How SaaS & AR Technologies Can Help Businesses Weather COVID-19’s Impact on Operations

Written By: Alexandra Puig
  • 3/27/2020
  • Read Time : 5 min

On March 26th, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported around 3.3 million employees, in one week alone, registered for unemployment insurance. The record-breaking statistic is the latest domino to fall in the wake of the economic crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

With major day-to-day fluctuations across the stock market and global economy, manufacturing is not the only sector impacted by the crisis. Like many other industry verticals, 75 percent of manufacturing companies reported supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19. While the sector reported these numbers in a March Institute for Supply Management survey, subsequent manufacturing plant closures across the United States contributed to the March 26 rise in unemployment insurance claims.

In looking to the future, organizations have been tasked with implementing technology that can lessen the impact of similar crises on their bottom lines.

In a recent article for Engineering & Technology, PTC’s Nick Leeder, vice president of field execution and value lifecycle management for digital transformation solutions, breaks down how the following technologies can help businesses mitigate the COVID-19 crisis and modernize their operations:

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

A robust SaaS design and management platform prevents crucial downtime, if businesses need to take their workforce remote.

“With cloud technology, vital data is held in a centralized location, accessible to all authorized users, regardless of their individual location…With a SaaS subscription model, new users can be added and be up and running in minutes, and the number of seats can be scaled up or down, according to requirements,” Leeder writes.

PTC's EVP, President of SaaS Jon Hirschtick, explains how SaaS provides a single source of truth, meaning employees are using the same master model at the same time and they’re all editing the same data simultaneously. This means that teams work faster, and they get more innovative results because they can try more ideas as they work on product innovation anywhere, anytime.

Augmented Reality

If industrial AR was poised to have a breakout year in March 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has catapulted it to a “must-have” technology. With most of the world on a global lockdown, field service management is no longer able to operate at full capacity.

Incorporating AR through a vessel such as Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 enables both the repair expert and customer to have a step-by-step guide to conducting maintenance on large parts of industrial machinery. AR also offers the ability to capture that process and replicate it for other users. Sysmex America, a clinical laboratory equipment manufacturer, has been able to deploy remote service offerings to over 66 percent of its customer base, enabling instrument uptime and efficiencies.

To help global companies carry out specific on-site tasks – such as operating or repairing complex machinery – PTC is offering its remote assistance product, Vuforia Chalk, at no cost, with no obligations, for all those who feel this technology can help their teams better navigate the COVID-19 crisis and maintain business continuity.

Final Thoughts

Although COVID-19 is poised to change the world as we know it, technological advancements provide companies with hope for the future. These innovations are enabling organizations to modernize their business models by building a metaphorical boat to stay afloat during the next economic crisis.


  • Augmented Reality
  • Electronics and High Tech
  • COVID-19

About the Author

Alexandra Puig

Alexandra Puig is a corporate communications specialist based in PTC’s Boston headquarters. Prior to joining PTC, she practiced public relations at a leading law firm and life sciences organization. Alexandra earned her B.A. in Political Science from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.