Product Perfect: Hans-Kurt Luebberstedt

DQI Bureau
New Update

When EDS decided to acquire SDRC and Unigraphics, it took the industry by

surprise. Today, as EDS PLM Solutions, the recently-created $1-billion business

unit takes shape, the company is banking on experience, and on sheer size. EDS’

new Asia-Pacific president HK Luebberstedt talks about the implications of the



Post-merger issues and plans…

The merger will have a significant impact on the industry we are in. First of
all, it combines two almost same-sized companies that are equally well

positioned in their field. While this makes it somewhat difficult it is exciting

at the same time as we can double our strength in the market. Of course, this

also means we have a lot of work to do. We have to manage the combined product

portfolio. We have to refine the new organization that we now have and we are

already moving very fast in that area. We are trying to consolidate two

independent entities. For this, we also had to terminate some of our workforce

where we had double positions. The most affected areas were administration,

product development and marketing. However, the sales staff had little room for

reduction because we wanted to have a strong presence on the field. We are

organizing a series of conferences across countries for our customers to have a

clear view on exactly what we plan to do.

"We have to redefine the organization that we have now... and we are already moving very fast in that 


EDS moving into products…

It is true that till now, EDS has mainly focussed on services, starting from

high-level consultancy down to outsourcing. The company’s services offering

was focussed primarily at cutting down costs and helping customers reduce their

efforts in overall management. It was felt that rather than just cutting costs,

we should also help clients in finding new opportunities. With solutions from

the PLM portfolio, we will be able to take them a step beyond just managing

costs. We can help them increase innovation, produce new and better products

faster so that they could find new marketing opportunities.


The new product roadmap…

The new entity, which is called product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions

aims to deal with all the data in the product development process, starting even

before the product is designed, through the various stages–designing,

engineering, verification process, production and manufacturing up to services.

As of now every single product belonging to both companies is being retained and

maintained, but how long we can do that will depend largely on our customers’

usage. We have promised them complete support as long as they want to continue

using the product so that their investments remain protected.

There are two main areas where our products are positioned and we have

defined our position clearly on both. On the CAD/CAM side, we will continue with

all products from SDRC’s Master Series (MS) and Unigraphics Solutions (UGS),

but with a clear intention of eventually migrating into one product line that

combines the best functionality of both. For instance, while UGS is stronger in

manufacturing and production, SDRC is good in analysis and simulation. The new

product line, which is called UG MS, will evolve by 2003. In the PDM) arena,

especially for organizations like Boeing that have thousands of users working

concurrently, we now have end-to-end enterprise-wide large scalable solutions on

our portfolio.

"We will continue with the CAD/CAM range from SDRC and Unigraphics, but with the clear focus of eventually merging them into one product line..."


On SMEs…

There is quite a lot of potential indesigning consumer goods or simple parts.
We have the mid-range solution called Solid Edge from UGS, which is less costly

and now has enhanced the functionality almost comparable to a full-blown CAD

high-end system. This is very effective for the small-sized enterprises,

especially when the product being produced doesn’t require huge volumes of

data. For instance, when you have to create a car, you need to have 40,000

parts. But when you have to produce a simpler product, you may need to manage

only 50 parts. In fact, with our mid-range products, we have been able to

address the needs of a much larger number of manufacturing organizations, which

couldn’t have afforded a high-end product.

On CAD/CAM solutions…

The industry has seen lots of changes, especially over the last few years. I
feel CAD/CAM products have today become more like commodity items. They are not

just restricted to a few specialists. People can just buy the product and start

using it with very little need for training unlike in earlier days. Not just the

product has become more self-explanatory, even people have become more

tech-savvy. The focus now is on making better use of the data available, where

we start from defining what the product should be like through to sharing the

data across the globe and moving into SCM and CRM. While a 3D CAD/CAM solution

still remains an important piece in the chain, it is taken as a given. The scope

of product lifecycle management has increased.