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    Five Ways Shape Search Drives Business Value (eBook)
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  • Please join Tech-Clarity's Michelle Boucher, Mark Turner from Alcon Labs, and Swapan Jha from PTC on Tuesday September 12, 2017 for a discussion on the right software solution for medical device engineering. The discussion will feature an interactive discussion between the panelists coving topics such as:Challenges facing medical device manufacturers. Why to consider the complete product lifecycle with respect to:Managing product and requirements. Transitioning from document to product centric approaches. Enabling smart and connected products.The best selection criteria for … [ read more ]

    Selecting the Right PLM Software for Medical Device Engineering (webcast)
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    Digitalization in Food and Beverage (guest post)
  • Dassault Systèmes continues to make significant progress on the 3DExperience vision they laid out 5 years ago. This strategy has seen them transform from a software vendor offering distinct solutions for a variety of functional areas to a company that leads with a strong business transformation message backed up by a platform of solutions. I dropped "PLM" from the title of last year's strategy review. I feel even better about that decision a year later. They now have a broad software suite brought to market as solutions tailored to support key initiatives in the vertical industries they serve. As times goes … [ read more ]

    Dassault Systèmes Strategy 2017+

Arena Solution’s PLM Vision 2014+

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What is Arena Solutions’ plan forarena-logo-horizontal PLM? From the early days as BOM.com to today, Arena has been a pureplay cloud PLM player. You could argue they had cloud PLM before cloud PLM was cool. They were a pioneer in the space, but where are they headed now?

This post is a part of my series on Strategic Visions of the Major PLM Vendors 2014+. The series took a bit of a break over the summer but please expect us to fill in a few gaps and then make some updates over the coming weeks.

History

bom_com_logoArena Solutions started with a simple premise, you should be able to share BOMs with contract manufacturers over the web. As the story was told to me by their original founder, it was born out of frustration in managing change and getting suppliers to make the right product revisions and prevent rework. That problem is still prevalent today in many manufacturers, whether they use third party production or not. The software has always more focused on the communications and coordination aspects of PLM than PDM / CAD data management.

The company has evolved over the years, but has always remained true to the cloud (ok, it was “software as a service” as a time because it was before anybody was calling SaaS “cloud software.” They were preaching the benefits of multi-tenant cloud solutions before most people knew what it meant. I hope the brief history helps.

NOTE: I found a “bom.com” logo, although I have no idea if that was the one they actually used. That was before I followed them. That was also long before kids started saying “that’s the bomb – dot – com” which still cracks me up. That’s probably only me, but who cares?

The Arena Solutions Strategy

Arena started as a supply chain-centric PLM solution with a lot of focus on small-to-midsized businesses (SMB). So the natural progression, one might think, would be to extend their CAD data management capabilities to compete with the mid-market offerings from Dassault Systemes, PTC, Siemens PLM, and others. After all, SMBs have issues there as well. Arena Solutions, however, hasn’t appeared compelled to create what others are offering. They have lots of traction in high-tech electronics companies that rely less on CAD and more on rapid, high quality communication with suppliers.  Over the years, Arena has listened to customers and stayed true to that. Not that they have haven’t supported CAD Data Management (they have), but they haven’t let that consume them.

So where do they go next? Steve Chalgren, VP Product Management & Strategy explained it this way, “We are building new products around the core solution, not just doing the same thing that others have done. We want to reinvent without adding complexity.” In fact, Arena Solutions has done something I don’t think any other PLM vendor has done – they have added Supply Chain solutions in addition to PLM. They haven’t gone out and created a supply chain planning (SCP) application with advanced planning algorithms to try to become Manugistics or i2, but they have extended to what some would argue is the greater value of PLM – getting outside of Engineering and the enterprise. Specifically, Arena has focused on:

  • Overview___Arena_SolutionsDemand Analysis
  • Projects
  • Compliance
  • Quality
  • Supplier Collaboration

This is in addition to the BOM Management, Item Management, Document Management, and Change Management that you would expect. In fact, one particularly interesting solutions is for sharing products with suppliers by creating and communicating a complete build package for suppliers based on the PDX format. Definitely a high-value activity and respects the fact that most manufacturers don’t let their suppliers fully “inside” their PLM system.

Is there really a market for “non-core” PLM solutions that focus more on the supply chain than Engineering? Arena Solutions’ results indicate there is. According to VP of Marketing Kent Kilmer, Arena has seen a large percentage of their growth from new products. That’s always a positive indicator of a strategy that resonates with customers. That’s what the future of Arena Solutions looks like to me, as always I am open to feedback and additional insight.

Related Posts

See other posts in our on PLM Strategies of the Major PLM Vendors 2015+ series:

Dassault Systèmes PLM Vision 2015+

Synergis Software PLM Vision 2015+

See more in our Strategic Visions of the Major PLM Vendors 2014+ series including:

Aras PLM Vision 2014+

Autodesk PLM Vision 2014+

Dassault Systèmes PLM Vision 2014+

Infor PLM Vision 2014+

Oracle’s Vision for Agile 2014+

PTC PLM Vision 2014+

Also, don’t miss our The Strategic Visions of CAD/CAE Vendors 2014+

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