PTC has spent the last, well, decade redefining itself. For a long time, it was the feature-based modeling powerhouse in a direct-modeling CAD world. Then it decided CAD was passé and devoted itself to building a PLM platform. Most recently, PTC entered the brave new world of electromechanical systems and moved to take design info into new directions, helping customers unite design, manufacturing and services offerings. We learned just how diverse, and yet focused, the company is at PTCLive Global, the recent user conference in Anaheim, CA. GraphicSpeak, PTC’s own blog and SolidSmack have great recaps, if you want more info.
Ah, guitar riffs. I’m an East Coaster, so 8AM Pacific is no biggie, but I think some people were more than a little startled when guitarist Pat Hennessey took the stage, playing some of the most famous riffs in rock and roll history on a beautiful Aristides guitar. After his mash-up, Mr. Hennessey segued into a Jimi Hendrix-like version of the Star Spangled Banner and, from there, into Black Sabbath’s Iron Man to bring CEO Jim Heppelmann on stage. It’s hard to explain – it was both more elegant and goofy than I can describe. PTC has put a bunch of sessions online — hope this is there somewhere! (But check YouTube, too.)
Mr. Hepplemann’s keynote outlined 7 major trends hitting the manufacturing landscape right now, saying that companies that can’t harness these forces will ultimately lose to those who can. Possibly most important from PTC’s perspective is the blurring of the lines between product and service. Mr. Hepplemann used the term ‘servitization’, the bundling of products and services into one offering that confers more benefit to the customer than either would alone. This requires changes in the way offerings are designed, to include service early in concept development, incorporate not only warranty but spare parts considerations in design, and so on.
This is one area where PTC has a clear edge on its traditional PLM competitors — and an area, too, where it is walking the walk.