Aspen Technology Signs Pact with PWC

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Aspen Technology Signs Pact with PWC
S. McVey - December 17th, 1999

Event Summary

Aspen Technology, Inc. recently announced a strategic alliance with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP to implement Aspentech solutions in the refining, petrochemicals, chemicals, polymers, life sciences and specialty chemicals, semiconductor, and consumer packaged goods industries. The partners expect to leverage PWC's implementation expertise for use in integrating data from Aspen's control-level applications to ERP systems.

Market Impact

This is a good move for Aspen, which has lacked a top tier integration partner for its supply chain management and process monitoring and control applications. Although Aspen boasts over 50 integration partners worldwide, these are primarily small, niche players that focus selectively on: a particular technology, such as information and control systems; an industry, such as steelmaking; or a narrow part of the globe. It makes sense for Aspen to seek alliances with large management consulting firms for two reasons. First, top tier firms like those in the Big Five can offer much that smaller firms cannot: large, diverse client bases; large capital reserves for funding initiatives and sponsorships; and well-developed, global networks of vendors that enhance potential for collaboration. Second, Aspen needs to develop such relationships if it plans to be successful in supply chain management, a marketplace that relies heavily on the strategic services offered by large management consulting firms. Finally, Aspen can use PWC's experience in understanding client's needs as a way to hone its ungainly product offering. PWC also stands to benefit from the alliance, as it may reveal new opportunities to extend its implementation management services to include process simulation and control system projects, overseeing Apentech's technically competent staff.

User Recommendations

There is no need for existing users to drop their current Aspen integration/maintenance partner, unless they are unsatisfied with its services. Prospective users should view the relationship favorably. The combination of PWC's management practices with Aspen's product technology and expertise should in time result in smoother, lower risk implementations. More importantly, the arrangement can help companies build a bridge between the data gathered from the process floor and its business execution systems. The downside is that PWC's involvement is likely to significantly increase support fees.

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