Altair Engineering: good companies win in the long run


Over the two seasons of our Future Says series, brilliant guests have shed light on the whirlwind of new technologies, business models, cultural phenomena and human values ​​that are shaping the world around us. Experts from various fields of industry and commerce, international organizations such as Google, PWC, King, etc. causing predictions of what they think the future holds.

In the midst of this wealth of fresh ideas and original thoughts, powerful themes emerged. The convergence of simulation, high performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI); the essential role of diversity, respect and kindness in the workplace; the need to deliver measurable results; durability; and more. Above all, our guests have made it clear that we need to apply AI, ML, and simulation technologies in a fair, ethical, and equitable manner.

To wrap up season two, host Sean Lang spoke to Jim Scapa, founder and CEO of Altair. During their extensive conversation, it is evident that many of the principles raised by previous guests throughout the season have been part of Altair’s DNA since its inception over 36 years ago.

As Scapa explains, Altair started out as a small, simulation-based company that focused exclusively on automotive customers in the United States. As the business grew, attendance at the annual Supercomputing conferences drew Scapa’s attention to the fact that the best and brightest in the business were looking to combine the technologies Altair was already embracing – with them. other words, they wanted convergence. Today, the term is still gaining momentum and the philosophy is at the heart of the company’s mission.

“Bringing all of this together, made possible by the HPC, is the future we envision and which we believe is becoming really explosive,” says Scapa. Additionally, despite all the current excitement surrounding the digital twin, Scapa notes that Altair has been making it a reality since the early days of the company.

Despite its impressive record of identifying and exploiting the technological zeitgeist, Altair’s course is defined more by evolution than by revolution. Its customer base now extends far beyond manufacturing to include banking, financial services, life sciences and government agencies, to name a few.

Scapa believes that Altair’s learning culture and commitment to a diverse workforce is the basis of its success; he believes he developed these values ​​himself as the son of first generation European immigrants and as the father of four daughters who share a talent for math and science. However, like other guests of Future Says, he understands that prioritizing diversity and inclusion is not just a moral imperative – it is also a vital business decision. Altair’s human values ​​are reflected in the company’s response to the pandemic and in its approach to business acquisitions. “When we acquire a business, we wrap our arms around people and hug them. We don’t want to put our thumbs on them and dominate them,” says Scapa.

Taking all of these aspects together – the culture of the company, the technologies it absorbs and the way the world is going – Scapa sees a great future for Altair. “We’re at the start of a new wave, and it’s very exciting.”

And as a fitting conclusion from Future Says, Scapa is thinking beyond the bottom line. He knows how important it is that the most powerful technologies of the future are applied in a fair and equitable manner. But more importantly, he believes Altair can act as a responsible and positive global organization while reaping the rewards of smart and wise business decisions. In his view, business success and moral integrity are not mutually exclusive. As he said, “I really believe good companies win in the long run.”

As a final approval for Future Says, that’s fine.

To watch the full Jim Scapa interview and enjoy Future Says in its entirety, click here.


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