The first day of the Planet PTC Live conference in Las Vegas emphasized what attendees could expect going forward with the newly announced Creo, Windchill and the MKS Integrity acquisition. In today’s keynote PTC CEO Jim Heppelmann talked about the strategies that had come into place since he became CEO last year and his future vision for the company.
Jim Heppelmann, PTC CEO
One of the things he focused on was developing new ways of giving his customers a competitive advantage in whatever field they worked in.
To achieve this he is working to ensure that PTC returns to its role as a leader in market innovation. Heppelmann explained that while in the past PTC had been the company that invented the modern CAD market, but in recent years PTC's position had grown complacent.
According to Heppelmann PTC had stopped looking for solutions to the issues that engineers were facing and instead became satisfied with the solutions they had already created. The company had stopped looking for new ways to move forward.
Under Heppelmann’s tenure PTC has focused on taking a look at problems of engineering organizations that they felt nobody else was trying to solve. These include such problems as the steep learning curve set by most engineering software and the strict division between tools that offer direct modeling and parametric modeling.
He said that this philosophy of reevaluating solutions to problems that the engineering software industry has taken for granted is the guiding force behind Creo. “We got our fingers burnt because we got complacent,” he added. But now the company is looking to put an end to that complacency.
As proof of this he cited numbers showing that PTC is ahead of schedule to hit its target of $1,600 million in revenue and that Creo is the primary reason for this.
This drive toward innovation is also what led the company to acquire MKS Integrity. This purchase gives PTC a stake in a field that Heppelmann said has gone largely ignored by much of the engineering software industry, which is the field of managing the integration between software and hardware.
Another example cited by Heppelmann is the company’s use of innovation as a driving force in its acquisition of Arbortext several years ago. He explained that when the company was acquired it was one of the best in class tools for creating text-based manuals but that those kinds of text heavy guides were becoming unpopular for readers. So now the company is looking for ways to create solutions that are far more innovative by combining text with animations and digital components.
The second phase of his strategy is to help customers wield PLM as a “strategic weapon” by changing the relationship they have with it.
Rather than making PLM just one facet of an overall ERP system Heppelmann wants companies to make PLM the core of their business operations. He cited Whirlpool as a customer that had been convinced by his vision and was working with PTC to place PLM at the center of its operation.