Teaming Up for Manufacturers

Automation tool vendor PTC signs up with Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, EMC.

Global manufacturers will get more exposure to Parametric Technology Corp.s Web-based project life cycle collaboration tools thanks to partnerships with two big names in technology.

The Needham, Mass., developer has signed separate business development and technology agreements with professional services giant Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and storage bellwether EMC Corp.

Through these relationships, which were both announced last week, PTC will extend its reach by offering manufacturers the ability to collaborate with partners, suppliers and customers on design, prototype and review processes.

Paris-based Cap Gemini Ernst & Young will focus on services based on PTCs Windchill collaboration portal, which is part of the companys Collaborative Product Commerce Platform.

Cap Gemini will market these first to its European base and later expand internationally. A key selling point for Windchill is its Web-based architecture, which allows for easy integration with other applications, according to Chuck Hoar, president of, a plastics exchange for the midrange and large markets., of Woburn, Mass., is using Windchill to collaborate with a design team in Europe and a field sales force in North America.

"Being Web-based makes it easily accessible [and easy to] tap into communication and documentation to see whats really happening in real time," Hoar said.

PTC is trying to reach a broader audience through its new relationship with EMC, of Hopkinton, Mass. The two companies agreed to integrate the formers Windchill and Pro/Engineer CAD software with the latters Symmetrix storage products. They will also jointly market the products.

Over the past four months, PTC has announced partnerships with consulting industry heavyweights Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting), CSC Consulting Group Inc., Deloitte Consulting and Origin Technology in Business USA Inc.

PTC and Windchill met with some competition earlier this month when Structural Dynamics Resource Corp., working with Northrop Grumman Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp., announced an upgrade to its Metaphase PDM platform.

"My opinion is that Metaphase is a much more mature application," said Dave Torchia, PDM Metaphase practice manager at Northrop Grumman, in Los Angeles. "But PTC is really gaining ground on Metaphase. Their big thing is that integration piece—with their Web architecture."

SDRC, of Milford, Ohio, is working hard to counter PTCs integration layer, according to Torchia. To do so, it has teamed with IBMs WebSphere to develop Accelis, an application that provides connectors to Metaphase.

SDRC is also coming out with a Web-centric, Java-based manufacturing collaboration platform this year to counter PTCs offering.