- A conversation with Bertrand Sicot, Dassault Systèmes’ Senior VP, 3DS Value Solutions
Dassault Systèmes’ new Senior Vice President of the 3DS Value Solutions, Bertrand Sicot, has a long record as a champion in international sales. In his new role, he is responsible for the company’s worldwide strategy for the indirect sales network of over 500 partners in 36 countries. Jonas Gejer, CEO of TechniaTranscat, sat down with Bertrand Sicot to learn more about his thoughts on the future, benefits of the new strategy, changes in the partner landscape, and opportunities with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
Jonas Gejer: You have worked many years in the US, what do you see as the key difference in this market compared to Europe?
Bertrand Sicot: That is a very good question. In fact, a very interesting question indeed. In my opinion, if we try to compare the North American market with the European market, the main difference is the speed when it comes to adopting new technologies. In North America, they can adopt new technologies very fast because changing is in their DNA. It is no issue to change and change again. In Europe, the mindset is much more technically driven, and before we change, we want to see all the details. In North America they first jump into the water, and then they know if they can swim, if you understand what I mean. Companies can adopt new technologies really fast, and then change it to another and another. In Europe, we are much slower, but when we do change, we know why we are doing it, and we know that we will stay with it for a long time.
JG: What key trends do you see in the market for the coming years?
BS: The first one is mobility. It is everywhere now. Mobility is an important part of our personal lives, and has also become an important part of our professional lives too. If you look around, how many people are coming to the office with different devices like laptops, PDA’s and tablets? And the more I see customers in the engineering offices, the more I see also that trend. For us, that means we need to do valuable, meaningful applications for these devices, adjusting the capabilities of the application to the capabilities of the device. Obviously, you do not use a tablet as you use your desktop computer. The second trend is clearly the cloud. The customers need to be able to login into applications wherever they are, and the cloud enables that.
JG: What is your view on the merger between Technia and Transcat?
BS: I am very excited about the merger. I see two very strong companies that are very complementary when it comes to skills, customer profiles, and also company culture. I know that the Swedish way of looking at things differs from the German way but I believe in richness in the cultural merger. I am also convinced that if you do it right, you can leverage values from both cultures, and it will be very valuable for the customers you are serving, and also for Dassault Systèmes. So, I am very positive about the merger, and it gives a big signal of trust from your group being willing to invest significantly in other countries. It is one thing to buy a company in the same country you are operating, or in the Nordics. It is a different thing to go as far as Germany, and it is a very positive sign.
JG: DS is traditionally very strong in core industries such as Automotive, Machinery and Aerospace – how do you see the growth in industries like Life Sciences, Retail and High Tech?
BS: I see a very strong business opportunity, but one thing is clear to me - if you want to be successful in these new industries, we need to hire people with different backgrounds than the people we have in our teams today. By that I mean that our solutions have been successfully adopted to automotive, aerospace, and industrial equipment industries only because they is related to mechanical engineering. The people we have in our teams have mechanical background, and they know what they are talking about. When working with life science or high tech companies, we have to have people who know about electronics, life science and chemistry etc. This is a challenge we need to address together, and make sure that we will bring onboard talents that have skills and profiles we are not used to, which I think is interesting because I am curious by nature. I am also convinced that everything starts with people. When it comes to the solutions, I see that we start aiming at good success in new industries. Now the challenge for us is to replicate. We will do one proof of concept or an example of something, and it only will be sustainable when we can replicate it.
JG: You launched a new strategy for the Value Solutions Partners. Could you please elaborate on the benefits this program will bring for the end customers?
BS: The benefits it will bring to our end customers will be measured in customer satisfaction. The quality of the solutions we deliver, the speed at which we deliver and so on will be measured in customer satisfaction. I believe in simplicity, and everything we can simplify will improve the perceived value of a product, and in that way we interact with the partners.
JG: The 3DEXPERIENCE platform is very broad and comprehensive, what are the top 3 benefits with the new platform for our customers?
BS: First of all, 3DEXPERIENCE platform is a business platform for companies and enterprises. Secondly, it is a solution that will connect the people, the data, the solution, and also the ideas together. It is really connecting people across all levels in a company, and not only the people in the product design in the engineering department. Thirdly, it is an innovation platform that will help people in a single and intuitive environment to innovate. When you have the platform, you can connect everything to it. It is embracing the whole company.
JG: If you look into the crystal ball and think about our industry 10 years from now, what would be the key transformations?
BS: I’m convinced– everything will be digital. The customer interaction will be digital, you will see a product before it exists; you will be even able to experience it before it exists and so on. So this is what I mean with digital. The world is moving so fast, the technologies are moving so fast, that this can happen even sooner than 10 years from now.
Bertrand Sicot is now Dassault Systèmes’ Vice President Sales of its Value Solutions sales channel, its indirect sales network of over 500 partners in 36 countries With more than 20 years of sales operations leadership in both domestic and international engineering businesses, Bertrand Sicot joined SOLIDWORKS in 1997 as Regional Sales Manager for Western Europe and Scandinavia and held a number of subsequent high-level sales positions for SOLIDWORKS, including Executive Vice President of Sales. Bertrand started his career at IBM France.