Some folks at IBM and MSC.Software must have looked at a Venn Diagram and liked what they saw: Significant overlap in their customer base in the auto and aero industries. They also could not have avoided recognizing the value of their complementary areas of expertise, albeit loaded up with acronyms (IBM and PLM and MSC and CAE).
If this sounds like the recipe for a strategic alliance, it is exactly what the two companies previewed this morning at a press conference. The announcement by MSC.Software CEO Bill Weyand kicked off MSC Software’s Virtual Product Development Conference in Huntington Beach, CA. Some 600 FEA analysts and engineers are expected to attend the event.
In a nutshell, what the two companies hope this sort of alliance will do is help them grab a bigger share of the CAE market, which grew at a brisk 11% in 2005. The market looks to be on an even faster pace this year, according to the research company Daratech.
IBM and MSC.Software hope to do that by more effectively delivering CAE enterprise solutions to the market in conjunction with SimManager Enterprise, a software product that enables the control, sharing, and extending of engineering data. IBM is also developing a hosted service that provides additional computing capacity for MD Nastran Analysis for those notorious “crunch” times.
The alliance also seems to be an acknowledgement of the complexity of selling enterprise-level solutions and the need to reach multiple decision-markers within organizations. Weyand pointed out that the two companies are well-positioned to attack this issue, given MSC Software's strong relationships on the product development side and IBM’s on the technology side.