The Dassault Systemes Success Story – Part 1

Recently I had the good fortune of getting to know Francis Bernard, better known as the “Father of CATIA”. I was introduced to him by email by a common acquaintance. After exchanging a couple of emails with him I knew that I wanted to interview him, preferably in person. Francis retired from Dassault Systemes in 2006 and I couldn’t see an opportunity on the horizon to meet him in my travels. I guess the best way to tell a person’s story is to stay quiet and let the person do it himself. So I asked him to send me his thoughts.

This series is titled “Dassault Systemes Success Story” and is written in the first person by Francis Bernard himself.


The Dassault Systemes Success Story

By Francis Bernard

Dassault Systemes Co-Founder (1981), President (1981-1995) and Member of the Board (1995-2006)

The world has dramatically changed in the last 50 years. Thankfully, we have had a long period of peace, following the first and the second world wars. During this time we seen two major evolutions:

  • The Information Technology Revolution: An incredible change in our professional and private lives with computer, software and telecommunication technologies.
  • Globalization: The end of the cold war in the late 80’s gradually erased borders, opening up market opportunities for alliances and unbelievable mixing of cultures.

To this favorable environment, I will add a third component. After my graduation from the French Aerospace University (Supaero) in 1967, I started my professional life as a young engineer in one of the most innovative companies in the world – Dassault Aviation. This was the right place to reap the benefits of the two evolutions mentioned above.

My professional life has been like a dream. It gave me the opportunity to become the “father” of one of the most famous software products in the world – CATIA, and the founder of one of the greatest success story of the last 30 years in the software industry: the Dassault Systèmes  company.

I am going to outline this story…

Part 2 >>