PLM vendors: 2016 SWOT update

PLM vendors: 2016 SWOT update


Two years ago I posted my Top PLM Vendors. Let’s face it – every vendor has its strength… sharing my thoughts about PLM vendors comparison. That was already 2 years ago – time is flying fast! I feel, there is a need to refresh my comments.

So, here is an updated version of the article circa 2016.

I have to admit that Jim Brown’s Tech Clarity blog is still one of the places to follow for updates about PLM vendor strategies. An updated article can give you links to all PLM vendor strategies reviews published by Tech-Clarity February 2016. You can dive in and find lot of interesting and important information.

My attempt is not to give you full manual how to choose PLM system- you won’t be able to do so from the article anyway, but to give you a brief picture about status quo of PLM products. Originally introduced as top 4, my current list contains 8 vendors. I put in my experience from my last year PLM consulting and PLM bench-marking projects. Please note – vendors are listed alphabetically.

1- Aras PLM

Aras was a very active vendor for the last 2 years caused lot of attention and made significant progress introducing Aras Innovator solution to large companies. Formally, Aras is the younger vendor in the list. Nevertheless, it is already 16 years old company. Aras strong characteristics are flexible SOA model driven backend, free license combined with subscription and bunch of good references from large account Aras collected for the last few years. At the same time, Aras has strong dependencies on Microsoft technologies – you can consider it as pros or cons depends on your company situation.

2- Arena Solutions

Arena claims to be first PLM vendor made “cloud” PLM before we even called it cloud back in 1999. It was on-demand, SaaS software called These days, Arena solution provides cloud based PLM product. Its out-of-the-box functionality is probably the strongest point. At the same time, integration with CAD systems is probably the weakest characteristic of Arena Solutions.

3- Autodesk PLM (formerly known as PLM360)

Earlier this month, Autodesk renamed its PLM360 product into Fusion Lifecycle. In the future we will see Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle will be probably navigating towards focusing on business processes and implementations of liceycle management. For the moment, it is a rebranding of existing product. I can see a potential chance that Fusion Lifecycle will become fully integrated into a suite of Autodesk Forge / Fusion products. The strongest point of Fusion Lifecycle is still connection to Autodesk products and partnership.

4- Dassault Systemes ENOVIA

Dassault Systems is actively developing 3DExperience platform. While ENOVIA is a core brand providing PLM experience for customers, it is tightly connected to platform and other solutions around CATIA products. The history of Dassault PLM is going back to first large PLM implementations Dassault made in aerospace and defense industry. In my view, Dassault focus was to create an ultimate integration story between CATIA products and related parts of data management and collaboration of ENOVIA. Thus, I can see CATIA-ENOVIA vertical integration as the major Dassault Systems’ PLM strength.

5- PTC – Windchill

Lot of transformations happened to PTC for the last two years. Focus on IoT and development of additional products and brands created a broader PLM perspective for PTC. You can even hear statements like “IoT is PLM” these days. Core PLM product is still Windchill with lot of additions and connections to new products build from IoT-related acquisitions. ThingWorx provided new front end product PTC Navigate. Windchill scalable product and architecture is clearly strongest part of PLM from PTC.

6- Oracle – Agile PLM

Oracle is gravitating more towards cloud solution these days. At the same time, core PLM product is still Agile PLM acquired more than a decade ago. The core strength of Agile PLM is Oracle market share and family of product as well as out of the box functionality related to BOM management.


The core strength of SAP PLM is the fact it comes from SAP. The usage of SAP in a company as a platform is long term strategic decision. As soon as company decides for SAP, the strength of PLM addition from SAP will allow to cover all aspects of product development processes that not involving design and engineering.

8- Siemens PLM – Teamcenter

Siemens PLM has probably the largest PLM (cPDM) marketshare covered by multiple TeamCenter products developed in the past. Teamcenter is Siemens PLM flagship platform absorbing all existing and new developed PLM products and customers. Therefore, I consider  TeamCenter product line maturity and install base as the biggest strength of Siemens PLM.

What is my conclusion? I hope you find my refresh useful. The market for PLM is not moving fast and 15-20 years old companies are just coming to the level of maturity helping them to crawl forward and to sell solution for large manufacturing companies. I wanted to mention “single the most significant strength” that applies to both – company and product. Every specific case can bring additional aspects that can highlight variety of characteristics and product parameters. 2016 doesn’t bring much difference in PLM SWOT analysis. The devil is still in the details of match between what PLM product can do, specific PLM vendors characteristics and most important customer needs. Just my thought…

Best, Oleg

Want to learn more about PLM? Check out my new PLM Book website.

Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of openBoM developing cloud based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups and supply chain.


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  • Michael Mary

    Hi. I enjoyed your post, once and again! I’m a little puzzled about the advantage of DS because of ENOVIA-CATIA integration. Personally, since CATIA V6 has been released, DS struggles to propose full integration projects, which was easier with CATIA V5. In my point of view, this is an attention point for their development and growth on this topics. I’m not afraid for them by the way as their strategy is really focused on end-to-end landscape, and no more on Product Design.

