In a move that goes sideways on the notion that every industrial software company must provide all aspects of industrial software to each customer, SAP and Siemens have bolstered each other’s software offering by trading tools.
The alliance takes SAP off the hook for providing world-class PLM. In the partnership, SAP can offer its customers Siemens’ PLM suite, Teamcenter. Likewise, Siemens is off the hook for providing stellar plant management software, since the company can now offer SAP’s Intelligent Asset Management solution while also offering SAP's Project and Portfolio Management package.
Tools to Support the Road to Industry 4.0
SAP characterized the move as a way of creating an integrated software strand through the product development and production cycle. “Bringing together expertise from SAP and Siemens to offer Industry 4.0-enabled business processes allows enterprises to create a digital thread for the entire product and asset lifecycle,” said Thomas Saueressig, the executive responsible for SAP product engineering, in a statement provided to Design News. With this end-to-end solution, teams across the business network can efficiently work together to design and deliver innovative products productively, profitably, and sustainably.”
Siemens noted the advantages customers get from software that integrates the design-through-production process. “This collaboration between two industry leaders is about more than just interoperability and interfaces,” said Klaus Helmrich, CEO of Siemens Digital Industries, in a state provided to Design News. “It’s about creating a truly integrated digital thread that unites product and asset lifecycle management in order to enable our customers’ ability to optimize production of products,”
CIMdata Blesses the Alliance
In a statement on its website, independent PLM software watch firm, CIMdata, sees advantages for the customers of both SAP and Siemens. The firm noted that the alliance will provide software to strengthen digital twin development as well as software that supports customer supply chains:
“CIMdata believes that this Siemens-SAP relationship will provide significant business and IT benefits for customers of both companies. More strategically integrating their solutions should indeed enable their customers to create and use a more complete digital thread than has been possible in the past. This new combination will also enable the definition and management of a more comprehensive digital twin strategy. Finally, it should enable companies to create and leverage more effective supply chains for development, production, and aftersales services and support.”
Drawing on the Best of Both Companies
In addition to swapping software solutions, both companies intend to collaborate in developing new applications from the design end through production. The intention is to continue building out software to help customers to achieve seamless digital thread that improves overall business performance.
The goal of the alliance is that both SAP and Siemens will be able to offer new solutions that combine their technologies in order to help companies leveraging Industry 4.0-enabled data using intelligent assets and products. This idea is to give industrial software customers the ability to create a comprehensive solution, from product design to service and asset management.
The concept lives in a hybrid territory between the notion of getting all your software from one company versus buying software chunks from best-in-class individual providers. You get an integrated package from two best-in-class providers.
Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 19 years, 17 of them for Design News. Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years, he was owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper.