Will PTC redefine PLM with IoT?

Will PTC redefine PLM with IoT?

PLM definition is one of these questions that often come in the discussions between industry analysts, bloggers and PLM pundits. While users are usually very indifferent about what three letter acronym is used, industry marketing and press, business and financial analysts are sensitive to buzzwords, names and trends.

I was attending PTC industry event LiveWorx last 3 days. IoT is generating a tremendous amount of buzz and news. You probably heard about release of PTC ThingWorx 8. Read more in the press release here – PTC Expands Its Industrial IoT Technology Offering with the Launch of ThingWorx 8. Many users are getting excited about new features, applications and announcements. Just think about Integration of ThingWorx with Microsoft HoloLens. This is really cool. But at the same time, many companies are asking a question. What about PLM? What role PLM will play in the portfolio of PTC as it is switching fast to IoT segment.

It looks like PLM has an answer on this question. It sounds very simple – “IoT is PLM”. I captured the following video during Q&A session with Jim Hepplemann, PTC CEO and President. Mr. Hepplemann is elaborating why actually IoT is a real PLM. Watch the video.

According to PTC ‘s VP Marketing and Strategy Kathleen Midford, the message IoT is PLM is very much resonating with customers. She said it during Q&A session with analysts, press and media earlier today. To be successful, IoT goes back to basics – product data and PLM has the answer. Jim Hepplemenn says there is no PLM without IoT, which brings missing  elements to PDM and turns it into actual lifecycle solution. According to Mr. Hepplemann, ThingWorx is a realization of long time PLM dream to integrate data from diverse data sources PLM, ERP, CRM, variety of enterprise systems and physical products (thanks for IoT technologies. However, PTC is not ignoring CAD, PDM, BOM management. Those are important elements of IoT solution and essential for realization of successful IoT strategy.

What is my conclusion? PTC is innovating by mixing IoT and PLM stories together. I’m not sure customers will like the idea of replacing PLM three letter acronym with IoT one. But connecting PLM to physical products and developing solutions that can mix both virtual and physical product definition makes lot of sense to me. I also think that CAD, PDM, BOM, Lifecycle and other traditional domain will not stay the same and will be redefined during global virtual to physical convergence we live in now. Just my thoughts….

Best, Oleg

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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


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