On the heels of its announcement to pour $1 billion into its unified communications strategy over the next few years, IBM reiterated its commitment to leverage Dassault Systèmes' 3D Live environment for enhanced, real-time 3D collaboration.
IBM earlier this month pledged to ramp up its investment in products such as Lotus Sametime to provide unified communications capabilities (the combination of instant messaging, Voice Over IP, videoconferencing and Web presence, among other technologies) to its large enterprise customers. IBM is accelerating its position in unified communications in response to rival Microsoft, which recently unveiled the Office Communications Server aimed at the same marketplace.
IBM’s efforts have big ramifications for dispersed, global engineering teams for sharing 3D models. “Today, it’s very difficult to do real-time collaboration around 3D data and this puts 3D real-time at the heart of everything we do,” says Bernie Clark, program manager for collaboration solutions for IBM’s PLM Solutions.
Engineers and product designers can tap Sametime’s instant messaging and Web conferencing tools directly from within Dassault’s 3D Live solution to search, communicate and collaborate on product data. The integration of both platforms allows a quality engineer who has a problem with a specific part, for example, to tap a built-in buddy list to directly engage with the design engineer who worked on that part in a chat or Web conference about the part. The integrated Sametime and 3D Live technology automatically displays a buddy list of those engineers responsible for the different parts and dynamically alters it to reflect the geometry as it changes.
“Imagine large complex products such as in automotive or aerospace — there’s no way a quality engineer would know the design engineer for a specific part,” says Clark. “We’re building that intelligence into the design immediately.”
This level of integration between Sametime and 3D Live exists today and is evolving with new products such as Dassault’s CATIA V6 platform slated to ship this spring. The announcement will pave the way for a new generation of PLM applications with 3D collaboration at their core, Clark says.