Careers at Mentor Graphics
Mentor Graphics’ mission is to enable companies to develop better electronic products faster and more cost-effectively.
Mentor Graphics is a provider of electronic design automation (EDA) software and hardware solutions. The company operates five reportable business segments:
- Scalable Verification – Tools that enable engineers to confirm that their IC and FPGA designs work as intended by simulating and debugging the design.
- IC Design to Silicon – Tools that ensure the effectiveness of integrated circuit (IC) design.
- Integrated System Design – Tools that ensure the effectiveness of printed circuit board (PCB) design.
- New and Emerging Products – Software tools that enable the design, analysis, and documentation of the electrical systems found in automotive, aerospace, and other transportation platforms.
- Services and Other – Consulting services that facilitate the deployment and adoption of the firm’s technologies; they include business process design, methodology development, enterprise integration, and large scale deployment.
Thomas Bruggere was a Software Engineering Manager at Tektronix. At a certain point he felt the desire to start his own company, so he recruited six colleagues to help him with this task; they included Gerard Langeler and David Moffenbeier. The group would meet after work to discuss what area the new venture would focus on. They eventually settled on computer-aided engineering (CAE).
The team founded a company called Mentor Graphics in 1981, and successfully raised funding. They then traveled across the U.S. interviewing engineers to determine the qualities they sought most in CAE systems. With this information, they decided that their offering would be a workstation featuring an Apollo desktop computer that ran their software. They called the system the IDEA 1000.
The group raced to build a prototype, hoping to have it ready for the 1982 Design Automation Conference, the most important trade show in the industry. They finished it in time, and it was a big success at the event, attracting many orders. Despite facing stiff competition from competitors such as Daisy Systems, by 1985 Mentor Graphics lead the electronic design automation (EDA) market.
Logo © by Mentor corporate marketing (Wikimedia Commons) under CC BY-SA 4.0
Benefits at Mentor Graphics
Business model of Mentor Graphics
Mentor Graphics has a niche market business model, with a specialized customer segment. The company targets its offerings at large firms in the communications, computer, consumer electronics, semiconductor, networking, military and aerospace, multimedia, and transportation industries.
Mentor Graphics offers three primary value propositions: accessibility, performance, and brand/status.
The company creates accessibility by offering a wide variety of options. Its customers use its products to test a broad range of electronic components and systems, including integrated circuits, printed circuit boards, field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), embedded systems and software, and wire harness systems. Furthermore, its solutions are used in the design and development of many electronic products, including transportation electronics, IoT platforms, computers, medical devices, industrial electronics, manufacturing systems, and wireless communications infrastructure.
The company has demonstrated strong performance through tangible results. Its solutions enable clients to develop superior electronic products, increasing the accuracy of complex designs. It also helps them produce more quickly and cost-effectively, reducing product time-to-market schedules.
The company has established a strong brand due to its success. It touts itself as the only EDA provider with an embedded software solution. It recently generated annual revenues of $1.18 billion. Lastly, it has won many honors, including the “Best Design Solution” Supplier of the Year Award by TowerJazz (2015) and recognition of its Veloce Power Application as a Hot 100 Product by EDN.
Mentor Graphics’ main channels are its direct sales team and its network of distributors and sales representatives. The company promotes its offering through its website, social media pages and participation in workshops, symposiums, and conferences.
Mentor Graphics’ customer relationship is primarily of a personal assistance nature. The company assists customers in the following ways:
- Training Services – The company maintains the Mentor Learning Center, which provides online instructor-led courses and classroom instructor-led courses at a Mentor training facility.
- Consulting Services – The company provides clients with access to experts who can help them integrate its technologies and methodologies into their workflows. The experts provide Yield Enhancement Services, Data Management Services, DFT Services, Verification Services, Electrical and Wire Harness Design Services, and Valor MSS/DFx Implementation Services.
- Productivity Services – The company offers customers access to experienced engineers who provide design know-how and support at every stage of a project. Specific services provided include Product Adoption and Migration Services, Operations Services, and Engagement Services.
Despite this orientation, there is a self-service component. The company’s Mentor Learning Center includes online, on-demand training libraries that enable customers to learn at their own pace. Its website also provides a selection of white papers.
Mentor Graphics’ business model entails designing, developing, and manufacturing its products and offering product-related services to customers. Its manufacturing operations mostly involve reproduction of its technical software, printing of documentation, and assembly.
While Mentor Graphics manufactures many of its products, it also occasionally contracts with third parties to produce its offerings. The company also maintains the following partnership programs:
Design Area/Foundry Partners – The company utilizes the technologies of various firms to complete or enhance its solutions. These partners fall into the following categories:
- IC Nanometer Design – Foundry Partners
- Silicon Test & Yield Analysis
- Embedded Systems
- Functional Verification
- FPGA Partners
Higher Education Program – The company maintains partnerships with over 1,200 colleges and universities worldwide that have engineering programs. The program aims to advance the development of skilled engineers in the electronics industry, providing the institutions with Mentor Graphics software, academic research, training, and cutting-edge design tools for classroom instruction. Specific partners include Harvard University, Princeton University, and MIT.
Term for Startup Program – The company addresses the specific needs of startups by offering economical pricing and contract terms that last 12 to 18 months. The terms provide intensive support to ensure productivity with Mentor Graphics‘ products.
Mentor Graphics’ main resources are its human resources, who include the engineering employees that design, develop, and manufacture its products, sales/marketing employees that promote them, and the training/consulting staff who provide instruction and advisory services.
It also places a high priority on intellectual property, with approximately 1,200 patents for inventions that are within its products or otherwise relevant to EDA technology, and 260 patent applications pending.
Mentor Graphics has a value-driven structure, aiming to provide a premium proposition through significant personal service and frequent product enhancements.
Its biggest cost driver is research and development, a fixed cost. Other major drivers are in the areas of sales/marketing and administration, both fixed expenses.
Mentor Graphics has two revenue streams:
- System and Software Revenues – Revenues generated from the sale of licenses of software (primarily term and perpetual licenses) and emulation/other hardware systems.
- Service and Support Revenues – Revenues generated from the sale of software and hardware post-contract maintenance or support services and professional services (consulting, training, and other services). They typically last from three to four years.
info: Walden earned a B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering at the University of Michigan, a Ph.D. in Materials Science at Stanford University, and an MBA at Southern Methodist University. He previously served as EVP of Texas Instruments’ Semiconductor Group.
info: Gregory earned a B.A. in Physics at Claremont McKenna College, an M.S. in Applied Physics at University of California, and an MBA at Harvard Business School. He previously served as Chief Financial Officer of VLSI Technology and Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc.
info: Ananthan earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics at the University of Madras, India and an MBA at St. Mary’s College, California. He previously served as VP, Information Technology at Oracle Corporation and Cadence Design Systems.
info: Rick earned a B.S. from Ohio State University and an MBA at University of Oregon. He previously served as Corporate Controller at Mentor Graphics and as Financial Planning and Analysis Manager at OECO Corporation.
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