the race for the pole position in the still evolving, moving-target product
lifecycle management (PLM) market started several years ago, two notable players
have recently decided to leapfrog the competition by joining complementary forces.
Namely, early in August, Agile Software Corporation (NASDAQ:
AGIL), a San Jose, CA-based provider of PLM solutions with historical strength
in the high-tech and electronics industries, announced it has entered into a
definitive agreement to acquire, Eigner (www.eigner.com
), a German provider of PLM solutions to the automotive, industrial equipment,
aerospace and defense (A&D) industries, for an undisclosed consideration comprised
of stock and cash. Agile and Eigner expect to complete the acquisition as quickly
as possible. Agile hopes that the addition of Eigner's industry expertise in
automotive supply chain, industrial machinery, and aerospace and defense to
Agile's capabilities in life sciences, consumer products, electronics, and high
technology, will makes the combined company a dominant player across all key
discrete manufacturing verticals, and will help the company fully recover from
the slump it has been in for some time.
Other recent Agile announcements include:
Quarterly financial results
Acquisition of certain customer assets and the intellectual property of privately-held
MS2, Inc., a provider of the product portfolio management
solution, MS2 Accelerate
Completion of the acquisition of ProductFactory, Inc., another
product portfolio management company
Completion of the acquisition of oneREV, Inc. of Cupertino,
CA, which added important enabling technology that should benefit Agile's
customers by speeding the exchange of information between Agile systems and
external information sources
Launch of Agile MD, a PLM solution designed specifically
for the medical device industry in their aim of accelerating time to market,
reducing operating and direct material costs, and ensuring regulatory compliance
General availability of Agile Product Cost Management 8.5.
Two weeks after the Eigner announcement, on August 19, Agile Software announced somewhat improved results for the first quarter of fiscal 2004, which ended July 31, 2003. Total revenues for the quarter were $18.3 million, a 14 percent increase compared to $16.0 million for Q1 2003, while license revenues were $7.4 million, which is a 7 percent increase compared to $6.9 million a year ago. Net loss for Q1 2004, on a generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) basis, was still $2.7 million, albeit much less compared to $12.3 million for Q1 2003.
a private company founded in 1985 in Karlsruhe, Germany, is now headquartered
in Waltham, MA. It serves over 250 customers including Lockheed Martin,
Magna Steyr, Siemens, Varian,
and ZF. Agile, with over 850 customers around the world, is
a leading provider of PLM solutions to the electronics, high technology, life
sciences, and consumer product goods (CPG) industries. Agile customers include
Dell, Flextronics, GlaxoSmithKline,
Hitachi, Johnson & Johnson, Leapfrog,
Microsoft, and QUALCOMM.
Eigner's acquisition is the fourth one for Agile this year, but definitely the most notable in terms of functional footprint expansion for Agile. Interesting to note would also be that all four acquired companies were privately held and the terms of the transactions were not made public.
is Part One of a three-part note.
Two will discuss the Market Impact.
Three will detail the Challenges and make User Recommendations.
June, Agile announced the acquisition of certain customer assets and intellectual
property of privately-held MS2, Inc., provider of the product
portfolio management solution, MS2 Accelerate. The acquisition
further built upon Agile's product portfolio management offering, Agile
Program Execution, and Agile pledged to continue to support MS2 Accelerate
customers, and offer a migration path for customers to Agile Program Execution.
Launched in 1998, MS2 Accelerate integrated portfolio management with product
development initiatives and financial information to provide an objective framework
for evaluating programs and resource optimization, enabling companies to develop
and deliver products faster. Customers common to Agile and MS2 include Aspect
Communications, Brooks Automation, and Lucent.
at the beginning of April, Agile announced that it has completed the acquisition
of ProductFactory, Inc., another product portfolio management
company, which initially reinforced Agile's investment and commitment to its
product portfolio management offering. Agile also then named ProductFactory's
CEO, Edward Fields, senior vice president of marketing. Founded in 1999, ProductFactory
had been helping companies do more with less by delivering phase-gate portfolio
management solutions to the aerospace, automotive and high-tech industries.
