Dassault Systemes’ Accelrys acquisition aggressively expands its presence among R&D communities. Business integration should progress smoothly, but technical integration will have challenging impacts for clients.
On 30 January 2014, Dassault Systemes (DS) announced an agreement to buy Accelrys, a provider of scientific innovation life cycle management software for chemistry, biology and materials, for $750 million in cash.
DS continues to build on its product life cycle management (PLM) capabilities for formulated products. Its customers will eventually have access to tools that are deep in chemistry, biology, process simulation and materials modeling. Accelrys will benefit from a parent company with greater resources and a broader reach.
Accelrys has tools for automating scientific exploration, performing scientific collaboration, managing laboratory tests, and developing recipes, formulations and processes. These tools will complement DS’s PLM capabilities to commercialize formulated products. Scientists and other R&D specialists that already use Accelrys software will eventually benefit from the PLM infrastructure as a system of record for capturing, managing and reusing product content. Downstream processes will also be augmented with new tools for improving operational intelligence and commercial operations.
PLM software users focused on commercialization and new product introduction will be exposed to R&D tools that expand product innovation and multichannel opportunities. Industries that can benefit the most include pharmaceuticals, consumer-oriented formulated packaged goods (such as personal care products), and industries dependent on chemical formulations, such as manufacturers of industrial and household products.
While integrating Accelrys at the business level should proceed smoothly, DS faces significant technical challenges in harmonizing Accelrys software assets with its own. With Accelrys, DS acquired a broad assortment of applications, many of which will likely never be integrated into the PLM suite. Gartner does not expect DS to share a technical road map of Accelrys migration into its 3DExperience platform before 2015. Most likely, customers will not see technical integrations before 3Q15 for the key products.
Accelrys customers most likely will not see disruption in scheduled software enhancements or support for the current Accelrys software offerings.
Business operations managers engaged in product development at DS customers:
Consider adopting the Accelrys scientific, modeling and laboratory capabilities for augmenting earlier-stage R&D processes.
Investigate Accelrys laboratory informatics capabilities — such as electronic laboratory notebook (ELN), laboratory information management system (LIMS), laboratory execution system (LES) and electronic batch record (EBR) capabilities — and consider replacing stand-alone and best-of-breed products as they approach end of life.
Prioritize opportunities for investment when there are opportunities to cross-leverage Accelrys capabilities with the DS PLM infrastructure.
IT managers and those managing Accelrys software use:
Look at the broader suite of DS PLM tools and determine if the PLM formulation data models and process methodologies can be extended into the scientific space.
Don't assume that DS’s capital will have an immediate impact on performance. Monitor levels of service for custom applications and implementation.
Review current licensing contracts and monitor delays, and prepare for negotiations of new terms and conditions when contracts need to be renewed.