Centric Acquires Framework to Extend PLM Reach

Centric Software, which offers product innovation and management solutions, sees big potential in Framework's project collaboration, innovation and portfolio management software.

Following a trend of consolidation thats market the PLM (product lifecycle management) industry over the past year, San Jose, Calif.-based Centric Software Inc. on Monday will announce its acquisition of Framework Technologies Corp.

The terms of the deal, which closed last Wednesday, were undisclosed.

The merging of the two companies is complementary and brings together Centrics product innovation and management solutions with Frameworks project collaboration, innovation and portfolio management software.

"Basically, our customers are typically large manufacturers focused on generating increased revenue by bringing products to market [quickly], or reaching into the supply chain to leverage innovation of suppliers," said Chris Groves, CEO of Centric.

"Framework has very complementary software that allows people to act on those plans."

The deal also expands Centrics geographic reach in Europe and Asia—where its strong in the automotive and aerospace industries—into the United States, where Framework has a strong customer base among pharmaceutical and consumer goods industries. Each company has about 75 customers.

Centrics product roadmap includes bringing Frameworks technology in as an integrated application within its core suite of products, Innovation Management, by the middle of 2005. At the same time, Centric will fully support Frameworks software as a standalone product "indefinitely," according to Groves.

There is also specific functionality within each product family that Centric plans to leverage.

"They have a good analytics and intelligence layer, and we want to leverage that in our product," Groves said. "We have good real-time dash-boarding [technology] that proactively triggers events, and we want to leverage that to include content coming from their product."

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By the middle of next year, users of both products also can expect to see a merger of Centrics and Frameworks user interfaces that will enable them to transparently communicate product information back and forth across platforms.

As part of the agreement, Framework will move its Burlington, Mass., headquarters to San Jose, while the product development, marketing and sales force will remain on the East Coast.

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