Customer references are even more valuable during your project

Posted on December 20, 2013

Quite often when prospects are qualifying Aras Innovator, they ask us for references. If they have enough interest into Aras Innovator, we can provide them a contact. Even at this point, you don’t really need us. Look at the Aras Community Events description, you will have customer references presenting and you can easily get in touch with them without having us as an intermediate. The other thing you can do is attend one of these events. There is one Global Aras Community Event every year around may 1st. And ther is a European Aras Community Event in late october. You also have more local Aras Community Event organized by Partners.

But PLM solution benchmark should not be the only time you look for references testimonial. And I encourage to talk to all our customers. We have a sales representative who always tells me “don’t talk about the issues some of our customer may have”, but I can’t hide that, Aras is a very powerful solution and you need to do things correctly to get all the benefits. Ask some of our customers why sometimes they did not make the right choices.

Lean approach and specification management

Based on some recent experiences, I would say that one of the common feedback you would get from references is go for a lean implementation. And I can see that the best ACE presentations always mention it. Insitu’s presentation was exactly talking about that. Also do not over specify. I will talk soon about document management in IT projects. It’s crazy how much documentation some company can build before starting a project and then have a hard time maintaining these documentations. Ask our references, they’ll tell you where you should put the effort. We’re not changing the whole IT implementation process, we still build documentation, but we always thinking about how much it will cost to maintain.

Key-users management

Key-users management is one of the top aspects of a PLM implementation. It’s change management and if you haven’t done many IT projects, you need to be humble about it. Ask multiple references, find out where they have had issues. We see customers who think they know exactly how their users are and how they work. You can have a lot of surprises, so ask references they’ll tell you what were their surprises.


When we talk to our new customers, it’s not easy to evaluate the training they need to have. We constantly have our hands in Aras. Aras is fairly simple to use. Mainly because it’s pretty much always the same interface for any kind of process you handle with the solution. We’ve seen companies doing all the training internally by themselves with just presentations and coaching and it worked perfectly well. So instead of planning everything upfront and challenging us on how much training you would need. Once again call references. They’ll be glad to help you out with all these topics.

What’s blocking you from calling a reference??


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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