by Paige Ludl | 5/19/2023
This week, PTC hosted its LiveWorx event, a trade show and convention focusing on digital transformation and product lifecycle innovation, in person for the first time in four years. PTC covered a plethora of company-specific and industry-wide topics, including recent acquisitions, product updates, agile product development, the industrial metaverse, and service lifecycle management (SLM). SLM is a crucial aspect of product lifecycle management (PLM) and PTC’s lifecycle management platform strategy, as SLM helps OEMs and service providers maximize service revenue by utilizing a product’s engineering and manufacturing information for service planning and implementation. The software aims to help reduce costs, provide a better customer experience, improve efficiency through optimized parts and inventory management, tracking warranties that are candidates for renewal, and supporting product operations. SLM is becoming a key differentiator for PLM solution providers to generate greater value for its customers.
PTC is a leader in software development and software-based product management solutions, including SLM. For PTC, SLM capabilities allow the company to offer digital lifecycle management from the design phase to the end-of-life of a product. To add to its SLM portfolio, PTC completed the acquisition of ServiceMax, an asset-centric field service management software platform, in 2023 for $1.5B USD. The ServiceMax platform allows companies to manage after-market servicing, parts replacement management, and predictive maintenance, among others. Furthermore, ServiceMax enables companies to track which parts and products have been repaired, replaced, or updated, meaning any future product or part changes will be easier to understand and implement.
In one of its first SLM corporate purchases, PTC acquired Vuforia in 2015, which is an augmented reality (AR) platform that allows technicians to access real-time information (e.g., work instructions, training) to resolve service problems. AR is becoming a crucial aspect of SLM, as it reduces costs through fewer in-person technician visits and advanced AR features provide an improved customer experience. Both ServiceMax and Vuforia pair well with PTC’s other design, development, and IoT software offerings. For example, a customer can have access to a 3D model and original bill of materials for a product, IoT fleet management, and technical service documentation alongside all previous repairs and replacements. Now, PTC can offer a closed-loop, model-based digital thread throughout the entire lifecycle of a product.
The industrial sector has been an early adopter of SLM platforms, as servicing products is a crucial aspect to ensure long-life and optimal performance for production lines and other infrastructure. Manufacturing, in particular, benefits from SLM, as it helps with tight profit margins and differentiates products from competitors that do not offer robust after-market services. Other industries where servicing is an important aspect of a product’s usability, such as aerospace and defense, medical, and communications and networking, are expected to see further use of SLM. As companies look to improve their after-market service capabilities to generate new value, SLM platforms will remain a critical aspect of PLM solution providers’ differentiation in the market.
PLM solutions are covered extensively as part of VDC’s upcoming MBSE Solutions & Software/System Modeling Tools market research report. View VDC’s 2023 IoT & Embedded Technology Research Outline here.