October 03, 2005
UGS Launches Comprehensive Velocity Series – PLM For The Mid-Market
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Jeff Rowe - Managing Editor

by Jeff Rowe - Contributing Editor
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UGS Corp. has launched the UGS Velocity Series portfolio, the PLM industry's first software solution to provide enterprise-level PLM to mid-size manufacturers in a pre-configured portfolio with a low total cost of ownership.

UGS made the announcement at the 2005 Solid Edge User Summit and Executive Symposium. Solid Edge digital product development software is part of the UGS Velocity Series portfolio.

A key component of UGS' newly-announced mid-market strategy along with a new Global Channel program, the UGS Velocity Series marks the first mid-market offering to combine industry-proven digital product development solutions with the unparalleled technology of UGS' Teamcenter product line. UGS Velocity Series is a comprehensive preconfigured software portfolio that integrates a new streamlined version of the Teamcenter offering for collaborative product data management (cPDM) -- called Teamcenter Express -- with UGS' mainstream 3D computer-aided design (CAD) application, Solid Edge, and Femap product offerings for powerful computer-aided engineering analysis (CAE).

"The UGS Velocity Series is about speed -- speed personified. For our customers it means speed of deployment and speed to market for their products," said Bruce Boes, vice president, UGS Velocity Series Marketing. "Now businesses of all sizes can rapidly deploy a high-performance PLM program previously only available to companies with greater IT resources and larger budgets."

Leveraging Industry Best Practices

Mid-size manufacturers can leverage the power of the UGS Velocity Series to transform their process of innovation while maintaining a low total cost of ownership. The UGS Velocity Series uses the industry's best practices to provide significant breakthroughs in ease-of-use and deployment.

"UGS' research has absolutely nailed the needs of manufacturing companies in the mid market segment," said Monica Schnitger, senior vice president, Market Analysis, Daratech Inc. "The announcement of the UGS Velocity Series illustrates a clear commitment by UGS to provide solutions to the mid-market while offering a clear path for future scalability, unmatched by competitive offerings targeted at the mid-market. The inclusion of Teamcenter Express in the Velocity Series provides UGS with an important advantage as they seek to expand their presence in the mid-market and build on the solid foundation of NX and Solid Edge."

Mid-size manufacturers like Pella -- one of the world's leading developers of premium-quality windows and doors -- need the power of enterprise-level data management capabilities but at a price and usability point not offered previously in the industry.

"UGS Velocity Series is the perfect combination of functionality and ease- of-use for mid-sized manufacturers like us," said Ken Grundey, engineering CAD specialist, Pella Corp. "We need intuitive software that requires little training and support. We are excited about Teamcenter Express. In the areas of cPDM, we need an invisible system -- a program that is seamlessly integrated into our processes. Teamcenter Express seems to be the right fit of data and process management for companies our size."

Functionality and Knowledge

The UGS Velocity Series portfolio provides important functionality to mid- size manufacturers, gained through years of experience with application- specific domains, codeless workflow automation, knowledge capture and secure collaboration. This knowledge enables UGS to provide Teamcenter Express coupled with Solid Edge and Femap capabilities to deliver mid-size manufacturers more advanced tools, with the ease of use and low total cost of ownership that they require.

The UGS Velocity Series allows mid-size manufacturers to effectively compete with larger companies who command superior resources by:
  • Speeding products to market by providing access to a complete range of robust PLM applications
  • Providing pre-configured best practices from the leader in digital product design, CAE and data management
  • Assisting customers to grow from the 2D to 3D design process
  • Delivering a standard set of scalable, integrated applications from a common vendor
  • Enabling supply chain integration beyond tier ones, to include smaller suppliers
  • "UGS Velocity Series products improve the speed, efficiency, and quality of the engineering environment at a low cost of ownership through two important features," said Bill McClure, vice president, UGS Velocity Series Development, UGS. "First, the portfolio is offered standalone or integrated and is completely scalable to our full PLM solutions portfolio. Second, UGS Velocity Series provides preconfigured best practices in a Windows environment, which enables easy implementation, training and usability. Furthermore, through its built-in integration with a wide variety of third- party applications, the UGS Velocity Series continues to build on our 'Open by Design' strategy."

    This is a big announcement by UGS with big implications for a relatively untapped market for true PLM tools - small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs - what UGS terms "mid-market"). With this announcement, UGS has addressed the three areas that are of the greatest interest to SMBs - CAD (Solid Edge), CAE (Femap Express for FEA), and PDM (Teamcenter Express). Are they the first to provide a comprehensive toolset that encompasses the three areas? Well, no, not exactly, but what they are offering is scalable; associative with its big brothers, NX and Teamcenter; and will be available through a channel that the company claims will expand by 50% by the end of next year. This all provides a
    perception and sense of cooperation throughout the company, and not competition within the company going after the same customers.

