Teamcenter is moving to the cloud in a new version of itself called Teamcenter X. What’s going on here? Basically, you’ll be able to access Teamcenter functionality through a browser. I’m sure there’s going to be other connected clients that connect with Teamcenter and have the functionality you’re used to there.
The big point is that Siemens Digital is going to be taking care of the infrastructure, so you don’t have to manage that as much. To understand the real implications here, let’s look at how traditional PLM solutions are set up and run.
How are Traditional PLM Solutions Set Up and Run?
You have one company with a number of people involved in development. You have PLM installed in that company. There’s a number of IT folks there at the top that manage and maintain the solution. But those companies very rarely work in isolation. They work with a lot of suppliers. There’s a lot of people within those suppliers that want to connect and be able to contribute and collaborate on the development process.
Obviously, there needs to be secure connections here. You’re talking about very valuable intellectual property that needs to be protected. So enabling collaboration with those other companies, with those other participants, is something that needs to be very well protected. You have to be very careful about it. You’ve got to get the right security protocols in place. As a result, you see a lot of these IT folks really focusing on infrastructure. You can have a whole team that just focuses on security and performance and a range of other stuff that doesn’t really enhance the functionality of the PLM solution that is being used internally.
Let’s talk about this for a minute. Is this some horrible scenario or situation? No, it’s not. People have been using Teamcenter in this fashion for years. It’s workable. Companies that have constraints around security. For example, if they are required to have regulatory compliance because they’re working on government contracts where it’s mandated you have to have this stuff inside your company. This is a perfectly fine set up to work that way.
A challenge is within smaller companies that can’t afford to have enough staff to manage a PLM solution. There’s a barrier to entry for them to use functionality that is very applicable. Their product development processes are just as complex as the big companies. They just don’t have these dedicated resources to set up systems and manage them and maintain them.
Teamcenter on the Cloud: Teamcenter X
So moving to the cloud, this scenario looks different. In a cloud setup and what we’re talking about with Teamcenter X, the PLM solution is not set up, installed and maintained inside the company. It’s in the cloud. It is on infrastructure. There’s lots of different cloud hosting solutions out there. But basically, it’s outside the firewall of the company. The OEM can connect to it. The suppliers can connect to it. It is done securely through their connections in the cloud infrastructure provider. They build and maintain those security protocols. So it becomes really interesting because that IT staff that typically takes care of the PLM solution internally and worries all about infrastructure. Well, they can be dedicated to deploying and leveraging new PLM functionality to accelerate the development process.
What’s the Big Deal with Teamcenter X?
So what’s the big takeaway here? I think there is implications for different types of companies. For very large companies, it’s actually a way for you to get your IT folks focused or refocused on the functionality they’re delivering to the end users. You don’t have to worry as much about infrastructure or security and all the lower level stuff that’s being delivered as part of the platform with Teamcenter X.
For smaller and mid-sized companies, this makes Teamcenter accessible to you. There have been other offerings with Teamcenter in the past, but this is the full blown Teamcenter set of capabilities that you can grow into over time. You don’t have to worry about those infrastructure things. You don’t have to have dedicated staff to plan, deploy and maintain Teamcenter. This is something that can be very hands-free for you. You can really focus on using Teamcenter’s expansive capabilities. It’s one of the most widely deployed PLM solutions out there. It has this long legacy and heritage of being used in the industry, and you can leverage that and know that you’re using something that’s really rock solid.
So that’s it. Those are the implications for Teamcenter moving to the cloud, becoming Teamcenter X.