Big news on the PLM front. After an 18-month review and prompted by a “board of directors decision,” automotive giant Daimler AG has opted to swap out CAD software from Dassault Systemes for NX from Siemens PLM Software, complementing the firm’s existing implementation of Siemens’ Teamcenter product data management backbone.
Starting in the summer of 2012, Daimler will integrate work from over 20 development centers and their most critical suppliers on a single product development platform based on the Siemens’ software stack. Both companies declined to put a dollar value on the contract.
The deal, while a boon for Siemens and a blow to Dassault, also has broader ramifications for the PLM industry. Given the complexity and expense of PLM implementations, the assumption has been that most large automotive and aerospace firms-typically frontrunners in PLM technology-would stick with existing PLM infrastructure at all costs to avoid the pain of switching out platforms. According to an account by Collaborative Product Development Associates (CPDA) PLM Research Director Ken Versprille, Daimler’s extensive evaluation consisted of looking at the Siemens PLM Software products, the Dassault Systemes product stack and a potential mix of the two, with the outcome landing in Siemens’ favor.
While Versprille says a number of large automotive and aerospace OEMs have reconsidered their PLM choice over the last few years, few major shakeups have occurred-until this decision. “Daimler’s shift to a Siemens PLM solution represents a true bellwether change,” Versprille wrote in an analyst research note. “Industry experts will debate the reasons and implementations for endless hours.” Versprille questions whether the Daimler shift is an isolated decision or reflects some larger change percolating in the PLM industry. Only time will tell, but we’re likely to see some reverberations-if not a good dose of vendor posturing–for some time.