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Dassault Systemes

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Dassault Systemes

Dassault Systèmes S.A.
Société Anonyme
Traded as DSY
Industry CAD/CAM/CAE/ PLM Software
Founded 1981
Headquarters Vélizy-Villacoublay, France
Key people

Bernard Charlès (President and CEO)

Charles Edelstenne (Chairman)
Products 3D design software, 3D Digital Mock-up and Product lifecycle management (PLM)
Revenue 2.028 billion (2012)[1]
Operating income €501.0 million (2012)[1]
Profit €334.8 million (2012)[1]
Total assets €3.641 billion (end 2012)[1]
Total equity €2.066 billion (end 2012)[1]
Employees 9,552 (end 2011)[2]
Parent Dassault Group

Dassault Systèmes S.A. (French pronunciation: ​[daˈso]) is a French company and a world leader in the production of 3D design software, 3D digital mock-up and product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions.


Dassault Systèmes (NYSE Euronext:DSY) is a subsidiary of the Dassault Group created in 1981 by Avions Marcel Dassault to develop a new generation of computer aided design software called CATIA. The French government, a shareholder since 2001, sold a 15.74% stake in the company for 601 million in 2003.[3] The Dassault Group (as at 2011) holds 42.2%[4] shares. Dassault Systèmes moved its corporate headquarters from Suresnes to Velizy-Villacoublay in November 2008. This new European headquarters, located in the south-western suburbs of Paris, is commonly called 3DS Paris Campus. Another campus was established in 2011 in Waltham, Massachusetts, west of Boston (United States) and is called 3DS Boston Campus.

Dassault Systèmes develops and markets PLM software solutions and services that support industrial processes by providing a 3D vision of the entire lifecycle of products from conception to maintenance. Dassault Systèmes customers are companies in the following industries: Aerospace & Defense, Architecture, Engineering and Construction, Consumer goods - distribution, FMCG - Distribution, Energy, and processes, Finance and Corporate Services, High Technology, Industrial Equipment, Life Sciences, Marine & Offshore, Natural Resources, and Transport & mobility.

Dassault Systèmes was a signatory to the French SME Pact in May 2008.

CAD/CAM period

Dassault Systèmes was incorporated in 1981 but really started in 1977 with 15 engineers from Avions Marcel Dassault who were in charge of providing support for the aircraft building process. While they were initially supposed to develop a 3D Computer-aided Design software (CATIA, then called CATI) just to help create designs, the engineers broadened the mission's scope to providing help to other industrial sectors.

At the end of 1980, the rumours surrounding CATIA reached the very top of the company and Marcel Dassault, then aged 88, asked for a demonstration of the software capabilities.[5] The company management understood the engineers' vision and started to discuss how to leverage their innovation.[5] They quickly realized they could not afford to keep and develop this invention internally and decided to create a new company to explore the Computer-aided Design and Computer-aided Manufacturing market (CAD/CAM).

Dassault Systèmes thus got started in 1981 with only one customer (Avions Marcel Dassault) and 25 engineers who didn't know how to sell or commercialize their product.[6] Since Dassault was one of the major clients of IBM in France, an agreement was negotiated for IBM to sell CATIA. It was a non-exclusive licence with 50/50 revenue sharing where CATIA would be sold by IBM as an IBM product. This agreement was extremely successful for both companies and it is considered "one of the fundamental success factors in the history of Dassault Systèmes".[6]

CATIA started getting noticed in other sectors outside of aeronautical design, notably in the automotive industry[7] (BMW, Mercedes and Honda). The company used a step-by-step approach to get a start in other industries such as consumer goods, machinery, and shipbuilding. IBM itself became a customer in the mid 1980s and deployed CATIA in its engineering and manufacturing plants.[8]

Over the years, Dassault Systèmes improved its software and expanded to the US, Japan and Germany. This rapid growth triggered a chain of products, acquisitions, and partnerships beyond the company's core 3D CAD/CAM software and led to what is known today as Dassault Systèmes.

PLM Period

By the end of the 20th century, CAD/CAM had become too restrictive to be identified with Dassault Systèmes products. Then, in the early 2000s, it was replaced by PLM, the acronym for Product Lifecycle Management.[9] New brand names were added to address the full PLM spectrum: DELMIA to support manufacturing, ENOVIA to support internal and external collaboration, SIMULIA for Analysis and Simulation, SolidWorks for 3D modeling and 3DVIA for 3D visualization.

