We want to be a dominant player in the SBA market

by Sharon Lobo    Oct 05, 2010

Andy KalambiAs the world faces an exponential increase in data, the need to deliver precise information has never been felt more. In this scenario, the relevance of Search-Based Applications (SBA) has greatly increased. To get a foothold in this market, Dassault Systemes (Public, EPA:DSY) recently acquired Exalead, a provider of SBAs. In an interview to CXOtoday, Andy Kalambi, president - South Asia for Dassault Systemes, explains the motive behind the Exalead acquisition and the growth of the SBA market in the country.

What was the motive behind buying Exalead?
Knowledge is increasingly becoming ubiquitous, and its access is no longer restricted to a limited number of people. For instance, nowadays it is so easy to pull out information about any person even if you have never met him before. This shows the power of search technology, which is not only capable of federating a lot of distant knowledge bases, but also delivering precisely the required information. Also the SBA market, which currently stands at $2 billion, has a huge growth potential. We are already a major player in the $20 billion PLM domain and we want to have a similar foothold in SBA space as well. All these factors led us to the acquisition of Exalead.

Why only Exalead?
Here I would like to highlight the fact that in spite of being a small player, Exalead has had the most rapid growth in SBA market. The company has a number of customers in logistics, manufacturing, BFSI, telecom, utilities, etc. Most of Exalead’s customers are in Europe and US as the company did not focus on Asia. However, now with Dassault Systemes as its parent, Exalead will have global footprint and will be a big player in the worldwide SBA market.

How does Exalead fit in to your current line of business?
Exalead not only fits in to our current line of business, but also opens a huge set of opportunities. We develop 3D designing applications, which are used for product development. The innovation in the product development is just incremental as it is more about the reuse of existing knowledge and information. Here is where SBAs, like Exalead, come in to the picture. A product development company without a SBA will take five times more time in developing a product than a business that uses one. We plan to integrate Exalead with ENOVIA, our enterprise PLM infrastructure, also it will also be an integrated part of V6, our next generation PLM.

Tell us more about Cloudview, Exalead’s flagship product.

CloudView is a search engine that collects unstructured and structured data from any source, in any format and in any volume, and automatically transforms it into a single structured information resource. In a search-based infrastructure, instead of doing a direct integration or trying to put a middleware or data warehousing solution you put a search engine-based architecture. This architecture has a semantic engine, which enables you pull data and manage the intelligence of the data. So now when you do a search you are able to very quickly filter and get the desired results.

How big is the SBA market in India and who will be its primary adopters?
The SBA market in India is just emerging and people are still dabbling with their initial purchases. Even in developed countries we still see that the adoption of SBA is in its early phase. Primary adopters of SBA will be any business that have lots or users, lots of data or both. In India, businesses that use large ERP solutions and yet do not get a unified view of their data will be the primary adopters of SBA.