| Siemens PLM Connection Keynote Predicts What’s in Store for PLM and Pins Down Siemens Roadmap
This year Siemens PLM Connection took place at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada where the event drew in more than 1900 attendees, the largest group they’ve ever had, according to Dave Shook, senior VP and managing director, Americas, Siemens PLM Software. The conference was jam-packed with the usual meet-and-greets, keynotes, customer presentations, sneak peeks and exhibit hall hoo-ha.
In addition to a welcome from Jon Jarrett, PLM World chairman, we also heard from Siemens executives, partners and customers.
Tony Affuso, chairman of the board and CEO, Siemens PLM Software, gave us a backgrounder on the company and their achievements through the years. In fact just four years ago on May 4 the company, then called UGS, was picked up by Siemens. Siemens has 160 years of innovation experience and is a “company that really understands products,” said Affuso. The company’s annual revenue was 103 billion and included 8,800 inventions. To date Siemens overall has 57,900 active patents.
Siemens PLM Software CEO Tony Affuso
Affuso said they have recovered from the economic slump with 5 quarters of steady growth, and they picked up 4,800 new customers in the last year including 24 of 25 top automotive OEMs, plus 7.2 million deployed software seats. A major contract win last year was Daimler switching from Dassault Systemes to Siemens, which he mentioned. He also commented on specific wins from former PTC customers, including the aerospace and defense customer United Launch Alliance and shipbuilders BAE Systems, an industry he said is growing for them. Siemens PLM Software is also seeing a demand in the retail market as well.
He also questioned the idea of DS SolidWorks changing the kernel from parasolid to CATIA, in which he pointed out an article from Martyn Day called “The Death of SolidWorks?” Affuso, questioned “What, they’re going to develop a new product and SolidWorks will be mothballs?" Concerns he mentioned with this were expensive migrations and the idea that it would run in the cloud.
He then went on to talk about the Siemens PLM Software’s philosophy: We never let a customer fail, which includes:
1) Developing an in-depth understanding of their customer’s requirements
2) Stating their understanding of the customer’s requirements and their plan on how to address them
3) Make sure the customer understands Siemens’ proposals and commitments
4) Meet periodically to measure progress
5) Be responsive to customer problems
6) Protect data
Overall Affuso seemed pleased with the current status of their place in the CAD market and said, "I’m happy to say our team is really coming together."
While Affuso focused on the past, Chuck Grindstaff, president and CTO, Siemens PLM Software, talked about what is to come. (And no, they weren’t the software previews. we had to wait half a day for those presentations for the next updates due out this June).
So going forward the company plans to invest in the idea of intelligently integrated information, future proof architecture, the HD user experience and HD PLM.
Intelligently integrated information focuses on a rich data model and using the power of semantics to make that data useful for decision making. A future proof architecture would consist of users being able to utilize new technologies and updates easily. One area they are focused on is the open standard of the JT format. They are currently going through the approval for full ISO and think it will happen in another year or two.
The HD user experience focuses on new ways to interact with the data and new ways to bring flows of information. For instance users can engage in the data via a large monitor with touch screen commands. Grindstaff also noted that last month they announced a Teamcenter mobility app.
And Siemens continues to invest in the HD technology, which they announced last year, and has already been incorporated in some of their software. The HD PLM active workspace is more personalized. It identifies who you are, your role and the information you need access. Furthermore, it is contextually aware and knows which phase you are at. Grindstaff commented that they think they are on track for this year with active workspace capabilities.
We also heard from partners Microsoft and IBM. Craig Rode, industry solution manager, Microsoft, explained how Microsoft fits into the PLM picture. He declared, “We aren’t a PLM vendor. Our mission is to help people innovate.”
He shared a slide on Microsoft’s focus areas for PLM which outlined some of their current product offerings such as:
1) Collaboration and Social Networking via Microsoft Sharepoint, a business community platform for connecting people, expertise and information
2) Digital Rights Management via Microsoft Windows Server
3) Unified Communications via Microsoft Lync
4) Product Intelligence via Microsoft SQL Server, which enables connectivity to business data for decision making and analysis
5) Platform for Application development via Microsoft Azure
6) Project and Portfolio Management via Project Server for project management across the enterprise
Rode also noted six trends shaping the future of manufacturing including:
- Power shift to consumers
- Emerging economies and globalization
- Products that drive content and service
- An age of alliances and digital convergence
- Changing demographics
- Sustainability/complex regulations
As for his PLM forecast, Rode said they feel that cloud computing is going to be big in the PLM world. Other technology trends he mentioned were "consumerization of IT, modeling replacing coding, continuous networking, a natural user interface and computing everywhere via mobile apps."
We also heard from IBM who recently announced a partnership with Siemens. David Spade, PLM competency Leader, IBM, said “We’re about to enter a new wave of digital transformation.”
He commented on four drivers of this digital transformation including the “mobile revolution, social media explosion, hyper-digitization and power of analytics.”
IBM predicts there will be 50 billion mobile devices connected to the internet by 2020, stated Spade. He also noted that two-thirds of products last year contained digital content.
IBM has responded to the transformation by offering 8 PLM service offerings including: Engineering 2D/3D workspace, engineering analysis workspace, EDA content packs, SW engineering and systems engineering workbench, market analytics tools/services, SSE cloud security, complex control system simulation and global innovation networks.
In closing, Spade said disruptive changes in innovation are coming and that no industry is immune, and that PLM and innovation will have a big impact on business success.
Look for more updates from the conference coming soon, including previews of NX, Solid Edge and Teamcenter.