Siemens PLM Vision 2014+

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SiSiemens-buildingemens PLM is a long-standing player in the engineering software industry, although they have gone by many names along the way. Where are they going with Product Lifecycle Management? Here are my thoughts as part of Tech-Clarity’s Strategic Visions of the Major PLM Vendors 2104+ series on vendor strategies. Please see the related posts at the bottom for prior posts in this series.

Some Brief History

This history could start sounding a bit like the Old Testament of the Bible. Unigraphics begat x, who begat y, who begat… I will try to be brief on the history, there are many who know this better than I do. Let’s summarize by saying that:

  • Unigraphics, Nastran, and SDRC were purchased by EDS
  • EDS spun them off to form UGS
  • UGS then added Tecnomatix
  • And then it was all acquired by Siemens.

Please see the graphic below courtesy of my friends at CIMdata from their 2010 white paper on Teamcenter “unified”.

CIMdata Teamcenter UnifiedMore importantly to this discussion is that along the way the company had two main PLM systems – Teamcenter Enterprise (aka Metaphase) and and Teamcenter Engineering (aka iMAN). Their current solution, Teamcenter Unified (now just known as Teamcenter) combines the capabilities of these solutions in a single platform. While some may argue about “how unified unified is,” I think that argument has lost a lot of weight over time. The company also acquired a number of solutions over the years to augment Teamcenter and extend it to new areas resulting in Teamcenter Manufacturing, Teamcenter Requirements, Teamcenter Project, and others. They also expanded their PLM suite to address commercial aspects of product development with Teamcenter Portfolio Management and the recent Teamcenter Product Cost Management. The result is that Siemens PLM has developed as broad a suite of PLM solutions as any.

Teamcenter-slide

Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of the “begotten” company now incorporated in Siemens is the way they view the relationship between PLM and manufacturing. Siemens does a tremendous amount of business in equipment and solutions to run the manufacturing shop floor. Because of this, they have focused a lot of energy on how to better digitally integrate PLM with manufacturing infrastructure. Siemens’ existing MES solutions and the Tecnomatix Manufacturing Process Management (MPM) solution were a big start from a product perspective. From an organizational perspective, Siemens PLM sits as a part of Siemens’ Industry Automation Division, further highlighting the vision of PLM as a core enabler of an effective manufacturing enterprise.

Today, I would venture to say that there is more CAD managed in Teamcenter than any other PLM system. I don’t have statistics at hand to back that up, perhaps one of my friends will post some (or correct me). But the fact is that there are a lot of high-level CAD implementations (including those of Siemens PLM’s CAD competitors) with significant user counts that are managed in Teamcenter. 

Siemens PLM’s PLM Strategy

Teamcenter-updateThe Siemens PLM strategy is “HD-PLM”, or “high-definition” PLM. The name stands for a number of things which you can find on the Siemens PLM website. I will share my interpretation of how that plays out in what Siemens PLM invests in. As a summary statement, I will say that Siemens PLM is highly customer-centric. Perhaps to a fault. Of all of the top four vendors I think Siemens is the most focused on giving their customers what they ask for. Before everyone gets upset, I’m not saying that is necessarily the right thing for every vendor to do. I’m saying that while some others are focused on growing into brand new markets (see Dassault Systemès vision) or adjacent solutions (see PTC’s vision) to drive growth, Siemens is offering customers more of the same. So before the Siemens PLM fans get upset, I don’t mean to say they are stagnant – far from it. Here are my thoughts. Siemens PLM is:

  • Going deeper, adding more capabilities to their existing solutions. I’m always impressed to hear how many new features and capabilities are added with each new release. The development teams are busy adding on.
  • Trying to make PLM easier, through their “HD” vision. Perhaps the most notable thing here is the “Active Workspace” which improves data accessibility and adds new search capabilities (including semantic search). While Siemens was initially planning to charge for this, it is now intended to be the common user experience across Siemens PLM’s solutions (as part of the base solutions).
  • Developing a broad – but focused – PLM suite, for example investing in mechatronic product development / systems engineering and recently acquiring Perfect Costing for PCM to address new users and business processes. On the other hand, Siemens PLM stays close to the core of PLM – product innovation, product development, and engineering.
  • Integrating more closely with the shop floor, including MES and plant equipment.
  • The last thing I’ll mention is openness. Siemens PLM spends a lot of time talking about how important this is and even includes it in their HD-PLM vision.

