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SolidWorks Corp.

September 3, 2011

Filed under: CAD/CAM/CAE,review — Terry Wohlers @ 08:25

I visited Dassault Systemes’ SolidWorks Corp. in Concord, Massachusetts this week. It was part of a special event for industry analysts and members of the press. I have watched the company mature since its founding and it’s been interesting to see it develop into a world-class organization. SolidWorks has gained a high level of respect from organizations of all sizes from around the world.

Many customers, partners, and others affiliated with the company have been pleased to see that principal founder Jon Hirschtick continues to support the company as an employee and visionary. Co-founders, such as Scott Harris and Vic Leventhal, have remained visible at industry events and happily reflect on their early days at SolidWorks. Getting to know them and other former executives has strengthened the connection that people have to the software and company.

This week, Fielder Hiss, vice president of Product Management, reviewed key features and milestones from 20 releases of SolidWorks. It was an excellent summary of where the software began and how far it has come. New features in SolidWorks 2012 were disclosed later in the day, but those in attendance were asked to hold all comments on them until September 6. Stay tuned.

Where is SolidWorks Corp. going in the future? I had the opportunity of spending one-on-one time with most of the company’s top management, including Bertrand Sicot, the relatively new CEO. Over the years, I had formed a good relationship with former CEO Jeff Ray, who is now at Dassault corporate in France, and was sorry to see him leave. However, I was impressed by what I saw and heard from Sicot and believe that he connects well with others, similar to Ray. I believe he has the personality, respect, and credentials to be a successful chief executive.

The time I spent this week with SolidWorks employees gave me a sense that they have what it takes to continue what the founders started more than 15 years ago. SolidWorks Corp. is a well-oiled machine that I believe will thrive and impact product development as well as anyone in the engineering software business. The people, strategies, and software products are positioned for the next several years.