Colony Brands: PTC PLM Cloud Exceeds Expectations

Written By: Geoff Hedges
  • 6/29/2016

What do Montgomery Ward, The Swiss Colony, Seventh Avenue, and all have in common? They are just a few of the subsidiaries of Colony Brands, Inc., headquartered in Monroe, Wisconsin.

Founded in 1926 as The Swiss Colony, the iconic holiday cheese and foods company, Colony Brands has grown into one of the largest direct marketers in the United States. Colony Brands' internet and mail-order catalog businesses sell everything from gourmet foods to furniture, not to mention home decor, apparel, collectibles, gifts, and more.

So how do they keep track of it all, especially with rapidly changing fashions and tastes in the retail market? With PTC PLM solutions. Colony Brands adopted PTC Windchill FlexPLM for its comprehensive retail product lifecycle management capabilities. And more recently, as part of its cloud-based initiative, the company has successfully begun using PTC PLM Cloud.

Less Complexity, Predictable Costs

Why the cloud? Colony Brands' IT team is moving all of its hardware and application management into the cloud to capitalize on the cost savings and flexibility that come with the approach to deploying and managing software.

When they looked at the company's PLM system, specifically, decision makers wanted a cloud solution for high performance and stability at a predictable cost. PTC PLM Cloud met these goals by:

  • Minimizing IT complexity, resources, and costs: A certified and secure PLM cloud infrastructure frees the IT organization from installing updates, managing hardware, and tuning software.
  • Providing a Software as a Service (SaaS) model: Subscription pricing lowers overall costs and start-up expenses and addresses scalability issues.
  • Reducing risk and accelerating time to value: Rapid deployment reduces disruptions and transition costs.

PTC Teams Manage the Process

The transition to PLM on the cloud could have been complicated, especially for a company with complex enterprise applications. But PTC Cloud Services simplified the implementation process so the Colony Brands IT team didn't have to worry about it.

The experts at PTC deploy, manage, and fine-tune PLM applications in a secure PTC datacenter -- whether you're a small start-up or an established enterprise. By using PTC PLM Cloud, Colony Brands enjoys a stable, optimized deployment of its PLM solution, without headaches that come from looking after hardware, maintenance, or upgrades. Most importantly, with the cloud solution, the company is achieving significant results.

Stability and Performance in the Cloud

After deploying the PTC PLM Cloud solution, the stability and performance of the Colony Brands' system exceeds the company's expectations. "We haven't seen any disruptions in the 15 months since we moved to the PTC cloud, apart from a minor 10-minute outage that was needed to update security certificates," says Carrie Baumhover of Colony Brands.

PTC PLM Cloud performance is optimized for Colony Brands' distributed teams too. You can see the results among users on the Colony Brands team in Shanghai, China, who report fast response times. Or among customers, who now experience faster replies to catalog requests.

Is your company moving its applications to the cloud? Learn more about how your organization can exceed expectations and benefit from PTC PLM Cloud solutions.

(Image courtesy of Colony Brands, Inc. website)

  • Windchill
  • Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)
  • Retail and Consumer Products
  • Digital Transformation

About the Author

Geoff Hedges

Geoff Hedges is the founder and major contributor to, a CAD focused blog that’s reached over 1 million visitors since launch.

In his current role as Program Marketing Director for the PLM and ALM businesses, he is responsible for demand marketing, including developing and executing demand generation campaigns, web site experience and product launch.

Geoff has more than 30 years of experience working in the areas of CAD, PLM, and PDM software; he holds an Honors Degree in Mechanical Engineering and currently lives in Stuttgart, Germany.