Product Lifecycle Management


The Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, the Participation Economy, social media. These industry trends are all transforming how companies design, make and sell products. And whether you’re a fledgling startup or a Fortune 500, Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software can now help your business in many different ways.

While the term “Product Lifecycle Management” was coined in the 1990s, newer cloud PLM software is finally starting to fulfill the initial promise and vision of PLM - managing the entire lifecycle of a product for everyone involved. While older PLM software helped engineers with the design, development and manufacture of hardware, new PLM software, especially cloud PLM software, can now help companies manage software, sales data, marketing launches, customer adoption, and field service - factors that are critical to product success in the market.

When used more broadly across a company, PLM software can help companies increase customer transparency, improve customer retention, boost product quality, and increase channel sales.

Modern cloud PLM software offers advantages over traditional on-premise PLM software:

  • Faster to deploy
  • Lower total cost of ownership (TCO)
  • Easier to use
  • Simpler to engage customers, partners and suppliers
  • Higher flexibility and adaptability to changing business needs
  • Increased scalability and reliability

Cloud PLM software offers new type of capabilities that expand how PLM can be used across a company:

  • Secure collaboration with team members, customers, partners and suppliers
  • Capturing information for the entire product, including hardware, services, sales data and marketing collateral
  • Tracking product, project and customer information together
  • Easy creation of dashboards and reports
  • Support on any mobile device


Looking for more information on cloud PLM? Check out these resources.


What is PLM?

The term Product Lifecycle Management or PLM was coined almost 30 years ago. And while PLM includes the word “lifecycle,” many traditional PLM software vendors focus primarily on the earlier stages of hardware development - specifically product design and the handoff to manufacturing. 

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Cloud PLM software has existed for over a decade, and has taken the traditional on-premises PLM approach but placing it on a Software as a Service (SaaS) infrastructure. Companies like Arena, Autodesk and Omnify are all early examples of SaaS PLM. Newer companies such as Propel are developing a new type of SaaS PLM software.

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