Boston PLM innovation – Highway vs Seaport?

Boston PLM innovation – Highway vs Seaport?

If you’re looking for PLM jobs in Boston, you’re in luck. Many CAD / PLM companies are located in Massachusetts or Greater Boston. Back in 2011, I wrote about PLM highway. Check my blog – PLM Highway and New Dassault campus. Back in 2011, companies were lining up on Rt 128 / I-93, so it was possible to drive between PTC, Dassault Systemes, Autodesk, Siemens, SAP and Aras in less then an hour. You can also find Onshape office nearby in outskirts of Cambridge not far from Rt. 128.

Things are changing these days.  Autodesk announced that their office will be moving from Rt. 128 to Boston Seaport Innovation district to create BUILD Space. Check more here.

Located on the first two floors of a concrete-framed former army base in South Boston, Autodesk’s BUILD Space (BUILD stands for building, innovation, learning, and design), which opened in 2016, has become one of the software company’s best tools for keeping up with architecture’s hyper-speed technology changes.

The next company to announce their move to Sea Port district was PTC. Check the article – It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like PTC’s Seaport Move.

In moving, PTC expects to enhance its ability to attract and retain the talent required to maintain the company’s technology leadership position. The company also expects its new headquarters will be viewed as a premier destination for customers and partners who come from around the world to experience PTC technology hands-on in its Corporate Experience Center. With more than 6,000 employees worldwide, PTC expects its new headquarters will be occupied by employees across all company operations, including executive leadership, customer success, research and development, sales, marketing, finance, and legal teams.

So, there is no agreement about location in CAD/PLM world in Boston. Some companies like PTC and Autodesk are moving to Seaport district. Some other are staying.

In such context, it is interesting to read comments from Peter Schroer of Aras.

Aras, which makes software to help businesses manage the development of complex products, is an outlier in other ways, too. Its headquarters lies far from the glimmering new construction of the go-go technology scene in Boston and Cambridge, in a quiet Andover office park off of Interstate 495.

And it’s an industry in which Boston’s tech sector has excelled for some time. Other companies with major presences in the area include PTC and Dassault Systèmes. But unlike PTC, which is preparing a move to the Seaport District, Schroer said Aras is happy with its throwback image.

The company just moved to a bigger space at the office complex where it has been located for years: Brickstone Square, a converted historic industrial site not far from the center of Andover. He said the company is seeking a more experienced workforce — one that already lives in the suburbs.

Aras Corp last year double their office footprint in Andover Mass according to Boston Real Estate time.

What is my conclusion? It is interesting to look at PLM innovation through the prism of office location, real estate and job market. As it very often happens with PLM, there is no right or wrong PLM – it is about which one does fit the best their needs. PLM is hot place to invest money these days and we are going to watch Boston trajectories of CAD and PLM companies in the next few years. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

PS. I’m located in Newton Mass.

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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