Celebrating PDM software that can grow up to PLM

By Margaret Furleigh

PDM software that can grow: A class by itself

Apples.jpgIt has been four years since I wrote my first blog post introducing Teamcenter Rapid Start product data management (PDM) software, when it was the subject of a review by Jeff Rowe, an editor for MCAD Café, who took on the challenge of comparing the leading PDM software systems and grading each one. Rowe judged that Teamcenter Rapid Start, a simple preconfiguration of Teamcenter that delivers basic PDM quickly and cost-effectively, is in a class by itself.

“Teamcenter Rapid Start is a comprehensive PDM system, and then some,” said Rowe. “Teamcenter Rapid Start could be construed as more than strictly a PDM system … By itself, Teamcenter Rapid Start is a very capable system, but should your needs grow and dictate, the step up to full-blown Teamcenter would probably be relatively easy.”

The right fit for small to medium sized businesses

Since those early days, we have seen the success of Teamcenter Rapid Start PDM software, meeting the needs of small to medium sized businesses. Especially in countries where smaller companies comprise a larger share of the manufacturing industry, we’ve increased the number of deployments of Teamcenter by working with our global channel partner network.

PDM Software_Sparkonix.JPGIndustrial machinery manufacturer Sparkonix, based in Pune, India, opted for Teamcenter Rapid Start because it wanted to get up and running quickly to immediately apply PDM best practices for data and process management. What’s more, the company wanted an affordable option suited to its small business profile.

Teamcenter Rapid Start provided the PDM capabilities Sparkonix needed at a compelling price, while giving the company the option to grow into a full-scale PLM implementation at any time. Because Teamcenter Rapid Start is a preconfiguration of Teamcenter, Sparkonix can extend its implementation to PLM while retaining the preconfigured capabilities and processes for PDM.

Following the standard PDM deployment methodology and best practices, Sparkonix implemented Teamcenter Rapid Start in just four weeks, taking two days to train its users. The company can easily upgrade with each future release, noting that it takes minimal information technology (IT) expertise to support and maintain the system.

Room to grow for high-tech startups who need to move fast

PDM software_Acuity team.JPGTeamcenter Rapid Start is also a good fit for smaller start-ups. Siemens solution partner, Acuity Solutions, based in Portland, Oregon, describes the high-tech customers they work with in Silicon Valley as smart, innovative people, usually with product lifecycle management (PLM) experience and expertise, who know what they want to do and need to move fast.

“Start-up companies in particular are looking for PLM applications that are quick to deploy and inexpensive to purchase and maintain,” said Paul Stevens, president, Acuity Solutions. “Many of these start-ups don’t have strong IT resources, and certainly the hardware start-ups we’ve worked with don’t have a lot of money to buy servers and related equipment.”

The traditional PLM paradigm of consult first, then deliver, is too slow for high-tech startups. Acuity has successfully flipped the delivery model for the market, minimizing consulting and up-front needs assessment, and instead quickly delivering a production-ready, commercial-off-the-shelf environment with Teamcenter Rapid Start (that can be tailored as needed). Acuity also has experience delivering Teamcenter on the cloud, which is gaining momentum as a delivery option for Teamcenter and Teamcenter Rapid Start to further reduce up-front costs.

The best of Teamcenter, preconfigured for faster, easier deployment

PDM Software_Siemens Energy.JPGBecause Teamcenter Rapid Start is simply a preconfiguration of Teamcenter, customers benefit from the adaptable PLM foundation – with all the built-in security and scalability, along with the wide range of authoring application integrations – MCAD, ECAD, Microsoft Office – and the web browser user interface, Active Workspace. With every new release of Teamcenter, Teamcenter Rapid Start customers benefit from functionality and performance improvements, include faster information exchange across locations using multi-site collaboration.

Even though Teamcenter Rapid Start customers may not need global scalability today, they can rest assured that Teamcenter can grow with their needs in the future. They can look at companies like Siemens Energy, and how they’re using Teamcenter to support global collaboration across sites worldwide. Although data is stored locally in Teamcenter, these databases are now being linked by the multi-site functionality of Teamcenter, making up-to-date information accessible across locations. This gives everyone involved in a project the assurance that they are working with correct data at all times.

“Global pressures hit us quite hard. We need to cross the physical boundaries of the world,” said Axel Hoynacki, head of Process Optimization and Product Standardization in Siemens’ Compressor Business. “We can now globally connect people in an instant rather than having to schedule meetings days, or weeks, in advance.”

To learn more, visit Preconfigured enterprise PDM: Teamcenter Rapid Start, with a growth path to PLM.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at