Dassault Closes IBM PLM Acquisition

DN Staff

April 6, 2010

2 Min Read
Dassault Closes IBM PLM Acquisition

The $600 million deal for DassaultSystemes to acquire IBM's PLM sales and client support operations hasofficially closed, giving Dassault a unifiedproduct line and PLM value proposition and giving customers the ability to dealwith a single provider.

The pair, which had a relationship around engineeringsoftware and PLM for the past 28 years, will still work together under a GlobalAlliance partnership. Under this agreement, the two players will continue tojointly invest in developing and deploying PLM solutions to customers whilestrengthening their cooperation in areas such as professional services, cloudcomputing, middleware, flexible financing, hardware, and sales anddistribution.

Al Bunshaft, a 25-year veteran of IBM and former global vicepresident of IBM PLM, has joined Dassault and will serve as managing director.Seven hundred sales and support people from the IBM PLM group have also comeover to Dassault to bolster its field sales and support organization.

Bunshaft says the motivation for the divestiture was thatthe business model resulting from the 28-year partnership no longer made sensegiven the two companies' strategies. IBM hadbeen exiting the application software area over the last decade or so and hadonly sold part of the Dassault software line (ENOVIA and CATIA) to the largestaccounts. "From a customer point of view, it's absolutely the right step,"Bunshaft says. "It provides them with a single, unified organization inDassault to support the entire Dassault portfolio whether it's selling,services and support, or professional consulting services. It's the kind ofcomplexity and confusion that customers saw as unnecessary in the priorbusiness model."

While the IBM partnership was never exclusive, Bunshaft saysthe divestiture now gives Dassault more freedom to pursue partnerships withother companies in complementary areas of software. He downplayed any of the"FUD" (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) in the marketplace that this was a breakupor that IBM and Dassault wouldn't continue to work closely together in thefuture.

"The reality is we've created tens of thousands of mutualcustomers over the last 28 years and we'd be fools to walk away," he says."After this long of a partnership, there's too great an upside to turn ourbacks - it's just a natural evolution of what's taken place over the last 30years."

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