A few folks have asked me what I think of the Dassault/IBM announcement earlier this week. So I thought I’d share some thoughts here and answer any questions you might have.
The first question is what do we think of this announcement. After reading through the press release, it seems what they’re really announcing is the next logical step in their relationship, which has changed over the years.
The next question is how it affects our relationship with IBM. You may remember we announced an expanded alliance in June emphasizing Teamcenter’s preconfiguration with the IBM blue stack of technology. From what I can tell it doesn’t – and in fact it probably helps. As one analyst put it this levels “the playing field.”
The interesting part for me is that over the past few years we’ve made a concerted effort to grow our indirect sales channel, signing many new partners (such as Rand) and focusing on helping partners become more productive. When I came back to this company four years ago it was the beginning of a whole new channel expansion effort. It appears Dassault is going the other direction. Who’s to say which way is best. Time will have to tell. There are challenges to both. We’ve always had a strong, integrated services division and now Dassault will too.
The good news for customers is that it removes any conflict of interest for the IBM PLM personnel we work with. In the past they were restricted from pursuing named Dassault accounts. So it should enable more competition in those accounts, which is a good thing for customers.
I think this announcement also shows IBM’s committed to being a PLM advisor that is not dependent on a single PLM vendor.
Those are just my thoughts but you may want to check out more of what media & analysts are saying:
Beth Stackpole notes: “While the IBM/Dassault partnership was never exclusive, the proposed sale will give IBM more opportunity to offer consulting and integration services around other PLM offerings. In June, IBM took some key steps toward that scenario with the announcement of a deal with Siemens PLM Software on a set of PLM applications and consulting offerings based on Siemens' Teamcenter platform and IBM's middleware and service-oriented architecture (SOA) framework.”
Jim Brown of Tech-Clarity blogged: “IBM customers may be using DS solutions, or they could be using software from Siemens, PTC, or others. So IBM has developed relationships with these PLM companies. This is just the natural way of things in a multi-vendor market, and it is probably the most beneficial relationship for DS and IBM customers…PLM is still very strategic to IBM. But directly selling and servicing PLM software from one vendor no longer makes sense…”
Monica Schnitger of Schnitger Corp. blogged: “For IBM, the sale of the PLM business is probably just a natural part of their business expansion and contraction. Their history with DS has, at times, been harmonious and, at others, fractious. … Too, IBM inked a technology pact with Siemens earlier this year that raised questions about its commitment to DS. All said, IBM can now focus its resources on partners that may be less contentious and technology areas that it sees as having greater potential…”
Brad Holtz of Cyon Research tweeted: “DS gets a great price. Siemens and PTC get a level playing field. Customers get direct relationship. IBM focus on PLM areas with > growth” and blogged: “Siemens PLM Software and PTC, long envious of the IBM-Dassault Systemes marriage, wish the former couple their best, but are likely to be thrilled at the opportunity to interact with an unconflicted IBM….Customers of the former couple are expected to rejoice at the clarity that the new situation brings.”
Ken Wong, Desktop Engineering reported: Beside simplifying the customer acquisition and retention process, DS can soon exercise greater control over its large accounts, which IBM now handles for the company. The transfer of the sales team to DS is expected to let IBM concentrate on providing PLM consulting and integration services, the domains Big Blue is best equipped to tackle. It also leaves IBM free to resell PLM products from DS’ rivals, if it chooses to.