Inside the Dassault Systèmes Acquisition…


In this installment, I’ve gathered the reactions of Jean-Marc Lazard from Exalead’s Exalabs and Lynne Wilson from Dassault’s 3DVIA division.

Jean Marc-Lazard – Exalead Innovation Labs (Exalabs)

This acquisition is an ideal marriage of the worlds of the Web and the enterprise.

Jean Marc LazardAt Exalabs and Quaero, we explore new ways to access, analyze and explore multimedia content online. Our projects include color- and shaped-based search for images, map-based search and navigation, real-time search inside videos, visual representations of semantic relationships, and mining of social media content.

I think for Dassault, this doorway to Web innovation is an ideal extension of their PLM offering, ENOVIA. It’ll extend the universe of content available to ENOVIA, make it easier to track and support products through the consumer phases of their lifecyles (with, for example, e-reputation monitoring), as well as making it easier for everyone – especially consumers! – to get involved in the product lifecycle from inception. I think our image recognition technologies could also one day revolutionize the way one searches massive CAD-CAM repositories. Wouldn’t it be nice if an employee or consumer could just upload a photo of a part, and the system would automatically return all matching images, along with full part details?

On the Exalabs side, I can think of two immediate areas in which Dassault’s PLM and 3D experience will advance our work. One is the visual mapping of semantic relationships – I’m speaking here of Miiget and Constellations. Scientists are already studying the ways 3D technologies can enhance these kinds of maps, allowing users to essentially enter into and explore this information in 3D. There’s only so much data you can load on a flat 2D layer before it becomes unreadable! We’d like to do more work in this area, but to date we’ve lacked 3D experience. No longer!

Another area involves alternative modes of access to online content – mobile phones, handheld devices, embedded computers… How can we make accessing high-volume multimedia resources simple and fast for users of these devices? Often the people who could benefit most from such access are not seated in front of a computer. They’re technicians in the field, sales reps on calls, operational staff in processing plants. Dassault’s in-depth PLM experience will bring a wealth of insights into the range of data available, how it’s being used, and how it could be enriched with Web content and delivered to the right to the point of need (or point of sale, if you will, for consumers).

All in all, I guess you could say at Exalabs we’ve been pursuing a ‘lifelike’ search experience all along. We’ve been striving to empower users to engage in a live conversation with multimedia information in real world situations with real world impacts. Together, we’ll make it happen.

Lynne Wilson – Dassault Systèmes 3DVIA

I am very excited about Exalead joining Dassault Systèmes. On the day of the announcement, I downloaded the Exalead desktop search app, and put this technology to work immediately. The app was both friendly and polite, offering a superior online user experience.

Lynne Wilson 3DVIAWhat do I mean? Well, it informed me that it was indexing my hard drive, it offered me an estimated time of completion, warned me it might slow my PC’s performance while it was chugging away (in the background). I was pleasantly surprised in the end – Exalead finished early, quickly searched through all my desktop apps at once, and actually found that exact PowerPoint I was looking for in a few seconds. Test one: flawless install, polite (feedback), and great user experience (beat the expectations it had set for me … clever!). I love this app.

So, I began dreaming for 3DVIA. I am “ModelMia” on, and I invite you to join me in “ModelMia’s Loft,” a space I created using 3DVIA Scenes (currently in Beta). I’ve been furnishing my loft, trying to create a certain ambiance, and I’ve spent some serious time poking around and the Web looking for that “pièce de résistance” which will make my place really special. Imagine how much faster and more fun this would be if I could search across 3DVIA and the Web with natural language … I’m looking for a table or a piece of glassware that approximates this shape, this size, this material … and this brand manufacturer. Find me the real thing, and a few look alikes at different price points.

What if we routinely ran 3D models ready to be uploaded to though an Exalead search filter BEFORE publishing to — Exalead could suggest attributes for the user to accept or reject before publishing to That’s an entirely different user experience than one which requires people to tag content for it to be searchable. A small step for Exalead, a huge step for 3DVIA user experience. And this is just the beginning!

What kind of things would you like to see for Exalead and 3DVIA?