Modernising PLM systems to keep up with evolving business requirements

By Guest on 08 October 2014
Modernising PLM systems to keep up with evolving business requirements

This article was first published in the Autumn 2014 issue of Prime

New innovations in materials science, electronics and software mean that everything from missiles and motors to smartphones and stents are far more complicated than they were just few years ago.

New product development, manufacturing and supply chain processes have never moved faster or been more complex than they are right now. Factor in the internet of things, big data and 3D printing/on-demand customisation and you quickly realise that complexity and the rate of change are increasing every day.

To be successful moving forward, IDC says that companies need a flexible, scalable and resilient product innovation platform that can handle today’s complexity and adapt quickly to address tomorrow’s accelerating pace of change.

“As global companies extend their product lifecycle management (PLM) backbone through the organisation and across the supply chain, performance at scale becomes critical for effective collaboration,” says Robert Parker, group vice president at IDC.

If your current PLM/product data management system is not able to scale to manage today’s requirements or change fast enough to keep up with the evolving demands of your business, then continuing with the status quo puts you at risk in terms of innovation, time to market, product cost and more. In short, you simply cannot be competitive if your technology is holding you back.

Instead of piecemeal PLM systems that rely on a myriad of different legacy technologies and only address part of the problem, you need a single, modern PLM platform that has the flexibility to change at the speed of business:

• To manage the complexity that comes with designing the next generation of aircraft, electronics and life sciences technologies
• Assure global regulatory compliance and protect critical intellectual property
• Deliver performance when tens of thousands of suppliers are working in the system at the same time
• Guarantee upgrades no matter how much you customise to support your processes
• Allow you to take advantage of the latest technologies.

There are far too many companies out there who have invested millions of dollars in a system that only gives them a fraction of what they need. Most of these companies think they are locked in to these systems and the limited functionality they offer because ripping them out and replacing them is not an option.

I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to start over. It’s not all or nothing. You have options. Using today’s powerful, light weight technologies you can:

• Complement and extend your existing system. Keep what works and federate to securely add new functionality without the rip and replace method required in the past • Replatform incrementally as needed. Modernise specific divisions, select sites or individual product lines now and then move on to other areas, retiring outdated systems over time on your schedule and as your business permits.

Together with Microsoft, Aras is enabling processes that continually adapt and scale to make big data accessible and understandable. Our solutions are designed to be highly scalable and resilient so you can customise our full suite of solutions and we keep you current with guaranteed upgrades no matter how much you customise. And you can always take advantage of the latest Microsoft technologies to gain new capabilities and competitive advantage, and transform your global product development operations to drive innovation.

The future is coming fast. You need a future-proof PLM platform that can support the needs you have today and can handle the challenges you’ll have tomorrow, whatever they may be.

Peter Schroer is the CEO and founder of Aras. He can be reached at

For more information, please visit

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