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March 31, 2003
The Competitive Landscape of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) According to Gartner Group, Others by Ira Breskin
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Editor's Note: Last week, several CAD/CAM, CAE PLM vendors reported that they had been included in Gartner Group's new PLM "
Magic Quadrant," as detailed in a recent report issued by the market research firm. Gartner's Magic Quadrants are designed to provide a snapshot of how vendors perform in a particular market segment, and to help clients identify which vendors might best be classified as leaders, visionaries, challengers, or niche players. In an effort to offer readers some additional insight regarding this assessment of the PLM marketplace, we have included a guest commentary below, and have also provided links to relevant articles in our 'Top Stories' section this week.

Gartner analysts Marc Halpern and Kenneth Brant co-authored the report on the PLM Magic Quadrant. To learn more, see "
PLM Market Requires Best-of-Breed and ERP Capabilities."

guest commentary:

The Competitive Landscape of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) According to Gartner Group, Others

by Ira Breskin

Product Lifecycle Management software recently achieved a significant, but easily ignored milestone in its quest to win top-flight corporate legitimacy

This enterprise-wide, design-based software's profile got a big lift last week after the Gartner Group, the Stamford, Conn.-based consultant and market research company, created a PLM "Magic Quadrant," essentially a detailed competitive landscape.

By listing and competitively positioning major PLM players, Gartner recognizes the increased importance of what has been a niche, $7 billion or so, engineering/product design-centric software category.

Adding related fast-growth middleware and integration services increases the size of the PLM potential market several times.

"It is the connections that count," said Charles Foundyller, president of Daratech Inc., a leading PLM market research firm, at a recent industry conference.

PLM forms the digital product and intellectual asset information backbone of a company and its extended enterprise, consultant CIMdata said in a newly release report entitled "PDM to PLM: Growth of an Industry."

Gartner's endorsement means that PLM should get serious consideration from senior corporate executives who rely on that company's advice when evaluating major hardware and software purchases.

In fact, Gartner originally built its reputation issuing evaluations of IBM Corp. hardware and software based on surveys of Fortune 500 users, still its primary clients.

Now Gartner has intelligently aligned the major PLM players within in its four traditional quadrants. They are: leaders, challengers, niche players and visionaries.

Gartner's winners are the big dogs or PLM's Big Three: IBM/Dassault Systemes, Electronic Data Systems (EDS-PLM Solutions), and PTC. Also included in this quadrant is Matrix One, which is primarily a supplier of on-line collaboration software.

Challengers include Autodesk, the leading provider of mature 2D design software and MSC Software. MSC's core expertise is writing engineering-intensive finite element analysis software.

Prime niche players are Tecnomatix, best known for its digital manufacturing/simulation software, and Co-Create. This Hewlett-Packard spin-off originally provided Product Data Management software that's used to organize engineering data.

Finally, major makers of enterprise resource planning software, such as SAP and Oracle, dominate the visionary quadrant.

ERP vendors traditionally have offered modest-capability PDM modules, part of their one-stop shopping, soup-to-nuts marketing strategy. The conventional wisdom is that ERP suppliers could provide formidable PLM competition should they make a major commitment to embrace and incorporate the underlying engineering technology.

However, many believe that the enterprise-wide PLM systems that generate and manage design data eventually will work in tandem with monolithic ERP systems that help automate inventory management and production planning.

Ira Breskin, a freelance editor/writer specializing in business and technology issues, is a frequent contributor to Business Week, Newsday, and the New York Times. He holds a B.A. from Columbia University and a Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism, Columbia University Business School. He may be reached at
Email Contact.

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See also:

PLM Market Requires Best-of-Breed and ERP Capabilities by M. Halpern, K. Brant. Best-of-breed and enterprise resource planning vendors share space on the Product Life Cycle Management Magic Quadrant for 1Q03. PLM overlap is increasing, but neither vendor type is capable of fulfilling all users' PLM needs. (source: Gartner Group, March 2003)

