ANN ARBOR, Michigan, October 3, 2008 — CIMdata, the leading global Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) consulting and research firm releases a new white paper on the topic of Unified Architectures for PLM. This white paper, entitled “The Value of Unifies Architectures for PLM” presents the challenges that companies are currently facing, defines a unified PLM architecture approach and describes the benefits that it can deliver. It also includes a discussion of the factors companies should consider in evaluating if they should transition to a unified architecture, and examines approaches to the transition. This paper is not a review of any specific architecture. Instead it is intended to provide an overview of such architectures, their potential value, and issues to consider in making a transition decision.

Mr. Ken Amann, CIMdata Director of Research, explained that enterprises today must maximize the use of all their financial and human resources to create environments that enable them to deliver competitive products and services in a timely manner. “These companies,” Mr. Amann said, “must also focus intensively on better ways of running their operations to ensure that they produce these innovative products cost-effectively with high quality.” In order to achieve these goals, he added, they have increasingly turned to PLM strategies and solutions as critical initiatives for their business success.

As PLM environments have expanded to cover more and more of the complete product lifecycle, the complexity and cost of supporting those environments have continued to rise. Simplifying the PLM environment while providing more information and capabilities to the individual worker, is an important factor in the overall success of PLM programs.

“Unified PLM architectures can provide a major step forward in creating and sustaining more flexible, productive PLM environments.” noted Mr. Amann. They address many of the issues of integrating the diverse set of applications and functions required across the full product lifecycle. Unified PLM architectures deliver many of the required functions and processes through a common set of services, providing a common data model and database and a consistent user interface across the included modules, and reducing or eliminating redundant data entry and transformation within the supported modules.

Mr. Amann cautioned that while unified PLM architectures can provide significant benefits, they do not encompass every application and function needed by an enterprise to address the complete product lifecycle. Additional integration of selected applications will still be required. A unified architecture however, provides a foundation upon which these additional applications can be built, integrated, and delivered and this can reduce the cost of maintaining the overall PLM environment. “We believe that companies should evaluate the use of solutions based on unified architectures as part of their PLM strategies.” added Mr. Amann.

The white paper is available in the download section of just-style's buyers' guide to PLM software.