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Source: Technology Evaluation Centers
TEC Product Certification Report: PTC Windchill 9.0
is also known as :
Product Lifecycle Management Software
PTC Windchill 9.0
Product Management Life Cycle
PTC Windchill Product
Business Collaboration Software,
Product Lifecycle Management Solution,
PLM Software Solution,
Agile PLM Database,
PLM Evaluation Centers,
Technology Evaluation Centers PLM,
Parametric Technology Corporation PLM,
PTC Windchill Market Data Summary,
TEC Product Certification Report,
PTC CAD Tools,
Product Lifecycle Management Evaluation Center,
PLM Software Vendor,
Comprehensive Model of PLM,
Windchill RFI Data,
Table of Contents
Windchill 9.0 has been certified by:
Kurt (Yu) Chen, research analyst, Technology Evaluation Centers Inc.
Demonstration conducted by:
Alain Thibault, Parametric Technology Corporation
John Fox, Parametric Technology Corporation
Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC) is pleased to announce that PTC's product, Windchill
9.0 is now TEC Certified for use in the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Evaluation
Center. The PLM Evaluation Center enables you to compare and evaluate functionality based
on TEC's comprehensive model of PLM. Data used in the Evaluation Center are obtained from
the vendor's responses to TEC's request for information (RFI). Certification ensures that
- PTC Windchill product's capabilities are demonstrated to a TEC analyst based on the
responses it provided in its completed TEC RFI;
- PTC Windchill RFI data has been reviewed analytically and comparatively by a TEC analyst
against known benchmarks.
There are many benefits to evaluating a TEC Certified product. To potential clients of a
software vendor, TEC certification provides the following:
- Reassurance: You can be assured that the data TEC provides about its certified
products conform to a well-defined standard of accuracy. When a vendor's product is TEC Certified,
it means that a trusted, independent third party has seen the product up close.
- Better Communication with Vendors: TEC certification helps ensure that vendors understand
and respond accurately to their clients' RFI criteria. Certification with TEC analysts provides the opportunity
to clarify any issues with the RFI criteria. This ensures that the vendor is speaking the same language as its
potential clients—and gives the clients an unambiguous specification of product functionality to inform their
The certification seal is a valuable indicator for organizations that rely on the integrity of TEC's research
services for assistance with their software selection projects. Organizations looking for a solution can be
confident that they're comparing the product on an "apples to apples" basis with other, similar products.
Founded in 1985 and headquartered in Needham, Massachusetts (US), Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC) develops,
markets, and supports PLM software solutions and related services that help manufacturers improve the
competitiveness of their products and product development processes. PTC offers a suite of mechanical
computer-aided design (CAD) tools and a range of Web-based collaboration technologies, enabling manufacturing
companies to create virtual computer-based products (digital products), collaborate on designs within the enterprise
and throughout the extended supply chain, and control the digital product information throughout the product lifecycle.
Windchill is a PLM solution that was designed from the ground up to work in a Web-based, distributed
design environment. Windchill technology forms the foundation of the packages PTC offers to address data,
change, configuration, and process management; product development collaboration; project management and
execution; and the release of product information to manufacturing management systems.
PTC focuses on understanding its customers' key business processes for product development and then
improving the capabilities of its products to support those processes. New major releases are planned
approximately every 18 months. Each major version is supported with quarterly maintenance builds through its life.
Windchill is priced on a per-enabled-user basis, with the exception of certain modules that are priced
on a per-server basis. The solution supports multiple languages, including English, Chinese (both simplified
and traditional), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish. Windchill has significant market
presence in Europe, North America, and Asia.
This certification covered a wide variety of products within the Windchill family, including PDMLink,
ProjectLink, MPMLink, and RequirementsLink, as well as many others. In addition, we also covered some
functionality of PTC InSight to the extent that it supports the Regulatory and Compliance functionality
module within TEC's comprehensive PLM RFI. A reader should be aware that PTC's solution capability for
Regulatory and Compliance in this report is delivered through PTC InSight.
Upon reviewing Windchill 9.0 during the certification process, we concluded that the application is
well-built in the core PLM area (i.e., the base foundation of PLM that covers design- and product-related
aspects of PLM such as management of material specifications, product structures, documents, classifications,
design collaboration, and so on) for discrete industries. We also concluded that PTC Windchill is one of the
most comprehensive PLM solutions for discrete manufacturing, thanks to its enhancements in areas such as
product development and portfolio management, project management, manufacturing process management, and the
addition of regulatory and compliance functionality derived from its acquisition of Synapsis Technology.
The criteria that TEC designed to evaluate core PLM functionality for discrete industries are mainly covered
by PDMLink. The scale of this functionality set is similar to historical product data management (PDM) systems.
