• 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+
  • The Finding PLM to Fit Mid-Sized High-Tech Companies ebook explains how smaller companies in the high technology industry find themselves stuck between full-featured Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems that feel out of reach and less capable solutions including cloud-based file sharing or very basic data management applications. They know they can’t afford the errors and inefficiency inherent to informal data and process management, but can’t afford a large time, resource, and financial investment to fix their problems. Unfortunately simple solutions like web file sharing, while very attractive, fall … [ read more ]

    Finding PLM to Fit Mid-Sized High-Tech Companies
  • The How-to Guide to Transitioning from 2D CAD to 3D CAD  shares best practices for moving from 2D to 3D. The guide shares the reasons you should consider going from 2D to 3D, common challenges to avoid, and benefits enjoyed by other companies who gone to 3D. The guide then shares advice to make your switch from 2D to 3D CAD a success. The recommendations were developed by analyzing the responses of Top Performing companies and comparing them to Average Performing companies.This eBook is one in a series of three:Transitioning from 2D CAD to 3D CAD Migrating from 3D CAD to a new 3D CAD Adopting … [ read more ]

    Best Practices for Going from 2D to 3D CAD
  • The Reducing Cost of Quality in CPG report shares perspectives from a survey of over 175 CPG companies to determine how Top Performers manage consumer packaged goods quality. The research finds that these leading companies are able to achieve better quality results with lower internal costs. The report analyzes their processes, organizational structures, and enabling technology to determine how they can get better quality results without placing a financial burden on the business.Please enjoy the summary below, or click the report to download a PDF overview (free of charge, no registration … [ read more ]

    Reducing Cost of Quality for Consumer Packaged Goods (survey report)
  • What type of experiences prepare engineering students the best for "real world" industry work? What should new graduates know when they start their first job?Please share your experience, thoughts, and lessons learned in this new survey on the engineering skills gap. We are exploring questions such as, what types of things do you look for in a new graduate? How can engineering colleges and universities improve their curriculum to better prepare students for today's modern products?  What concerns do you have about the future engineering workforce?Developing the future workforce is critical to the … [ read more ]

    What Skills Do You Wish Engineering Graduates Had? (Survey Invite)

Developing Sofware-Intensive Products


Perspective: Developing Software-Intensive Products: Addressing the Innovation-Complexity Conundrum presents survey data and analysis to help manufacturers understand the benefits and challenges of developing products that derive a significant amount of their capabilities from software. The terms “embedded software” and “mechatronics” really don’t describe the varied uses of software in today’s products from automobiles to appliances. This report describes how companies can take advantage of the benefits available from software-intensive products while using using organization structure, business processes, and structured systems like ALM and PLM to address the significant challenges and business impacts resulting from added development complexity.

Please enjoy the free Executive Summary below, or click the report title above to download a PDF of the report (free of charge, no registration required). The full report is also available from PTC for no charge and with no registration required.

Table of Contents

  • Executive Overview
  • Increased Prevalence and Importance of Product Software
  • Adopt a Software-Intensive Product Strategy
  • Understand Challenges and the Resulting Business Impacts
  • Organize for Success
  • Look at the Big Picture
  • Take an Integrated Approach to Enablement
  • Conclusion
  • Recommendations
  • About the Author
  • About the Research

Executive Overview

Manufacturers today face a strategic conflict as they develop products that derive a significant amount of functionality and innovation from software. On the one hand, software dramatically improves product innovation, increases product capabilities, and provides other important strategic benefits ranging from competitive market advantages to cost savings. These benefits are compelling, as described in Tech-Clarity’s Systems & Software Driven Innovation: Complexity and Opportunity in the Mechatronic Era. On the other hand, product developers face increased complexity that can lead to poor quality, longer product development cycles, and reduced efficiency. Tech-Clarity surveyed over 100 companies to understand how manufacturers can take advantage of the benefits of a software-intensive product strategy without suffering from the inherent complexity.

The study results underscore the importance of addressing this innovation-complexity conundrum. The majority of companies significantly increased the amount of software, the importance of software, and the innovation driven by software in their products over the last five years – and plan to increase these further over the next five years. Why? The simple answer is better products. Survey respondents across industries confirmed this, indicating that strategies to achieve greater product capabilities, smarter products, and increased innovation drive the need to include more software in products.

The survey also uncovered significant challenges and negative business impacts resulting from complexity. For example, over one-half of the companies surveyed indicate they experience product quality issues and delayed time to market when developing software intensive products. How can manufacturers enjoy the benefits of a software-driven product strategy without falling into the quality and time to market traps due to complexity? The survey identified that companies with the following characteristics reported fewer significant, negative impacts when engineering products that include electrical, mechanical, and software components:

  • Unified or integrated teams for electrical, mechanical, software engineering
  • Use of systems modeling
  • Unified or integrated solutions for designing software-intensive products
  • Use of formal data / lifecycle management solutions (ALM and/or PLM)

Tech-Clarity’s conclusion from this report is that a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) approach is well positioned to enhance collaboration and integrate processes, teams, and technology to relieve manufacturers from the challenges and impacts inherent in developing software-intensive products.

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