Although never a shortage of smart people at DAC, even the smartest folks in the room see an uphill battle on innovating their way out of the challenges facing the EDA industry.
Pressure to reduce chip design costs, meet government emissions and energy regulations, and improve overall ROI will drive some of the more established EDA companies to adopt disruptive technologies sooner rather than later. Start-ups altering the landscape, such as Xuropa, look to reinvent software sales processes for the 21st century with its Cloud-Computing application that SaaS-enables existing software applications.
Dealing with technology disruptions and discontinuities is challenging enough, but equally challenging is how EDA companies are transforming their workplace environments and reinventing workforces into nimble innovators capable of meeting these industry challenges head on.[In a future series of blog articles I'll highlight how EDA leaders and teams are tackling these challenges and raising the bar at the same time.]
Seizing an Opportunity
The final day of a conference typically offers one-off opportunities, with exhibitors more relaxed and willing to chat about the event and provide their own industry perspective.
Which is how I got a chance to sit down with Rich Goldman, Synopsys Vice President Corporate Marketing & Strategic Alliances and CEO Synopsys Armenia.
Moving into the industry leader's position with Cadence dropping to second place, Rich and his team assumed ownership for designing this year's DAC exhibits and interactive events for Synopsys (their first crack at it).
"I felt that Synopsys needed to step up and support DAC with a strong presence."
Social Media - Synopsys Raises the Bar
The Synopsys challenge was figuring out how to speak with their customers in new ways. One thing Rich knew from the outset was that social media would play a big part for them at DAC. He just didn't know what it would look like.
"Given that our focus is geek-to-geek (G2G) we know that our customers don't respond well to marketing b.s. Building the engineering relationship is about providing them with the right tools and the right answers at the right time to solve their problems - this is what builds our credibility in the tech space. It also makes it easier to build trust and credibility in the marketing space--something that social media is allowing us to do."
Rich challenged team member, Karen Bartleson, a standards guru and Synopsys blogger to own the learning and understanding of how people were using social media. One of her ideas? The popular Twitter Tower at DAC.
Armenia - A Differentiating Factor for Synopsys
There are those who think that Synopsys took a big risk in establishing a strong presence in Armenia.
"It's definitely not for the faint of heart," Rich laughs as he recounts the country's infrastructure challenges, "it requires a strong commitment."
Armenia now seems light years away for those graduating with engineering degrees from the country's local universities since its succession from the Soviet Union in 1991.
"We needed to establish trust and credibility in the country given it's history of corruption. Synopsys leaders needed to be above corruption."
Rich makes regular visits to Armenia, bringing a Silicon Valley mindset with him and exposing Synopsys Armenia to the valley's best practices. "I'm transplanting aspects of our valley's culture, such as it's OK to volunteer, it's OK for Corporate Social Responsibility, it's OK to partner with universities."
But at the end of the day, his responsibility as CEO Synopsys Armenia and Vice President of Corporate Marketing & Strategic Alliances is to build an environment for running the best possible site."It has to be co-beneficial for Armenia and for Synopsys."
Definitely an evolution where solutions come in small steps, but where thousands of dollars can make a huge difference, Synopsys is continuing to raise the bar by building strong regional links with Russia and Ukraine.