Core PLM functionality for discrete industries is very well supported by Windchill due to PTC's long-time practice
in this area. The only weakness is that product cost estimation is not as strong as other functionality in this
Product development and portfolio management, mainly taken care of by ProjectLink, performed outstandingly well.
We were very impressed by the clarity of different charts that help make project portfolio decisions.
Manufacturing process management (mainly covered by MPMLink) and ideation and requirements management
(mainly covered by RequirementsLink) are substantially stronger than they were for Windchill 8.0.
PTC InSight adds new capabilities in regulatory and compliance within the PLM setting. Since
this is a newly acquired product marketed with a parallel brand to Windchill, the user interface
(UI) is noticeably different from Windchill. It might be worth PTC's while to aim toward UI convergence
in order to build up more synergy between Windchill and InSight.
Based on four main principles (ease of use, workflow design, ease of implementation, and innovation),
here is how PTC Windchill 9.0 fared.
Ease of Use
- Layout: The application's layout is logically designed. Information is arranged in tabs, and users can
open multiple windows and easily navigate from one to another.
- Interface: The Web interface uses space efficiently. Frequently used functions (e.g., search and help) remain
constantly in view; many activities can be performed within the first screen (i.e., without scrolling down).
- Performing tasks: The tasks to be performed in any specific module are logically defined and easily accomplished,
and do not require the user to go through many steps to complete them.
- Information retrieval: The search function is convenient and powerful. The system
supports information references from one perspective to another (e.g., users can drill down from engineering
change process to impacted objects [items, BOMs, etc.]).
- E-mail notifications: Windchill provides strong e-mail notification capabilities.
For instance, engineering change notifications can be delivered via e-mail; users can be notified of
required steps via e-mail with links to process steps.
- Business Process Management: The system provides sound business process modeling
and execution capability for routing, approval, and other product lifecycle processes.
- Security: Data access control is associated with roles and users with different
access right options (e.g., create, view, modify, delete, etc.).
Ease of Implementation
- Server: The solution resides on the client's servers. It is also offered through an
on-demand delivery model.
- Setup: As it is a Web-based product, Windchill is easy to install. PTC has developed
role-based training to achieve more efficient training. Classes are offered on the Web, on site, or in one
of the many PTC centers worldwide.
- Configurability: Windchill provides substantial configurability options to users,
whether for user interface configuration, metadata definition, or process design.
- Integration capabilities: The solution allows extensive integration of CAD tools
and other enterprise software solutions; data import and export support popular data format; and enterprise
resource planning (ERP) integration allows for turnkey SAP and Oracle manufacturing integration processes.
- New features: Compared with Windchill 8.0, the 9.0 version provides substantial
enhancements in many functionality areas such as manufacturing process management, project management,
and portfolio management.
- Usability: Windchill 9.0 demonstrates PTC's significant efforts in improving users'
productivity. For instance, the redesigned user interface in change management allows higher performance
in defining engineering change and managing change process.
- ProductPoint: The introduction of Windchill ProductPoint, a Microsoft
SharePoint-based solution for product development, provides the opportunity for smaller organizations
to benefit from PLM, with a familiar user interface and Web 2.0 capabilities for social product development.
Using the TEC Advisor decision support engine, we have prepared a few high-level graphs that identify this
product's functional focus and competitiveness.
The TEC Focus Indicator (FI)
This TEC Focus Indicator (FI) tells you which types of functionality are most likely to differentiate PTC Windchill
from other products in the PLM space. It includes three zones indicating the product's focus: the Dominant
zone, Competitive zone, and Not Competitive zone.
TEC's model of PLM systems is designed with a comprehensive breadth; generally vendors will deliver a
common base of functionality. While we believe in the necessity of knowing whether a product supports a
base of common functionality, it's very helpful to understand how a product really differs from the crowd.
The bars in this FI chart represent neither the quality of the product nor an absolute
quantity of supported functionality. Rather, the bars show support relative to the average solution.
The functional focus arrow indicates which modules of this product provide an equal or greater
quantity of support than the average solution. Modules near the top of the functional focus arrow
reveal where PTC Windchill is more likely to differentiate itself through breadth of functionality.
The more concern you have for the type of functionality near the top of the functional focus, the more
it's to your advantage to explore this product further.
Understanding the TEC FI Zones
The top Overall bar shows the overall difference in supported functionality
between PTC Windchill and the average solution. To understand how we calculate this
difference, read the Calculating the TEC FI section (page 17).
The Overall bar is our measure for determining which modules fall within the Dominant zone.
If a module's difference from the average is greater than the product's overall difference
from the average, we label it dominant. Those are the modules most responsible for pulling the
Overall bar beyond the average.
Modules with values that do not extend beyond the Overall bar but that still provide as
much or more functionality than the average solution, are labeled competitive.
