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Parametric Technology Chills Out With Windchill Info*Engine V4

Written By: M. Reed
Published On: May 23 2000

Parametric Technology Chills Out With Windchill Info*Engine V4
M. Reed - May 23, 2000

Event Summary

PTC (NASDAQ: PMTC), a provider of what they refer to as "collaborative product commerce (CPC) solutions", today announced Windchill Info*Engine Release 4.0 that is said to further broaden its capabilities in integrating data from varied information systems for Web-based collaboration.

Windchill Info*Engine is designed to allow companies to deploy B2B collaboration portals that streamline business processes and accelerate the global introduction of new products. Windchill Info*Engine-based portals are browser-based composite applications that display, and allow modification of, information in multiple disparate information systems without having to change the underlying information systems.

Windchill Info*Engine Release 4.0, released earlier this year, is 100% Web-based, using industry standard Web servers, Java technology and XML to deliver platform independence, global language support, enhanced performance, and scalability. This allows the solution to integrate and scale within a company's Internet IT infrastructure, hopefully reducing deployment and maintenance costs. Windchill Info*Engine is now available on Windows NT and Solaris, HP/UX, and other popular UNIX operating systems.

"Windchill Info*Engine Release 4.0 builds on its past great success and represents the next generation B2B enterprise application integration solution," said James P. Baum, executive vice president and general manager, Windchill at PTC. "The shift to a pure-Java architecture enables Web-centric, platform-neutral, and scalable applications while the utilization of XML technology allows for application and platform-neutral data representation. These advancements allow PTC to deliver on customer requirements for Windows NT and European and Asian language support, and makes Windchill Info*Engine the clear choice for companies who want to realize the vision and benefits of collaborative product commerce."

Market Impact

Under the terms of the acquisition, shares of Parametric Technology common stock and cash with an aggregate value of approximately $79 million were exchanged for all outstanding common and preferred shares of Auxilium. In addition, all outstanding Auxilium stock options will be exchanged for PTC stock options. Parametric Technology recorded a one-time, non-cash charge against earnings during its first 1999 fiscal quarter (ending April 3, 1999) related to the write-off of in-process research and development.

PTC has also announced an alliance with SupplierMarket.com for a Business-to-Business portal dedicated to the "CPC" market, hosted on Sun Microsystems technology. According to Dick Harrison, PTC president and CEO, "PTC is dedicated to delivering the sophisticated portal offerings required to support global B2B collaboration and procurement for direct materials and services."

XML-based applications for business-to-business e-commerce are the rage in the industry right now. TEC expects that Parametric will make inroads in the B2B market space with this announcement, but the question will remain as to how tightly the product has been integrated, and how many of the key developers remained after the acquisition of Auxilium by Parametric.

User Recommendations

Customers investigating B2B e-commerce solutions should include PTC on at least a long list of vendors to be considered for enterprise application integration solutions. Other vendors that should be considered include Active Software, Extricity Software, STC (Software Technologies), Tibco, TSI (Mercator), and Vitria Technology. Many customers have acquired Auxilium's technology (examples are Boeing and Ford), and should be requested as reference sites for any contemplated implementations. In the B2B market space, other vendors that should be considered are Ariba, Commerce One, and applications companies such as Broadvision.

 
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