In 2007, along with the creation of the new brand 3DVIA, Dassault Systèmes started to get into online applications. PLM 2.0 was released, linked to the Web 2.0 "network as a platform" concept. The company used the advantages of the Internet and introduced online PLM with its Version 6 platform.[9] This strategy was also followed by many other acquisitions such as: the 2010 Exalead purchase to plunge deeper into Internet search technologies, the 2012 Netvibes purchase to monitor social media through dashboards, the 2012 Gemcom purchase to model and simulate the planet,and the 2013 SIMPOE for plastic injection simulation. In the same year Dassault Systèmes announced its first employment safeguard plan under the Law of Social Modernisation of 17 January 2002 as a result of its closure of its research laboratory in Grenoble.[10]

Key Dates

  • 1981: Dassault Systèmes incorporation.
  • 1992: Dassault Systèmes acquired CADAM, a 2-Dimensional CAD/CAM software from IBM, and incorporated Dassault Systèmes Americas Corp.
  • 1997: Dassault Systèmes acquired SolidWorks, a developer of mechanical design solutions.[11]
  • 1998: Dassault Systèmes purchased IBM Product Data Management (PDM) assets and established Enovia Corporation[12]
  • 1999: Dassault Systèmes acquired Israeli company Smart Solutions Ltd. developer of SmarTeam, a PDM workflow software, which later also developed TeamWorks an integrated workflow solution for SolidWorks.[13]
  • 2000: the DELMIA brand was launched in order to address the digital manufacturing domain following a series of three acquisitions, including (i) Deneb Robotics, a U.S. company specializing in robotic simulation, (ii) Safework, a Canadian company specializing in human modeling technology, and (iii) EAI-DELTA, a German company specializing in manufacturing process management software. In the same year, Dassault Systèmes also acquired Spatial Technology, a U.S. company developing and selling software components, including ACIS.
  • 2002: Geometric and Dassault Systèmes established a joint venture called 3D PLM Software Solutions Ltd., which was set up with an equity participation of 58% and 42% respectively.
  • 2006: Dassault Systèmes acquired MatrixOne Inc. to create the next generation of its ENOVIA brand.[15] In the same year, Dassault Systèmes also acquired Dynasim AB, a Swedish company specializing in modeling and simulation software for embedded systems, in connection with the development of its CATIA Systems strategy.
  • 2007: Dassault Systèmes launched the 3DVIA brand and at the same time acquired Seemage,[16] a leader in the creation of 3D interactive product documentation, and from it launches the 3DVIA Composer product line. Virtools is added to the 3DVIA brand and becomes 3DVIA Virtools. In the same year, Dassault Systèmes also acquired ICEM Ltd, a UK company well known in the automotive industry for its styling, surface modeling and rendering software.
  • 2010: Dassault Systèmes acquired Exalead Inc.[17] In the same year, it also acquired IBM's sales and support force (all support contracts and around 700 employees) for the PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) software business.
  • 2011: Dassault Systèmes acquired Intercim LLC and Enguinity PLM.[18][19]
  • 2011: Dassault Systèmes and Gehry Technology signed an agreement allowing each of them to sell the product Digital Project through their own sales channels.[20]
  • 2012: Dassault Systèmes acquires Gemcom.[23]
  • 2013: Dassault Systèmes acquires FE Design
  • 2013: Dassault Systèmes acquires Simpoe
  • 2013: Dassault Systèmes acquires Apriso.[24]


  • CATIA[25] was Dassault Système's initial product. It is the PLM solution for 3D collaborative creation. CATIA addresses the product development process, from early product concept specification through to product in service.
  • DraftSight is a free 2D CAD program that is free to individuals and compatible with .DWG format. It's useful for professional CAD users, students and educators create. It runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX.
  • SolidWorks products span 3D mechanical design software, simulation, product data management, and collaboration. They are generally offered as a suite of products, scaled to the customer's needs. Customers can choose to add other SolidWorks products providing additional simulation and PDM capabilities. They are used by companies in the machinery, medical, consumer, tool and die, electrical and power sectors, and by suppliers to the aerospace and automotive industries.
  • CAA V5, a development environment allowing CATIA, DELMIA et ENOVIA to interface with other applications using C++ and Java.
  • Spatial, represents a grouping of components of modelling and 3D visualisation. This brand resulted from the acquisition in 2000 of Autodesk who owned the modelling software ACIS.
  • DELMIA is a factory simulation software which resulted from the acquisition of Deneb, Delta, and SafeWork. DELMIA is the Company's PLM digital manufacturing software. It allows manufacturers to virtually define, plan, create, monitor and control all production processes, from the early process planning and assembly simulation to a complete definition of the production facility and equipment.
  • ENOVIA is for collaborative management and global life cycle (PLM) with the historical VPM (Virtual Product Management) and its successor VPLM as well as DMU which came from the SmartTeam and MatrixOne acquisitions.ENOVIA provides a framework for collaboration for Company's PLM software. It is an online environment that involves creators, collaborators and consumers in the product lifecycle.
  • SIMULIA for virtual testing and simulation was a result of the acquisition of Abaqus in 2005. SIMULIA automates standard simulation processes and can be deployed across any organization, distributing workload across the computing resources, and managing the simulation results to improve collaborative decision making. It is designed to meet companies' needs for realistic product and process simulation software and to make realistic simulation more readily accessible through integrated and collaborative simulation applications.
  • 3DVIA's objective is to bring 3D technology to new users, businesses and consumers. The Company's 3DVIA portfolio has a range of software as detailed in the 3DVIA article. The three most well known are:
3DLive, a suite of products designed to help individuals across the enterprise to search, navigate and collaborate in 3D in real-time over the Internet (for PC and Mac);
3DVIA Composer, which enables users to deliver assembly procedures, technical illustrations, and marketing materials using 3D images and other 3D data that remain compatible with other products., a community Web site dedicated to 3D artists and enthusiasts and to find, share and create 3D interactive experiences.
  • EXALEAD is an infrastructure for search engines with search-oriented applications and Internet. Exalead is a global provider of information access software for the enterprise and the Web.
  • NETVIBES provides intelligent dashboards to monitor and manage Web information in real-time.
  • GEOVIA delivers mining software solutions.
  • 3DSWYM is a social platform to share internal and external information.

