SolidWorksification of Dassault Systemes

A comment made by SolidWorks co-founder Jon Hirschtick during a conversation with him at SolidWorks World 2011 got me wondering. He said, “Everyone is talking about the Dassaultification of SolidWorks. Nobody is talking about the SolidWorksification of Dassault Systemes“. He was referring to the recent promotion of Jeff Ray from SolidWorks CEO to Executive Vice President in charge of Geographic Operations at Dassault Systemes.

If you look at it closely, what Jon said does seem to make a lot of sense. Dassault Systemes is a huge organization and it has an interesting organization structure. Bernard Charles is the President and CEO of Dassault Systemes. But each brand (CATIA, ENOVIA, DELMIA, SIMULIA, 3D VIA and Solidworks) has its own CEO and management team as well. Interestingly, the highest decision making body at Dassault Systemes sits in the corporate headquarters in Paris and comprises of Bernard Charles along with other very senior executives from Dassault Systemes. It is important to note that none of the brand CEO’s are part of this body. The SolidWorksfication that Jon was talking about was the induction of Jeff Ray into that body. Bernard Charles even joked on stage at SolidWorks World that they would have to now starting speaking in English in their meetings.

I believe this can be very important for SolidWorks. The people who sit at this high table are involved in taking big decisions on corporate direction and business strategy. They are not bothered with the day to day operations of the brands. That is left unto the individual brand CEO’s and their management teams. Jeff has been with SolidWorks for many years and obviously he holds the company, its employees, partners, resellers and customers quite close to his heart. SolidWorks now has a voice at the high table that can, and I believe will, speak for them. I mean if SYCODE was acquired by a company and I was taken aboard and was involved in the decision making, if I thought that a particular decision was going to be detrimental to my employees and customers I would throw a fit and do everything in my power to prevent it from happening. Similarly I would do everything I could for SYCODE, of course keeping the larger picture in mind. After all SYCODE is my baby and the people involved and personal relationships I built matter to me a lot.

We all know that larger the organization greater is the politics. It is quite possible that Jeff Ray moving to Paris may be the best thing that’s ever happened to SolidWorks. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. Not one bit.

  • Anonymous

    Jeff Ray is a shit. He sent me a thoughful sounding email. I respond hinking that Solidworks cared about users, only to find my email returned to sender. It was some spam robot rather than the real Jeff Ray. At least the spam robot was honest about the attention that would be applied to my email.

    • So if I understand this right, Jeff Ray is a shit because a spam robot sent you an email. I ask because I want to understand this right before I delete your comment.

      And just so that you know, I don’t allow personal attacks on my blog.
      If you have something constructive to say or want to be critical of something, please do so. But calling someone a shit (whatever that means) just because you got an email from someone else with his name as sender doesn’t make much sense to me. You should be calling the email sender a shit, no?

      To drive my point in, if someone sends me an email with RcMcWilliams as sender should I start calling Rick McWilliams a shit.

  • Ricco

    You forget that since jeff was announce ceo of SW the old SW spirit has been decreasing very fast …. So i am not sure that Jeff is anything else than a business man….! And after a few eating frogs i am sure that it all comes down to numbers, but we will see

  • Rick McWilliams

    It was a deceptive email sent from Solidworks with Jeff Ray’s name at the bottom. Pretty close to official. Too bad the return address was a dead end.

    • Those kind of emails are not deceptive emails. They are mass emails sent out to a large recipient list usually with a reply address like donotreply@something.com. They are designed for one way communication which I believe is what SolidWorks marketing or whoever sent you that email wanted to do.

  • Anonymous

    @Deelip – I think your article is right on the money. It is certainly possible that this is a way to carefully remove Jeff Ray from SolidWorks without angering the SolidWorks community (I heard that several times this past week at SWW11), but I think it is more likely that Dassault would like to be “SolidWorks-ified” a bit. All of the people that pay attention to Dassault’s financials regularly note how significant a contribution SolidWorks makes to Dassault Systemes’ overall financial performance. Many people have also noted that two of the most valuable parts of SolidWorks (the company) are the channel and the community. I suspect Jeff knows how to help Dassault build similar types of channels and communities for its other brands – and I also suspect this is one of the things that helped get him his new job.

    I wish Jeff Ray all the best in his new role, and hope that he proves effective at providing some “SolidWorks-ification” to Dassault. Dassault is a great technology leader, but that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t use to learn a few tricks from their SolidWorks brand.

  • Anonymous

    @Deelip – I think your article is right on the money. It is certainly possible that this is a way to carefully remove Jeff Ray from SolidWorks without angering the SolidWorks community (I heard that several times this past week at SWW11), but I think it is more likely that Dassault would like to be “SolidWorks-ified” a bit. All of the people that pay attention to Dassault’s financials regularly note how significant a contribution SolidWorks makes to Dassault Systemes’ overall financial performance. Many people have also noted that two of the most valuable parts of SolidWorks (the company) are the channel and the community. I suspect Jeff knows how to help Dassault build similar types of channels and communities for its other brands – and I also suspect this is one of the things that helped get him his new job.

    I wish Jeff Ray all the best in his new role, and hope that he proves effective at providing some “SolidWorks-ification” to Dassault. Dassault is a great technology leader, but that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t use to learn a few tricks from their SolidWorks brand.

  • Don’t forget, SolidWorks is consistently Dassault’s most profitable brand, by percentage of revenue. It is important to treat the goose that lays the golden eggs with kindness and respect.

  • Anonymous

    One way communication is just the thing for a “customer driven” company. The return address was not a donotreply thing. Of course Solidworks and Jeff Ray did not want any response. They do not care about users.

  • art1

    These Dassault guys are unbelievable, they sit there taking a lot of money… and manage to make a lame ass shit piece software and as we, the users don’t allready knew, they come up and also shout it in our face.

    Is this an insult to users intelligence or what!