Digital Portal For Engineering Collaboration

Digital Portal For Engineering Collaboration

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.



Digital Portal For Engineering Collaboration

Real-Time Synchronization of Product Data

This is a story about data interoperability and integration. This is a much-needed step in the industry. I just wish that it were more standards-driven and therefore more widespread.

But we’ll take every step forward we can get.

Arena Solutions, developer of cloud-based product lifecycle management (PLM) applications, announced that its flagship product, Arena PLM, now offers real-time synchronization with Kenandy Cloud ERP, an enterprise resource planning system for midmarket and large global enterprises built on the Salesforce Platform.

With this integration, the product record can be automatically passed from Arena PLM to Kenandy at the point of change approval. This eliminates errors and accelerates access of product information in Kenandy to create a more cohesive and efficient manufacturing process.

Arena PLM and Kenandy Cloud ERP can now communicate directly with each other, enabling customers to share up-to-date product data with finance, sales and manufacturing departments to ensure accurate financial planning and support operations.

“We are excited to be partnering with Kenandy to deliver a fully cloud-based integrated PLM and ERP solution.” said Steve Chalgren, EVP of product management and chief strategy officer at Arena Solutions. “The integration between our products is simple, clean, and can be implemented quickly. Isn’t that refreshing?”

Using the integration between Arena PLM and Kenandy Cloud ERP, customers can:

  • Manage the product development process of product data (items, bill of materials, manufacturer and supplier data) in a centralized Arena PLM system through the entire product lifecycle; and
  • Use Kenandy to quickly plan, procure and manufacture products upon handoff of the latest product release from Arena.

Primus Power Benefits from Seamless Integration

Delivering clean-tech energy storage solutions based on advanced battery technology, Hayward, California-based Primus Power was already successfully using Arena PLM for their design and engineering activities. It was essential that their new ERP and existing PLM system integrate seamlessly.

In Primus’ fast moving, design-focused environment, an engineer can now implement a product idea or improvement in the PLM system and within minutes the new part number is generated in Kenandy automatically. Instantly, people throughout the company can find that part; there’s a pricing history for it, a supply history. “People no longer say, ‘Did we order that bracket?’ They can now actually see that it’s on order. They can find the purchase order and the promised delivery date,” said Mark Collins, senior director of operations at Primus. “So much information is now available at people’s fingertips simply because we created a part number that’s now searchable in the system.”

“Cloud solutions deliver business agility in ways that on-premise solutions just cannot,” said Rod Butters, president and chief operating officer at Kenandy. “Together Arena and Kenandy are delivering a solution that can be deployed fast and, more importantly, helps the business run fast. Even though our customers are working with our two products, their entire team sees a single, complete, real-time source of truth from product design to product delivered to bottom-line results.”

I have written about Kenandy a couple of times this year here and here.

Follow this blog

Get a weekly email of all new posts.