PLM Software Partnership Targets Mid-Size Manufacturers

System integrator and IT services provider MphasiS has partnered with product lifecycle management software maker Siemens PLM Software to help deliver the benefits of digital manufacturing to a wider audience.

System integrator and IT services provider MphasiS and product lifecycle management (PLM) software maker Siemens PLM Software are partnering to help mid-market manufacturers around the world gain the benefits of digital manufacturing. MphasiS, a business unit of Hewlett Packard based in India, delivers applications, infrastructure and business process outsourcing services globally. Under the terms of the agreement, the company will provide integration services for Siemens PLM Software’s Teamcenter product. 
 
PLM is an increasingly important way for manufacturers to facilitate product innovation, improve quality and reduce product development costs, but the software has long been seen as appropriate only for “the big guys,” such as aerospace and automotive manufacturers. By partnering with MphasiS, Siemens can provide mid-market customers with integration expertise, onsite and offshore support, and manufacturing industry knowledge at a price and scale appropriate to their needs. And because MphasiS is a division of Hewlett Packard, the integrator can also provide the HP hardware on which to run the software, if necessary. 
 
“Siemens PLM Software’s technology provides users with flexibility and scalability ranging from a single application to a customized suite, and our integration capabilities enable us to support these various platforms,” says Rajesh Makhija, senior vice president for the enterprise market unit at MphasiS. “Our homogeneous solutions integrate hardware, software, services and support.” 
 
 
One manufacturer that has already benefited is Nuvera Fuel Cells, Inc. (www.nuvera.com), a Billerica, Mass. developer of fuel cell systems and fuel processors for industrial vehicles and equipment. 
“As Nuvera continues to expand in the material handling market, we needed a more robust PLM solution that could run on our HP blade server infrastructure,” said Brian Landry, senior information technology manager. “We have a great deal of confidence in our implementation of Teamcenter due to the software’s capability, and due to the flexibility of MphasiS and their tight association with Siemens PLM Software.” 
 
 
Midsize mindset
 
Daniel Flick, Siemens PLM Software global alliance director, said, “Working with MphasiS enhances our ability to streamline implementation processes for mid-market companies.”
 While companies of all sizes want Siemens to streamline the PLM software implementation process, Flick said mid-size manufacturers are particularly sensitive about costs and budgets as well as time and ease of execution. “They’re looking for solutions—frameworks, services, methodologies—that target their specific needs. What they get from the new partnership, is mitigation of cost and management of risk” he adds. 
 
Makhija says MphasiS and Siemens spent considerable time evaluating the specific needs of mid-market companies with regard to PLM. One of the things they found was that Teamcenter was one large monolithic product and “given its size and complexity, a smaller company couldn’t tough it out, and couldn’t afford it. Today, a mid market client can go for fewer licenses—three, five, 1,500—and can choose the functionality of individual modules to pay a much smaller amount,” he says.
 
Makhija adds that “the thing we know is that the price is still steep. Companies typically spend 10-15% of product costs on R&D, so they don’t have an option to spend thousands of dollars on IT solutions as well. Now, with the well-designed implementation solutions that MphasiS delivers, they have a solution. We, along with Siemens, effectively lower the price points all around.”
 
A typical PLM implementation is about configuring the Teamcenter product—understanding the customer’s requirements and mapping it down to specific modules.  MphasiS provides a process framework for implementing PLM using predesigned business flows. This decreases the number of implementation steps and lowers the cost. “For a product like this, implementation costs can be 3x or 6x of product cost. We can do an implementation at 2x or 1.5x cost,” says Makhija.
 
The implementation process is also considerably quicker. Makhija says it is often completed in three months or less, which was the case for Nuvera. Time and cost savings also can come from other areas, he adds: 
 

-  Through the use of our offshore implementation model, with minimal onsite presence, we provide pre-defined requirements templates to customers for quick capture of specifications. The expected savings are more 40% using this model. 

-  The PDM Connector solution is focused on new implementations as well as PLM migrations, which means moving from another product data management system to  “Teamcenter Unified.” PDM Connector can facilitate a quick database migration.

 
MphasiS has extensive experience in IT systems integration. Software services company EDS bought 62% of MphasiS in 2006 and merged EDS India into it. HP acquired EDS in 2008 and in 2009 renamed it HP Enterprise Services. Mphasis is now an HP Enterprise business unit that employs more than 41,000 people serving clients in a variety of industries. Makhija said the company has a “strong team of experts in the PLM industry, with over 300 internal resources dedicated to providing innovative PLM solutions to the marketplace.”
 
Flick says Siemens PLM Software already has an “excellent relationship” with HP as a technology provider and systems integrator and his company is “optimistic about extending our relationship with HP by partnering with MphasiS. MphasiS has experience both with new people (companies new to PLM) and people extending their PLM use. With their help, we will be extending an already excellent relationship to many more companies probably taking this [PLM] journey for first time.”
 
Renee Robbins Bassett (rbassett@automationworld.com) is Managing Editor of Automation World magazine.
 
 
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