Class Dismissed: HBS Students Get Hands On in PTC Corporate Experience Center




Harvard Business School (HBS) has established itself as one of the top business schools in North America, and maybe even across the globe. They continue to educate their students and craft them into leaders who will make serious footprints in the future.

And, in recent years, PTC has established a relationship with Harvard Business School through President & CEO, Jim Heppelmann. Heppelmann co-authored three cornerstone Harvard Business Review articles on smart, connected products, industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and augmented reality (AR), with Michael E. Porter, the founder of the department of Strategy and Competitiveness at HBS.

In 2016, PTC was approached by Professor Rajiv Lal, who was interested in shaping a curriculum around developing an IIoT strategy, and a business model in the age of digital transformation.

The Business of IIoT

Professor Lal’s passion to educate the next generation of business leaders on IIoT led him to develop the first-ever graduate level course on the business of IIoT, and he looked to PTC to be his key advisor.

HBS students in class with Jim Heppelmann

For these reasons, students were invited to visit the Corporate Experience Center at PTC headquarters in Needham, MA. Heppelmann and SVP of Corporate Strategy, Don Busiek, presented the foundation of a software company’s thirty-year heritage dating back to the invention of 3D CAD and PLM and fast-forwarding to the last five years where the connection between physical and digital convergence emerged.

“We didn’t get there all at once. Frankly, we’ve been on a journey,” said Heppelmann. "First, we worked hard to drive product margins and that’s where we said okay, I think IIoT is a fast-growing business that is adjacent to our market and the future of it. IIoT is futuristic PLM and you could say CAD if futuristic AR.”

HBS students see demos of PTC technology

Students also had the opportunity to see real-world use cases come to life. Demonstrations depicted how a factory can cut costs and avoid downtime by applying predictive analytics. And how customers like Caterpillar, Inc. use remote service and augmented reality to train and instruct service technicians.

Minds of Tomorrow Enable the Future

By establishing relationships with local universities, PTC can enable the minds of the future and help them walk away with a better understanding of disruptive technologies like IoT and augmented reality.

“This is an unbelievable time to work at PTC," said Busiek. "Harvard Business School, one of the top business schools in the world, looked to us to help shape curriculum to make IoT come to life for future leaders. They came to us. They brought their students here first, and now those students know PTC is the leader in IoT. They will want to work here and will think of PTC for IoT needs in their future work. It is a pretty powerful collaboration.”

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