This is a strong question for us. We’ve been working for some years with Aras Innovator and we have some very nice success in Europe, not only for us but mainly our customers increasing their number of users and adding new features almost every month.
Truth would be : Aras can cover for entire PLM
I’ve started working with Aras since 2009, but I’ve been thinking and working on complete product lifecycle management since college. I was all about what could be reused or automated in the product lifecycle. I remember seeing movies of Catia V5 with a demo of an electronic board where it suggest changing capacitor sizes to reduce cost, with live cost update. I’ve worked with CAD, ECAD and also simulation solutions. Never has a specialist but always trying to understand the data management enhancement that could be done. But when I got to discover some existing PLM systems from the large editors. I saw that it was not covering much out of the design phase. And when you are working as a system engineer in a Defense & Security company, your visible PLM solutions are Microsoft Excel, Access, and the requirement management solution Doors from IBM. That’s why I came to work with Aras. It’s because Aras could do it. It could cover many more processes than the existing solution we had.
For more customers it could be named Rapid Application Development Tool
PLM is still a niche market. How many of your friend know about PLM. In Europe with so many languages I guess it doesn’t help PLM awareness. And if we look at most of our customers, they extend their PDM sometimes replaces it, but at least, what is common is that they constantly grow their system. They sometimes look for new solutions from Aras, but most of the time they want to develop their own solution to fit their business. Aras helps them by being a Rapid Application Development Tool. You have processes, versionning, form builder, identity and roles management,… everything to build enterprise application.
To keep higher value customers it should stick to PLM
PLM is known mainly by R&D departments And back to my discussion a while ago about the fact that it would be interesting to start PLM from somewhere else then R&D, a lot of answers where explaining that the reason why it was starting from R&D was because it was easier to justify high IT cost. So if Aras wants to make sure to have a clear financial advantage over time, it will be easier to stick to PLM.
I think by opening up the marketing message in order to explain that Aras can expand to every department of any industry, the community could grow up much faster. It doesn’t push Aras to stop using the PLM term because I really think that it is what they are doing. And they provide the solution that covers the most the product lifecycle management processes. The main issue we have by using the name PLM is that a lot of our customer have already invested in a PDM solution called PLM. And it feels almost like a religion. There can’t be a second PLM for them. So in many cases we are asked to never say that we are implementing a PLM solution. It doesn’t bother us much !