Centric Software has released the latest iteration of its flagship Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution, which introduces "industry-first" Slack integration and new 3D innovations to connect people and products.

Centric 8 PLM version 7.2 is available now to fashion, retail, footwear, outdoor, luxury, and consumer goods companies.

Responding to the increasing need for teams to connect remotely and collaborate efficiently in digital spaces, Centric says it is the first and only PLM provider to fully embrace social chat functionality with multiple platforms for people to collaborate.

Centric PLM v7.2 includes Conversations for formal threaded communications on various aspects of products being developed in Centric PLM. The new v7.2 also introduces industry-first integration with leading team communication tool Slack. With Slack, users 'ping' each other and chat informally about product updates in real-time without leaving the PLM environment, using common instant messaging features such as @mentions and attachments. Slack is the first of many connections to enterprise-wide messaging solutions with future integrations planned with Microsoft Teams, Google Workspace, We Chat, and DingTalk.

"As working from home becomes widespread and companies continue to grow and expand to different geographic locations, ease of communication becomes ever more important," says Ron Watson, VP of product at Centric Software. "The latest version of Centric PLM introduces social features for easy, natural and intuitive collaboration between team members. Slack integration and our reimagined Conversations feature will make product development and launch more seamless, efficient, creative, and fast."

V7.2 introduces multiple 3D innovations in Centric PLM. All users can now create new 3D materials in Centric, using components of existing 3D materials. Centric has extended the management of 3D digital assets to include 3D avatars, allowing designers and product developers to import and organise 3D avatars in avatar libraries within Centric PLM.

"Centric continues to innovate its 3D functionality, empowering a broader set of users to take advantage of and better visualise products, materials, drape and textures, which are very important to the new digital decision lifecycle. Now the use of 3D design tools is becoming ever more popular and teams need to be able to move forward without depending on 3D designers and specialised applications," explains Watson. "The ability to create materials in Centric, for instance, enables product development teams to contribute to the 3D digital workflow. The introduction of 3D avatar libraries completes another part of the digital transformation story, expanding the range of 3D assets that Centric can handle."

Chris Groves, president and CEO of Centric Software, adds: "The core focus of this release is usability and social collaboration. We are the first in the PLM space to introduce fully packaged and supported Slack integration, with additional popular messenger platform integrations to come. As our customers navigate a rapidly changing marketplace, particularly when it comes to remote working, we're innovating in response to their top priorities and challenges."

Centric 8 v7.2 also introduces a host of other UI/UX improvements and enhancements for increased efficiency, ease of use and speed to market.