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Social Computing Meets Product Development


Microsoft and PTC collaborate to develop a Social Product Development Platform that Fuels Communication, Collaboration and Innovation in a Web 2.0 Environment.

(NEEDHAM, MASS., JUNE 12, 2009) With the widespread adoption of Web 2.0 technologies and the evolution and acceleration of global product development initiatives, PTC (Nasdaq: PMTC), the Product Development Company®, believes the market is ready for a measurable shift in the way products will be developed. The cornerstone of this shift is the marriage of social computing to product development, or what PTC is calling social product development. Robin Saitz, SVP, Solutions Marketing & Communications, discusses the thinking behind Social Product Development.

“Collaboration has long been a critical component of product development, and today’s operating conditions are shining a spotlight on the ability of companies to share information and knowledge with team members in a secure, IT-friendly environment,” said Rob Gremley, executive vice president of PTC.

Joe Barkai, practice director for Product Lifecycle Strategies at Manufacturing Insights, an IDC company, notes “product companies will look to increase the adoption of Web 2.0 tools to capture and reuse organizational knowledge, and, when appropriate, to go outside the traditional boundaries of the enterprise to seek advice and other collaborative opportunities. As organizations continue to embrace social networks, they realize these are not merely collaboration platforms for open conversations and exchange of information, but strategically important to an organization’s ability to use social computing technologies for product development.”

A recent commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of PTC surveyed more than 7,000 users of PTC and other products used for product development. Among respondents to this study, 89% use some form of social technologies at least once per month and 70% use these technologies for work purposes, suggesting that this population is well positioned to adopt social product development practices.

“With Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Server 2007, Microsoft connects Web 2.0 and social networking technologies to address collaboration in a business environment,” said Kathleen Winder, director of SharePoint Collaboration Partnerships, SharePoint Server Group, Microsoft. “PTC is bringing additional value to product development through its Windchill ProductPoint solution by extending the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server platform to work with complex CAD and structured product data. PTC has combined the business logic layer of Windchill ProductPoint with the social computing capabilities of the SharePoint application framework, to introduce the benefits of social computing in social product development.”

The PTC® technology stack used to support social product development consists of three technology layers as part of one, seamless, secure and easy-to-use platform. Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (SharePoint) for document collaboration, and social computing. PTC Windchill® ProductPoint® for sharing, and reusing structured content such as CAD models.

A layer of authoring applications that can include PTC Pro/ENGINEER® for creating digital product representations; PTC ProductView™ for visualization, markup, and digital mockup of lightweight product viewables; PTC Mathcad® for documenting proprietary engineering calculations; and Microsoft Office® for authoring documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and other content.

Manufacturers that adopt social product development using PTC technology will benefit from having an integral solution stack that is designed and tested to work together to complement existing product development implementations of PTC technologies. These same companies should also experience a lower total cost of ownership because the PTC social product development platform leverages services and capabilities that are part of the Microsoft SharePoint Server application platform.

“Social product development is the next step in the evolution of how people work together,” said Gremley. “The idea that social product development was ever considered to be a new and revolutionary model will seem inconceivable to the next generation of engineers who have grown up with social networking as a normal vehicle for information sharing. Organizations that are able to harness the power of social computing in their product development strategy will quickly outpace their competitors with greater operational efficiency and ultimately better products.”

Tune in to www.ptc.com/events/ptcuser09 for real-time event coverage through Tweets and Blogs from PTC staff and event attendees. We’ll be tagging all event Tweets with #ptcuser09. Follow PTC on Twitter @Did_You_Know.

About PTC

PTC (Nasdaq: PMTC) provides discrete manufacturers with software and services to meet the globalization, time-to-market and operational efficiency objectives of product development. Using the company’s CAD, and content and process management solutions, organizations in the Industrial, High-Tech, Aerospace and Defense, Automotive, Consumer and Medical industries are able to support key business objectives and create innovative products that meet both customer needs and comply with industry regulations. To see PTC products in action go to http://www.youtube.com/user/ptcstudio.

Except for the historical information contained herein, matters discussed in this news release may constitute forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. These risks and uncertainties include the ability of PTC to successfully partner and effectively coordinate and manage joint activities (including development, sales, marketing, implementation and support) with third parties in order to efficiently and cost effectively deliver products and services that meet the functional and price point requirements of small and medium businesses; the successful development and integration of the technology necessary to offer an integrated, flexible and scalable product development system that is able to adequately respond to the evolving requirements of both large and small customers in multiple vertical industries; and our ability to effectively utilize our resources to support multiple PLM product suites while maintaining recurring operations at satisfactory levels to achieve our operating margin goals, as well as other risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in reports filed by PTC with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company’s most recent reports on Form 10-K and 10-Q.

PTC and its logo, The Product Development Company, Pro/ENGINEER, Wildfire, Windchill, Mathcad, ProductPoint and all PTC product names and logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Parametric Technology Corporation and/or its subsidiaries in the United States and in other countries. Microsoft, SharePoint and Office are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.

Source: PTC

Ben Hanson Ben Hanson is one of WhichPLM’s top contributors. Ben has worked for magazines, newspapers, local government agencies, multi-million pound conservation projects, museums and creative publications before his eventual migration to the Retail, Footwear and Apparel industry.Having previously served as WhichPLM’s Editor, Ben knows the WhichPLM style, and has been responsible for many of our on-the-ground reports and interviews over the last few years. With a background in literature, marketing and communications, Ben has more than a decade’s worth of experience, and is now viewed as one of the industry’s best-known writers.