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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