Dassault Systemes-Netvibes Deal Addresses PLM Needs for BI


Archived Published: 15 February 2012 ID: G00232018

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Summary

By acquiring Netvibes, Dassault Systemes gains customizable dashboards and analytics. Applying business intelligence to product life cycle management activities is the most obvious opportunity for Dassault Systemes customers.

News Analysis

Event

On 9 February 2012, Dassault Systemes, a provider of product life cycle management (PLM) solutions and 3D design software, announced that it has acquired Netvibes, a vendor that focuses on personalized business analytics dashboards. Dassault Systemes did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

Analysis

Dassault Systemes has addressed a gap in business intelligence (BI) and decision support that has long existed in PLM. Netvibes complements Dassault Systemes' 2010 Exalead purchase and will enable the company to provide a more complete business environment to support decision-making. While Exalead is a search engine, Netvibes enables users to analyze and organize both internal and external Web-based content, including any type of data and market intelligence to support decisions. Dassault Systems' customers will benefit from applying it to PLM functions. For example:

  • Marketing and product strategy specialists can use Netvibes for mashups of new product ideas. Users can create dashboards that aggregate structured and unstructured content from numerous internal and external sources and view them in one place.

  • Managers can monitor performance and cost metrics during new product development, monitor product quality metrics during production, analyze competitive intelligence, and assess market impact and product acceptance after introduction. Dassault Systemes will likely prepackage some of these use cases, but the flexibility they will leave for customers and partners to create their own environments remains to be seen.

Interfacing Netvibes with other categories of Dassault Systemes software can provide role-based presentations of content to support key product life cycle stakeholders, including:

  • Executives

  • Staff in marketing, engineering, sales and service

  • Quality managers

  • Manufacturing experts

However, Dassault Systemes' field organization will be on a learning curve regarding the tactical steps and best practices to incorporate Netvibes capabilities to serve PLM needs. Also, this deal increases the competitive overlap with companies such as IBM, Microsoft and Oracle, which compete to be the best user experience platform.

Gartner believes that Dassault Systemes has a good chance to retain key Netvibes personnel, as it has done so in several past acquisitions. We do not expect the deal to cause significant short-term disruption to Netvibes' capabilities. However, Netvibes' significant community of developers is likely to be anxious about Dassault Systemes' intentions. Also, Dassault Systemes' reputation for stringent license compliance and high service costs will likely lead to more challenging terms and conditions when Netvibes' current customers renegotiate their maintenance contracts.

Recommendations

  • Dassault Systemes customers: Examine Netvibes' potential to enhance your BI for product life cycle activities. Also, consider specialist service providers and consultants that are likely to have greater knowledge and experience at designing and implementing such dashboards than Dassault Systemes currently has.

  • Netvibes customers and developers: Continue working with Dassault Systemes, but review your current contracts and inquire with Dassault Systemes about specific intentions for Netvibes.

  • Other manufacturers and retailers: Consider Dassault Systemes, particularly if you offer private-label brands and are interested in analytics as part of PLM.

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