What I learned about PLM leaders from Forrester research

What I learned about PLM leaders from Forrester research

Earlier today my attention was caught by Forrester PLM research for discrete manufacturing industry. Almost simultaneously, two PLM vendors – PTC and Aras made an announcement about their inclusion as leaders into Forrester research. You can read about it here from Aras website and here from PTC website.

Here is Aras message:

According to Forrester, “Customers using Aras’s PLM Innovator tool tended to have the most innovative use cases of their PLM systems of all vendors included in the Forrester Wave evaluation.” Forrester found “The firm was lauded by customers for fast implementations and a flexible software solution that can quickly adapt to a customers’ specific needs while still being upgradable down the road.”

Here is PTC message:

“PTC is a great choice for discrete manufacturers looking for an involved vendor with IoT capabilities that can get their PLM solution up and running quickly and flexibly.”

Unfortunately, report isn’t shared free. You need to give up on one of your emails to get access to the report. So, I cannot share it, but if you navigate to one of the links above, you can get it. I used this one. However, the following image is indeed public and I wanted to share it.

What is very interesting is a small amount of companies. All companies in the list are traditional PLM suspects. Dassault Systemes, Siemens PLM, PTC, SAP, Oracle and Autodesk. With such small amount of vendors, 4 of them (okay… technically only 3) are located in the leadership segment. Addition of Aras was refreshing but it was almost predicted.

Aras revenues is $100M?

Forrester research presented interesting data point about participants. So, if I connect two data points together, we can possible make a conclusion that Aras revenues is exceeding $100M. You can make this assumption by Forrester statement that only vendor with more than $100M revenue in 2016 are allowed to participate.

Autodesk PLM vs SAP

Both Autodesk and SAP were positioned outside of leader’s space. While SAP and Autodesk PLM revenue difference is probably huge, I found interesting to find that Forrester is defining Autodesk more strategic comparing to SAP.  It was not clear to me why.  

What is my conclusion? All companies included by Forrester to the chart except of Aras are old  and well-known players in PLM for discrete manufacturing segment.  Their portfolios are well known and available for years. Aras is also almost 20 years old, but it has a momentum. Aras data point about $100M revenue is interesting. To reach $100M is a hardly achievable goal when you sell PLM in discrete manufacturing. If Aras did it, it will be the only vendor for the last 10 years. In my view, it is a signal that current business model doesn’t work for new businesses and only can protects existing vendors. At the same time, PLM adoption in this segment is relatively low comparing to automotive, aerospace and defense industries. It is a time to make a change in a business model. Just my thoughts…

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. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.


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