Aras Innovator: PLM Done Differently – Part 3

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I asked Peter whether cost was the main strength of Aras Innovator. He replied, “Well, cost does matter when a company as large as Xerox wants to implement a PLM system across the enterprise. But we believe our strength lies in two things: functionality and upgradability. The former is self explanatory. Our PLM system is highly functional and hugely scalable. However, its the latter that most people tend to ignore. Only long time PLM users actually recognize the importance of upgradability since they have had to endure the pain of upgrading to a newer version.

Peter went on to explain, “A lot of work goes into customizing a PLM system to suit a company’s needs. And a great deal of time as well. When a PLM vendor releases a new version, customers need to port the customization to the new version as well. This can easily become a nightmare. In the case of Aras Innovator this is not a problem because we have made a clear separation between the object model and the programs. Xerox moved to a new version of Aras Innovator in literally a day.

And speaking of Xerox, I am going to continue this series on Aras Innovator after I talk a few people at Xerox who implemented the PLM system at their company. It was nice of Aras to give me direct access to their customer. I am not sure how the rest of the series is going to pan out. I am basically interested in learning more about Aras Innovator myself as well sharing the experiences of Xerox with my readers.

Peter tells me that Xerox at the corporate level uses TeamCenter. At the printer division where they implemented Aras Innovator, they first tried out Windchill for a while and then dumped it for Innovator. I would like to know why. I am not sure how much Xerox will be willing to disclose. I guess time will tell. Stay tuned for more.

Part 4 >>

  • Tony

    One big plus for open source programs like Aras is no licensing headaches and no compliance audits. Adding employees, so need to add more PLM users? No problem. Want everyone to be able to access the PLM system? No problem.

    OTOH, if a PLM system (like most commercial version control systems I know of) charges by the named user, it's a big hassle and expense.