Exalead Acquisition Perspectives

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. 

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?



  • bdelahaye

    Today is a great day ! This acquisition is a clear signal for our customers : we are bringing them the platforms to use the power of the net.It is going to be interesting to see how they will re-engineer their innovation processses with these new tools.


  • Lynne

    I think this is exciting … I am sure the rest of DS is extremely well organized, but I am starting simple and personal — just downloaded the exalead “one desktop” free version to help sort through all those emails, powerpoints and videos ;). A nice experience so far!

  • misterP

    Good news to see collaboration between 2 big French actors in software edition. I’m a bit less exited by the 3D/search combination… so far, IMHO, all initiatives in adding 3D to search are quite unsatisfactory (well, one could say “it’s so XX’s century” to think about 3D information systems…). But perhaps 3D enhance by search is another better idea.

    Anyway Exalead’s activity is growing…

  • Exciting news indeed! Those I’ve met from Exalead are great people, and so far I’m blown away by their technology.

    @bdelahaye: Our PLM customers have a lot to gain from the acquisition. What a difference it will make to be able to access data coming from anywhere in your company within a few miliseconds!

    @Lynne: Great idea; my desktop could sure use it! The quantity of information we have to wrangle daily is tremendous.

    @misterP: I’m not sure exactly where the 3D-search adventure will take us, but I think we’ll be delightfully surprised.

  • Let’s imagine that 3DS will organize an open competition to find the best idea regarding search/3D combination. That would be a true PLM 2.0 initiative!

    Nevertheless, DS targets many domains, some of them only have the usage of 3D. Search could be applied to other as well.

  • Kate

    Hi François, that sounds like a great idea! Wonder what our friends at 3DVIA and Exalead think about it? Best, Kate

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