In a world of constantly shifting consumer demands and expectations from today’s high-tech products, the ability of design engineering teams to effectively collaborate and maintain balance while reacting to the evolving demands and product needs will be key to long-term success. We dive into this subject in this podcast that features Karine Cosse-Gobine, Software Life Cycle Solution Director at Dassault Systèmes.
Today, engineers need to get complex software systems to work together and they can’t just rely alone any longer on the method of ‘think-code-and-test’ – Karine Cosse-Gobinet
Enjoy the podcast with Karine Cosse-Gobinet.
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Matthew Hall 0:09 Hello, welcome to the Dassault Systèmes podcast, “3D Design and Engineering.” Are you agile? Is your company software design engineering team agile? Do they have flexibility and ability to adapt to today’s ever-changing market and user demands? Expected and unexpected demands from consumers create a constant dynamic and shifting marketplace. Being able to keep one’s balance while reacting to the evolving demands and product needs will be key to long-term success. And to discuss this topic with me today is Karine Cosse-Gobine. She is the leader for the software solutions on the High-Tech team here at Dassault Systèmes. She has 20 years experience with our customers in the world of systems and software engineering. Welcome, Karine.
0:55 Hello, Matthew, thank you for the invitation.
Matthew Hall 0:58 Welcome. So let’s dive right in and get started. Karine, what we wanted to talk with you about is software-driven innovation. Can you introduce us to the importance of this subject and set it up for our listeners?
Karine Causse-Gobinet 1:10 Well, sure. So today, more and more products are becoming smarter and connected. And that’s happening in many, if not all industries. Of course, consumer electronics, vehicles and aircraft, but also, you know, household equipment, shoes, you name it. And because software is what makes those products smart, like you know, a smartphone, it’s not just the phone, because it’s a portable computer in which you have full of very useful apps. Software is also what actually connects products to others and to the cloud. So this lets your device share your habits for more personalized experiences. And you can also connect to your devices remotely to make them work for you. Like if you have a home automation system,
Matthew Hall 1:58 Ohhh… home automation system, I would love to have that! And I guess for the OEM’s, I’m betting that they are finding this very interesting as well.
Karine Causse-Gobinet 2:07 Yes, absolutely. You know, software is enabling OEM’s, to be more innovative, and deliver new functions and services at any time. It’s possible to connect to your customers with a new feature update or app every day, to make their experience with your device a never ending pleasure or a new thing. And finally, software allows to adapt the product uniquely to a customer like on the phone: they can install the apps, they want on their smartphone, and configure the look and feel to look exactly like they want. So that phone is uniquely theirs.
Matthew Hall 2:44 Cool. Thanks, Karine. Can What can you tell us about the main challenges OEM’s have around software-driven innovation?
Karine Causse-Gobinet 2:52 Yes, well, you know, software is a different thing than hardware; it’s much simpler to do, because you don’t have to actually build a physical thing. You can just write your code, compile it and test it as many times as you want, with no more cost than the time it actually took to do it. But when you want to make dozens or even thousands of software developers work together and collaborate, because they need to get one complex software system to work or even get system of systems to work together, then you can’t just rely on this method of “think-code-and-test.” So this is where you really need to tackle the complexity; you need to have higher systems thinking you need to do modeling of your system and your software, and you need to properly govern this so to ensure that everybody is working in sync and in the same direction.
So the key issue for our customers is really how to transform into software companies; how to learn to manage that transition to very software-intensive products. And how to manage that software thatthey are going to have to do that makes the product smart and in sync with the physical product is delivered.
Matthew Hall 4:07 That sounds like a very big challenge. Can you extend on the synchronization of software with other engineering disciplines?
Karine Causse-Gobinet 4:16 Well, yes, of course. Now a product is made of hardware. You have its enclosure, you know what makes it look, but also you have everything inside – the electronics and the chips that actually put a computer inside your product. Now the embedded software is installed on that hardware on the printed circuit board and on the chips. And then there’s also a layer of software that’s not embedded, but its applicated on top of it. They can be running also in the cloud, or on apps on your devices. So that’s a lot of software, and you need to manage the compatibility of that software with the hardware that runs it. Now, for instance, you take a smartwatch, you can add some service to measure steps and calories. But only that much has the proper movement sensors. Or you assume you want to measure the distance a person travels? Well, you can do that only if you have a GPS tracker on the watch. So you can add features by software to your devices, but only if they can provide the right hardware – that is the right sensors – to get that information
Matthew Hall 5:23 So that the software can only do things that have been planned and built inside of the hardware?
Karine Causse-Gobinet 5:30 Well, yes, you cannot make a product do things if it wasn’t planned somewhere in its hardware. So you need to manage that – to manage what your product is going to do. In one single place enabled by both software and hardware. Companies even sometimes decide to put sensors in the device that are not used immediately. They might be used later in the product life. And because they cannot add the sensor once the devices delivered. Well, you know, it’s much easier to update this software to do more things if the hardware is there at the beginning. And it’s also much more economic to integrate upfront the hardware.
Matthew Hall 6:07 Okay, so how do companies go about accomplishing that?
Karine Causse-Gobinet 6:11 Well, we have seen this need to manage the hardware and the software components of the product together. Product managers and engineers need to be connected and to work in a common digital framework where hardware and software are co-designed and co-simulated. But today, software is being managed in a very agile way where you develop by small increments, focusing on the most valuable features first. Software teams are used to work in their own way with their own tools. So what they do is that they connect those agile teams and help them stay in sync with the global product teams. While those may use other development methods. Our customers, especially in the telecom equipment domain, have to deal with new technologies like 5G. This demands both agility and security in the equipment quality. So they are deploying things like SAFe – the Scale Agile Framework – or other such frameworks to actually allow this management of the whole product offering while encouraging agility and innovation in the teams.
Matthew Hall 7:19 Well, thank you Karine very much for your time today out of your hectic schedule. And we’re reaching into the podcast today. Do you have any final remarks to conclude with and share with our listeners?
Karine Causse-Gobinet 7:29 So well as a conclusion, I would say this is the main challenge for our customers today. In French we say, “ménager la chèvre et le chou” – which is: “to feed both the cabbage and the goat.” Well, translated to the world of engineering, it is how to manage quality and security in your product and at the same time deliver great customer experiences. So this also includes securing the data and secure functioning of the device without compromising innovation and ingenuity of your teams.
Matthew Hall 8:05 Great well that was our final question – very interesting discussion on how to manage software-driven innovation Karine. Thank you for your insights and thanks to everyone for listening in.
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I’m Matthew Hall – make it a great day!