PTC Acquires Axeda, Gets Deeper into IoT

PTC has announced its intention to acquire Axeda, a pioneer in the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) solutions that securely connect machines and sensors to the cloud. Axeda, for which PTC forked out about $170 million, has approximately 160 employees located primarily in the United States. Its innovative technology, extensive customer base (about 150 companies processing hundreds of millions of machine messages daily across multiple industry sectors), and notable partnerships directly complement the PTC ThingWorx business (acquired in late 2013).
This acquisition signals PTC’s commitment to becoming one of the premier technology players in the IoT market, i.e., a smart, connected world. PTC intends to leverage the Axeda technology portfolio to complement its existing ThingWorx rapid application development platform and its existing service lifecycle management (SLM) and product lifecycle management (PLM) solution portfolio. Axeda’s strengths of IoT connectivity and device management combined with the ThingWorx IoT rapid application development tools will enrich PTC’s IoT technology stack.
Axeda has a broad partner ecosystem that includes leading mobile network operators, edge device and design-in device makers, systems integrators, and business systems/analytics providers. In addition, it has several strategic OEM agreements with leading IoT technology and solution providers, such as Former MCA Solutions, for spare parts planning, (acquired by Servigistics before PTC acquired it), also had a remote diagnostics partnership with Axeda a while back.
Core to Axeda's IoT technology is the ability to enable companies to establish secure connectivity and remotely monitor and manage a wide range of machines, sensors, and devices. The Axeda Machine Cloud Service includes machine-to-machine (M2M) and IoT connectivity services, software agents, and toolkits that enable companies to connect their products to the cloud using virtually any communication channel (e.g., cellular networks, the Internet, WiFi, or satellite). In addition, the Axeda Connected Machine Management application set enables companies to remotely monitor and service products, including the ability to deliver over-the-air software updates.
PTC's customers are nowadays developing increasingly smart and connected products, which can generate value in new ways as streams of real-time operational data are captured, analyzed, and shared to deepen a company's understanding of its products' performance, use, and reliability. This remote diagnostics acquisition makes great sense for PTC—if one can sense an issue or trend, remote diagnostics can eliminate the need to travel or waste time on an endless support phone call. Many consumers and businesses hope that Comcast and other cable and telecom companies adopt this approach soon.
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