Weather Alert: The Forecast for PLM Cloud

Written By: Lane Rawlings
  • 7/16/2017

Imagine a cloud.  White and fluffy floating in the sky.  Now consider what clouds do for us.  They protect us from the sun, store atmospheric gasses, and they provide us with rain and snow—they are multifunctional. PLM Cloud may not shield us from the sun, but it too has many functions.   It allows organizations to increase collaboration, better manage a greater variety and volume of product data, and improve workflows without the heavy IT overhead and hardware commitments. To get a better grasp on the topic, a survey was conducted by CIMdata with current and prospective PLM Cloud users.  Analysts found that:

  • 76% percent of respondents have used cloud for 10+ years
  • 95% of respondents will purchase PLM Cloud in the next 24 months
  • 72% of respondents will purchase PLM Cloud in the next 13 months

As a part of CIMdata’s study, Stan Przybylinski - Vice President of Research at CIMdata, conducted two interviews to further understand PTC’s Cloud.  The first session was with PTC’s General Manager of PLM, Kevin Wrenn, and the second, a customer of PTC, Senior Director of IT Applications at a North America-based Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) company. Both interviews further emphasize the growth of cloud to the industry and the benefits to companies using it. 

Wrenn explained that technology is changing, and PTC’s customers are evolving. “They are going through a digital transformation and want to get to market faster and bring down costs”.   He continued saying customers are looking to “drive value faster through their product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions to allow for greater engagement and collaboration with their own customers, partners, and value chain.”  The Senior Director of the customer company agreed, stating, “With on-premise software we have to purchase hardware, test it, and manage our data center”.   In contrast he explained that “With cloud-based solutions we can . . .ramp up more quickly”.

Time to value is a major benefit of PLM Cloud, and so is flexibility. Organizations can take multiple paths to implement their cloud solution – be it a full, gradual or hybrid migration, and also have a breadth of capabilities to choose from to scale with the needs of their business.  “We have everything from document management to visualization, enterprise collaboration, and even system integrations. Our customers can get everything they need in one cloud instance”, says Wrenn.   

Flexibility also emerges when it comes to overall solution costs; PTC offers an active pricing model so companies pay only for what is used. Wrenn explains how this solution allows for “customers to have the ability to scale up or scale down with the ‘pay as you go’ pricing model”.  

“In the past, we might have spent millions on hardware that started depreciating on day one”, said the senior director from the CPG company. “But this pricing model setup has relieved the upfront pain”.  It solves the capital expense versus operating expense issue for our customer.  

The first step to considering PLM Cloud, as Wrenn said, is to understand all the benefits of using cloud vs. staying on-premise, and then to establish a plan that’s right for you.  Both Wrenn and our customer identified a multitude of benefits of PLM Cloud, including: flexibility, time-to-value, decreased costs, and increased functionality.   There are many reasons why cloud adoption is accelerating; stay tuned for our next blog to better understand ‘how’ the cloud fits into YOUR PLM strategy. 

In the meantime, to learn more about the trends, challenges, and benefits of PLM Cloud check out our eBook.


  • Windchill
  • PLM
  • Electronics and High Tech

About the Author

Lane Rawlings

Lane Rawlings is joining us as the PLM Product Marketing Intern for Summer 2017. She is a Marketing Major going into her senior year at Providence College. She interned at PTC in 2016 as part of the Global Services Marketing and Communication Team. Lane looks forward to another summer at PTC!