This article first appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of The Record.
Companies who do not move with the times inevitably get left behind. Today, the major change across most business sectors is the increasing use of digital technologies, but finding the right fit for a specific company can be easier said than done.
“Businesses are trying to grow, but the economic environment is such that growth is not easy,” says Andy Kalambi, global VP, 3DEXPERIENCE platform, Dassault Systèmes. “Companies are trying to find ways to grow their revenue by improving the top line or by controlling the bottom line better.”
To support these efforts, in the manufacturing space, many companies are looking to digitalise their business, become smarter, and ultimately develop more intelligent products. But in many instances, the drive towards digital is being hampered by siloed systems, which hinders the digital continuity of company processes. All too often, this is having a negative effect on the customer experience.
“The customer experience is ultimately where everything comes together,” Kalambi says. “The growth of digital is exposing more and more the fact that if your value streams are not well connected, the customer experience will be compromised.”
With the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, Dassault Systèmes is placing the customer experience front and centre of everything that is done within an enterprise.
“The platform lets enterprise users model and simulate the customer experience well ahead of even the first part being produced,” Kalambi says. “We want to make sure users can model things to a level of fidelity that approximates the real-world scenario.”
By being able to analyse, design, simulate and engineer all of the things required to realise the customer experience in the 3DEXPERIENCE platform’s single digital environment, companies can optimise their operations and ultimately meet their goals.
“Our objective has been to ensure that the original intent is maintained across the whole value creation process throughout the enterprise,” Kalambi explains. “Thanks to the digital capabilities of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, we have transformed many of these once siloed applications into apps on a single digital platform, resulting in massive simplification.”
“We make sure that we digitally accelerate the underlying processes and value streams that connect these stakeholders,” Kalambi says. “The native apps allow users to design, simulate and build a product. And not only simulate it from an experience perspective, but also simulate the manufacturing environment and the supply chain. This allows users to really look at the end-to-end experience. This is why we call it a business experience platform, because you can simulate an entire business experience of the customer.”
“We have customers building products completely end to end on the cloud,” Kalambi explains. “We have new start-up companies coming in using the cloud, and we have large enterprises like Airbus, Safran and PSA Group driving different digitalisation initiatives via the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on premise.”
Kalambi identifies three key things customers are doing with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, all of which are boosting value streams.
“They are starting to automate processes that are essentially manual tasks right now,” he says. “The focus of the design process is becoming more about defining the purpose of the system or product, and this will see the process of design become more automated.”
A second area is the concept of intelligent products. “Almost all products are becoming intelligent and that’s a very important area of focus for us with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform,” Kalambi says. “Here we see devices that are getting more and more connected, much more intelligence coming in, and more software-intensive processes.”
The final point reverts back to that all important area – the customer experience.
“The 3DEXPERIENCE platform is something that today provides immersive virtuality, which means that you can visualise at a high level of fidelity the product or experience well before it is physically delivered,” Kalambi says. “For example, we have a transformational project called The Living Heart Project, where we have modelled a living heart in a virtual environment. It is being used by medical device companies and surgeons to help model a real living organ and test procedures before real surgery is performed. This is an example of immersive reality that benefits the end customer.”
Kalambi adds that in a time of transition, companies that digitalise and offer an ongoing service could prevail over the competition.
“There’s an industry transformation happening across the value chain,” he explains. “Companies are now looking to deliver products as services. They are not just being responsible for the product, but the product throughout its lifecycle. We expect the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to help in that area, to manage the true lifecycle of the product.”
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