The global PLM consulting and research firm CIMdata, Inc., of Ann Arbor, Mich., will be carrying out multi-sponsor, collaborative research on cloud-based solutions for product lifecycle management in industrial companies.
Initial research will focus on the collaborative product definition management segment of PLM, which CIMdata defines as the category of data and process management solutions at the core of most industrial PLM implementations.
In 2015, CIMdata estimated the global cPDm segment at over 5.4 billion, growing 9.1 percent from 2014.
Only a small portion of that estimate is cloud-based, but the segment is poised to grow significantly in the next few years, according to CIMdata.
The research program intends to help CIMdata and the broader PLM economy understand the market evolution.
Stan Przybylinski, CIMdata’s vice president of research, said cloud-based solutions are a fact of life in many other enterprise software domains, but adoption in the PLM market has been spotty.
“Helping to better understand why is one of the main goals for this research. This will also be the first step in documenting how industrial companies are moving their core product and process development work to cloud-based solutions,” he said.
To kickoff this research program, CIMdata enlisted several leading PLM solution and service providers as founding sponsors: Autodesk, Dassault Systèmes, PTC, and Siemens PLM Software. The research team will collaborate to identify crucial issues facing potential cloud adopters and lessons learned from companies that have made this change.
Cloud-based PLM solutions aren’t entirely new, and their prevalence is growing as cloud-based solutions in general become popular.
Arena Software, for example, has offered its PLM software in the cloud since 2000.
In January 2015, PTC introduced PLM Cloud, based on its Windchill technology, which itself was designed as a web-based approach to PLM, according to PTC. It’s marketed as a solution for small- and medium-sized companies that may not have a large number of IT staff.
The solution is designed for team collaboration and product data sharing and can be used to accelerates product development and helps design teams that are stretched across different locations, working with AutoCAD, Creo, or SolidWorks, or coordinating with partners and suppliers, according to PTC.
“The value of PTC PLM Cloud is clear,” said Peter Bilello, CIMdata’s president, when the product was introduced. “PTC’s offering has been designed to allow smaller companies, which have previously been unable to rapidly implement PLM capabilities, to quickly deploy and adopt key data management, visualization and reuse functionality. Those are all vital capabilities for any company in the business of developing products.”
The offering eliminates risky practice of sharing folders and file-naming conventions within an organization, according to Brian Shepherd, engineering vice president, extended PLM segment, at PTC. Cloud offerings are secure and speedy, offer low total cost of ownership, and are always available, Shepherd said.
The CIMdata research will help determine the business value companies receive from using cloud-based PLM.
Interviews with thought leaders from sponsors and their lead customers will be published on the CIMdata.com blog In addition to materials developed with the sponsors, CIMdata will also publish the results more broadly for use by members of the PLM economy.
Those interested in learning more can get involved by signing up for the free March 16 webinar The State of PLM on the Cloud at the CIMdata web site. During the webinar, CIMdata will frame the problem, talk about the state of PLM offerings on the cloud, and discuss the drivers for and the impediments to cloud-based PLM implementation.