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Executive Insights

Growth: Altair 2019 Year in Review

By Jim Scapa | Chairman and Chief Executive Officer | December 19, 2019

The end of a year usually heralds a period of reflection, both on times gone past and the budding new year around the corner. When I look back on 2019, I find myself in awe of the accomplishments from the Altair team, as well as that of my family. As I worked tirelessly for decades on the growth, health and success of both, I am filled with immense satisfaction as I recall the highlights of this last year.

When I think about growth at Altair, I think about areas including growth in our customer ranks, in our solutions and solver offerings, partner relationships and our employees. Evidence in many of those areas were seen at our global Altair Technology Conference (ATC) held in Detroit in October and ATCx events held around the planet throughout the year. We had more than 10,000 customers, partners, analysts, media and potential future hires attend these events. They come to see and hear from their peers, partners and Altair leaders discuss technology advances in simulation, data analytics and high-performance computing. We enjoyed thought-provoking presentations on topics ranging from hyperloop transportation, autonomous and electric vehicle improvements, the use of predictive analytics to reduce massive amounts of waste, and machine learning to improve a data prowess and capabilities.

Our latest technology innovation, Altair SimSolid™, was also on stage and case studies from customers like Renault are circulating. To date, 6,850+ people have downloaded and tried SimSolid and it was recently awarded the prestigious Design World LEAP Award. We also had 3,500+ attendees or videos views of our webinars. It has had the most incredible uptick in interest, use and application in our history.

The Altair Enlighten Award has become a hot competition among automotive players. In its seventh year, it remains an annual highlight that allows us to acknowledge companies making breakthroughs in vehicle light weighting. Companies like Ferrari, FCA, and General Motors took home top billing. It may sound corny, but our technology is helping customers take the weight out cars and trucks, which means less emissions and a better future for the planet.

We have also hit the one-year anniversary of our acquisition of Datawatch, the suite of products we now call Altair Knowledge Works. Alongside fantastic technology came some very smart people and strong leaders who have emerged as key players on our team, with whom I look forward to a long relationship. And with many new customers in banking and financial services, we have also had a faster than anticipated uptick of use among traditional Altair customers who have shared compelling feedback on their use of Knowledge Works. Notable customer adoption stories include Ford, a legacy Altair customer leveraging Knowledge Studio’s machine learning algorithms to predict its stamping process. As a result, Ford’s stamping workflows will now be faster and more consistent than they were previously.

On the heels of the 2018 Datawatch acquisition, we strengthened and expanded our solver portfolio with the acquisitions of Polliwog (Altair PollEx™) in the electronic design automation (EDA) for printed circuit boards (PCB) space, DEM Solutions (Altair EDEM) in the discrete element analysis (DEM) space, and SEAM software. These strong technologies buttress our position as the world-leader in simulation solutions with a deep breath of solvers available to our expanding customer base.

Within Altair’s ranks, we’re proud to have a strong balance of Altairians representing diverse backgrounds and nationalities in all positions across the organization. This year we are particularly proud of the evolution of our senior leadership team with the addition of a new chief marketing officer and chief information officer, both women bringing proven, experienced leadership from some of the world’s largest and most well-known brands. They are already making a positive impact at Altair.

And personally speaking, my family has been growing at a breakneck pace – with two weddings, I have two new sons, and the cherry on top of it all, a beautiful, healthy new granddaughter. My cup truly runneth over.
And as I gaze ahead into 2020, I see the continuation of culminating results from the hard work of many smart people here at Altair. My sister has always called me a cock-eyed optimist and I can’t say that I object – the future is bright, bold and beautiful. And I can’t wait.

I offer you my best wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous 2020.