24 April 2012: Intrigued by the recent spate of third party announcements by Altair Engineering, I sought out someone in the company to find the reason for their seemingly rapid expansion. Last week I spoke with Antoine Poussier, VP of Global Partner Relations, who was able to enlighten me.
First, a little about Altair, a company many of you may know very little about. At least I knew little about the company or their products. I knew they had some well-respected analysis software; it turns out that they have much more. Think about $213 million USD in revenue, 1500 employees, seven major business lines, over 40 offices across 16 countries, and over 4000 customers in a wide variety of industries.
Known primarily for its HyperWorks simulation software, other business lines include cloud computing software, product design, business intelligence software, industrial design and styling software, and a venture focused on next generation solid state lighting.
The HyperWorks Partner Alliance provides a foundation for an open CAE licensing structure, which enables customers to easily try-out new software with minimal additional cost. Their strategy offers a unique contrast to the licensing strategy of most software vendors in the CAD/CAM/PLM marketplace today. Rather than offering software with a substantial initial cost and a lower ongoing annual maintenance cost, Altair Engineering instead allows on-demand access to their software as well as those of third party vendors using an on-the-fly licensing scheme using HyperWorks units (HWU’s). HWU’s act like tokens. Customers buy a certain number of HWU tokens to use on a monthly basis. A user, running each software removes tokens from the token pool; quitting the software returns these tokens to the pool. For instance, HyperMesh, Altair’s own meshing product, uses 21 tokens. Users can download any number of products from a server that they might need to use, then merely activate them by using the correct number of HWU’s. Although I tried repeatedly to find out, Poussier refused to reveal how much the HWU’s cost or how many might be used per application. Users will need to contact Altair directly for this information.
The impact is to eliminate the cost of acquiring new or infrequently used software. Also, no additional licenses need to be procured or managed, reducing the burden on IT and purchasing. It also makes it much easier to try out different software or perhaps use very specific software for a limited time. Visit www.hyperworksalliance.com/PartnersList.aspx to find out what third party applications are available. These are in addition to the many Altair products.
In summary: Altair Engineering’s HyperWorks Partner Alliance makes it easy for potential partners to sign up and makes it easy for users to explore alternative simulation solutions.
Disclosure: None required. No compensation of any sort was provided for this article.
Additional info about the company is available at http://www.altair.com.