IBM’s 20-year partnership with Dassault Systemes took an interesting turn this week. The pair, which for more than two decades has collaborated on developing and marketing Dassault’s 3D CAD and PLM suite, have slowly been backing away from their exclusive arrangement. Their independent streaks surfaced again this week when IBM inked a deal with UGS Corp. to co-market to its business partners UGS’ Teamcenter Express software, part of its Velocity series of pre-configured PLM aimed at SMB customers. IBM inked a similar co-marketing deal with PTC last year. Experts say the moves signal a broadening of IBM’s strategy to be more of an open PLM vendor and to push sales of its WebSphere integration and infrastructure platform. For its part, Dassault is focused this year on building out its own channel. Regardless of their individual agendas, the pair claim to be committed and their partnership strong.
Who knows, maybe non-exclusivity is the best bet for both parties.