It's been a busy winter at PlanetCAD.
On Jan. 22, the company released SCS/Envoy, its "enterprise interoperability" product. Then on Jan. 25, it announced that CEO Jim Bracking would be replaced by David Hushbeck, formerly VP and GM of the company's Supply Chain Solutions division. Before that, he was COO at Cycle Time Reduction software, which PlanetCAD acquired in May.
SCS/Envoy strives to solve interoperability with automatic file translation. "We're trying to keep quality high while getting faster, better, cheaper," says Bill Bates, VP of Business Development and Channel Solutions. "There's one last area to streamline—enterprise interoperability."
The main hurdle to achieving that goal is proprietary software systems and data formats. Other challenges include: security concerns, decentralized supply chains, and legacy processes.
SCS (supply chain solution)/Envoy is designed to handle data at any level of the organization says Chad Wolcott, director of product marketing and service, including:
enterprise (ERP and SQL data)
supply chain (RFPs, MRPs, SCM)
departmental (CAD, PDM, BOMs, PLM)
As a user signs in, Envoy will recognize her preferences, and automatically translate any file into that format. Then it can automatically attach documents such as confidential disclosure agreements, and track the resulting collaboration, message threads, calendar schedules, and checklists.
Asked whether collaborating with this variety of CAD file translations could cause revision problems, Bates said that most users would already be using their own systems to control that. Envoy can converse with those systems, so the problem should not arise. In other words, Envoy is a communication tool, not PDM.
Version 1.0 of Envoy was released in January, with version 2.0 expected in late Spring, 2002. PlanetCAD also makes PrescientQA, a tool for checking model quality, and Cycle Time Reduction software. For more information about software from PlanetCAD: Enter 535