‘We want to make 3D a universal experience by appealing to a much larger audience’--Gian Paolo Bassi, CEO, SOLIDWORKS, Dassault Systèmes
Published on : Monday 30-11--0001
Twenty-one years ago, Google was founded, the iPhone didn’t exist, France won the World Cup soccer title (for the first time) and Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” topped the music charts.
Times have changed since then. So has SOLIDWORKS World, now in its 21st year.
SOLIDWORKS World has long been known as the premier annual event dedicated to the 3D design and engineering community, hosted by the parent company of the SOLIDWORKS brand, Dassault Systèmes. Thousands of designers and engineers from across the globe descend on a designated city in the US (normally in a warm climate) to network, learn, share and discover – and race into a conference hall to get to the best seats first.
During this year’s general session in Dallas, Dassault Systèmes announced to the audience that, in 2020, SOLIDWORKS World will be renamed 3DEXPERIENCE World to reflect a growing community of users from across Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform ecosystem, where creativity can thrive and impact industry, business, cities, homes, communities and people.
We wanted to know more about this new name, so we asked Gian Paolo Bassi, CEO of the SOLIDWORKS brand, to answer a few questions:
At SOLIDWORKS World this year, Dassault Systèmes announced on stage that the 2020 event would be renamed 3DEXPERIENCE World. Why are you getting rid of SOLIDWORKS World?
We’re evolving SOLIDWORKS World. Evolution, expansion, value … better. We’re excited about it!
Think of it this way: To meet our customers’ expanding needs requires something bigger, and something more expansive. We will give them that. We are creating an event for 3D, for Design, for Innovation and for EXPERIENCE. The name of our event will now reflect that.
We want to make 3D a universal experience by appealing to a much larger audience than SOLIDWORKS customers and partners. With World, we want to attract people who have never heard of us, as well as new categories of potential 3D users like makers, consumers, hobbyists, architects, and creative people, from all industries.
World will enable us to showcase all the possibilities within the vast Dassault Systèmes ecosystem. We want an expanded audience to be inspired by the future of science and technology.
What will be different about 3DEXPERIENCE World next year? What are you adding?
We remain grateful and dedicated to our user groups and the enthusiasm of our SOLIDWORKS community, and will continue to nurture this at World in new ways. SOLIDWORKS customers will still find everything they’ve come to expect each year but also applications and uses of 3D technology they did not expect. With the new and improved World, we will also have dedicated spaces for entrepreneurs, students and 3D enthusiasts. People coming from different trades and industries will find a much larger selection of solutions and experts to connect with. We really want to surprise and entertain all of them!
While the traditional main stage content will continue, in a different venue at World, attendees will enjoy more value and more content, NOT less. There will be a larger selection of learning opportunities, events, presentations, products, new 3D technologies, the latest technology advancements from partners (so yes, a bigger Pavilion), and a massive influx of technology from the vast Dassault Systèmes R&D investment, hand selected by SOLIDWORKS, tailored to and for the SOLIDWORKS user, customers, and industry. World will be a place for thinking creatively and networking, and sharing visions for R&D advances in the coming decade that will benefit all attendees.
You say the new “World” will be improved and better, that the value will come from “new 3D technologies … from Dassault Systèmes R&D”. How is the 3DEXPERIENCE.WORKS concept announced during the event different from what you’ve been doing since SOLIDWORKS was acquired by Dassault Systèmes? Haven’t you been putting your relevant tech into the SOLIDWORKS product for a while now?
We want to integrate SOLIDWORKS in the greater selection of solutions available on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. We believe that incorporating new technologies on a desktop architecture is not scalable, hence the need to instead connect to platform architecture that is designed for scalability and capacity.
SOLIDWORKS began as a design tool for mechanical engineers, yet over the years this community has evolved and expanded their roles from design to simulating the world in which we live, planning for it and making it happen. Each year we’ve continued to drive SOLIDWORKS applications forward in terms of usability, quality, and productivity, to deliver a complete design ecosystem. Now, our focus includes cloud and platform enablement, and delivering extended functionality with 3DEXPERIENCE.WORKS.
3DEXPERIENCE.WORKS extends the ease of use and simplicity that have been hallmarks of SOLIDWORKS applications to a new category of business solutions on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Users can become more inventive, efficient and responsive across their different processes. This will be their competitive differentiator.
This is an example of the benefit of Dassault Systèmes’ large R&D investment, made real. Basically, SOLIDWORKS went shopping at Dassault Systèmes’ HQ in France and picked technologies for incorporation into its solutions. Our customers have been asking for simulation and other technologies to meet their needs in today’s business environment. We are uniquely able to leverage most of those needs through our own products, all with that unique SOLIDWORKS DNA that makes users efficient and productive.
What do you say to users who aren’t happy and feel that “the man” is changing something they love?
We understand that some might feel emotional about the change. We are too. But we think they’ll also get excited about the evolution because of what it can bring to them. The expansion was inevitable, given all the content/solutions developed. Just as our customers’ needs drive SOLIDWORKS expansion, they also drive event evolution/expansion.
Many of the world’s most creative makers and innovators are SOLIDWORKS users. And we share common values: the power of community, a passion to learn, challenging the status quo, and showing the dream is possible. Dassault Systèmes has consistently invested in SOLIDWORKS from both an R&D perspective with new releases each year, and an event perspective with a unique gathering tailored to SOLIDWORKS users.
This evolution is not unique in the industry. The demands of users are changing. If you look at the ecosystem of companies in this space, there is an alignment event-wise in how they gather and communicate to users. Rather than simply delivering technology solutions, we're positioning our company as a trusted valuable partner that offers a compelling vision. We aim to provide users with the best possible conditions for going about their work and successfully achieving their ambitions. World’s evolution reflects that.
Will the event address other Dassault Systèmes brands?
World remains very relevant for the SOLIDWORKS user, customers, partners, and industry. But as explained above, we want to reach out a larger audience than SOLIDWORKS users and expand the community around the same passion for 3D and design. We will address other brands as you’ve seen here – in how they can help SOLIDWORKS users better do their jobs.
Do you have any resellers we can speak to about this?
Yes. We think our resellers are just as enthusiastic as we are about the change. In fact, they will be able to expand their business as well. With the introduction of 3DEXPERIENCE.WORKS, they will be able to leverage the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to bring greater value to SOLIDWORKS customers with industry-aware geo sales and marketing dashboards, dedicated communities, specific sales enablement, success stories/sales wins, marketing assets by industry, and training materials and support.
How does World differ from other Dassault Systèmes events like the 3DEXPERIENCE Forum or Design in the Age of Experience?
The 3DEXPERIENCE Forum is the name of Dassault Systèmes’ flagship business-focused corporate events that take place annually in countries around the world. These dive into industry challenges of the specific country or geography and showcase customers leveraging the platform for the digitalization of their business performance and success. Attendees include C-level executives and other top management. It is not a user-focused event like World.
Design in the Age of Experience is part of our “Megatrend” events and takes place each April during Milan Design Week. Our Megatrend events position Dassault Systèmes as a game changer in building the future and the 3DEXPERIENCE platform as the catalyst and enabler for change. At Design in the Age of Experience, which encompasses many of our brands including SOLIDWORKS, Dassault Systèmes collaborates with influential members of the design community to shed light on how design thinking can be applied to real-world issues facing urban environments.