Siemens PLM Software is launching a companywide reorganization that president Chuck Grindstaff characterized as a "tuneup" to give the company a deeper industry focus, as well as to position the PLM provider to move to the next level.
By reorganizing and refocusing its efforts around key industry segments, Siemens PLM Software hopes to be able to institutionalize industry knowledge and best-practices, enabling customers to be up and running on the software in short order and to derive value from PLM for their specific processes and product development challenges.
Grindstaff spoke during a series of press briefings at which Siemens also outlined its vision of PLM's ongoing maturing into a full-fledged engineering platform.
Offering industry-focused PLM platforms is not necessarily new to Siemens or to PLM vendors in general, but this time, Siemens seems to be taking a more granular approach. Instead of offering a single vertical package that fits the bill for all companies within the automotive or aerospace sectors, the new industry-focused strategy will enable Siemens PLM Software to deliver finely detailed solutions in the areas of space systems, aircraft engines, or avionics and defense electronics as part an A&D offering, for example. It will also be able to offer PLM packages specifically tuned to meet the requirements of electric vehicle, motorcycle, bicycle, or parts manufacturers, as opposed to a one-sized-fits-all automotive vertical PLM platform.
"This is not an attempt to simply put some industry language on top of a large grouping of companies that kind of look the same," David Taylor, senior director of automotive marketing, said in a presentation at a recent media briefing. "We're breaking down the marketplace into sets of industry sectors, each one comprised of some very focused industry segments, and building out our solutions, messaging, and collateral support at the more detailed segment level."
As part of the reorganization, Siemens PLM Software elevated a CTO position to enable more cross-pollination, technology sharing, and reuse across its product portfolio. It also established three business segments (Teamcenter/NX, Velocity, and Tecnomatix), each with business ownership and direct profit and loss responsibility. Grindstaff told me that this shift is designed to "move decision-making to the place where it does the most good."
The reorganization also clears the decks for Siemens PLM Software to be more active on the acquisition front. "We will do more acquisitions," Grindstaff said in an interview, though he would not elaborate on specific areas of interest. "There are technology startups doing interesting things that are hard to produce and can help broaden our market footprint."
He also revealed some details on the new product front. He said we should expect a December announcement of something called Active Workspace, a technology that will serve the entire portfolio of Siemens products, functioning as a search-based portal and helping to deliver the right data to users based on their areas of interest and their role.
Described by Grindstaff and other Siemens executives as part visualization technology, part complex meta data and indexing system, and part role-based capability, Active Workspace will be the touch point for how users access data in Teamcenter and other Siemens PLM Software applications, serving as an essential piece of the HD-PLM vision.
In addition to serving up some nuggets on Active Workspace, Siemens PLM Software made one formal product announcement. The new Teamcenter Mobility app for the Apple iPad delivers a more full-function tool for executives on the go or workers in the field. Teamcenter Mobility 2.0 lets users not only access product data in Teamcenter on a portable device, but also capture and add data into the system, browse product structures, and initiate workflow processes. The new release also supports markup capabilities, allowing users to annotate documents and images.