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PTC Windchill: PLM technology that's a breeze to use

PTC Windchill is PLM technology designed for Internet of Things connectivity and data gathering. It's designed to be easy to use and deploy in the cloud or on premises.

PTC Windchill 11 is product lifecycle management (PLM) software that is designed for Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity and information collection. The product covers elements of IoT like machine performance, analyses of field data to detect or predict failures, root-cause analysis, and corrective and preventive measures. To do this, PTC Windchill delivers high levels of connectivity and process improvement across the entire, closed-loop product lifecycle that encompass human-to-human, human-to-machine and machine-to-machine interactions, according to PTC. It is available in the cloud and on premises. The on-premises system runs on VMware and HP hardware.

PTC Windchill covers the entire product lifecycle, from inception and design through manufacturing and maintenance. It has a single data repository, and PTC claims it is easy to use by non-engineering personnel. In fact, 70% of PTC's users are outside of engineering.

The latest version of the system, PTC Windchill 11, was announced in November 2015.

Features delivered in PTC Windchill 11 include the capture and analysis of data in the field for purposes of detecting failures faster. It also provides requirements traceability that defines and manages connections between system-level requirements and product design with new links between PTC Windchill and PTC Integrity, a systems engineering and application lifecycle management program that can help accelerate product innovation. PTC Windchill 11 also comes with enhanced data collection about its own performance, issuing alerts about abnormal system conditions and helping to ensure that system functions remain compliant through product lifecycle management.

Other significant enhancements in PTC Windchill 11 are:

  • Role-based apps that offer instant access to relevant product information based on who you are and what you need to accomplish.
  • New PTC Windchill multifaceted search capabilities designed to quickly filter and find specific product information.
  • The incorporation of Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration standards, which can enable greater collaboration and connection to other systems.
  • The capture of real-time IoT data generated during the operation of physical products.

Major releases of PTC Windchill are typically delivered annually, with release enhancements continuously delivered throughout the year.

PTC Windchill is used by more than 1.5 million users around the world to manage and optimize their product development and lifecycle processes. The product can be found in small to midsized businesses and also in multinational, global companies.

System deployment options are flexible and range from cloud-based software as a service to on premises. Deployment services are offered through PTC's Global Services organization or through a network of consulting and value-added partners. PTC Windchill 11 is adaptable to both large enterprises and small to medium-sized businesses, according to the vendor.

The system is sold directly by PTC, as well as by its business partner network. The cloud version of PTC Windchill is priced on a per subscription basis. On-premises PTC Windchill licensing and pricing varies.

PTC Windchill buyers have a choice of three support options. Beginning in January 2016, all of these support options will include the Performance Advisor for PTC Windchill, which is powered by PTC's ThingWorx IoT, a dashboard that provides operational insight into the hardware and software performance of PTC Windchill installations and can help optimize system performance and increase the productivity of end users.

The entry level of PTC Windchill product support is Gold, which delivers the Performance Advisor, but also 24/5 help desk support, 24/7 availability for the PTC Knowledgebase and downloads of new software and maintenance releases, proactive support alerts and service-level agreements (SLAs) of one hour for enterprise downtime and two hours for support response time. Goldplus support offers all of these options, but increases support desk availability to 24/7, and strengthens SLAs to 30 minutes for enterprise downtime and one hour for support response time. Goldplus also includes two free planned weekend support commitments. The top-tier support package, Platinum, offers all of the options that Goldplus does, but adds to these a dedicated technical support account manager, more weekend and extended support, and a total of six days on-site support.

PTC does not offer a free trial version of the product.

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