So what comes next? I expect steady progress with more of the same. Adding new capabilities to existing solutions, expanding the footprint with solutions that are close to the core of PLM, and continuing the path towards a more integrated innovation-production continuum that takes “digital manufacturing” to a new level. At least, that’s what it looks like to me. I look forward to your thoughts. I have been really pleased by the level of discussion this series has generated both here and on LinkedIn.

Related Posts

 

Strategic Visions of the Major PLM Vendors 2014+

Agile (Oracle) PLM Vision 2014+

Aras PLM Vision 2014+

Arena Solutions Vision 2014+

Autodesk PLM Vision 2014+

Dassault Systèmes PLM Vision 2014+

Infor PLM Vision 2014+

PTC PLM Vision 2014+

 

Comments

  1. bob says:

    Overpriced software that they cannot even demo.

  2. Stan Przybylinski says:

    Hi Jim,

    Nice summary. We have begat charts for all the major vendors. Get quite spider-ey.

    The other big thing with all of the majors is their increasing emphasis on industry solutions. DS made a big bang change to a new industry structure, and are delivering 3DExperience solutions. Siemens has their Industry Catalysts, intended to get their solutions into productive use. SAP and Oracle always talk industry. PTC has been working on something similar.

    Stan Przybylinski
    VP of Research
    CIMdata, Inc.

    • Thanks Stan. The ERP vendors went through the same industry-centric transition over a decade ago. I think it’s a natural evolution as solutions get more mature. What’s always interesting is to see how deep in the organization industry goes, sometimes it stops at Sales & Marketing. sd
      I haven’t see the other charts, I bet they are interesting. Have you ever visited the ERP graveyard? I wonder if there is something similar for PLM? It sounds like you have all of the history, just not presented in quite the same way (which is probably a good thing).

  3. Anil Kumar says:

    Jim,

    Great Insight! Than You.

    Retail and consumer goods industry always has an urging demand to satisfy their LifeCycle Solutions needs. There is much more information and data around products / customers that is still not digital, what i mean by this is: To deliver a good product to a consumer – we need good innovation, constant connect (feedback) from Consumer. But in most of the PLM Systems, there is a visible disconnect in this aspect.

    I have had the opportunity to be in the PLM / PDM industry for 17 years helping PLM customers from different domains (Life sciences, Oil and Gas, Fashion, Industrial and Home Solutions, Defence etc.,) and seen several market movers and the M&As in the Engineering Software Industry.

    Few white gaps do exist in every Engineering Software suite. Need to bridge these Gaps will be compelling in the near future that it is in the Current Situation.

    For example, Product recall management does not necessarily fall under the Design and Development (PLM) radar, but if this ignored, there are more chances of new product (could be in Consumer Goods, Foods, Pharma, Engineering Components manufacturing, OEMs) to have traces to any already existing impact Brand Image. Secondly, if the PLM does not itself have a framework to the Industry Standard (here i am referring to the Manufacturer), there will be high chances of Brand image damages and sometimes manufactures end up with huge Penalty (recent once are on the UPSC site). Thirdly, the Engineering software suite should help implementations to be SMART (here – i am referring to the Implementation or the Rollout cycle). Fourthly, while products are designed keeping Society in mind, so should PLM be – meaning this should be Social, enabling Trend based rationalization for product any design (not just being collaborative – as in screen sharing or instant messaging..)

    Behind every product’s success there has always been successful adoption via successful implementation. With rich industry knowledge and proven innovation and delivery framework, we can help more customers (existing and new) to realize their Visions.

    Cohabitation of Windchill and FlexPLM with all the allied PTCs Solutions is surely a near sufficient Suite and could possibly add to existing list of satisfied Software End Users.

    Digitize more data, manage data efficiently, and create better products faster to market and responsive to Consumer.

    Regards,
    Anil Kumar

Trackbacks

  1. […] Dassault System’s rival – Siemens PLM and its TeamCenter platform also has long history of transformations. I didn’t find specific public references on compatibility between data models and application among TeamCenter versions. However, the following article from Tech-Clarity blog by Jim Brown presents an interesting diagram of TeamCenter evolution – Siemens PLM vision 2014+. […]

  2. […] Dassault System’s rival – Siemens PLM and its TeamCenter platform also has long history of transformations. I didn’t find specific public references on compatibility between data models and application among TeamCenter versions. However, the following article from Tech-Clarity blog by Jim Brown presents an interesting diagram of TeamCenter evolution – Siemens PLM vision 2014+. […]

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