PLM customization is scary for a lot of people !

Posted on October 9, 2013

I was recently in a meeting for an introduction of Minerva and Aras Innovator to a new lead from a warship manufacturer. I was the pre-sales guy and our account manager was here to. We talked about Aras, our lead told how easily he could install the solution without our help (that’s where we know we will have a good tech interaction if any Aras project starts with them. During the discussion he was asking many times if such solution already existed either made by Aras or by a partner. Some of his requirement already existed and I could see that some others where very simple to implement with a few methods. But he stopped me pretty quickly to say that they were not willing to customize the solution. It has to be only configuration on their side. And it brings me back to RFP answers where companies were wondering why I’d put an intermediate level between “development” and “configuration”. And you need to work with Aras to understand that some customizing are very light and here is why you shouldn’t be scared.


One of the first reasons companies are afraid of customizing is because of the upgrade. How much effort and what will be the cost of upgrading my customization which only my integrator knows how to upgrade? This is definitely not an easy position mainly for the buyer. With Aras, that’s a problem that has been taken into account in the subscription model which covers the upgrades. If you want more information about the upgrade process, you have it all here.

It is simple !

That’s the one first argument I always provide. Put Aras Innovator in some tech guys’ hand in your company and without much training he will be able to do a lot of customizing himself. And every time I visited Aras corp in Andover, I met with companies telling me what they customized and it’s pretty amazing how much they can do before calling for specialist.


Look at these old videos I’ve made a while ago showing quick developments, sometimes it does not have a real use but it shows you how easy and flexible the solution is.

I saw this video today and what is said is very true. Sometimes very small amount of customizing can create real and important value for the company. And Aras allows you to make this customizing.


Yoann Maingon

Yoann Maingon is an Entrepreneur and a PLM enthousiast. He is our main blogger at Minerva as he has been publishing articles about General PLM concepts and Aras Innovator for more than three years.

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  • Devanga

    Hi Yoann. I absolutely concur with middle ground approach. Customization should always be weighed against configurations and benefits that they provide. Some of the customization solutions really get business users buy in very fast. The business use cases have to be evaluated from people, process and system point of view and then IT team has to take lead in identifying right mix of configuration and customization.

    Specifically if customization can prevent/catch downstream errors upfront, then ROI is very high.

    If the software development processes are correctly used, upgrading customizations should also not be a very big deal provided right resources are identified.

    Very nice blog. I am not in ARAS plm, but issues faced are same.

    • Hi,
      Thanks for your comment. I can see a large split between companies with a disconnected IT usually seated in a headquarter, and selecting applications for their branches, and on the other hand companies where IT is clearly integrated in the company and communicating a lot with all the departments. These IT services are more looking for middleware solutions to complement the main applications.
      Thanks for appreciating the Blog, there are a lot of articles about Aras but I think a good third of the articles are about general PLM/IT.

      • Devanga

        Yes, IT has to be definitely aligned with business team objectives and both teams have to work as one to achieve efficient new product designs. Application selection has to be done with buy in from both teams.

        I am primarily in to Teamcenter and NX, but PLM/CAD principles remain the same.

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