PTC Windchill has three modules located in the Dominant zone: Product Development and
Portfolio Management, Manufacturing Process Management (MPM), and Core PLM for Discrete Industries.
The past few years have seen significant efforts from PTC in enhancing functionality in project
management, portfolio management, and MPM. These efforts might be one of the major reasons behind
PTC's advancement against the average rating scores on the first two modules mentioned above.
Windchill's excellence with respect to the Core PLM for Discrete Industries module is
commendable considering that the average score of this module is the highest amongst all
the seven modules within the comprehensive PLM evaluation model. Due to its long existence
(tracing back to the engineering document management [EDM] and product data management [PDM] era),
the Core PLM for Discrete Industries module is the most mature within the comprehensive PLM evaluation
model. This module also has the least variation among the different PLM solutions we have seen.
More details on the modules in the Dominant zone are available in the Functionality
Benchmark section later in this document.
The area of functional focus within the green Dominant zone indicates two things. First,
it indicates which of the most competitive modules contribute the most pull in raising the product's
score above the average. Second, it indicates where the product has a significantly greater level of
support for functionality than the average solution in this space.
This also may reveal how the vendor has focused its product development. These modules may or
may not make up the bulk or even the core of the functionality within the product, but if you require
more than the average breadth of functionality from these modules, this product will stand a better than
average chance of satisfying your requirements.
PTC has two modules located in the Competitive zone: Regulatory and Compliance, and Core PLM for Process Industries.
PTC's support for the Regulatory and Compliance module is delivered through PTC InSight (as previously noted,
this is the result of the acquisition of Synapsis Technology in December 2008).
Although Windchill receives a higher rating score than the average solution on the Core PLM for Process
Industries module, we need to point out that for users in process manufacturing industries, Windchill may
not be as competitive as the rating score suggests. Due to PTC's industry focus being placed on the discrete
manufacturing sector, Windchill doesn't provide recipe management, which may be a critical functionality for
many users in the process industries.
More details for the modules in the Competitive zone are available in the Functionality Benchmark section.
The area of functional focus within the green Competitive zone indicates where the product has a
level of support for functionality that is somewhat greater or on par with the average solution.
In some cases a module may be considered a commodity within the market: many vendors offer the
majority of the functionality, which makes it difficult to differentiate a product based on breadth
of functionality. In other cases, a vendor may intend its product to compete on a level that satisfies
most customers' requirements for certain modules, with a market focus requiring that it differentiate
itself through other modules.
Not Competitive Zone
In terms of Service Data Management (Discrete) and Ideation and Requirements Management
modules, Windchill is located in the Not Competitive zone. However, this doesn't necessarily mean
that PTC does not provide satisfactory products and services in these two areas. For your specific
needs, we recommend you look at a finer granularity of functionality in accordance with your
More details on the modules in the Not Competitive zone are available in the Functionality
The area in the red Not Competitive zone indicates where the product supports a lesser quantity of
functionality than an average solution. Modules listed in this section are unlikely to be as important
to the vendor's target market as the other modules. It may also be the case that the product is a newer
entrant to the space. If the product has many modules in the Not Competitive zone, this indicates
a more finely scoped target for its functionality than other products, which may be indicative of a
Even if a product has modules in the Not Competitive zone, it may still be entirely capable of
satisfying your requirements for this functionality, particularly if the average solution offers more
functionality than you require. Nevertheless you should be aware that if you require a greater-thanaverage
breadth of functionality from a module in the Not Competitive zone, this product may not
offer all that you require. It's likely that you would need to review the product in more depth to
determine whether its functionality is sufficient.
Calculating the TEC FI
TEC defines an average solution using data about real software products available on the market.
We calculate an average of the capabilities for which vendors have recently provided us with
information and that we've certified. We define these capabilities and assign numeric ratings
representing various levels of support in our models of enterprise software. These models may be
accessed on our publicly available Evaluation Centers. Typically, we use anywhere from a thousand
to several thousand criteria to determine the average scores.
The average solution forms the benchmark from which we calculate the difference in functionality
offered by Windchill. We plot the average solution's capabilities at point zero on the x-axis.
Next, we determine the quantity of functionality supported by Windchill for each module in our
model. We assume that all criteria are equally important. In a real-world situation, of course, you
would give a greater priority to criteria that are more important for your needs. However, for the sake
of the TEC FI analysis, we want to draw conclusions about the product's focus independent of any
users' functional priorities. (Note: If you wish to prioritize and evaluate the product's functionality,
you can do so online in our Evaluation Center.)
We calculate the difference between Windchill and the average solution, and we plot that value as a
positive or negative distance from zero (the average solution's capability). If, for example, Windchill
offers a greater quantity of support for a particular module than found in the average solution, its
line will extend to the right of zero.
