Before SOLIDWORKS, the industry was starved for a comprehensive software package that married 3D solid modeling with a desktop program’s ease of use. SOLIDWORKS met that need.
It all began in 1993, when SOLIDWORKS founder Jon Hirschtick recruited a team of engineers to build a company that developed 3D CAD software that was easy to use. Since then the team’s startup became the leading supplier of 3D CAD technology, which gives teams intuitive, high-performing tools to design better products.
They did it by developing the first 3D CAD technology that ran on an intuitive Windows platform, didn’t require expensive hardware and software to operate, and didn’t cost a fortune.
In 1995, the first release of SOLIDWORKS® software was ready for the market. Within two months, it was already winning industry-wide accolades for establishing a new benchmark for ease of use. As sales began to soar, Hirschtick brought on longtime mechanical engineering industry veteran John McEleney to usher the company into Asian markets in 1996. McEleney established SOLIDWORKS in Asia and spearheaded the company’s Solution Partner Program, which has grown to include more than 700 partners worldwide.
The company’s rapidly growing customer base and continuous product innovation quickly established it as a strong competitor in the CAD market. The market noticed, and global product lifecycle technology giant Dassault Systèmes S.A. (Nasdaq: DASTY, Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA) acquired SOLIDWORKS for $310 million in stock in June of 1997.
Dassault Systèmes’ (DS) formula for SOLIDWORKS’ continued success is to let it maintain the strategy and the momentum that built the company. As CEO from 2001 through June of 2007, McEleney kept the company and its products on a meteoric path. SOLIDWORKS has become the fastest growing company in the DS family, having grown from two percent of DS’ revenue at the time of the acquisition to more than 20 percent today.
Current CEO Jeff Ray joined the company in 2003 as COO to help expand SOLIDWORKS’ sales, distribution, and marketing infrastructure. In four years, Ray saw sales and global licenses reach all-time highs, and the products became even more intelligent, enabling customers to push the limits of conventional design.
What We've Achieved
Now the pacesetter for CAD technology, SOLIDWORKS software has the most worldwide users in production—more than 700,000 users at over 97,000 locations in more than 100 countries around the world. SOLIDWORKS has also set benchmarks for penetration into the global education market. Every year, more than one million students at over 14,500 educational institutions worldwide graduate with SOLIDWORKS training. Moreover, SOLIDWORKS has consistently ranked as the 3D technology experience that employers seek most in job postings on Monster.com, the most popular employment Web site.
In addition, SOLIDWORKS has the highest customer satisfaction, the deepest penetration into educational institutions around the world, and the largest number of integrated partner applications on the market. SOLIDWORKS software has achieved these goals because it helps engineers be more productive than before, while designing more innovative products that make their companies more successful.
Highlights of Our Accomplishments
- Introduction of the first 3D CAD software available in a native Windows environment
- Delivered SOLIDWORKS eDrawings, the first easy-to-use e-mail-enabled design communication tool, now a standard for collaboration
- Released new major product lines every year since 1995
- Received a U.S. patent for the SOLIDWORKS FeatureManager®, now the standard CAD user interface found in every CAD application today
- Acquired in 1997 by leading product lifecycle management software developer Dassault Systèmes for stock valued at $310 million
- Ranked among of the world’s 200 largest software companies by Software Magazine in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005