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  • December 2015, IDC Manufacturing Insights #US40637915


    IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Manufacturing PLM Strategic Consulting 2015 Vendor Assessment

    Jeffrey Hojlo


    FIGURE 1

    IDC MarketScape Worldwide Manufacturing PLM Strategic Consulting Vendor Assessment

    Source: IDC Manufacturing Insights, 2015

    Please see the Appendix for detailed methodology, market definition, and scoring criteria.

  • 2015 IDC Manufacturing Insights #US40637915 2


    More than ever before, manufacturers now need service providers skilled in product life-cycle

    management (PLM). PLM is finally extending to other enterprise systems, data stores, and processes

    after years of discussion about this potential; products with an increased amount of software within

    them (i.e., "connected" products) are proliferating at a steady rate (30 billion by 2020, according to

    IDC's Internet of Things Survey, 2014), and an enormous amount of product related data is being

    produced, which needs to be managed and analyzed. Manufacturers universally, based on recent

    conversations, are in the process of moving or planning to rationalize their global PLM instances to a

    single one that unifies data and extends to other systems due to product complexity, value chain

    expansion, and 3rd Platform technologies. One company has 11 PLM instances globally that it is

    looking to unify and simplify. Another manufacturer is expanding its quality team, consistent with our

    Product and Service Innovation Survey results that show quality as the top focus. These are all areas

    that PLM practitioners and providers cannot handle alone enter the PLM service providers. Strategic

    consulting plays a particularly important role in this age of transformation because of the level of

    process, organizational, and value chain complexity inherent to designing, engineering, and

    manufacturing of complex, configured, and customized products. IDC Manufacturing Insights'

    definition of strategic consulting includes process, system, and platform design; system selection

    assistance; go-to-market strategy; management consulting; regulatory compliance consulting; and

    enterprise technology strategy or transformation. PLM service providers win based on their ability to

    respond flexibly and quickly to customer requests, work independently and make decisions and

    recommendations that may be out of the scope of their contract, and present a unified face to the

    client. If multiple team members are contacting the client, each with a unique view, or model, or

    recommendation, no one wins. Manufacturers want their service provider to function as an extension

    of the internal team that deeply understands their business and is a strong cultural fit in their

    organization; in short, the same expectations apply to these extended "employees" as to their full-time

    employees (FTEs). When a relationship is established on this level, manufacturers are more confident

    that their service provider will be a reliable long-term partner. The vendors assessed for the worldwide

    manufacturing PLM strategic consulting 2015 IDC MarketScape all have decades of experience in

    manufacturing, have large and global PLM practices, and are investing in growing their practices

    (some more than others). The fact is the differentiating line between these vendors is close. So how

    does a manufacturer differentiate between these service providers? Conversations with end users

    reveal that it's important to not only have expertise in the different relevant software packages but have

    the ability to integrate these across the enterprise; these capabilities are to be expected. Where

    service providers in the PLM market differentiate themselves is in three key elements:

    Having the ability to work cohesively across the different functions of the global team to

    present a unified front to the client: account management, project management, consulting, and system architecture strategy

    Executing to the letter of the service agreement and proactively making recommendations and providing potential solutions to problems

    Tying business consulting to architectural planning and integration to support cross-organizational digital transformation


    There are multiple IT service providers, large and small, that offer systems integration (SI),

    engineering services, and/or business process outsourcing (BPO) for any number of PLM processes:

  • 2015 IDC Manufacturing Insights #US40637915 3

    product design, portfolio management, data management, and collaboration among coworkers,

    partners, and customers. For the purposes of this IDC MarketScape we focus on the notable players

    with annual revenue of at least $1 billion that offer strategic consulting for a portfolio of PLM processes

    at a customer site. In addition, to participate in this analysis, vendors were required to provide at least

    one customer reference. This IDC MarketScape includes 10 vendors:





    Geometric Ltd.

    IBM Global Services


    L&T Technology Services

    Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)

    Tech Mahindra


    The PLM market is maturing, and changing, quickly. Many of the service providers have similar

    offerings, are technically very strong, and have a focus on PLM. But there are four companies that

    stand out in our research as PLM strategic consulting leaders, based on information from the vendors

    and conversations with manufacturers familiar with their work: Accenture, IBM Global Services,

    Infosys, and TCS.

    Other vendors fall into our Major Players category, meaning that although they did not do well enough

    to be in the Leaders category, they have formidable PLM consulting practices, knowledge, and

    capabilities. Suffice it to say, however, those Major Players will continue to evolve and grow their

    practices to meet the growing product innovation and PLM needs of manufacturers. One such area of

    focus and potential differentiation for PLM service providers is strategic consulting as manufacturers

    look for one-stop service partners that can help with consulting, systems integration, and technical

    support. The services providers that stood out in our analysis showed they could provide this breadth

    of support for customers.

    In addition to growing a portfolio of capabilities that includes consulting, systems integration, and

    technical support, and working in close partnership with customers as extended members of the team,

    PLM service providers are differentiating themselves by developing or acquiring software offerings

    over the past 510 years: examples include Geometric acquiring Teksoft in 2005; Infosys developing

    and now offering SocialEdge, its own social media platform for enhancing innovation (mostly used

    internally by customers at this point); and Accenture providing a product information portal, named

    Enterprise Product Information Content (EPIC), to unify product life-cycle data in support of the

    innovation process, important in this age of the product innovation platform. These capabilities are not

    meant to replace PLM provider capabilities but rather complement them and extend PLM information

    to the global team.

    One area of potential for service providers is to grow their industry expertise: many of the vendors

    included in this report have programs focused on this recruitment effort, realizing, especially as they

  • 2015 IDC Manufacturing Insights #US40637915 4

    push into emerging PLM industries (i.e., industries new to PLM) and extended enterprise initiatives like

    product innovation platforms, that they need to be able to hit the ground running with a team of people

    who not only are PLM experts but understand the customer's market and business. This is particularly

    important with strategic consulting, where service providers work closely with business leaders that

    need to understand technical implications in the language of their industry. That's not to say, however,

    that service providers are immediately the experts in the specifics of your business; expect a level of

    understanding, but plan to work with them to develop their knowledge and capabilities as an extension

    of your team. As one manufacturer said, "Treat them almost as an employee by providing the right

    training, tools, and advice."

    Given that as a backdrop, the following are key takeaways for end users when choosing and working

    with a strategic consultant in the PLM market:

    Manufacturing industry expertise: Industry expertise is a differentiating factor among service providers; PLM expertise and technical skills are not an issue at any service provider with references we spoke with. Look for service providers that have solution architects, project

    managers, and consultants that work well as a team and know your industry and business nuances.

    A road map to the product innovation platform: The ability to evolve PLM into a product innovation platform is a key capability for service providers not only connecting PLM systems, processes, and data across the enterprise and value chain leveraging 3rd Platform

    technologies but also in concert with complementary business process and organizational consulting.

    Clear communication of capabilities: Find a service provider that is


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