“This is the year that PTC will be defined as a PLM Company, not a CAD company. ” That was the message that President and COO Jim Heppelmann delivered at a press and media briefing today at the company’s headquarters in Needham, MA.
To underscore his message, Heppelmann noted that although the economy is weak, PTC’s Windchill business is strong. The business has sustained a 19% CAGR in the past six years. Revenues climbed from 170M in 2004 to a forecasted $500M in 2010, with active seats growing at 3X the market rate, spurred by some recent wins at major companies like Raytheon. First quarter revenue for 2010 is $122M v– on pace for a record year.
Notwithstanding the popularity of Windchill, PTC’s focus on PLM seems to be as much of an acknowledgement (and likely a shrewd assessment) of the growing complexity of products and the design process and the role that PLM can play in managing that complexity.
And there is the recongition that big growth will simply not be in CAD software: “With CAD, people do not switch from the product the’re using unless the differences are huge, because the costs are huge,” said Heppelman. “With PLM, people are saying the differences are pretty huge. And it’s worth it to change”
PTC is banking on Windchill’s full set of capabilities centered around the engineering process and reaching upstream into requirements and downstream into manufacturing, and how it is delivered on a single, integral architecture to enough of a differentiator to motivate more companies to make that switch.