Chad Jackson

CONTACT Software: More Than Another PLM Solution

February 19, 2020

Do we need another PLM solution in the marketplace? It seems like a pretty crowded field. Why would another solution, like CONTACT Software, really be any different? Let’s table the discussion about whether we need another one and talk about the company first.  Organic Product Development First off, CONTACT Software is not a public company; …

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CONTACT Software: More Than Another PLM Solution

Do we need another PLM solution in the marketplace? It seems like a pretty crowded field. Why would another solution, like CONTACT Software, really be any different? Let’s table the discussion about whether we need another one and talk about the company first. 

Organic Product Development

First off, CONTACT Software is not a public company; it’s family-owned. They’ve been around for over three decades, with 400 employees and around 2,000 customers. When they see a new need in terms of functionality, they don’t go out and acquire something. They develop it organically as part of one platform. So it’s shared information, shared functionality, and shared data in developing the product. 

Four Main Solutions

When you look at this offering, there are four main solutions that you can buy: PLM, project office, collaboration hub, and IoT. Now what’s interesting about those solutions is that they’re each composed of something they called elements. Elements are bite-size pieces of functionality shared in a single platform across those different solutions. The solutions include things like requirements management, project management, CAD data management, software development, and digital twin. 

Integration Across Solutions

If you look at the focus of the solution, I would say it falls into a few different areas. System engineering and MBSE is one, which is pretty fascinating when you think about one platform that has PLM and ALM. Those are two other areas of focus for the company: system engineering, PLM and ALM. System engineering, hardware development, software development makes a lot of sense. Then agile for hardware development, and hybrid models of product development processes between maybe a waterfall and in agile or continuous or spiral development. 

Then the digital twin and IoT, there’s functionality in there as well and is all part of one suite. Again, you don’t have to integrate across solutions to get them to talk to one another. When you think about system engineering, hardware development, and software development, that is pretty key, especially in today’s integrated smart connected products. You have to have everything come together at some point in development. Ideally, integration would be from beginning to end.

If your company is looking to get more integration out of the box without stitching things together, then CONTACT Software might be a good fit. That’s it. Take care and talk soon.

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