Dean Marsh joined Dassault Systèmes in July as Managing Director for North America. He brings over 20 years of experience in global sales, services, development and marketing, most recently at IBM as Vice President, Client Success for IBM Analytic Solutions, and prior to that, as Vice President, Global Cloud Solutions Sales. Marsh has also led the development of go-to-market strategies, enablement plans, and management systems for various units across IBM. He holds a Master of Science in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York and a B.S. in Metallurgy and Materials Science from Carnegie-Mellon University.
In his new role, Marsh will have oversight of all aspects of Dassault Systèmes’ North American business, with a focus on building close relationships with customers and partners. We had the chance to speak with Dean during his first few weeks at the company to gain his perspective on his new role, and get a preview of the upcoming 3DEXPERIENCE FORUM customer conference taking place in October.
Q. What attracted you to Dassault Systèmes?
Marsh: Prior to joining Dassault Systèmes, I worked as an engineer in the aerospace and defense industry. I worked on the manufacturing floor as we constructed subsystems for aircraft engines, landing gear, and other components. After going back to school and earning my master’s degree in computer science, I shifted gears and became a programmer, writing very sophisticated code.
Very early in my career, I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Edward Tufte of Yale University. We were building a new operating system and very focused on the functional code. Dr. Tufte instilled in my team the absolute importance of design. I also had the opportunity to meet Don Norman, author of the book “The Design of Everyday Things.” I later went on to manage the User Experience team for IBM where the young designers further influenced my thinking.
So when you combine my background as an engineer, a computer scientist, and my fundamental belief that truly elegant design is the key to a superior user experience, Dassault Systèmes was a natural place to bring all of that together. At Dassault Systèmes, we are literally changing the world. The work we do has a profound impact on the way products are designed and the experiences they deliver to our customers around the world.
Q. What are your top short-term goals for the company in North America? Long-term vision?
Marsh: In the short term we have to deliver on the financial and project delivery objectives of the company. For example, we just announced an historic extension of our partnership with Boeing. We have to deliver on those commitments, while replicating this success with other customers. We have major opportunities to break new ground in industries such as Life Sciences. I will also be focused on our academic initiatives and how we can leverage those to build the business.
Longer term, our goal is to make Dassault Systèmes a household name in North America. We have a terrific brand, exciting and innovative products, and a client list that is the envy of our competitors.
Q. With Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE FORUM coming up in October, tell us what the value is for customers to attend?
Marsh: Customers will hear first-hand from market leaders and industry influencers such as Broadcom, Cummins, GE Power, Pratt & Whitney, Procter & Gamble and other leaders who are transforming their business. They’ll be able to delve into and share industry specific challenges and opportunities in focused industry tracks. They’ll learn about the power of the platform and the importance of new delivery mechanisms enabled by the Cloud. From a macro-perspective our customers will surely be inspired by the breadth of innovation and experience on display, which will spark new ideas on how to challenge their competitors and build new revenue streams.
Q. What should customers and partners look forward to experiencing at the conference?
Marsh: According to our survey, 95% of past conference attendees said they would attend the 3DEXPERIENCE FORUM again. In addition to plenary sessions and industry-focused breakout tracks, we’re creating a 3DEXPERIENCE playground where attendees will have hands-on experiences, both virtual and real, across a variety of industries and business processes. Also, our venue at the Diplomat Beach Resort will provide a first-class environment for networking with peers, while experiencing the power of Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
Q. What do you hope 3DEXPERIENCE FORUM attendees walk away with?
Marsh: I hope that they leave with a deeper understanding of our 3DEXPERIENCE platform, our comprehensive portfolio, and how the vast array of capabilities we bring to the table can help them propel their own businesses to greater heights. I hope they walk away dreaming about the experiences they can deliver to their customers and how we can help them bring those dreams to life.
Q. Finally, what would people be surprised to learn about you?
Marsh: People would probably be very surprised to learn that officially, I am a high school dropout. That’s a very interesting story that people can ask me about at the 3DEXPERIENCE FORUM. I’m also very passionate about golf. I had my first eagle while golfing in South Africa, and I recently had my first hole-in-one.