PLM This Week: Vodafone Selects PTC Thingworx to Drive IoT App Development
Felix Nilsson posted on November 14, 2016 |
Also: Arena Solutions outperforms PLM market; Siemens PLM and Bentley announce a strategic partnersh...

Vodafone Selects PTC Thingworx to Drive IoT App Development

British telecommunications giant Vodafone Group is investing in PTC's IoT platform, ThingWorx, to develop their new applications for the Internet of Things. With this investment, the American PLM developer takes home yet another large order in a short time.

What’s interesting is that Vodafone is one of the leading players in terms of IoT-related services, offering end-to-end capabilities to several sectors including automotive, manufacturing and insurance.

“Vodafone has a rich portfolio of IoT services and we share APIs with our customers and their development teams for co-creation,” said Ivo Rook, IoT director at Vodafone. “We believe that by combining these services with ThingWorx and our wider partner ecosystem, we can rapidly develop new Vodafone IoT capabilities to maintain our leadership position and make it easier for our customers to benefit from the wider opportunities of IoT.”

Few companies in the PLM sphere have invested as heavily as PTC has in building up an extensive IoT portfolio. To date, CEO Jim Heppelmann and the Board of Directors have invested around $600 million to acquire companies with solutions for the Internet of Things.

According IoT Analytics, with an 18 percent market share PTC’s IoT platform is considered a leading one. In August, the aforementioned analysis firm called PTC an "IoT Platform Market Leader" in a report entitled, "IoT Platforms Market Report 2015-2021." Experton Group reached the same conclusion in their report "Industry 4.0/Internet of Things Vendor Benchmark 2016".

The centerpiece of PTC’s IoT strategy is ThingWorx, a platform where users can build and run IoT applications. The platform is designed so that you can quickly create or modify applications; for example, to adapt them to other data streams, such as ERP-related or unstructured data.

“PTC’s IoT strategy is predicated on providing the most efficient and complete platform that companies like Vodafone require to develop new and innovative applications or offerings that will support and strengthen their businesses,” said John Stuart, divisional vice president, global IoT sales and partners at PTC. “This collaboration further validates PTC’s approach to the IoT space, and we look forward to working with Vodafone to create new IoT services.”

Arena Solutions Outperforms Overall PLM Market in Third Quarter

Cloud PLM platform developer Arena Solutions announced continued strong sales in Q3 2016, as average new subscription size grew 21 percent compared to the same period in 2015, adding a number of new customers during the quarter.

Arena’s growth continues to outperform the overall PLM market, with bookings growing at a rate in the double-digits compared to Q3 2015. According to Arena, this growth has been driven not only by sales of Arena Training Management, released in June of this year, but also by strong demand for the QMS (Quality Management) module, Arena Quality, which is increasingly leading sales to larger enterprises. The company also said that it continues to see strong growth via upsells from its customer base, ending Q3 2016 with a 112 percent net retention rate. The main driver for this is the rapid adoption of the Arena Training Management module. 

Some of the new customers that Arena signed in Q3 2016 include:

  • BBPOS Limited: A designer, manufacturer and provider of end-to-end mobile point-of-sale solutions.
  • Revolution Retail Systems: Provider of automated cash management solutions.
  • 10X Genomics: Makers of an innovative genomics platform that upgrades the capabilities of existing sequencing technologies.
  • New World Medical: Manufacturer of ophthalmic surgical devices.
  • VisionGate, Inc.: Inventor of a proprietary LuCED test, which is a non-invasive diagnostic test for early-stage lung cancer.
  • Bioserenity: Developer of the WEMU, a smart connected, smart clothing healthcare solution for the diagnosis and monitoring of epilepsy.
  • Semler Scientific: An emerging medical risk-assessment company.

“This quarter, we saw a sharp uptick in the number of multi-year contracts we signed,” said Craig Livingston, CEO of Arena. “This was the largest number of multi-year contracts that we’ve secured in a single quarter in the history of the company. It reflects the high level of confidence that organizations developing complex electronics have in Arena to support them and provide a rock-solid, secure solution to overcome their product design and manufacturing challenges.”


Siemens PLM and Bentley Announce Strategic Partnership

Siemens PLM Software and CAD and BIM developer Bentley Systems are expanding their partnership. The companies have agreed to invest at least 120 million euros, with an initial investment of 50 million euros to develop joint solutions for infrastructure and industry.

This strategic alliance contains an element of semi-acquisition, where Siemens buys into the family-owned Bentley by acquiring shares for 70 million euros.

The collaboration is primarily expected to create new cloud services in a networked computing environment, making it possible to converge their respective digital models.

Siemens and Bentley Systems have a long history of cooperation in civil engineering and plant design. The companies announced that Bentley's solution for point cloud (in conjunction with BIM, Building Information Modeling) will be integrated with Siemens PLM process simulation solutions contained within their digital manufacturing (DM) software Tecnomatix. The Siemens suite contains a number of tools for digital factory automation and control.

Tecnomatix users have been able to offer digital models of existing factories. By scanning the plants in their actual condition, through the use of point cloud technology produced by Bentley’s Vortex engine, it is possible to build realistic 3D models and avoid errors, allowing production engineers to get a line up and running more efficiently.

It is also worth mentioning that Bentley is already a customer of Siemens, and its BIM-related applications makes use of Siemens technologies such as Parasolid, D-Cubed and JT.


Fujifilm Chooses Aras PLM Platform

PLM developer Aras recently announced that Fujifilm’s Medical Systems Business Division, a Tokyo-based provider of diagnostic imaging and information systems for healthcare facilities, has selected Aras Innovator as the Quality Management system platform across global design, production and service.

Working in concert with Aras partner Hitachi Systems for the implementation, Fujifilm has planned a phased deployment of Aras with the Minerva Medical Device PLM solution to support the Quality Management System, assure regulatory compliance and improve operational efficiency. The solution is planned to roll out across multiple locations.

“With Aras, Fujifilm will have access to more modern technology with greater flexibility to adapt to the global regulatory landscape,” said Peter Schroer, CEO of Aras. “Together, our partners Hitachi Systems and Minerva bring decades of medical devices expertise for a successful deployment now and into the future.”

Aras delivers a cloud-focused solution, which uses a so-called Enterprise Open source development model for its software. This means that the community can help drive the development, while leaving Aras in charge of managing the critical decisions that would affect the quality of the solutions.

In keeping with the open source motto, Aras also eschews any licensing fees for their software, instead making their money from upgrade subscriptions, training, implementation and maintenance.  This has been a successful model so far, as it allows companies to try out the solution with less risk and upfront investment.

One example of a large Aras customer is the European aerospace conglomerate Airbus, which has implemented 30,000 seats of the Aras Innovator solution.

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