May 29, 2023

In his keynote address at Liveworx 2023, PTC’s CEO, Jim Heppelmann unveiled a compelling vision for the future of digital transformation. The event, hosted by PTC in Boston, had been postponed since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During his presentation, Heppelmann showcased how PTC, in collaboration with their ecosystem partners, aims to address the pressing challenges businesses face in embracing digital transformation and transitioning to Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions. He also introduced the exciting topics of the industrial metaverse and their new acquisitions, highlighting how PTC is at the forefront of shaping the new era of digital innovation.

One of the key takeaways from Heppelmann’s presentation was PTC’s new acquisitions. PTC has invested over $3 billion in organic development and acquisitions since 2019, to help businesses tackle the challenges of digital transformation. Among PTC’s acquisitions was Onhape, a cloud-native product development platform, and Arena, a cloud-native PLM and quality management system (QMS) solution. PTC also launched their software as a service strategy (SaaS), which emphasizes its commitment to supporting industrial companies in their digital journey. These acquisitions have not detracted from PTC’s core business; instead, they have reinforced it, Heppelmann claimed. The IoT platform ThingWorx, connectivity solution Kepware, and AR software Vuforia have matured into robust business solutions aligned with digital trends. Through these acquisitions, PTC has the ambition to enable businesses to achieve greater efficiency, sustainability, and compliance by establishing a digital thread across the entire product life cycle and allowing them to transition to SaaS solutions.

Heppelmann also highlighted how embracing digital tools empowers businesses to stay ahead of market trends. For example, VF Corporation, a global leader in apparel, footwear, and accessories, uses PTC’s Windchill PLM software to make better and faster decisions based on real-time data, adapting their product designs and strategies to meet evolving consumer preferences. VF Corporation’s success demonstrates how digital tools drive success in the retail industry. Short development cycles are essential to stay ahead of market trends, especially for companies dependent on software-based products or those dealing with quickly obsolescing electronic components.

Another significant milestone for PTC was its recent acquisition of ServiceMax, valued at nearly $1.5 billion. ServiceMax’s expertise in service life cycle management (SLM) complements PTC’s CAD, PLM, IoT, and AR capabilities, enabling PTC to deliver even more value to customers. Heppelmann emphasized the importance of service strategies, which are integral to driving revenue and profit growth for many industrial companies. PTC is committed to developing solutions that facilitate efficient SLM, which can generate ten times more revenue over a product’s life than it did to the initial product sale.

During his keynote, Heppelmann also emphasized another breakthrough innovation that has the power to blend the characteristics of the physical and digital realms: the industrial metaverse. PTC has focused on applying this concept to industrial companies, to facilitate collaboration between knowledge workers in the digital domain and front-line workers in physical settings like factories. The industrial metaverse allows both physically present front-line workers and virtually present knowledge workers to teleport into these immersive digital spaces, have the same real-time experience, access vital information from the digital thread, such as service instructions and parts catalogs, and address issues in real-time. By using PTC’s new Vuforia industrial metaverse technology, when a problem is encountered in the real world, a spatial digital twin or metaverse is created, which digitizes the real world. The result is faster problem-solving, often surpassing the time it would take to arrange travel.

The industrial metaverse empowers companies to overcome geographical constraints, reduce costs, enhance service quality, and distribute knowledge effectively. PTC sees the industrial metaverse as a game-changer that can transform businesses’ growth by providing converged experiences for the physical and digital world.

In conclusion, Heppelmann’s keynote address demonstrated how PTC is at the forefront of shaping the future of digital innovation. Through their new acquisitions, embracing digital tools, and implementing the industrial metaverse, PTC has the ambition to enable businesses to achieve greater efficiency, sustainability, and compliance. The Liveworx event showcased how PTC, in collaboration with its ecosystem partners, aims to address the pressing challenges businesses face in embracing digital transformation and transitioning to SaaS solutions.

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