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I spoke with Dr. Victor Allis, co-founder and CEO of supply chain planning and optimization software firm Quintiq, following the announcement of his company's planned $336 million acquisition by Dassault Systemes of France in late July.
|Dr. Victor Allis / Quintiq website|
Dr. Allis co-founded Quintiq while a university professor in The Netherlands in 1997 (he holds a PHD in artificial intelligence). In 2005, the company established a US office in Philadelphia. Dr. Allis soon made Philadelphia his primary residence and in 2010 established a US headquarters in Radnor which became the company's co-headquarters, the other being in The Netherlands.
Quintiq now employs about 800 people, including 80 in Radnor and 100 overall in the US. Allis says the US is Quintiq's fastest growing region. Quintiq received a "substantial minority investment" from LLR Partners and NewSpring Capital in 2010, its only outside funding. During last year, Quintiq said it expected its 2013 revenue to be more than $100 million with 36% growth.
Allis said Quintiq's first objective in becoming part of Dasssault Systemes is to take on and possibly supplant the "big three" of supply chain planning software, SAP, Oracle and JDA (see Gartner's Magic Quadrant for supply chain software ). SAP and Oracle's supply chain software businesses are outgrowths of and extensions of their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) suites, and JDA is a legacy provider which has accumulated several vendors over the years.
Dassault Systemes' US headquarters is in Massachusetts, but Qunitiq will report up through a group (Delmia Corporation) based outside Detroit. Within that group, Quintiq will work with Daussault's recent Apriso acquisition to integrate aspects of its product line with Apriso"s MES (manufacturing execution system) platform.
Dassault's vision in acquiring Quintiq is to marry its own Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software for manufacturing with Qunitiq's supply chain management (SCM) software, seeing PLM and SCP as one continuous process. Dassault Systemes, which describes itself as the world's 9th largest software company and grew out of the French aerospace company of the same name, was an early leader in CAD/CAM software developed to assist in Dassault's manufacturing process. It now uses the term "3DEXPERIENCE" to describe its offerings.
Quintiq will maintain its Radnor/The Netherlands dual headquarters, and Allis will continue to make the Philly area his primary residence, although of course he will probably be traveling a great deal.
Allis says a key factor in Quintiq's success has been using one common platform to serve all verticals. Customization varies, in some cases requiring only a few days and in other cases considerably longer. Another important aspect is that Quintiq has been in-memory from its beginnings, allowing for rapid reiterations in real time. Allis describes how Quintiq helps its customer Walmart. Quintiq's software, configured for the retail and distribution industry, allows Walmart logistics load managers to assign loads to driver-truck combinations to create the optimal sets of trips, and to dispatch those trips through an onboard computer to the driver. Based on real-time updates from the driver’s onboard computer, Quintiq’s optimization engine continuously re-optimizes the sequence of trips and provides recommendations to logistics load managers through its user interface.
Gartner says Quintiq is not strong over all verticals. Its primary strengths are in logistics and distribution for transportation applications, and in complex process manufacturing, according to Gartner.
Allis is proud that Quintiq was built organically to this point without a single acquisition, though he hints that future acquisitions are a possibility as part of Dassault.
LLR Partners and NewSpring Capital have not commented on the transaction. Responding to my email inquiry, LLR says it can't comment until the deal closes. Dassault Systemes, in announcing the deal, didn't give an expected date for closing, stating that "completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including antitrust clearances in Germany and Austria."
Quintiq and Dassault Systemes are planning a world tour to introduce their combined capabilities, including a stop in Philadelphia on October 15.