A week ago, I came back from ACE 2011 (Aras Community Event 2011), which took place in Detroit, MI. Let me propose a very provoking statement: Aras Innovator is on move to replace full fledged PLM products such as TeamCenter, Enovia / MatrixOne and Windchill. Over the 3 days, Aras presented technology, vision and community of people working with Aras Innovator. You can get the highlights and download presentations by navigating to the following link.
Aras: Business Changes and Customization
In the keynote session, Aras’ President and CEO, Peter Schroer, presented the vision of open PLM platform with the ability to maintain a consistent pace of changes during the implementation cycle. Changes are inevitable. For the last years PLM vendors developed strategies to provide out-of-the-box PLM implementations. Aras put focus on “supporting organizational change”.
In addition to that, Aras put a significant focus on their support of Software Customization. Customization of PLM software (and not only PLM), is an important factor impacting PLM implementation TCO. Aras is focusing on how to support customization, and it relates to the Aras Innovator platform capabilities.
Aras and Integration Stories
Integration is an important element of every PLM strategy and implementation. There are multiple aspects of integrations – desktops, CADs, PLM systems and ERP systems. Aras presented a very broad scope of integrations and integration technologies. (note: I was a bit surprised to see existing PLM systems defined as “legacy”).
Aras Innovator introduces multiple APIs and technologies to support integration with different products.
Aras Platform Vision
Started as Windows and Microsoft only, Aras is introducing a broader support of the databases, browsers and other platform-related elements. It was presented as a mix of reality and vision, which not allows you to see what is really happening today. It is clear, Aras is moving towards Linux and broader support of browsers and mobile devices.
Aras Platform and Community
Community and collaborative development are a very interesting aspect of Aras growth strategy. Few slides below shows Aras platform strategy, vision and way to grow solutions by involvement of “community” of partners. As you remember Aras Enterprise Open Source allows to everybody to develop and deploy solutions on top of Aras Innovator. License hassle is minimal.
What is my take on ACE 2011 and Aras Innovator?
Aras is definitely moving towards crossing paths with PLM like Windchill, Enovia, TeamCenter. Is it possible to displace large PLM system with Aras today? My answer – it depends. The PLM implementation scope is varied, and every implementation can be different. Therefore, I specially liked the community oriented approach of development. This is something that can make a difference. On the side of platforms and integrations – time will show if Aras will find a balance between throwing resources and effective delivery. This is a big challenge. Just my thoughts…
Disclosure: Aras paid for my trip to ACE 2011.
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. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.