Engineering collaboration tools. Old, yet new? Most of the news and trends I’m seeing center around increased use of the cloud. We have seen tools coming for several years. Now there seems to be a critical mass where engineers and managers can find increasingly powerful collaboration tools for a variety of functions.

This report just arrived from Accenture. It has launched a digital portal that helps product developers such as engineers accelerate delivery of products to market at lower costs through greater efficiency.

The Accenture Enterprise Product Information and Content (EPIC) Portal consolidates large amounts of product development data from multiple enterprise systems in a single, organized view, reducing the time needed for product developers to search for this data by up to 95 percent. Leveraging this portal, these professionals can use analytics to anticipate and solve problems, as well as develop insights and make better-informed decisions.

Accenture developed the EPIC portal for companies that design, engineer and manufacture complex products in the aerospace, automotive, consumer products, electronics, industrial equipment, high-tech and life science industries. The portal features pre-defined integration with product lifecycle management, enterprise resource planning and a range of other applications used in product design and production.

“Throughout large, complex companies, product developers grapple with data scattered across too many siloed databases, complicated system user interfaces, and cumbersome access to analytics and product data reports,” said Kevin Prendeville, a managing director in Accenture’s Product Lifecycle Services business. “The EPIC portal equips engineers with one integrated source to identify risks and speed product deliveries whenever they need to, wherever they are, which increases efficiency and lowers costs.”

For example, a supply chain procurement engineer with an automotive manufacturer could use the EPIC portal to more rapidly ascertain the engineering status of automotive parts and avoid delays delivering products to market. Knowing this status also benefits numerous other corporate groups, including engineering, sourcing, quality, marketing, manufacturing and operations.

“Accenture’s product information portal addresses a common product innovation pain point,” said Jeff Hojlo, IDC program director for Product Innovation Strategies.  “The product lifecycle management (PLM) portal encompasses all product innovation content in an organization ranging from PLM, enterprise, quality or compliance systems. These capabilities are not meant to replace PLM provider capabilities; rather, they are meant to complement them and extend PLM information to the global team.”

This is going to be quite the competitive landscape in the near future. That will be good for everyone.



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