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

Get on the Road this Summer with an SBA!

By Morgan
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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.

Exalead Acquisition Perspectives

By Kate
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Acquisitions stir up all kinds of questions:

  • What does this mean for me the customer?
  • What are the people like who work for the new company?
  • What do the employees think about it?

So I whipped out my Flip and went to speak about these sorts of things with folks from Exalead and Dassault Systèmes.  Here’s a little video that gives you a flavor not only for their answers, but also a glimpse at the faces and emotion behind the acquisition. 

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To help you get more familiar with Exalead, what they do, and how this acquisition could translate for DS customers, I interviewed their VP of Business Development Morgan Zimmerman.  Enjoy!

Q1:  Exalead does a variety of things for very different user groups. What’s the best metaphor to understand Exalead as a single entity?

MZimmermanMZ:  Exalead represents the application of the best of the consumer Web to complex corporate legacy systems. It brings everything we’ve become accustomed to on the Web – real-time information, single text box access, natural language querying, a conversational mode of interacting with data, sub-second responsiveness, zero-training usage, etc., etc. – right into the enterprise.

 

Q2:  What’s your favorite Exalead product and why?

MZ:  That’s easy – we only have one product, Exalead Product! The same platform powers our public Web search engine, is embedded inside our OEM partners’ products, and supports our clients’ very diverse search-based applications.

However, I have to admit that I’m especially proud of some of our online deployments. The Web is the most demanding environment in terms of performance and innovation.  These include:

  • Exalead.com , which represents a 16-billion page implementation of our software and features a powerful Webcrawler, a panel of industrial grade semantics modules, and an innovative navigation experience;
  • Voxalead, which performs speech-to-text transcription on daily news videos from hundreds of online sources – it’s a technology the French Presidency recently incorporated in their redesigned website;
  • and the Urbanizer application we developed for Yellow Pages Canada. Urbanizer is the world’s first mood-based search engine for restaurants.  It’s available as an iPhone application.

Q3. What technical features excite your customers the most?

MZ:  It’s not the features that excite our clients; it’s the bottom line results. They’re blown away when they see performance and usability bottlenecks they’ve been struggling with for years simply dissolve away in a few weeks or a few months – even for the most complex environments.

Q4:  Why does the SBA market have such a bright future?

MZ:  The Internet has forever changed the game. Corporate users’ expectations for enterprise information systems have been permanently altered by users’ experience with the consumer Web. Only SBAs can meet these expectations and bridge the gap between the online and enterprise worlds. It is why search technologies are pivotal to developing the next generation of consumer-to-business applications.

Q5:  What type of ‘children’ do you wish for the Exalead-DS marriage to engender?

MZ:  Applications. Exalead has an infrastructure level information search and access technology. DS develops business applications. I’m looking forward to seeing a new generation of business applications come to life through the application of Exalead technology. And I’m excited to see what will happen when Exalead’s search technologies are combined with DS’s 3D technologies.


To Morgan, Laura, Christophe and Carole from Exalead, as well as Bruno, Laurent and Xavier from DS—merci beaucoup for having shared your perspectives! 

To all Exalead employees and customers, on behalf of the 3D Perspectives community, welcome to Dassault Systèmes!

And you, dear reader?  What do you think about the Exalead acquisition?

Best,

Kate