In mid December, UGS announced that it had won a “significant order” from Nissan.


In mid December, UGS announced that it had won a “significant order” from Nissan. UGS followed up with a conference call which we attended. TechniCom also had one on one calls with additional UGS and Dassault Systemes (DS) executives to really understand the “deal,” the reasoning behind the selection, and the size of the win. Here are the highlights:

• UGS wins a 2 year evaluation with NX, which evaluation included a 50 seat competitive benchmark with DS

• UGS will migrate and upgrade the existing 4000 I-deas seats

• UGS expects considerable revenue from expanding the software suite available to each user

• The manufacturing side of the business (with about 100 Delmia seats) is not effected

• UGS notes as key reasons for the win: its systems engineering capabilities, its easier to use process/ knowledge capture, and its migration techniques from I deas to NX

• No revenue or seat projections were disclosed, nor were we able to coax any from UGS

• This will be the technology platform for all new Nissan cars

This is an extraordinary win for UGS, coming at a time when DS appeared to have the Automotive industry locked up. Admittedly, UGS appeared to have the lead since Nissan was looking to replace some 4,000 seats of I-deas. Nevertheless, UGS won the business after, what must have been, an exhaustive 2 year benchmark.
But who really won the benchmark? In a follow up call and several emails with DS, DS claimed to have won the benchmark “hands down,” intimating that UGS won only because they made a better business deal. Hey, isn’t this what it’s all about — making the best deal for the customer? What matters is that Nissan evidently felt that the UGS offering is the best deal for them AND that NX and any transition they make from I-deas would support their aggressive plans for the next three years.

This win, while shaded by a large installed base of UGS seats (namely I-deas), offers an opportunity for UGS to take a big step outside its GM base and prove to the rest of the automotive industry that they offer a viable alternative. UGS’s offering consists of a wide set of NX modules, impressive Teamcenter capabilities, NX Nastran as the basis for simulation, a steady approach to systems engineering, an excellent approach to knowledge capture, allowing process capture and re-use. Now is the time for UGS to prove to the rest of the industry that they can meld this together into a cohesive automotive platform.
[In December 2003, TechniCom reviewed UGS Systems Engineering. Readers can go to here for a copy of the review.]