Did Autodesk & Siemens just started PLM competition?

Did Autodesk & Siemens just started PLM competition?


Last week announcement about Autodesk and Siemens PLM agreement to increase software interoperability generated waves of articles. Here are few notable articles that caught my attention from Design Engineering and Engineering.com. The smell of the end of cold war between CAD vendors is coming from these articles. Although Roopinder Tara of Engineering.com mentioned Dassault Systemes as the last contender to defend CAD openness, it feels like the time CAD vendors were placing firewalls around their CAD is coming to the end.

I captured few interesting comments on my article last week here and here. CIMdata Stan Przybylinski was questioning if Siemens PLM can potentially consider Autodesk acquisition. It made me think that PLM domain can be the next place of competition between CAD vendors. After all, it was Teamcenter vs Enovia competition that pushed CATIA out of Daimler – CATIA replacement by NX at Daimler AG.

PLM360 vs Teamcenter – no overlap?

So, is there a place for competition between Teamcenter and Autodesk PLM360? On the surface, these systems are completely different.

Autodesk PLM360 is SaaS based, loosely connected to CAD data using Autodesk A360 services and mostly focusing on process improvements of small to medium size companies. PLM360 is just signed 4 years anniversary. Autodesk is not sharing much information about how many customers are using PLM360 for the moment.

At the same time, Teamcenter is PLM heavy-weightier, which is according to Siemens PLM is used by almost 8 million users worldwide. Teamcenter is deeply integrated with desktop CAD systems from Siemens PLM as well as other CAD vendors.

PLM360 vs Teamcenter future competitive trajectories

Teamcenter and PLM360 can potentially cross their paths in competing to acquire new customers. The potential growth of PLM360 towards acquiring larger accounts can bring Autodesk sales to fight for Teamcenter mid-size deals. Despite relatively high price of cloud PLM systems, it can be an affordable solution for those customers that are regular to pay for on-premise Teamcenter licenses.

Teamcenter is certified to be hosted using IaaS platforms such as AWS and Microsoft Azure. But I’d be questioning Teamcenter cloud competitiveness based on the maturity and experience of PLM360 cloud deployments.

On the other side, A360 / PLM360 is still relatively new systems evolved from Datastay and additional acquisitions and development. The maturity and breath of Teamcenter product features and technology can be overwhelming when it will come to the competition between core functional elements of PLM system.

3rd party PLM competition?

Is there any 3rd party that can take a part in the game between PLM360 and Teamcenter? There are not so many independent PLM companies these days. Two of them to be mentioned – Arena Solutions providing SaaS PLM and Aras Innovator – enterprise open source solution with free licenses and service subscription. Can one of these systems played to change balance of future competition between PLM360 and Teamcenter? Both small companies might have enough dynamic to challenge Teamcenter. However, technologies integration might be a challenging part.

What is my conclusion? End of CAD formats cold war will move competition between CAD vendors in a different segment. PLM has a potential to be the one to show differentiation and help to out-compete in the future.  Cloud technology can add an additional flavor into future trajectories of PLM competition. In the case Autodesk PLM360 will be able to increase the maturity and breath of PLM functions, it might challenge Teamcenter with agile PLM implementations in the growing segment of small to medium manufacturing businesses. The next few years will be interesting in PLM business. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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