It's important to note as well that just because a product has more or less functionality than other
products does not mean it is a good or bad product. To understand whether it will do what you need
it to do, at a price within your budget, you must evaluate the product in depth.
The following functionality benchmark graphs represent Windchill's quantity of support for the
functionality within each module identified in the TEC Focus Indicator. The further the solid line
extends toward the edge of the graph (or, in the case of the initial bar chart, the closer the bar is to
100 percent), the more functionality Windchill supports. For the sake of comparison, you can see
what you might expect from the average solution by referring to the dashed orange line.
About Product Development and Portfolio Management
The Product Development and Portfolio Management module covers the processes for executing
new product development projects and programs. This also covers product portfolio management (PPM),
including the processes for evaluating new and existing products and product portfolios to provide the
most valuable, balanced, and well-aligned portfolio of products.
Windchill scores high above the average on both the Portfolio Management, and Process
and Project Management submodules.
About Manufacturing Process Management (MPM)
The Manufacturing Process Management module addresses the processes associated with
manufacturing engineering, or digital process design, including the design, documentation,
validation, management, and communication of production processes to both internal and external
Although Windchill doesn't provide functionality for the Ergonomic Evaluation and Simulation
submodule, the solution scores well above the average for the other three submodules.
About Core PLM for Discrete Industries
The Core PLM for Discrete Industries module covers the base foundation of PLM for discrete manufacturing
industries. It covers design- and product-related aspects of PLM, including management of material
specifications, product structures, production processes, design tools, document management, and design
Except for the Product Cost Estimation submodule, Windchill provides substantial support to all
submodules. In fact, for many submodules, Windchill provides 100 percent (or very close to 100 percent)
capabilities against TEC's PLM evaluation criteria. As a result, Windchill receives a significantly higher
score in supporting Core PLM for Discrete Industries functionality.
About Regulatory and Compliance
The Regulatory and Compliance module covers the requirements for ensuring that products
and their associated materials comply with both external and internal rules and regulations. It
covers regulatory and requirements needs, as well as product-related components of environmental
health and safety (EH&S).
PTC InSight provides substantial capability (nearly 90 percent) for both Design for Compliance,
and Management of Hazardous and Controlled Substances submodules. The overall score of this module is
well above the average.
About Core PLM for Process Industries
The Core PLM for Process Industries module covers the base foundation of PLM for the process
(or recipe-based) manufacturing industries. It covers design- and product-related aspects of PLM,
including management of material specifications, recipes, formulas, production processes, design tools,
document management, and collaboration.
As we pointed out earlier, Windchill may not be suitable for the process industries due to the lack
of support for Recipe Management and Quality Specification Management. The reason that Windchill scores
higher than the average on this module is mainly because of the common functionality between the Core PLM
for Discrete Industries module and the Core PLM for Process Industries module. However, Windchill can still
be a competitive solution for companies in the process industries if the main purpose of adopting PLM is to
improve plant/asset lifecycle management.
About Service Data Management (Discrete)
The Service Data Management module provides a central repository of product-related information that
covers the lifecycle of the product. The current status of the product and its history are captured
so that all phases of the product's life are visible. Product service data is primarily applicable to
discrete items such as machinery and electronics.
The Functionality Benchmark shows that for some submodules (e.g., Product Identification and Product
As-built Configuration), Windchill provides substantial capabilities and scores higher than the average,
even though the overall score on this module is slightly lower than the average.
About Ideation and Requirements Management
New product ideas and requirements come from many sources. Customers, suppliers, employees, and partners
can be a source of valuable feedback for existing products and ideas for new products. The Ideation and
Requirements Management module covers the ability to capture these ideas and requirements in a central
location so they can be reviewed and scored for consideration in an efficient manner that can lead to
breakthrough product innovations and new sources of intellectual property.
Windchill 9.0 is more capable of managing requirements than supporting the ideation processes.
This certification confirmed Windchill's strengths, as well as identified potential functionality areas for
the solution to become stronger. We are convinced that Windchill, as one of the pioneers of solutions of its
kind, is a comprehensive PLM solution that serves collaboration around product design and development within
the extended enterprise environment for the discrete manufacturing sector. We expect to see further enhancements
in the near future.
Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC) provides insight and expertise in offering impartial resources
and services to minimize the costs, risks, and time associated with software selection. Over 3.5
million technology decision makers visit TEC's Web sites each month to find information on hundreds
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and analyst data assist with the evaluation, comparison, and selection of enterprise solutions and services.
TEC's offerings include in-depth research, detailed product information, and software selection services for
any industry or company size.
Technology Evaluation Centers Inc.
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Canada, H3C 1L5
Phone: +1 514-954-3665, ext. 404
Fax: +1 514-954-9739
Web site: www.technologyevaluation.com