  • beyondplm

    Michael, thanks for your comment! CATIA-ENOVIA Is becoming a bundle. As an integrated package it will have all advantages for customers that are using CATIA and not to worry about what PLM backend they need to use with CATIA. This is the strategy of 3DEXPERIENCE as I can see that- to create fully integrated environment. The struggle you mentioned is related to integrating CATIA with other PDM / PLM systems.

  • Michael Mary

    Yes, I understand this. By the way, some of my customers are afraid of being forced to buy the couple Enovia V6 & Catia V6 and they also fear the migration effort of IP already in their Catia V5 implementation. The maturity of Catia V6 needs to be demonstrated on big projects and scopes. At the moment, DS has not yet demonstrated the benefits of this bundle vs Catia V5 and Enovia V6 integration, even if I’m sure they will find a way, soon. The fully integrated environment is clearly a good strategy for some customers, although we need to keep in mind the big effort for CIO. The platformization of DS solutions is on the roadmap by the way and all the DS landscape is likely to be integrated in the platform, in a simpler and a more effective way than today. The future is promising!

  • beyondplm

    What do you mean by “platformization of DS solution”?

  • Michael Mary

    I mean they want to “merge” all their products under the 3DEXPERIENCE platform (under the same brand at least)

  • beyondplm

    Yes, sure. This is a plan as I can see it from 2006 since MatrixOne was acquired.

  • marta floryn

    Hi Oleg, in my opinion Aras seem very competitive But what about cad integration? i’ve read in a reply in another post that Aras can be configured with a Lot of cad connectors. (At least For the most popular cad sistems ). My question is : Are those cad connectors developed by Aras? Are they at the same level of integration as, for example, Ptc Creo and Windchill?
    What do You Thik?

  • beyondplm

    Hi Marta,

    As far as I know, Aras connectors developed by partners. You can go on the following page and check connectors. You will see names of partners – ITI, xPLM, T-Systems.

    In a very broad statement, I’d expect bundles of CATIA-ENOVIA, Creo-Windhcill, NX-Teamcenter, etc. to have a better integration than 3rd party integrations with Aras. However, the devil is in the details. In some situations, you can find Aras-CAD integration is good enough for what you need. It is hard to judge without detailed requirements.

    You can find the following 2 blog posts interesting. I shared my thoughts about CAD-PDM integrations

    I hope it helps.
    Best, Oleg

  • Baba Yaga

    Enjoying the scope of discussions here, I can say that Dassault offer today in term of vision and perenity is totally something made of overselling consideration. This technology is “has been” and not for longer on the market. I heard DS in China gave for almost free of charge Enovia licenses when they get strong pressure from competitors to deal with installed base
    upgrade business .. For sure SOA and subscription model will be the crowd within 3 years from now. A large account made a costs comparison between DS Enovia and Aras for a web Plm deployment for 50.000 users. Why should large manufacturers pay 10 $ millions when it cost 2 ? Why to pay more 10 millions for 5 years maintenance and upgrades for DS when it is free of charge with Aras. Why to stay inbound facing competitors when you can change a global BOM in hours with Aras?
    Why high management has to pay more for a disruptive DS offer when you can globalize any process around the world with a modern architecture using not pro cad users to make it? People has to clean the market picture!!!

  • beyondplm

    Thanks for sharing your comments and insight. I think, some of the trends you mentioned will be happening sooner then later.

    Better product isn’t enough these days. It is about building product, eco-system and monetization strategy that can deliver products to people with alternative models (free?)

    At the same time, manufacturing companies are very slow with the decision process. It could be perfectly fine for them to run business using crappy software, just because they don’t want to change things.

    So, the change should happen on the side of the companies and it means to change the status quo. Some of my thoughts about it is here

  • Baba Yaga

    Oleg, I agree with your global answer but it is one thing I would like to state here about the posture from the Plm analysts. Everybody try to explain the software editors strategies given figures and diagrams for what you have to pay…. For me it is very simple: CAD/CAM/ CAE /PDM came from software industry edicted by customers needs from decades.
    PLM is a discipline purely opportunist to improve massively the software suite by services ot of the box. That’s why all the Plm players are obsolete
    facing the datas proliferation and the jump of the interoperability needs. For large accounts soon I promise Tchernobyl……

  • beyondplm

    Well… then the question of what is the difference between PDM and PLM for you?

  • Paul Cassidy

    Hi Oleg, I am interested in your view on SAP PLM…”the strength of PLM addition from SAP will allow to cover all aspects of product development processes that not involving design and engineering.”
    Can you clarify that last part, as I am sure SAP PLM does allow you to cover “design and engineering.”
    Perhaps I am misunderstanding the point you are making.
    Many thanks, enjoy your blogs always.

  • beyondplm

    Hi Paul, thanks for your comment and your word about my blog! In my view, SAP is different from other “traditional PLM” vendors. PLM tech is spread across multiple SAP modules. At the same time, no own CAD technologies makes engineering and design 2nd class citizen in SAP solutions. Partners are solving formal integration requirements, but it is still a combined solution coming from SAP and partners. Maybe I’m missing something, so please let me know your POV. Best, Oleg

  • Thank your the informative article it is very helpful, ad i would like to suggest a PLM Company called GlobalLogic which is on high note in global industry. visit them here: