I participated in a conference call with Bernard Charles, CEO of Dassault Systemes (DS), this morning.
Basically, for $600 million cash, DS is acquiring the IBM sales and sales support organization supporting 1000+ large and very large customers, along with all the assets (700 people, customer relationship, customer revenue). The annual revenue is estimated at $550 million USD, looks to be very profitable. All of this is recurring license revenue!
DS / IBM will maintain a relationship, but a very loose one, focused on cloud computing, middleware, consulting from IBM Global Svcs, and with IBM financing.
My assessment: It looks like a great opportunity for DS and should finally unify sales to all size customers. Large customers like a direct relationship with the software developer and this eliminates one step. For a profit and ongoing revenue it looks like a good deal for everyone – reasonable payment for IBM for building the channel and great revenue and profit opportunity and possible expansion for DS by dealing directly with the very large customers.
Risks to DS include: integrating the 700 people and not taking their eye off the ball by only engaging with large customers.
IBM PLM customers should be happy with this new arrangement.
The press release can be found at http://www.cad-portal.com/articles/pr_details.php?ID=104