Top Stories
  • CIMdata Releases PDM to PLM: Growth of an Industry Report [27 Mar 2003]
  • EDS Announces New Releases of Industry Solutions for Flagship Product Lifecycle Management Portfolio, Teamcenter(R) [27 Mar 2003]
  • IBM and Dassault Systemes Positioned in Leader Quadrant for Product Lifecycle Management [27 Mar 2003]
  • MatrixOne Positioned in the Leader Quadrant for Product Lifecycle Management by Leading Analyst Firm [21 Mar 2003]
  • PTC's PLM Vision and Execution Drive Leadership Recognition in "Magic" Quadrant [25 Mar 2003]
    Product and Company News
  • 3D Systems Updates Status of 2002 Audit [24 Mar 2003]
  • ABAQUS Names Bruce Engelmann Chief Technology Officer [26 Mar 2003]
  • Capvidia Announces Release of FaceWorks 2003 [25 Mar 2003]
  • Dassault Systemes Notice of Results [24 Mar 2003]
  • Elysium Adds Director of Product Management [26 Mar 2003]
  • Framework Technologies Announces Project Execution Template Suite for Faster, Improved Project Completion [24 Mar 2003]
  • ITI TranscenData Announces CAD Model Comparison Module for CADIQ 4.0 [27 Mar 2003]
  • Leading Autodesk Software Development Partners Introduce More than Fifty Add-On Applications for AutoCAD 2004 [25 Mar 2003]
  • Matereality™: The Definitive Solution for Material Data Management [26 Mar 2003]
  • NIKA Announces EFD.Lab 3.1 [26 Mar 2003]
  • Resinate Forms Strategic Alliance with Modern Tech, Inc. [24 Mar 2003]
  • SAP Launches Innovative New Solution for U.S. Small and Midsize Businesses [27 Mar 2003]
  • Solid Edge Computer-Aided Design Contest Winners Named by EDS [26 Mar 2003]
    Special Notices
  • Cimatron to Exhibit New Generation Software at CIMT 2003 [26 Mar 2003]
  • Hummer H2 Program Manager to Keynote daratechiDPS AUTO2003 [27 Mar 2003]
  • PTC Launches Premiere PLM Summit Series in North America with HP, MSI, and CIMdata [21 Mar 2003]
  • Texas SolidWorks User Group Event [27 Mar 2003]
  • "Wohlers Talk " Commentary Offers News, Thoughts, and Ideas Regarding Rapid Product Development and Related Topics [26 Mar 2003]
    Customer Wins
  • KeyMed Standardizes on SolidWorks Software to Get Life-Saving Medical Products to Market Faster [24 Mar 2003]
  • Major Shipbuilder Expands ABAQUS Implementation [25 Mar 2003]
  • Malaysian Manufacturer Reports Cutting Time to Market by 50 Percent with Autodesk Inventor Software [26 Mar 2003]
  • Mississippi State University Selects Delmia Corp. as Academic Partner for Automotive Manufacturing [26 Mar 2003]
  • MSC.Software Announces Simulation Data Management Contract With The Boeing Company [25 Mar 2003]
  • Suzuki Selects EDS Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Software Unigraphics(R) NX and Teamcenter(R) as Corporate Standard [24 Mar 2003]
  • The Hong Kong Polytechnic University's School of Nursing Uses SolidWorks Design and Analysis Software to Power Design Innovation [26 Mar 2003]
    more MCAD News]

    Recommended Reading

    NASA is to fund the development of shape-changing aircraft wings through a 10-year project that will investigate the use of nanomaterials and biological technologies.

    The Engineer, 20 March 2003

    Unmanned aircraft could be controlled using plasma and electro-magnetic pulses, with UK research being funded by BAE Systems.

    The Engineer, 20 March 2003

    Researchers from Pennsylvania State University have designed a motor that can be made in a range of shapes, including nearly flat.

    more Recommended Reading]


    Westec '03, 24-27 March 2003, Los Angeles, CA

    COE Spring 2003 Conference & TechniFair, 30 March - 2 April 2003, New Orleans, LA

    Special Notice: With the conflict in Iraq in progress, the COE organization would like to express our thoughts and prayers for those in harms way. The COE Spring Conference & TechniFair in New Orleans March 30 - April 2 will go on as planned. COE is deeply appreciative of the continued level of commitment by Dassault Systemes, IBM-PLM, the vendor community, and member companies during these uncertain times. It is with this combined spirit that COE will continue its mission of quality education for COE members.

    2003 PLM Vendor Forum -- 10 April 2003, Detroit, MI. Sponsored by CIMdata, this forum is designed to provide critical market and business information to technology and service suppliers of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions.

    O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, Westin Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA April 22-25, 2003. Join the leaders from the many worlds of pervasive computing including Howard Rheingold, Alan Kay, Clay Shirky, Eric Bonabeau, Tim O'Reilly, and David S. Isenberg to discuss emerging technologies and the impact of these technologies on our lives.

    PLM World '03, 28 April - 2 May, Anaheim, CA. PLM World is an independent, non-profit organization for CAD/CAM, CAE PLM industry professionals who use EDS-PLM Solutions software. Its mission is to be the Voice of the User in providing an open forum for the exchange of ideas within the EDS product environment. Citizenship is open to users of EDS Unigraphics, Metaphase, I-DEAS and iMAN software. Through networking, these users share best practices and technical techniques for implementing and using the software more effectively.

    Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing: Advanced Product Development Solutions Conference and Exposition, 12 - 15 May, 2003, Hyatt Regency, Chicago. Sponsored by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago. For more information: phone: 800.733.4763; website:

    COFES2003: 4th Annual Congress on the Future of Engineering Software, 15-18 May 2003, Scottdale, AZ. The 4th Annual COFES event is set to bring you the latest and best information, understanding and clarity about the role engineering technology will play in your company's future survival and success.

    2003 International Forum on DFMA June 17-18, 2003. Newport, RI. Sponsored by Boothroyd Dewhurst, Inc. The International Forum on DFMA is the foremost conference worldwide on early design analysis methodologies and implementation. Conference papers will discuss specific product development programs and examine cost reductions and efficiency gains at some of the world.s leading manufacturing companies, such as Raytheon, Hewlett-Packard Company, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, and Visteon Corporation, among others.

    CIMdata PLM Conference June 23-25, 2003. Detroit, MI. "Unleashing the Value of Your Intellectual Assets." At PLMconference2003, attendees will be provided with a total view of the PLM picture including an industry vision, available opportunities, strategies for solution selection and implementation, roadmaps to move forward, pitfalls to avoid, and direction to help maximize the value and benefits of their investment.

    more Events]

    You can find the full MCADCafe event calendar here.

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    -- , MCADCafe.com Contributing Editor.