I thought that one of the most significant things to come out of the PTC/USER conference was not strictly product related so much as a shift in corporate philosophy and mindset.
PTC emphasized what is calling Social Product Development that combines web 2.0 social computing with traditional product development. While the company said that it didn’t believe that social networking by itself was not all that good for product development, its collaborative principles were. Thus, the birth of Social Product Development.
Of course, this was not all PTC’s doing. The company has enlisted Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 as the connection between Web 2.0 and social networking technologies, as well as PTC’s Windchill ProductPoint on top of Pro/E, ProductView, and Mathcad for addressing a new way to collaborate in the engineering and design environment.
PTC drove home the importance of this initiative throughout the conference, so it appears, at least for now, that Social Product Development is not just a marketing gimmick, but a major tenet of doing business moving forward.
PTC, of course, is not the only technical software vendor using SharePoint, but this a big step in the right direction for the company as it looks to the future.