Burning Questions at #DSCC2010 – Free Roadsters, Robot Autographs and Exalead

By Derek

Some time ago, I tweeted that The Burning Question for DSCC 2010 was “What the heck is Exalead?”

Well, I’m here to apologize.  That was wrong.  Totally and completely wrong.

That’s not the burning question at DSCC 2010.  There are other burning questions related to DSCC 2010:

  • Will Tesla Motors give out free Roadsters to every attendee?
  • Will the Robot Whisperers from DELMIA be signing autographs?
  • Is PLM the spicy mustard of innovation on the chicken sandwich of product development?

All valid questions but . . . I’d like to focus on three Exalead-related questions for this post:

1.    What is Exalead?

Exalead is a global provider of search and information access software for the enterprise and Web.  It is the only search platform on the market designed from the ground up for both usages.  Exalead’s technology powers its Web search engine, the world’s third largest at 16 billion pages indexed.  Exalead’s platform makes it the leader in Search Based Applications or SBAs.  Because of this, analyst IDC calls Exalead a “disruptive” company to watch, and Gartner upgraded Exalead from Visionary to Challenger in its Information Access Technology Magic Quadrant.

2.     Why should I care about Exalead?

Analyst report after analyst report shows that finding information is a crucial part of efficient product development.  Too much searching and not enough designing is a common complaint.  Exalead and its SBA platform address that problem head on.
OK, so better info access.  Great.  But why is Exalead a smashing information access glue for PLM?  Morgan Zimmerman, Exalead’s VP of BizDev, in a previous blog post, said it quite succinctly:

“While enterprise SBAs are often used to provide database-style information access and reporting – without the usability and performance constraints of direct database access – online and mobile SBAs often ‘ mash-up’ unstructured and structured content to create a pertinent and engaging experience for consumers.”

Therein lays a key to the importance of SBAs and Exalead’s technology to PLM:  structured and unstructured data.

Exalead’s heritage as a hybrid enterprise and Web search company makes it a perfect fit in the ongoing evolution of social media, social innovation and PLM 2.0.  PLM isn’t just inside the four walls of the enterprise anymore.  Collaboration is extending outside the enterprise and into the Web and social media-sphere.  You’ll see Dassault Systèmes’ answer to this phenomenon at DSCC 2010 in Orlando and at the upcoming ECF near Paris.

Bruno Delahaye, Dassault Systèmes’ ENOVIA and collaboration lead , connected the dots in a previous post:

“Search-Based Applications will modernize information access and give plenty of perspectives for all our brands, with a specific emphasis for ENOVIA. [For example,] instead of deploying sourcing services centered on data already identified in their engineering bases, our customers could extend the search to CRM, ERP and even more interesting, selected suppliers’ Web catalogs. Sourcing parts or completing a BOM with metadata can now truly leverage the power of the Web and the depth of the information outside the company firewall. A true game changer and certainly a unique competitive advantage.”

3.  How will Exalead impact my PLM strategy?

That’s a pretty big question.  Take a look at the DSCC event agenda.  There will be several opportunities to examine that question, both in the General Sessions, where Exalead will be discussed and in in individual tracks where SBAs and Exalead’s relevance to customers’ PLM implementations and strategies will be demo’d. 

So the best way to get answers to THIS burning question is to attend DSCC! ;-)

You might get the impression from this post that the only burning questions at DSCC 2010 will be about Exalead.  Not true.  There will be as many burning questions as there are attendees.  And all of them will be relevant and critical.  In part, this is one of the purposes of DSCC 2010:  to answer those questions.

What are your burning questions for DSCC?

Best,

Derek

Get on the Road this Summer with an SBA!

By Morgan

In my last post, I introduced you to two Search-Based Applications (SBA) that’ll help you find the perfect restaurant: Urbanizer and Restminer. Now it’s time for some one-stop shopping. Drop by ViaMichelin, the travel portal of travel publishing and services leader Michelin, to explore destinations and discover millions points of interest (hotels, restaurants, attractions, etc.).
Using Exalead technology, the rich content on this travel SBA is generated by mashing up databases, Web content and mapping information.

