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

By Derek
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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