Where is PTC headed? What separates them from competitors like Dassault Systemes and Autodesk? And what are the market trends that shape PTC’s product strategy, and makes them go into new areas like Service Lifecycle Management?
These are some of the questions that we set out to answer in the third part of verkstadsforum.se:s series “Battle of the Visions. In this program the focus is on the sharp and decisive CEO Jim Heppelmann. He made his PTC debut in 1998, when the company acquired the CAD/CAM-vendor Computervision, which two years prior had bought a controlling share in Heppelmann’s Windchill business.
According to the official story, PTC execs saw the promise of Heppelmann and his software early on, and put him in charge of the Windchill product. As such, this was not only the start of Heppelmann’s rise to power in PTC, it also marked the beginning of PTCs PLM journey, with the continuous development and expansion of the Windchill solution and its eventual emergence as a key part of the traditionally CAD-centric PTC portfolio. A suite of solutions that now has been expanded to include ALM and aftermarket support (SLM).
In 2010, when Heppelmann took the helm, PTC and the PLM product line in particular, gained momentum with ca. 70% YoY license growth, while the CAD solution Pro/Engineer was in the midst of the major overhaul that would result in Creo.
Roughly two years, and two major acquisitions later, PTC has extended its focus to include Application Lifecycle Management (acquisition of MKS and its Integrity software) and Service Lifecycle Management (with the newly acquired Servigistics). And with its venture into SLM, PTC is taking a bold step toward areas traditionally not placed under the PLM umbrella.
But according to Heppelmann and PTC the move is sound. They point to the fact that business models are in a constant state of flux, and in this context, about “product as a service”. Caterpillar, for instance, no longer only sells excavators as products, but also the service of moving dirt and gravel, or whatever you may desire; they want to be the first to deliver the required support in terms of new, integrated tools, as well as a fresh mindset.
Here we see a dramatic difference between the companies and CEOs that we talked to earlier in this series. While Dassault Systemes’ Bernard Charles and Autodesk’s Carl Bass talk about the mobile revolution, the cloud, and social product development, Heppelmann directs his gaze at the customer and the existing market needs.
Meet the PTC chief executive in a no-nonsense interview about vision versus reality, the value of new platforms and technologies like cloud computing and social product development, and PTCs perception of what customers really want and really need.