Careers at ANSYS
ANSYS's mission is to help engineers develop the best possible products.
In the 1960s, Dr. John Swanson was employed as an engineer at Westinghouse Astronuclear Labs, tasked with stress analysis of components in NERVA nuclear reactor rockets. He used computer codes to model and project transient displacements and stresses of the reactor system due to pressure and thermal loads. At a certain point, while developing a 3D analysis model, he determined that combining different computer codes into a single general-purpose code could make it easier to complete complex calculations and streamline processing – thus saving money and time.
His bosses did not support his theory, and Swanson responded by leaving the firm in 1969. He began developing his idea, calling it ANSYS (short for Analysis System). In 1970 he founded a company to commercialize it, calling it Swanson Analysis System, Inc. (SASI). Its purpose would be to develop finite element analysis software that could simulate static, dynamic, and thermal (heat transfer) problems. Around the same time Swanson agreed to act as a consultant for his old employer under one condition – that any work he did could also be used for ANSYS. Westinghouse agreed.
Access to the corporation’s resources enabled Swanson to make many improvements to ANSYS. Its first version was completed by the end of 1970, and he began leasing it shortly afterwards, with Westinghouse being the first customer. SASI’s product development occurred in tandem with advancements in computer technology. In 1984 it released a personal computer version of ANSYS. The company experienced success, growing by 10 – 20% each year. In 1994 it was acquired by TA Associates, which took ANSYS as its new company name. ANSYS became a public firm in 1996.
Business model of ANSYS
ANSYS has a niche market business model, with a specialized customer segment. The company primarily targets its offerings at firms in the aerospace/defense, biomedical, automotive, energy, electronics, materials and chemicals processing, and semiconductor industries. Its products are primarily used by engineers, researchers, designers, and students.
ANSYS offers four primary value propositions: accessibility, cost reduction, risk reduction, and brand.
The company creates accessibility by offering a wide variety of options. Its solution is available on a large range of hardware platforms. Furthermore, it has acquired over a dozen companies, which has enabled it to provide additional capabilities and innovations for customers.
The company reduces costs by enabling cheaper testing options. Customers are able to conduct test simulations, saving expenses that would arise from using physical prototypes. In fact, they are able to test thousands of designs in the time normally taken to build one prototype. The simulations are effective, enabling users to confirm how their ideas will work in the real world.
The company reduces risk by ensuring the quality of its solution. It touts its analysis software as the first developed within a quality system with ISO 9001 certification, a globally-accepted standard. Furthermore, its testing, development, maintenance, and support procedures meet the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s requirements, and have for almost 40 years. Lastly, ANSYS employees carry out over 60,000 software verification tests before each new product release.
The company has established a powerful brand as a result of its success. Its software is used by over 45,000 customers, including 96 of the top 100 industrial firms on the Fortune 500. Specific prominent clients include Audi, Samsung, AirBus, and Medtronic.
ANSYS’s main channels are its direct sales teams, which operate through 75 sales offices worldwide, and its network of independent channel partners (resellers and distributors) in more than 40 countries, which accounts for about 25% of revenues. The company promotes its offerings through its website, social media pages, and participation in seminars, trade shows, and conferences.
ANSYS’s customer relationship is primarily of a personal assistance nature. The company assists users in the following ways:
Support Services – ANSYS provides phone and e-mail support from customer service professionals.
Consulting Services – ANSYS provides a variety of consulting services for customers, including system deployment, product development assessment, and simulation workflow improvement. It also offers an “Embedded Expert”, a dedicated ANSYS employee that works hand-in-hand with the client to solve specific problems, and a “Mentoring Expert” that demonstrates effective use of the solution.
Training Services – ANSYS maintains the ANSYS Training Center, which offers FEA training, CFD training, HFSS training, Maxwell training, Icepak training, and various other types of engineering simulation training. The programs feature a wide range of courses.
Despite this orientation, there is also a self-service component. The company provides a customer portal where users can search a solutions database, locate product documentation, access training materials and best practice guides, download the latest software versions, and obtain real-time updates on the status of technical support requests. The company’s website also offers several self-help resources, including articles, brochures, case studies, white papers, webinars, and videos.
ANSYS’s business model entails designing and developing its software solutions for customers.
