Autodesk 360 for PLM creates new opportunities for SMEs

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Autodesk 360 for PLM creates new opportunities for SMEsAutodesk is entering the market for product lifecycle management (PLM) with an innovative offering, Autodesk 360 for PLM, that the company says can transform how manufacturers manage the entire lifecycle of a product - from its conception, through design and manufacture, partner and supplier management, procurement, quality, compliance, service and more. Autodesk is utilising the cloud to deliver a new approach to PLM that enables companies of all sizes to capture and manage product information and processes to continuously improve the products they manufacture.

+++ STOP PRESS - Autodesk PLM 360 is now available - Ed, 29 February 2012 +++

Autodesk's new PLM offering, which is expected to be generally available early in 2012, is part of Autodesk 360 – a set of secure, easy-to-use and affordable packages for streamlining product and project business processes. Autodesk 360 for PLM is for companies of all sizes, from small companies eager to deploy PLM for the first time, to large enterprises that have become disenchanted by conventional PLM systems due to the associated complexities and high costs.

Robert 'Buzz' Kross, the senior vice president of the Manufacturing Industry Group at Autodesk, states: "Our approach to PLM is a sharp contrast to the decades-old technology in the market today. Autodesk 360 for PLM will enable customers of all sizes to achieve the full promise of PLM with a scalable, configurable and intuitive solution. We believe it will help our customers achieve a measurable competitive advantage through better, more accessible collaboration and business information management."

Building upon the company's leadership with cloud-based software, Autodesk 360 for PLM is geared for manufacturers that need to manage business processes throughout the entire lifecycle of a product - from the earliest concept to retirement. Autodesk 360 for PLM will comprise:

Autodesk 360 Nexus - new, cloud-based software that anchors Autodesk 360 for PLM with affordable, easy-to-use and simple-to-deploy software-as-a-service (SaaS) that helps make the benefits of PLM business applications available to users anytime, anywhere, and with less cost and risk.

Autodesk Vault - already available, Autodesk Vault provides on-site product data management (PDM) software that enables engineering workgroups to organise, manage and track their entire designs, engineering bills-of-materials and change processes. Autodesk Vault will work seamlessly with Autodesk 360 Nexus.

Autodesk Buzzsaw - Buzzsaw's cloud-based supplier collaboration enables customers to exchange designs and documents securely with external partners and distributed teams, regardless of their location. Autodesk Buzzsaw Mobile ensures that users have the most up-to-date information, wherever it is needed.

Global research firm IDC estimates the PLM software applications market will grow to $20.5billion by 2015. The processes required to commercialise and maintain products are increasingly complex and dispersed. Frequent interactions result in an overload of design, process and business information that decision-makers and distributed teams must sort, prioritise and manage over the lifecycle of their products.

Unlike the PLM systems available today, which are sometimes viewed as expensive, complicated, engineering-centric and difficult to deploy, Autodesk 360 Nexus is said to be more readily and easily configurable to meet customer-specific product lifecycle process needs across the enterprise. Employees in a range of roles - from planning to product development to supplier management, quality and compliance, service and more - will have a greater ability to eliminate bottlenecks and access product- and project-related information more quickly, regardless of their location.

Until recently, PLM has been the near-exclusive domain of large businesses, mainly due to the high cost and expertise required for deploying and maintaining the systems. Kross comments: "No company should be excluded from the benefits of PLM technology."

Follow the link for more information about Autodesk 360 for PLM.

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