New product and process development is increasingly focussed around virtual enterprises where multiple partners, each with specialised skills, collaborate. This highlights the difficulties with the current state of the art in CAD to CAE integration. It is argued that there needs to be a much closer correspondence between the geometrical and simulation representations, utilising concepts of cellular modelling to facilitate the transformation between representations. Some simple techniques are described for developing an understanding of how parametric variations change geometry during design optimisation. The use of well-defined interfaces and simulation web services facilitates agile collaboration in the virtual enterprise, whilst enhancing the protection of intellectual property for its partners.