Siemens PLM Analyst event 2016 – A focus on making customers successful

Two and a half days of PowerPoint presentations (one session being 3 hours long), videos, demonstrations and numerous conversations with executives of one of the engineering software’s largest companies, Siemens (PLM). That’s a lot of information to process!

Sifting through the nuggets of the event, especially when there’s so much to talk on is no easy feat. Having said this, early on in the event. Dr Jan Mrosik, CEO of Siemens’ Digital Factory Division (under which PLM sits), highlighted the fact that Siemens’ focus is, and must be, on making their customers successful. This reminds me, back in the day, when UGS (and subsequently Siemens PLM) used the mantra “never let a customer fail”. From their exec’s down, Siemens’ strategies and deliverables are clearly focused on this task. Having said this, I do think they could do a slightly better job in crystallising their core messaging to further simplify, and to engage with the broader manufacturing community. By this I mean beyond that of large, sophisticated enterprise companies to touch more mid/small sized manufacturers. The latter (often sold to and) are serviced by Siemens indirect channels operation.

Siemens’ focus on Digital being at the heart of tomorrows successful manufacturing business is one that resonates well. Both in the analyst community and with the companies I speak to. Pulling the (often new) digital threads together is a particular strength of Siemens. They’ve first-hand experience in their own organisation, with some excellent results. Interestingly, Helmuth Ludwig, former CEO of Siemens PLM (I understand) is taking on the role of CIO for Siemens AG. His experience with PLM and as EVP for Digital Enterprise Realization will be a plus for Siemens’ internal digital manufacturing initiatives; with positive effect, I’d suspect, for the Siemens PLM organisation?

On Siemens PLM’s portfolio and strategies. An impressive array of technologies. Their solutions have expanded from a historical (UGS days) solution set of design, simulation and manufacturing software, to areas of (cloud based) analytics, service automation and manufacturing execution. With proven connection to Siemens’ other areas of business, such as production line automation and process analytics, their solution coverage is a force to be reckoned with. Of course integration amongst their many software sets is still a work in progress, they have a pragmatic view focused on a need to make software usable and integrated; not necessarily unified. Certainly for the short term. Their recently announced Simcenter solution portfolio being one example of this.

Highlighted at the event were a number newish ‘arrows’ that now sit in Siemens’ ‘quiver’. Amongst these were Polarion for software engineering/ALM, Mindsphere, a Siemens platform for those developing solutions for IoT, their suite(s) of Manufacturing Execution software and Omneo for (product and other) analytics. Last year, one of my highlights was hearing from Dell regarding their use of big data analytics. This year Bose (the speaker etc. company) took on that task, admirably. A fascinating view on their move from ‘traditional’ business and product analytics, to discovery/insights gleaned from large internal and external (client) data sets. Their objectives being to increase the velocity of decision making and to gain better understanding of their product in use and in process. In fact, all of the customer presentations at the event proved interesting and to point.

The analyst event included an ‘optional’ third day of presentations. A view behind the scenes if you will. Some of the work Siemens is doing in areas such as VR/AR, intelligent robotics, self-organising and agile production systems, and additive/hybrid manufacturing. If anyone thought that Siemens was behind the curve in any of these areas, think again! Their work in these areas is practical and, from my viewpoint, market leading. If you have a chance to talk to Siemens about their research on the future of manufacturing, I’d definitely advise you ask. Fascinating.

On a final note, today (27/9/16) I learned that Tony Hemmelgarn, Executive Vice President of Global Sales, Marketing and Service Delivery will be taking over the reins of CEO for Siemens PLM from Chuck Grindstaff. Chuck now becomes Exec Chairman. I’ve much respect for both individuals; both are worthy leaders, approachable and open (insofar as the greater Siemens permits). I’m intrigued to find out how the Siemens PLM vision will evolve over the next years; given Chuck’s (before becoming CEO) background in areas of technology, and Tony’s in sales and marketing…. watch this space…