Corporate Culture

Passion for Innovation Program

Passion for Innovation is a corporate sponsorship which aims at giving free access to Dassault Systèmes' software to non-profit organizations and individuals.[26]

The program started with a disabled employee who could not drive a sports car because of his physical issue.[27] He developed a new clutch system that would allow him to drive, but needed to test it virtually beforehand, as road testing of such a vital modification would be very dangerous. He was granted free access to CATIA to design his idea, which allowed him to eventually drive a sports car.

Such a story fomented the creation of Passion for Innovation and since then it has helped on several projects such as "Xplorair", "Khufu", and "Ice Dream".[28]

Dassault Systèmes Campus

Dassault Systèmes has two sites as headquarters: one based in Europe (France), and one based in North America (Waltham, Massachusetts, in New England).

European Campus

Dassault Systèmes headquarters are in Vélizy-Villacoublay, located in the south-western suburbs of Paris, France. Most of the employees who work there are under 40 years old. The campus is actually made up of four environmentally-certified HQE buildings with 45,000 square metres of land within the complex, and is often referred to as the Dassault Systèmes Campus. This campus is commonly called the 3DS Paris Campus.[29] Each building is named after one of the four main elements (water, earth, air and fire), which together total 57,000 square metres of office space. One of the buildings has an area called "LIVES" (Lifelike Immersive Virtual Experience Space) which is a demonstration centre equipped with virtual reality technology.[30]

American Campus

Dassault Systèmes headquarters in North America is located in Waltham, Massachusetts, to the west of Boston, United States of America. 800 employees and contractors work in a building designed as an arc and where overall energy use is reduced by 29 percent. This campus has a green area (27-acres (~110,000 m2)) and is called 3DS Boston Campus.[31]

Corporate Information


The list below sets forth the Company's main subsidiaries and also indicates the percentage equity interest and voting rights directly or indirectly held by Dassault Systèmes SA.[32]

  • Dassault Data Services SAS (France) – 95%
  • Dassault Systèmes Americas Corp. (US) – 100%
  • Exalead SA (France) – 100%
  • Dassault Systèmes Services LLC (US) – 100%
  • Dassault Systèmes Deutschland GmbH (Germany) – 100%
  • Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. (US) – 100%
  • Dassault Systèmes K.K. (Japan) – 100%
  • Dassault Systèmes Enovia Corp. (US) – 100%
  • SolidWorks Japan K.K. (Japan) – 100%
  • Dassault Systèmes Delmia Corp. (US) – 100%
  • Dassault Systèmes Korea Corp. (Korea) – 100%
  • Dassault Systèmes Simulia Corp. (US) – 100%

Company management

  • Chairman of the Board of Directors: Charles Edelstenne
  • Director: Bernard Charles
  • CFO: Thibault de Tersant
  • R & D Director: Dominique Florack

Financial data

Dassault Systèmes is the largest French software publisher in terms of revenue: it is five times greater than that of the second largest.[33]

Financial data
Year 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Gross Turnover (Millions of Euros) 774.1 754.8 796.6 934.5 1,157.8 1,258.8 1,334.8 1,251.3 1,563.8 1,783.5 2,028.3
Net Earnings per Share (Euros) 106.0 114.1 144.4 156.2 174.3 176.7 200.5 169.7 220.5 289.2 334.2
Equity (Millions of Euros) 588.3 605.4 700.0 886.0 1013.3 1116.9 1308.9 1447.7 1790.4 2066.2 2364.8
Net Debt 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Market data

Shares listed on the NYSE Euronext exchange (Symbol: DSY) Member index CAC Next 20 ISIN Code Value = FR000130650 Nominal value = euro Main shareholders: ( 2009 ): Floating 49.7% Groupe Industriel Marcel Dassault 43.8% Charles Edelstenne 6.5%. ( 2010 ): Floating 50.2% Groupe Industriel Marcel Dassault 42.8% Charles Edelstenne 6.3% Bernard Charlès 0.7%. ( 2011 ): Floating 50.7%, Marcel Dassault Industrial Group 42.2% Charles Edelstenne 6.2% Bernard Charlès 1.0%.

Market Data as at 1 January
Year 2009 2010 2011 2012
Shares Traded (millions) 118.4 121.3 123.1
Market Capitalisation (billions of Euros) 4.7 6.8 7.6
Number of Daily Transactions 260,297 237,242 254,652
Diluted EPS non-IFRS (Euros) 1.86 2.50 2.92 3.37

See also

Companies portal


External links

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