- MCAD/MCAE Industry View, A September 2011 Update

EDA WEEKLY: I am certain that you soon developed a formal Business Plan. What was and is the time horizon for most of the Business Plan’s goals?

MR. GALLELLO: Yes indeed. Three years, one year very detailed.  Especially important: we’re putting together three-year MSC software product roadmaps.  We now share them with our users and they in turn share their methods development roadmaps with us.  The synergy is great!

T O THE READER: The writer is sure you understand the pattern here; EDA WEEKLY’s questions are in black font; Mr. GALLELLO’s responses are in red font. The words are as close to actual as memory serves.

How are you doing vs. the main goals of the MSC Business Plan? Are you on track? Yes! Growing Revenue? Yes! Signing up new customers? Many! “New Logos” is a mantra for us.  Profitable? Yes! We are constantly driving down G&A; reduced it by 50% so far. We are re-directing spending onto things that really matter to customers.  

Are you able to get back customers who dropped MSC in the past, especially aerospace and automotive companies? Yes! We established a comprehensive program called, “Rediscover MSC,” for customers with whom we had lost touch.  This plan calls for highly technical engagements and fortunately we have enjoyed a high success rate of bringing companies back to MSC. 

Are there other examples of major goals you have reached or exceeded? Dominic responded, “Well, you may recall that regardless of the particular company I served at the moment, I have always believed in executing a rigorous Customer Survey, one that truly discovers the actual state of affairs resulting from the use of that company’s products ... a survey that we would drive hard and insist on in-depth, well-thought-out responses from customers, both current and former customers. We at MSC recently completed such an arduous survey that involved the entire MSC team.” The carefully-crafted questions were posed in eight (8) different languages. In place of a possible temptation to prepare a set of bland, non-committal answers to issues and concerns raised by customers in their survey responses, Dominic insisted on delivering personal, tailored responses himself to over 300 key accounts. Many of these customers were amazed to hear directly from the CEO, let alone being provided with real, detailed MSC commitments. “This is the new MSC -- intense customer focus,” says Dominic. Any major disappointments so far? I just always want to go faster to deliver what customers expect from MSC,” says Dominic.

About 12 months after you started at MSC, I ran a short piece in an MCAD/MCAE Commentary on the number of new faces there were in MSC management; I counted 12, including yourself. Of these, how many were existing MSC folks, how many new (i.e. from outside)??  Of the new folks, how many were completely new to the industry?


It is a mix of the existing team and a greatly expanded team of new technical managers and engineers that can deliver what customers expect, and most importantly, “What they don’t expect but will appreciate.” The number of PhD’s and post docs that we have added in the past year is an order of magnitude more than we had done in the prior 4 years.  They are bringing research for tomorrow’s simulation behaviors.

As CEO, how to you assess MSC progress vs. goals? Externally? Internally?

Both; I oversee it all; it uses many hours of hard work, and a very connected management team with modern communications to stay in touch, especially when I am out of town. I try to be constantly in front of customers worldwide. For example, I visited over twenty automotive & aerospace OEMs in my first year at MSC to better understand where we needed to take MSC. 

So far, what are some areas of change you’re most pleased about? 

1. We focused on existing products, not new ones. The one exception is the XFlow CFD product that we brought to market through a partnership; MSC’s first entry in CFD.  2. Three Year Product Road Maps. 3. Product Releases back to a 9 month cycle; before, it had been almost 2 years since a major s/w update.   4. Restoration of aero and auto customers. 5. Restored rigorous Beta testing. 6. New Innovation – stay tuned!  Most disappointed? None mentioned.

What message(s) do you want to transmit to your industry, users and prospects as a result of this article? 

MSC – RELOADED!  Intense customer focus to deliver a very broad range of real world behaviors in simulation.  Markets - Aero and auto, and the related supply chain; plus, targeted non-transporation markets.  

MSC is one of the first 10 OEM’s and software companies ever, per MaximumPC.com Magazine.  MSC is not just a special company in simulation software, it is a very special company in the computer industry.




About the Writer:

Since 1996, Dr. Russ Henke has been active as president of HENKE ASSOCIATES, a San Francisco Bay Area high-tech business & management consulting firm. The number of client companies served by Henke Associates during those years now numbers close to fifty. Engagement lengths have varied from a few weeks up to ten years and beyond.

During his previous corporate career, Henke operated sequentially on "both sides" of MCAE/MCAD and EDA, as a user and as a vendor. He's a veteran corporate executive from Cincinnati Milacron (Research Scientist), SDRC (President & COO), Schlumberger Applicon (Executive VP), Gould Electronics (President & General Manager), ATP (Chairman and CEO), and Mentor Graphics (VP & General Manager).

Henke is a Fellow of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and served on the SME International Board of Directors. Henke was also a board member of SDRC, PDA, ATP, and the MacNeal Schwendler Corporation, and he currently serves on the board of Stottler Henke Associates, Inc.

Henke is also a member of the IEEE and a Life Fellow of ASME International. In April 2006, Dr. Henke received the 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award from the CAD Society, presented by CAD Society president Jeff Rowe at COFES2006 in Scottsdale, AZ. In February 2007, Henke became affiliated with Cyon Research's select group of experts on business and technology issues as a Senior Analyst. This Cyon Research connection aids and supplements Henke's ongoing, independent consulting practice (HENKE ASSOCIATES). Dr. Henke is also a contributing editor of the EDACafé EDA WEEKLY, and he has published EDA WEEKLY articles every four weeks since November 2009; URL's available.

Since May 2003 HENKE ASSOCIATES has also published a total of ninety-eight (98) independent COMMENTARY articles on MCAD, PLM, EDA and Electronics IP on IBSystems' MCADCafé and EDACafé.

Further information on HENKE ASSOCIATES, and URL's for past Commentaries, are available at http://www.henkeassociates.net .

Review Article
  • Good Perspective October 19, 2011
    Reviewed by 'Dennis Nagy'
    A great article on the long history and potentially bright(er) future of MSC from someone who lived through it all. Russ's and my paths crossed many times in that history so I am thankful to Russ for taking the time to write this and to include a good interview with Dominic as the "punch line."

      One person found this review helpful.

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