One month ago on February 13th at 3:45 pm, the last SOLIDWORKS World sessions wrapped up throughout Dallas’ Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center. So with that, as bleary-eyed SOLIDWORKS users hustled out to catch evening flights home, SOLIDWORKS World came to a close…for the last time…ever.
It’s a whole new world; 3DEXPERIENCE World.
It started out innocuously enough. Dan Herzberg, head of the Boston-area North’s SOLIDWORKS User Group kept an informal tradition going. The CAD Monkey Dinner on the Saturday night before credentials are released, serves as the unofficial welcome wagon for SOLIDWORKS’ hard-core users and its user-group leaders.
John Galt Staffing sponsored the dinner, helping host and greet attendees including SOLIDWORKS CEO Gian Paulo Bassi. We mingled late into the evening with friends old and new, reaffirming John Galt’s commitment to supporting the communities in which we recruit, but mostly just enjoying everyone’s company over a bite and beverage(s) at the iconic Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.
On Monday morning we saw CEO Bassi again, this time on the big stage of #SWW19’s opening General Session. It didn’t take long for Bassi to mercifully telegraph quickly that change was afoot. The D“assault” on the world as we know it was delivered with a smiling face and enthusiastically waving arms, but it was not reciprocated. Rather, it was met with a collective. . . gulp.
Suddenly 6000 analytical engineers and designers scrambled to internally compute change and its meaning. Is it good? Is it bad? Is it that different? Many came to the same place as us non-engineers when faced with the unknown; look to the left, look to the right for visual feedback, default to skepticism.
Feel good stories, including featured speaker Jim McKelvey, Co-Founder of Square were intertwined to aid information digestion and allow some time for acceptance to sink in. And then Bassi and Bernard Charles, CEO of parent company Dassault Systems walked us through it with the bedside manner of reassuring doctors.
The company was launching the cloud-based 3DEXPERIENCE.WORKS to tie together it’s family of brand applications including; ENOVIA for planning, SOLIDWORKS and/or CATIA for design, SIMULIA for simulation and with Dassault’s acquisition of IQMS, a manufacturing ERP on analytic steroids now known as DELMIA. The design phase and therefore SOLIDWORKS no longer has to be an island unto itself.
SOLIDWORKS Desktop as we know it is still here, but the Dassault ship is shoving off and sailing towards the 3DEXPERIENCE platform where 3D modeling, simulation, information intelligence, and social collaborative applications all reside and interact.
By lunchtime, there were a prescient few who told us they saw this coming. It was an evolutionary next step for the Dassault ecosystem they explained. At the SOLIDWORKS User Group Summit later that afternoon, the most fanatical of SOLIDWORKS users reflected their unease of their future by bluntly asking the question of CEO Bassi (this guy is everywhere), “will we have to change our name?” No, he reassured. SOLIDWORKS and its name and by extension you, are here to stay.
Good thing, because 3DEXPERIENCE.WORKS User Group is quite the mouthful.
So while 3DEXPERIENCE World doesn’t exactly have the ring to it that SOLIDWORKS World barely did, will the concept be any less catchy than its name? Will the 3DEXPERIENCE live up to Bassi’s promise of igniting, in his words, “an industrial renaissance”?
Cue Disney’s Alladin theme song . . .
A whole new world
A hundred thousand things to see
I’m like a shooting star, I’ve come so far
I can’t go back to where I used to be
That’s where we’ll be. . .