Last week, PTC announced its fiscal year first quarter results for 2013. Though its license growth was weak this quarter compared with the same quarter last year, its after-sales services business led by Servigistics experienced strong growth. Read the rest of this entry »
PTC recently announced that Eurocopter, an EADS subsidiary, is expanding its use of PTC technology solutions to enhance the contribution Eurocopter support services makes to the company’s overall business performance. In 2008, EADS selected PTC technology solutions to serve as the backbone of its PHENIX Master Product Definition platform, an initiative to harmonize its product lifecycle management (PLM) environment across the entire company. The latest milestone in this long-standing relationship is the completed deployment of a new Spares Configuration Data Management (SCDM) system that leverages PTC technology to more efficiently manage spare parts across Eurocopter’s global service network.
Accuride Corporation selects cloud-based Plex Online ERP
Industry tags: Manufacturing
“This Indiana-based automotive components manufacturer and supplier has performed a significant multi-year ERP software evaluation and selection project, resulting in the selection of the cloud-based ERP system from Plex Systems. A single application is to replace seven separate ERP systems, or over different 200 applications, that are running in the head office as well as its subsidiary manufacturing facilities. This implementation is important for Accuride, as it simplifies its IT structure.”—Aleksey Osintsev, TEC Analyst
Jordan’s Furniture retailer selects Coda Financials as its financial management solution
Industry tags: Wholesale and retail trade
“This famous and venerable (over 80 years old) furniture retailer with multiple locations across New England uses a 20-year-old ERP system, and realized that its financial module does not meet the needs of the current business, and costs too much, as well as being operable in constant patching mode only. Therefore they decided to have a look at the market in order to choose another application with a focus on budgeting, planning, real-time tracking, and flexible reporting. Coda Financials was the choice of this thorough selection, and besides the functional capability of the software, ease of collaboration with the Coda team was also an important factor.”—Aleksey Osintsev, TEC Analyst
The recently held PlanetPTC Live 2012 conference espoused the following two mantras – “Systems are Today’s Products” and “Product and Service Advantage.” Look for an exhaustive report from the conference and on PTC’s Winchill PLM (product lifecycle management), Creo CAD (computer aided design), and MKS Integrity application lifecycle management (ALM)/system engineering strategies.
Most recently, on August 8, 2012, PTC doubled down on its latter mantra by announcing it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Servigistics, Inc., developer of a broad suite of service lifecycle management (SLM) software solutions, for approximately US$220 million (USD) in cash. Pending regulatory approval and satisfaction of other customary conditions, the transaction is expected to be completed in September 2012. The Atlanta, Georgia-based privately held company has roughly 400 employees worldwide and generated approximately $80 million (USD) in revenue in the last 12 months. Read the rest of this entry »
It was interesting and perhaps telling that on the so-called “Super Tuesday” on March 6, 2012, when the Republican (GOP) presidential candidates were duking it out in 10 US states, two once-fierce competitors in the spare parts planning & optimization (SPP/O) space decided to merge instead of continuing to bludgeon each other. Indeed, Servigistics and MCA Solutions have competed for virtually every major deal in the space since their inceptions over a decade ago.
The NY Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox or LA Lakers vs. Boston Celtics sports rivalry analogies could describe the software rivalry here: there was never any love lost in the process, and the companies and their staffers were monitoring each other keenly (and crowing over each other’s occasional misfortunes or missteps).
Part 1 of this blog series introduced LeveragePoint as a cloud-based newcomer to the business-to-business (B2B) pricing market with a novel pricing approach: value-based pricing. In this day and age of highly accelerated new product introductions, history-based pricing approaches are often inadequate. My previous post explained the company’s approach and current state of affairs.
Part 2 follows with my discussion with LeveragePoint’s CEO Steven Forth both during my recent visit to the company’s head office in Cambridge, Massachusetts (US), and via follow up correspondence. Steven Forth is CEO of LeveragePoint and sits on its board of directors. He is responsible for strategic direction, finances, and key relationships.
Needham, Massachusetts (US)-based Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC, NASDAQ: PMTC) is an over USD 1 billion large software company that develops, markets, and supports product development software solutions and related services. The company’s solutions help its client companies design products, manage product information, and improve their product development processes. PTC’s software solutions and services have helped its customers increase innovation, improve product quality, decrease time to market (TTM), and reduce product development costs.
PTC offers solutions in the product development market, which encompasses the product lifecycle management (PLM) market (i.e., product data management [PDM] and related collaborative solutions) and the so-called CAx (computer-aided technologies) market, which includes computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), and computer-aided engineering (CAE) solutions. The company’s software solutions provide its customers with an integral product development system (PDS) that enables these enterprises to create digital product content, collaborate with others in the product development process, control product content, automate product development processes, configure products and product content, and communicate product information to people and systems across the extended enterprise and design chain.
Part 1 of this blog series introduced ClickSoftware Technologies (NASDAQ: CKSW), which until recently has focused solely on workforce and service optimization software solutions for large field service companies. Gradually, via both internal development and a few appetizing acquisitions in 2009, the vendor has added a few important growth engines, such as mobile computing solutions, shift planning (rostering) solutions, and solutions for small to medium businesses (SMBs).
Part 2 then analyzed the individual modules (in a price list manner) and logical bundles of the vendor’s flagship Service Optimization Suite as well as a number of original concepts that have differentiated ClickSoftware in the field service workforce optimization market. One of these concepts is the so-called real-time service enterprise.
Part 3 analyzed ClickSoftware’s Mobility Suite, as the major enabler of the real-time service enterprise as well as the vendor’s existing customers and go-to-market strategy. One of the major tenets of the vendor’s expansion into new markets has been the strategic alliance with SAP. This final part will recap the company’s strengths and point out its still outstanding challenges.
Whether you have a small network with a couple of printers and a fax machine, or a sophisticated shop floor using robots, cranes, etc., you have to make sure your assets are functioning properly. One of the main challenges is finding the right spare part to repair your equipment.
There are two facts that are certain in the enterprise asset management (EAM) world: 1. your equipment will break sooner or later; and 2. it will eventually become obsolete. It is common knowledge that when your equipment becomes obsolete, you need to replace it and when they break, they need to be repaired. Furthermore, one would expect companies to always have spare parts available for repairs, but it is not always the case. Let’s take a look at why this may happen. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this series established that service supply chains have many planning levels and time horizons, which can be roughly divided into the following: the immediate period around the day of service, and forecasting and planning for the day of service. My post then expanded on the various approaches to tame the challenges on the actual day of service.
The most advanced approach is to use service chain optimization algorithms that balance customer satisfaction and operating costs. But, as in any business environment, the catch is that conflicting forces pull any company’s service scheduling optimization decisions in opposing directions.
Part 1 of this series analyzed the phenomenon of the service economy or the increasing importance of the service sector in industrialized economies. Especially in a sluggish market, the service delivered after the initial sale of a product is what can truly differentiate competitors.
The service opportunity is also there, since after-sale service is quite difficult to replicate. Thus, while durable (hard) goods orders decline and product-based profit margins diminish in maturing and commoditized industries, service margins remain very healthy. When consumers or businesses focus more on maintaining what they have vs. purchasing new products, after-sale service can have a substantial impact on any company’s revenue, profitability, and customer loyalty levels.
Thus, Part 1 asserted that one saving grace for the economies of these developed countries (the Group of Eight [G8] and beyond) could be the post-sale service or aftermarket business model in which services to repair, maintain, and optimize products are sold to installed bases. Part 2 then discussed the accompanying service lifecycle management (SLM) software category and the potential benefits of using mobile computing technology.
We might want to note here that the word “resource” throughout this series refers to any type of mobile field worker including engineers, technicians, inspectors, surveyors, gang, crew, shared vehicle and so on, while “job” or “task” refers to any type of work that these resources perform. Given the apparent market growth opportunity, service chain optimization would be about putting the right resources in the right places at the right times to deliver superior service to customers while keeping costs down.
As simple as that, right? Well, not really (and thus the Scylla & Charybdis reference).
It is no longer breaking news to say that the US and the European Union (EU) are turning from product-based to service economies. The trend of the increasing importance of the service sector has only been accentuated by the recent (and perhaps still ongoing) subprime mortgage and financial system meltdowns, volatile stock markets, declining durable (hard) goods orders, dwindling physical product-based profit margins, and so on and so forth.
But one saving grace for these developed (the Group of Eight [G8] and beyond) countries’ economies could be the post-sale service or aftermarket business model offering services to fix (repair), maintain, and optimize products that are sold to installed bases. While durable goods orders decline and product-based margins diminish in maturing and commoditized industries, service margins remain very healthy. Thus, service businesses currently contribute about 70 percent of the world economy. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog series depicted the rise and fall of erstwhile public software company Click Commerce based in Chicago, Illinois (US). At the end of the post, I mentioned the merger of Servigistics and Click Commerce’s Service Network Services (SNS) division. The private equity firm Marlin Equity Partners acquired both entities recently with the idea of forming a new combined company to solve the planning, optimization, execution, and analytics challenges associated with delivering post-sale service.
Part 2 then presented two blog entries with opposing views on the merger and its prospects. It raised the point as to whether any prospective company in need of service-oriented solutions would look for an all-in-one service lifecycle management (SLM) solution (platform) per se, or would maybe start evaluating the service capabilities of their incumbent enterprise resource planning (ERP) provider, possibly combined with more focused best-of-breed vendors. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog series depicted the rise and fall of of erstwhile public software company Click Commerce based in Chicago, Illinois, United States (US). At the end, the article mentioned the July 2009 merger of Servigistics and Click Commerce’s Service Network Services (SNS) division.
The private equity firm Marlin Equity Partners acquired both entities recently with the idea of forming a new combined company to solve the planning, optimization, execution, and analytics challenges associated with delivering post-sale service. The new company, with estimated combined revenue of nearly $100 million (USD), will be headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia (US) and retain the Servigistics name and its chief executive officer (CEO). Read the rest of this entry »
The old adage “he who lives by the sword will die by the sword” might have been best witnessed in the life and demise of erstwhile public software company Click Commerce based in Chicago, Illinois (US). With its roots in the partner relationship management (PRM) or demand channel (chain) management (DCM) space, the company had first gobbled up a number of struggling PRM/DCM peers in the early 2000s. These mergers coincided with a time when there was a growing realization that the niche PRM market was not sustainable on its own.
Namely, the pundits saw the possible PRM future only as a part of a broader customer relationship management (CRM) suite or an even broader enterprise resource planning (ERP) suite. Following up on these PRM acquisitions and some internal development of the quote-to-order (Q2O), content management, and master data management (MDM)/product information management (PIM) capabilities, Click Commerce eventually rounded out its Channel Management division sometime in 2005. Read the rest of this entry »