One of the companies I’m following on regular basis is Aras Corp. and its Aras Innovator product. Aras represents an interesting combination of business, marketing and technologies ideas. Back in 2007 Aras came with the strategy of Enterprise Open Source PLM. Since that time, Aras is consistently raising bar of Aras Innovator solutions. In one of my previous posts back into 2011, I predicted Aras lines up against Windchill, Enovia, and TeamCenter. It is hard to me to make an assessment of how close Aras is to that goal. Nevertheless, my attention caught by Aras press release – Professor Martin Eigner Joins Aras Board of Advisors:
Professor Eigner, an internationally recognized expert in PLM and model-based systems engineering, will work with Aras to build on the company’s track record of growth and global expansion, drive innovation in PLM technology, and foster a mutually beneficial, bi-directional relationship between commercial and university research. On joining the Aras Board of Advisors, Professor Eigner said, “Aras is truly unique among PLM technology providers. Their approach, technology and business model provide enterprises with the advanced capabilities they want and the flexibility they need to take full advantage of emerging business opportunities.
My hunch, Aras is following their goal to compete with big three PLM vendors. Interesting enough, Eigner PLM – the product originally acquired by Agile PLM and then by Oracle is still available today and serving customers. You can see the confirmation of that fact in SchnitgerCorp blog:
Aras announced that Dr. Martin Eigner has joined its Board of Advisors. That’s a big deal — you may recognize the name from Eigner and Partner, a PLM company sold to Agile in the early 2000s. Agile was then acquired by Oracle, but the original Eigner products continue to be supported today. At any rate, Dr. Eigner is a big “get” and Aras said he will help Aras “build on the company’s track record of growth and global expansion.
Interesting enough, Eigner PLM was already on the trajectory of competition with big PLM vendors. Another press release from 2003 speaks about 250 of Eigner PLM customers. Here ist he passage:
The addition of Eigners industry expertise in automotive supply chain, industrial machinery, aerospace and defense to Agiles capabilities in life sciences, consumer products, electronics and high technology, clearly makes the combined company a dominant player across all key discrete manufacturing verticals," said Frank Azzolino, Eigners CEO, in a statement. The acquisition of Eigner will help Agile better compete against PLM giants Parametric Technology Corp.s Windchill product and Dassault Systemes S.A.s Delmia offering.
What is my conclusion? Manufacturing companies are very conservative in the way they implement PLM systems. For many of them, the decision and evaluation is taking months and sometimes years. Once put PLM system in place, manufacturing company can run it for decade or even more. Therefore, there is nothing surprising in the fact Eigner PLM is still in use 11 years after Agile acquisition. The majority of large manufacturing companies already implemented PLM system at least one time in the past. In that segment of market, PLM vendors are working on systems replacement. Previous experience is an important element to replace existing systems. I agree with Monica Schnitger – it is a big deal for Aras. In my view, Aras just took another steps towards competing with PLM leaders. Just my thoughts…
Disclaimer. Aras didn’t sponsor my publication and didn’t influence in any way the content the blog post.