San-Francisco-home
Once you’ve found your dream spot, use ViaMichelin to plan your trip to the last detail:
· What to pack (weather service)
· How to get the airport on time (traffic service)
· How to get around once you arrive (routes and maps)
· Where to stay (hotels, campsites, B&Bs, residences…)
· What to see (tourist attractions)
· Where to eat (restaurant guide)

You can also pick up some of Michelin’s famous guides and maps along the way, all offered you to in context thanks to CloudView technology.

So don’t wait, plot your perfect summer getaway now with an SBA!

Best,
Morgan

morgan

As VP of Business Development, Morgan Zimmerman leads Exalead’s new strategic market development initiatives.

Search-Based Applications: What’s in it for e-biz?

By Morgan

For those of you who are unfamiliar with search-based applications, I thought it would be helpful to provide a concrete example, in this case, an online SBA and an iPhone application based on that SBA.

While enterprise SBAs are often used to provide database-style information access and reporting – without the usability and performance constraints of direct database access – online and mobile SBAs often ‘ mash-up’ unstructured and structured content to create a pertinent and engaging experience for consumers.

First, the online SBA. It is a restaurant directory proof-of-concept that mashes up source data including database content (restaurant listings in the directory database), Web content (photos, details like opening hours, prices, menus, payment options, etc.), and user-generated content (opinions, ratings, reviews, blogs, etc., also culled from the Web), with sentiment analysis applied on the aggregated content. It also incorporates geospatial data for mapping. The result is an ultra-rich directory that synthesizes a massive amount of information into a coherent, at-a-glance consumer dashboard.

And this dashboard evolves in real-time.

Restminer

Based on this POC, we developed an iPhone SBA for Yellow Pages Group Canada called Urbanizer. Urbanizer leverages the same sources as Restminer (YPG Database + Web & UGC content + Sentiment Analysis + Mapping), with one significant addition: Social Networking. The result is the industry’s first Mood-Based Local Search application.Urbanizer

Urbanizer combines search, sentiment analysis and social networking to help consumers find the perfect local restaurant according to their mood (“Tonight, I’m in the mood for an authentic, cozy Italian restaurant.”).

CloudView semantic processors and sentiment analyzers dynamically map restaurants to the types of meals to which they are well-suited (e.g., “Romantic Dinner,” “Hipster Snack,” or “Business Lunch”) and to match the restaurant’s service, cuisine and ambiance to qualitative ratings like “homey,” “refined,” “casual,” “upscale,” etc.

A range of other quantitative and qualitative data is available to help users hone in on the perfect dining experience: type of cuisine, proximity, price, ratings, friends’ recommendations, review details… With a live connection to Facebook and other social websites, users can also instantly share the information they’ve found with friends, family and colleagues.

In addition this sharing of information within one’s own social network, Urbanizer simultaneously empowers users to build a knowledge base of benefit to the public at large. As each Urbanizer member interacts with the database and their own social network to refine their search and share their experiences, a “mood map” of an entire city is constructed for the benefit of all Urbanizer users.

This type of rich, emotive search grounded in social networking carries great potential for numerous sectors, including hospitality, travel, entertainment, classified, and personal and business services.

What do you think about this?

Best,

Morgan

(Morgan Zimmerman is Exalead’s VP of Business Development.)



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Beyond PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), Dassault Systèmes, the 3D Experience Company, provides business and people with virtual universes to imagine sustainable innovations. 3DSWYM, 3D VIA, CATIA, DELMIA, ENOVIA, EXALEAD, NETVIBES, SIMULIA and SOLIDWORKS are registered trademarks of Dassault Systèmes or its subsidiaries in the US and/or other countries.