Prior to the acquisition, Agile licensed the ProductFactory solution in June
2002 to extend Agile's PLM footprint from concept to end-of-life with a comprehensive
expansion of Agile's product record, quality, and cost management solutions.
at the end of January, Agile announced that it has completed the acquisition
of oneREV, Inc. of Cupertino, CA, which added important enabling
technology that should benefit Agile's customers by speeding the exchange of
information between Agile systems and external information sources, including
information from supply chain partners, from customers' internally maintained
information warehouses, or from external supplier catalogs. The increasing pace
of product innovation, combined with a move toward outsourced manufacturing,
means that manufacturing companies have become increasingly involved in complex
product networks to meet changing market demands. This expanding supplier network
depends on a constant flow of product information, with information communicated
in dozens, and sometimes even hundreds of data formats and reflecting a variety
of information systems and component naming conventions.
When Agile looked at problems around product records when companies exchange information, as well as when products move around inside an organization, what it has found was a significant problem around semantics, with different companies using different naming conventions, schemas and standards for product definitions. To that end, oneREV's technology is meant to address the tricky and critical problem of mapping semantics across different systems. What oneREV provides is technology that maps component data from one supply partner, for example, to another, as well as a means to apply automated information.
has also never abandoned in-house development. Quite the contrary, during past
two years, Agile has invested about $20 million into its Agile PLM
platform, as the country-specific software was developed in India, China, and
the US, with offshore initiatives dating back to 1996. The Eigner acquisition
should now add a European center to the existing Agile repertoire.
July, Agile announced the launch of agileMD, a PLM solution
designed specifically for the medical device industry in their aim of accelerating
time to market, reducing operating and direct material costs, and ensuring regulatory
compliance, such as satisfying FDA requirements for closed-loop, corrective
action/preventative action (CAPA) management and Compliance with FDA Title 21
CFR Part 11, which prescribes the accepted use of electronic records and signatures.
The agileMD solution entails:
Agile's PLM solution for managing the medical device product record from research
and development, clinical trials, regulatory approval, new product introduction
(NPI), market acceptance, to product phase-out.
Medical device best practices templates that should deliver fast time to value.
Validation Protocol Packs aimed at reducing the time and cost to validate
an instance of agileMD.
MEDSIG, Agile's Medical Industry Special Interest Group, that brings together
professionals and thought leaders from across the industry to drive future
Agile's Quality Assurance Program that provides customers with the confidence
that their solutions exceed the industry standards for quality and compliance.
Agile's Guaranteed Business Results Program that ensures customer expectations,
milestones, and measurable results are achieved.
A partner ecosystem for agileMD, which brings together best of breed partners,
including Deloitte Consulting, Adobe, PeopleSoft,
and J.D. Edwards, to deliver complementary solutions, solid
integrations, consulting, and validation services.
Product Cost Management 8.5
but not least, in February, Agile announced the general availability of Agile
Product Cost Management 8.5. Agile touts the product is unique among
direct materials sourcing solutions in two ways: 1) it is the only such solution
to integrate to the product record, and 2) it is the only direct materials sourcing
offering which provides cost management visibility across a multi-tiered supply
chain. Integration of direct materials sourcing functionality and the product
record supposedly enables Agile customers to gain early visibility into new
designs, integrate sourcing processes with design operations, and effectively
leverage the product record throughout the product life cycle. Multi-tier supplier
cost management should provide customers with the ability to expose risks and
better manage costs within their extended supplier network. Cost management
is becoming an important issue in PLM, with many vendors offering only rudimentary
concludes Part One of a three-part note.
Two will discuss the market impact.
Part Three will detail challenges and make user recommendations.
About the Authors
Jakovljevic is a research director with Technology Evaluation Centers,
Inc. (TEC), with a focus on the enterprise applications market. He has over
fifteen years of manufacturing industry experience, including several years
as a power user of IT/ERP, as well as being a consultant/implementer and market
analyst. He holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University
of Belgrade, Yugoslavia, and he has also been certified in production and inventory
management (CPIM) and in integrated resources management (CIRM) by APICS.
Brown has over fifteen years of experience in management consulting
and application software focused on the manufacturing industries. Jim
is a recognized expert in software solutions for manufacturing and has broad
experience in applying enterprise applications such as Product Lifecycle Management,
Supply Chain Management, ERP and CRM to improve business performance. Jim
is a frequent author and speaker on applying software technology to achieve
tangible business benefits. Jim can be reached at email@example.com