PLM Vendors: Cloud Service Comparison

PLM Vendors: Cloud Service Comparison


Cloud is taking PLM vendors by storm. Just few years ago, the question if manufacturing companies will adopt cloud raised lot of debates. You probably remember my posts – PLM competition and true cloud solution and PLM cloud: differentiation and anti-cloud  rant. Fast forward into 2015 – I can see almost all PLM vendors are actively engaging into industry discussion about cloud solutions. Public cloud is getting more traction and I stated it in my earlier post – Is public cloud reshaping PLM landscape? Time to recheck…

Earlier today, the PTC article – Demystifying Cloud Services by Christa Prokos caught my attention. The article provides a good insight on different aspects of providing cloud services such as IaaS, PaaS, SaaS. The article is also connecting it to the notion of public, private, hybrid and virtual private clouds.

It made me think about summarizing what I know about PLM vendors strategies and cloud capabilities. I admit that I don’t have full information and can rely only on public sources of information. So, I created the following draft table. If it makes sense to you, let me know. If you have some information and think I missed something, please comment as well. I will maintain updates to this post.


What is my conclusion? In 2015, cloud is probably not a marketing differentiation for PLM sales people. However, the devil is in details. You need to get your hands dirty to figure out what “cloud” vendors are talking about. Earlier this year, at COFES 2015, I gave a briefing about PLM and cloud. You can take a look here to learn more. There are few questions that left not answered and, in my view, will require a heavy focus by PLM vendors – cloud adoption trajectory by manufacturing, economic of cloud offering and how cloud PLM can change an existing PLM implementation paradigm. It seems to me PLM vendors made a first shot to fill a spreadsheet with cloud check boxes. But jury is out to check what and how PLM cloud cloud can deliver. Just my thoughts.

PS. The PLM cloud services comparison table is a draft. I’m looking forward for your comments – I’m sure missed some company specific points and I need your help to finalize it.

Best, Oleg

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  • Vivek Agrawal

    I think it will be worthwhile to mention cloud services provided by Veeva systems. Our client needed a cloud based system to managed their documents and Veeva proved to be nice fit.

  • beyondplm

    Vivek, thanks for the link, but how Veeva is related to PDM / PLM products?

  • I think it’s interesting that EVERY PLM vendor says they have a cloud PLM system. Yet there are only two. The ones listed under “SaaS”. Nobody is fooled by hosted, traditional systems being called “Cloud”

    I was at a nice CIMdata conference on the west coast for High Tech companies. One of the companies (Electronics Mfg) presented their use case on their selection process. He listed out cloud vs. non-cloud and referenced SaaS vendors. (Autodesk and Arena). There was no hint of hosting software being really a cloud system.

    People are smarter than the above graphic. I think eventually it’s just going to make vendors look silly when they talk about hosting as cloud. This fad will die in the next year or so.

  • beyondplm

    Brian, this is an interesting comment, thanks!

    Btw, you can take a look on few more comments on the same post here —

    I also have few follow up discussions related to offline comments on the same post.

    I have a question – what is your definition of SaaS?

    Thanks, Oleg

  • True multi-tenant software. Every customer on a single version. Zero on premise offerings (you can’t do both well… need to pick one and do it). Vendor takes on all costs of infrastructure. And all upgrades are non-disruptive and automatic.

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  • Ron Pascuzzi

    I would encourage you to separate the licensing model from the Cloud Service as this introduces a separate dimension that is difficult to portray on a chart as you have above. PTC has a three Cloud Offerings for PLM that all provide the service levels you would expect from a SaaS offering.

    Option 1: Multi-Tenant offering that bundles license with the Cloud Service

    Option 2: Private instance offering that bundles license with the cloud service

    Option 3: Private instance Cloud Serivce with a “bring your own” license model

    PTC Cloud Services offers an SLA based contract with a commitment to availability of the application, system support for the application and the underlining platform, new release upgrades, customization and integration support, robust security model, and global access to data.

    I would argue that PTC should have an “x” in the SaaS column for PLM but not for PaaS and IaaS. We agree with some of the comments below, the value in the service is a complete end-to-end support solution which an IaaS or PaaS contract does not provide.

    Feel free to look us up on

  • beyondplm

    Ron, thanks for sharing your opinion and link. It is interesting that you basically saying PTC is not supporting IaaS / PaaS. My assumption was that PTC software can be hosted on public / private cloud using IaaS infrastructure. For example using IBM hosting. Is it still true? Also where do you host your private instances (mentioned in Option 2/3 above)? Best, Oleg

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  • Alliance Pro

    I was searching for that on all internet, thank you !
    e yesterday night and I at last found what i was looking for! This is a terrific weblog by the way, however it appears a little hard to read in my verison phone.
    You are a very smart individual!

    Cloud Services | Alliance Pro – Consulting Services, Office 365 & Windows Azure