IoT & Embedded Technology Blog

ALM/PLM integration, who's going to lead?

Complexity driving need for greater tool integration

The complexity of today’s embedded devices and systems has escalated across all industries, coupled with a growing requirement for connectivity and mobility. To meet these challenges, developers’ use of software and system lifecycle management (SSLM) tools has expanded across a broader range of challenges than the specific engineering tasks for which they were originally developed. To support this usage, many suppliers are shifting away from point solution offerings towards integrated platform/suite solutions addressing a broader portion of the software development lifecycle.

A need for cross-domain integration

As the growing level of system complexity elevates the value proposition and stimulates expanded functionality of SSLM tools, we believe that it is becoming increasingly critical for engineering organizations to identify new methods for managing overall system development, across different engineering domains.

We continue to be in discussion with numerous stakeholders around cross-domain integration. There is progressively more interest about enhanced integration and collaboration between different engineering disciplines from OEM and tool supplier communities.

Based on these discussions and our research, VDC believes the potential benefits of a greater level of cross-domain integration and collaboration include:

  • Facilitation of collaboration across project and product teams.
  • Centralize component change management.
  • Improve visibility into and interpretation of project requirements, design, and status.
  • Encourage wider recognition and reuse of all forms of an organization’s embedded intellectual property (IP).

Market looking for software suppliers to take the lead

Findings from VDC’s 2012 Software and System Development Survey indicate that not only are a large percentage of engineering organizations investigating integrations across multiple domains, but perhaps more importantly, the research suggests they will look to software vendors to lead this effort.

  • 39% of engineering respondents to our survey selected Software/ALM vendor led integrations as most successful in enabling a potential integration, a greater number than those selecting Mechanical/PLM and Silicon design/EDA combined.
  • Furthermore, over 72% of respondents investigating cross domain integrations are exploring a combination that includes software.

Leading vendors positioning solutions to address ALM-PLM integration

VDC believes the development of a cross-domain integration solution approach, such as ALM-PLM, is the logical next step for tool vendors who have developed platforms to support most or all of the software development lifecycle. Leading software vendors, such as IBM, PTC with their acquisition of MKS, and ANSYS with a planned acquisition of Esterel, have begun organic and acquisition-based expansions to position their solutions around cross domain integration. VDC believes further M&A activities are likely in the near term as these and other vendors look to fill in gaps in their tool-sets to better address cross-domain engineering integration.


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