Boston is sunny but cold -- a nice break from our gloomy Cleveland winter and its excessive snowfalls. PTC is holding its annual media event at the company's Needham corporate headquarters. Attending are about 100 to 150 media analysts and a few trade journalists from Japan, Italy, Germany, and the U.S., among other countries.
Part of day one:
Dick Harrison, President and CEO spoke on PTC's corporate strategy: He says PTC's business is good and it has made 241 million so far this quarter. All the channel partners and salesmen are optomistic about the "product development solution (PDS)." This is shorthand for PTCs various applications such as Pro/E, Windchill, Arbortext, and Mathcad, etc. Harrison says EADS in Europe, which had used SAP is switching to the PDS. He also says PTC recently got a 20,000-seat order from Samsung. Spending is difficult in a tough economy, but customers are focused on PLM: They want to globalize and have shorter lead times; they want to automate the product-design process. Harrison says the high-end CAD market is saturated for large enterprise customers. Standalone CAD is a thing of the past. Companies need PLM for global collaboration. Many U.S. companies are outsourcing detailed design (CAD). Product Point (basically a version of Windchill on Microsoft's Share Point) targets SMBs with CAD and PDM. Harrison says PTC is just as big as SolidWorks and Autodesk in the SMB space. PTC is not laying off any of its salesforce. China is its second-largest market for emerging geographies. SAP, Dassalt, and Seimens are all European based. PTC just bought Synapsis (compliance software for EU standards).
Jim Heppelmann, Chief Product Officer says the modular approach to the PDS means that SMBs can now have analysis, surfacing, and CAM capabilities. He defines programs that are "integrated" means they are engineered to work together. CADDS -- old Computer Visions Technology -- is now for ship building. CoCreate -- explict modeling tool. Pro/E is growing in SMBs; Mathcad, Arbortext usually for larger companies. ProductView; InSight; ProductPoint works with SharePoint and can also work with the complete Windchill. InSight is the new name to the Synapsis acquisition (takes a BOM and performs a chemical analysis of each part to see if they don't comply with a specification such as REACH, RoHs, and other compliance standards). The beginning of a platform for BOM analytics.
According to Heppelmann, SharePoint is like the "new Windows" in that soon everyone will be using it. It's a "social-computing" platform. ProductPoint is for small workgroups that need to vault and share structured information, and for Windchill customers. SharePoint is the fastest growing product in Microsoft history. Discussion forums, wikis, blogs, RSS, IM... Social computing and Web 2.0 -- came out of a social community. Gives people a way to work togeter. Web.1 was HTTP; HTML; and Java. SharePoint is platform for social networking for a business community. Wildfire 5 will be optimized for social computing. ProductView: graphics provides a visual front end so you can, for instance, see which part of the assembly is not compliant. Can do a graphical search, or a digital mockup inside a Power Point slide, for examples.
Windows SharePoint manages office documents. ProductPoint bolts on top of it. Can work with CAD structures, even Mathcad and Arbortext structures. Also other appplications such as Autodesk. Has Microsoft Ribbons UI. Lets engineers see an aggregation of information from a bunch of different sources. PLM Connector -- shares information between PLM solutions (manufacturer's and supplier's portal). Maintains PLM information. Is used with Product Point to integrate with other systems. ProductPoint only requires SharePoint or MOSS (Microsoft Office SharePoint Server).
Microsoft: Also designs all its products in Pro/E. Office SharePoint Server (platform). Collaboration = blogs, wikis, rss reeds, social networks, tagging, social bookmarking, mashups, and personal profiles. "Social Computing." SharePoint and ProductPoint together can automate the distribution of media. Works in the background to generate almost everything about "My Site." Can search for collegues by social distance. Can keep up to date with people in a hands-off manner. Retiring work force walks out the door with valuable information: Use Wikis as a way to create pride in people that are leaving (their name is on the article) and provide a familiar interface for young engineers. Pod-casting kit for SharePoint -- record and publish infomation on media players, Web pages, and the like.