ANSYS maintains the following formal partnership programs:
ANSYS Channel Partner Program – This program consists of the following categories:
- ANSYS Channel Partners – Includes firms selling ANSYS products across multiple classes of physics. The company provides them with training and consulting services for those products, as well as certification in sales and technical areas. Partners conduct reporting on multiple dimensions for ANSYS and provide feedback on customer engagement.
- ANSYS Specialty Solution Channel Partners – Includes firms selling ANSYS products and related services for a niche application area or individual class of physics. The company provides them with the same offerings as it does for ANSYS Channel Partners.
- ANSYS Elite Channel Partners – Includes top-level channel partners that have been approved based on an evaluation of business growth, overall sales volume, customer satisfaction ratings, and extent of staff certification in sales and technical ranks. The company provides them with regular channel partner offerings as well as premier technical support, strategic sales initiative incentives, and multiphysics portfolio representation. Specific partners include ANOVA, CADFEM, Cybernet Systems, ESSS, Fluid Codes LLE, SimuTech Group, and Taesung S&E.
ANSYS Strategic Partner Program – This program consists of the following categories:
- High-Performance Computing (HPC) Partners – Includes top HPC firms ANSYS works with to ensure that its software is optimized on the most recent computing platforms. It also works with them to create specific guidelines and recommended system and hardware configurations. Specific partners include Advanced Micro Devices, Cisco, Dell, Fujitsu, and Hewlett-Packard.
- Software Partners – Includes independent software vendors that integrate their solutions into ANSYS offerings to increase simulation process efficiency and functionality. Specific partners include Advanced Design Technology, Dynamic Design Solutions, and Magna Powertrain.
- Academic Partners – Includes educational institutions that ANSYS partners with to develop leading-edge technologies and help train the next generation of engineers. Professors can receive exposure to applications and industry, while students can engage in real-world project participation. Specific partners include Carnegie Mellon University and Princeton University.
- Performance Partners – Includes innovative leaders in key academic and industry disciplines in areas such as automotive research and development and space exploration. ANSYS sponsors them so they can demonstrate how its products give them a competitive advantage. Specific partners include Alto Racing, FSAE, Las Cumbres Observatory, SolePower, and Speedo.
- Cloud-Hosting Partners – Includes firms that provide IT infrastructure and services for ANSYS customers. They deploy systems and offer support for use of the company’s applications in their cloud datacenters. Specific partners include Gompute, Nimbix, and RSystems.
ANSYS’s main resources are its human resources. They include engineers with M.S. and Ph.D. degrees who have expertise in finite element analysis, electronics, computational fluid dynamics, semiconductors, design optimization, and embedded software. They also include training professionals on the ANSYS Customer Excellence (ACE) team, who have more than 450 Ph.D.s between them and have trained over 16,000 customers on the company’s software. Finally, ANSYS has over 600 support and services professionals providing quality assistance worldwide.
ANSYS has a value-driven structure, aiming to provide a premium proposition through significant personal service and frequent product enhancements. In fact, the company claims that it reinvests 15% of sales into research for continuous software improvement. Its biggest cost driver is sales/administration expenses, a fixed cost. Other major drivers are in the areas of research and development, a fixed cost, and cost of sales, a variable expense.
ANSYS has two revenue streams:
Software Licenses – Revenue generated from the licensing of computer software products
Maintenance and Service – Revenue generated from software-related maintenance and services (training, consulting, etc.)
info: James earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering and MBA in Marketing and Finance at the University of Cincinnati. He previously served as SVP of Operations at ANSYS and VP of Marketing and International Operations at PAR Technology.
info: Maria earned a B.S. in Accounting from Pennsylvania State University. She previously served as Corporate Controller of ANSYS and held numerous roles as a CPA at Deloitte and Touche, including that of Audit Manager.
info: Walid earned a B.S. degree in Systems Engineering from Arizona State University. He previously held several leadership roles at Microsoft, including Corporate VP, Developer and Platform Evangelism and Vice President, Specialist Sales.
info: Mark earned an M.S. from the Technical University of Denmark. He previously served as Senior VP of Customer Success at Parallels, and spent more than 10 years at Microsoft in positions such as VP of the developer business and General Manager, Servers and Tools.
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