    SMBs face many of the same issues as large organizations, such as global sourcing, product customization, accurate and timely quotes, program management, integrated design, and increased regulatory requirements. While these SMBs have previously focused on discrete, stand-alone design, manufacturing, and data management applications, they have increasingly realized that they may need a better integrated PLM product suite to compete.

    In addition, UGS has found that mid-size manufacturers face a burgeoning amount of 3D data but have limited resources for dealing with this data. For example, most companies have small IT staffs, little or no documented processes, and limited training resources. Historically, these mid-size manufacturers have faced these issues with isolated products from multiple vendors and no scalability. These are exactly the sore points that UGS hopes to address with the Velocity Series.

    According to AMR Research, mid-market is the fasting growing segment in PLM, growing at 12 percent annually. In addition, AMR estimates spending on non-CAD PLM, such as collaborative product data management (cPDM), will drive a substantial portion of that increased investment. AMR reports that mid-market manufacturing (defined by AMR as companies with between $30 million and $999 million in annual revenues) is the fastest growing segment of CAD/PLM application spending growing at 12 percent annually, as compared with the overall market average of 9 percent. Based on this, UGS estimates its mid-market potential (companies with revenues below $750M) will grow from $3.8 billion in 2004 to
    $6.4 billion in 2009.

    This announcement (actually a series of announcements) acts as a much-needed jump start for Solid Edge. While it has held its own quite well with regard to CAD features and capabilities compared with the competition, it has lacked some things typically associated with a true integrated PLM offering. Yes, Solid Edge has had Insight for a while for PDM and collaboration, and add-on applications for CAE, but the level of integration and user interface commonality held it back with the limitations they imposed. Also, I have felt that Solid Edge lacked the marketing oomph and enthusiasm that the competition had been putting forth. At least for now, it seems that UGS is addressing some past
    deficiencies and attempting to make up lost ground as it launches the Velocity Series portfolio. It's scalable, associative, and has a common look, feel and behavior between products - all good things.

    Overall, I think the Velocity Series is all going to be a big deal for UGS and a good deal for current and future customers, especially SMBs.

    The Week's Top 5

    At MCADCafé we track many things, including the stories that have attracted the most interest from our subscribers. Below are the five news items that were the most viewed during last week.

    Ford Motor Co. handed over the keys to five hybrid hydrogen Ford Focus Fuel Cell vehicles as part of a five city 30 car program to conduct real world testing of fuel cell technology. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection will get three vehicles and Progress Energy will receive the other two. The Ford Focus Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) represents Ford's commitment to advancing the use and development of alternative fuel technologies. It is one of the industry's first hybridized fuel cell vehicles combining the improved range and performance of hybrid technology with the overall benefits of a fuel cell. Ford has been conducting fuel cell research for more than
    10 years and believes fuel cell vehicles could be commercially viable by the middle of the next decade. Ford is actively engaged in the development of four promising future alternatives to today's gasoline engines, including clean diesels, gasoline- electric hybrids, hydrogen internal combustion engines (H2ICE) and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

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    -- Jeff Rowe, MCADCafe.com Contributing Editor.

    Review Article
    • October 09, 2008
      Reviewed by 'John Moore'
      Hello Jeff,
      First off, want to compliment you on MCAD Cafe and also your weekly commentary on some given news release. I find your analysis balanced and insightful, often as insigthful or more so then some of the industry analysts, of which I was one.
      Now I am with Dassault Systemes and read your most recent write-up on UGS''s Velocity. While this is a good move by UGS (they have long ignored their SolidEdge suite), it is hardly unique. DS with partner IBM has been going to market for a few years now with solution suites to address the SMB market. In fact, I would argue that our solutions are even more well-suited for the mid-market for we have structured them to address specific vertical market needs, thereby greatly simplifying deployment and service costs. These solutions (PLM Express) are built with CATIA and SMARTEAM, as well as IBM Middleware, and can readily scale as the business grows (there is no top-end wherein they may grow out of the solution''s capabilities).
      Again, I applaud the service you provide to the industry and look forward to your future musings. However, would encourage you to contact some of the competitors to get their input after such announcements as this to get the complete market story.
      All the best,
      John Moore
      Director Industry Analyst Relations
      Dassult Systemes

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