(Updated, name corrected) It has been three years since Siemens acquired UGS in order to seriously enter the digital manufacturing arena. I sometimes challenge executives and managers in an interview (it’s just a personality quirk that pops up occasionally–and I can feel several marketing people cringe at the thought). About the time of the acquisition, I was interviewing a Siemens Industry executive from Germany. When I pointed out a series of acquisitions that were, shall we say, executed with less than perfection, he told me that they had learned a lesson and this one would go much better. Somewhere over the past month or so, I was told that I should ask people about the integration because people were not happy.
Well, I don’t know which people were not happy. Those I met with and listened to in hallways were certainly not grumbling. In fact, executives were quick to point out that the backing of a major corporations such as Siemens enabled them to continue to invest in research and development during the 2009 downturn. And being part of a large and stable organization is gaining them entre into new customers. I know that Siemens took the integration very seriously by appointing an integration team of Siemens and UGS management. I think it’s going well.
Executives were proud of the company’s successes over the past few years as analysts have anointed Team Center and Tecnomatix as market leaders while NX is certainly competitive in its market. At a private meeting with assembled press and analysts, the executive team discussed its competitive wins of new business and plans to continue growing. Its Synchronous Technology, a really cool way of increasing the power of 3D CAD design, is seen as a breakthrough innovation.
John Devitry, an engineer at company in the space program and a professor at Utah State, shared his passion about how using NX with Synchronous Technology has enabled his mechanical design students to break though the creativity barrier and just do design without the tool getting in the way. Karsten Newbury, originally leader of the process and MES organizations in the US for Siemens, then part of the integration team and now Sr. VP and GM of Velocity business, said, “Users can focus on the job, not the tool.” Velocity is an out of the box PLM solution for small and medium sized businesses. It has been around for a few years. Newbury feels that with the addition of Synchronous Technology the product has a distinct competitive edge that Siemens PLM marketing intends to exploit.
One interesting final note: over 1,000,000 students in over 10,000 universities are using SiemensPLM products in their mechanical design classes.
The Siemens team under the leadership of social media manager Dora Smith (@dorasmith on Twitter) was blogging and tweeting the conference. Here’s a sample blog post (note the cool T shirt, of course you just see the message).
Photo (from my Blackberry Storm) is Siemens PLM executive team addressing questions of media and analysts at the Siemens PLM Connect 2010 user conference.