Two veteran market research/consulting firms in the PLM/CAD space have joined forces, a result, their execs say, of establishing a single entity that can offer both depth and breadth of services.
CIMdata, which bills itself as a PLM research and management consulting firm, this week announced the acquisition of Collaborative Product Development Associates (CPDA), a company which differentiates its services around its hands-on understanding of technology related to design creation and validation; design simulation; mechatronics; PLM integration; and digital manufacturing.
In many ways, the merger is a sign of the times. As technologies like CAD, CAE and PLM move from highly specialized niche applications to mainstream enabling tools leveraged for product development across industry segments, it ups the ante for consulting companies, making it a prerequisite for them to have both breadth and depth of knowledge. When both CIMdata and CPDA started out providing consulting and market research services, the CAD space comprised only a handful of vendors, and PLM was a nascent technology and discipline that was not well understood, let alone embraced by companies en masse with the exception of early pioneers.
That the competitive landscape has grown and shifted to become more complex is a fact Peter Bilello, CIMdata president readily acknowledges and credits for the thinking behind this recent merger. “A more complex technology landscape demands a more robust set of domain expertise,” he explains. “What CIMdata was doing on a strategy was okay, but as the technology stretched out further, we felt as an organization, we wanted to get more relevant in deep silos where appropriate-especially in newer technology areas.”
Those emerging technology areas of particular focus include analysis and simulation and CPDA’s mechatronics domain expertise. When the two companies sat down to evaluate their synergies, they quickly saw they had few overlapping clients and products, yet had complementary services. The combined organization will remain virtual, Bilello says, and key CDPD consultants and founder Don Brown will join CIMdata. “Now CIMdata can not only talk to the CXO about how PLM supports them and help them build out strategies, but also get into the features, functions and domain expertise around simulation, data management and CAD and digital manufacturing,” Bilello says.