Innovation, Innovation, Innovation: Notes from DSCC 2010 (Day 1)

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The Dassault Systèmes Customer Conference (DSCC) 2010 kicked off on November 9th, 2010 in Orlando, Florida. It is the second time that Dassault Systèmes has hosted the customer conference collectively for most of the company’s brands at a single event, with a geographic focus on the Americas (the European Customer Forum [ECF] 2010 is the European equivalence taking place in two weeks).

When I had a little time to reflect after the busy first day came to an end, the key word that popped into my mind was “innovation,” the most frequently used keyword today, and which appeared in multiple sessions in conjunction with different adjectives.

Sustainable Innovation

The conference started with Lifelike Experience for Sustainable Innovation by Bernard Charlès, President & CEO, Dassault Systèmes, explaining the company’s vision about how today’s extended PLM technologies were able to help adopters accelerate innovation, mitigate risk, and discover opportunities that had not been thought of before.

Of course, this is not the first time Dassault Systèmes has spoken about sustainable innovation, but I do feel that the company’s strategy on sustainable innovation is becoming clearer. Dassault Systèmes’ progress in various areas toward sustainability and innovation confirms my assumption that PLM can serve both sides of the sustainable innovation coin—innovating toward sustainability and sustainable process for innovations, as I discussed in a previous blog post What Is Sustainable Innovation?.

Digital Innovation

Following Charlès’ speech, customer keynote from Ford Motor kept going with the innovation thread but scaled to a more detailed manner—digital innovation. According to the speaker, Ford Motor was able to utilize PLM to digitize product development process, add value to the digital process, integrate data from various sources, and create a single point of engineering. As a result, Ford Motor had achieved significant productivity improvements and cost reduction during the time space between 2005 and 2010.

Social Innovation

I also had the opportunity to participate in the discussion between analysts and Dassault Systèmes regarding the company’s strategy and next move in social innovation. The company now has a product called See What You Mean (SwYm) in beta version. As stated on the homepage of SwYm, this is an online venue where users can “discover online communities, share ideas, collaborate and imagine innovative products.” As Dassault Systèmes has planned, this cloud-based application is highly scalable for different scopes of use, be it internal social product development, collaboration with partners, or crowd sourcing at the widest.

So, what is my take on the heavy use of “innovation” on Day 1 at DSCC 2010? I think it is too early to finalize what sustainable innovation pertains from a PLM point of view because there are a lot more to explore. However, I believe that digital innovation and social innovation are two of the many facets of sustainable innovation. Simply put, in my view, innovation has to be sustainable, and digitized processes are becoming a prerequisite of innovation, which relies more and more on social collaboration.
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