IBM Beefs Up PLM Investments

IBM will increase its investment in product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions.

IBM Corp. is expected to announce on July 29 that it will increase product lifecycle management (PLM) resources and investments to help companies manage product development complexity and fine-tune global product launch operations.

To help support PLM's integration as a core set of enterprise applications, IBM is actively tapping into its global network of more than 2,500 PLM service and software experts and expanding the number of Dassault Systemes PLM applications it sells.

IBM will sell and support Dassault Systemes V6, a new set of integrated PLM applications for collaborative development across all disciplines in the product introduction process. From systems concepts to virtual testing and manufacturing, V6 offers a web-connected environment and 3D renderings of new products before costs are committed to development and manufacturing.

Dassault Systemes V6 provides PLM business processes such as: global collaborative innovation with Enovia, an environment for the management of business processes including product governance, global sourcing and intellectual property lifecycle management. For virtual product design, the system features the CATIA solution. CATIA is also known as Computer-Aided Three-dimensional Interactive Application, which provides product definition through mechanical and simulations systems used to predict product behavior and fine-tune product design. Meanwhile the Dassault offering also features 3D Virtual product documentation known as 3Dvia, which includes web-enabled offerings such as 3Dvia Composer, for use in publishing content for technical publications, manuals and work instructions; and 3DLive, a 3-D environment to search, communicate and collaborate on product and manufacturing data. And Dassault also offers a digital manufacturing solution.

IBM officials said the company has doubled its PLM resources over the past few years to include: 10 global PLM Centers of Excellence and a team of nearly 1,000 PLM software experts ; a Dassault and IBM focused International Competency Center focused on more than 20 major PLM enterprise projects a year ; a team of nearly 2,000 PLM consultants and technology service experts focusing on key PLM business processes across all major industries ; and a research and development organization working on the future of PLM and first-of-a-kind projects, such as mobile and wireless PLM, cloud computing, and PLM in virtual worlds.

Moreover, in a recent AMR research report, research analysts found that "over 60 percent of small-and-midsize-business (SMB) respondents with $50 million to $250 million in revenue say they will increase spending on product lifecycle management (PLM) applications by 12 percent." The study adds "that all companies -- despite their size -- see product development as a critical business initiative, regardless of whether the economy is good or bad."

"By partnering with IBM, clients can rely on IBM's expertise to help them integrate PLM applications into a single enterprise platform while ensuring that products are delivered on time," said Albert Bunshaft, vice president, IBM Product Lifecycle Management.

Meanwhile, on July 28, IBM announced its intent to acquire Ilog, which also announced its quarterly earnings showing success for its supply chain applications.