Airbus Adopts Aras Innovator PLM Platform

Aras lands a 30,000 seat subscription from Airbus. Are changes underway in the PLM industry?

Aras Corp. recently announced that the aerospace giant Airbus has picked up 30,000 seats of its Innovator platform and suite (see press release).

According to the press release, Airbus made the decision after examining a number of PLM solutions, finding that Aras provided the most simple and agile platform for large-scale, enterprise-wide scaling.

We can expect puffy product claims from a company’s press release. But could this deal could amount to something really big?

Firstly, Aras is still a young-ish company. With only 15 years of business under its belt, Aras boasts a litany of world-beating clients (Honda, Xerox, GE Aviation, 3M . . . the list goes on).

Airbus had already been using Aras’ PLM solution, and must have been happy with its performance. In fact, they presented a paper on its implementation at ACE Europe, Aras’ user meeting, with Henrick Weimer, an Airbus PLM manger, saying, “We are looking forward to our first Aras-version upgrade, v9 to v10, in 2015.”

Second, while Aras maintains control over its framework, the company’s PLM software remains open-source, and free (the technical support, upgrades and various consulting services are paid for via subscription).

Over the past few years, the idea of subscription-based service has begun to take off. Whether it’s how you consume music, or access design tools, subscription services are becoming ever more popular, and there’s good reason. Subscription tools provide users with the most up to date software, they can be expanded or contracted depending on workload, and, most importantly, they’re much cheaper than annual releases (which can cost a fortune per seat).

Will all PLM systems eventually be subscription-based? Will they all move to browser/cloud-based applications? Will there be a dramatic change in the PLM industry in the next few years? Let me know in the comments below.