: What are some examples of businesses that are having success with a business platform powered by the cloud?
Elsa Hoche: The first example I’ll mention is Joby Aviation, an aerospace startup based in Santa Cruz, California, that is aiming to
revolutionize “transportation as a Service” with a four-seat personal electric aircraft. This is a new generation of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) electric personal aircraft which uses electronic propulsion. The end result uses 5 times less energy than conventional auto transportation at 5 times the door-to-door speed.
Joby Aviation is an example of a disruptive model compared to traditional aerospace companies.
That is a fundamental change in the way we view transportation and the future of urban design, and puts Joby in a unique position to create a new generation of electric personal aircraft. The obvious complexity facing an aviation startup using electronic propulsion to create VTOL aircraft is a prime example of the cloud – in this case our solution called Engineered to Fly on the Cloud – being a requirement for success. From operating an integrated value streams (design, simulation, manufacturability), to main disciplines like designing and fabricating composite airframes and high-performance electric motors are challenges that can only be overcome by the collaboration, data analysis, and ease-of-use offered by the cloud.
Another example is Zaha Hadid Architects in the U.K., which was awarded the 2017 Construction Computing Collaboration Project of the Year for their work on the Danjiang Bridge.The winning design team comprised a joint venture collaboration between architects Zaha Hadid Architects based in London, acting as design consultants, working with Leonhardt, Andrä & Partner in Germany as lead structural engineer, and Sinotech Engineering Consultants in Taiwan acting as local engineering consultants.
Zaha Hadid won this amazing award using CATIA 3DEXPERIENCE on the Cloud – disrupting, designing, and shaping a neo-futuristic architecture, and clearly showcasing the importance of cross-company collaboration. When completed, the Danjiang Bridge will be the world’s longest single-mast asymmetrical cable-stay bridge in the world. It is a new piece of vital transport infrastructure which connects the two separate communities on either side of the isthmus of the Tamsui River in Taipei.
Q4: What makes our cloud offering compelling versus other vendors?
Elsa Hoche: Dassault Systèmes’ unique cloud offering is the largest cloud solution portfolio of product innovation apps for every stage of the value stream available on the cloud. It is delivered to our clients and partners as an all-in-one service. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the Cloud offers simplicity, delivering a transparent all-in-one service on the cloud with an immediate access to the largest portfolio of available roles, applications and online services.
We offer one single digital business platform on the cloud, unlike other vendors, who divide things among several offerings. We deliver an all in one – comprehensive package offering (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS) including automatic upgrades, data security, back-ups, maintenance and support. No Implementation, no installation, no costly IT infrastructures are needed.
We deliver a simple, unified, integrated access to a wide range of capabilities and apps on a Single Unified Platform on the Cloud, enabling immediate collaboration across teams and across multiple locations – to innovate faster.
My view is that the cloud – as backbone of the platform, will break down all silos eventually allowing us to share best practices, skills and expertise. I would say the cloud is the ultimate digital business strategy key enabler for instant, personal, mobile, real-time access needed for immediate collaboration.