Breaking down barriers to collaboration, they say
Aras does PLM, something that we don't usually cover, but here we are. It's Release 11 that's being announced today, which is interesting in that the cloud promises to eliminate release numbers -- a bad thing in my mind. Anyhow, we are just waiting for everyone to show up and'll get started in a few minutes.
Doug MacDonald is hosting the event as product marketing director, along with John Sperling, vp of product management. Today's agenda. Remember to press F5 to refresh this page.
Who is Aras?
500 customers of their PLM (product lifecycle management) software in areas like automotive, industrial machinery, and consumer goods. Here is what their software consists of:
Their unique take on PLM is model-based SOA and SaaS business model. What does this mean? I trust we will find out soon from this Webinar!
Aras software has been proven to handle 250,000 concurrent users.
Trends in the industry:
- Complexity of products is increasing
- Global environment is changing, providing disruptions of the status quo and new opportunities
- The needs of businesses are changing
Also, mechanical design is taking on more electrical components, like the hybrid transmission we are being shown. It is a traditional vehicle transmission that also contains an electric motor, which provides a power boost, but also recharges the battery.
Sounding like Autodesk, Aras says that traditional PLM is failing. It suffers from
- Fragmented architecture and proprietary formats
- Inflexible data models
- Old forms of licensing
- Unpredictable costs and time scales, putting projects at risk
Instead, Aras has model-based SOA [service oriented architecture] and SaaS [software as a service] subscription model to adapt to businesses more readily and cost less. Aras says its architecture is unique, and looks like this:
The exclusive from Aras is how they handle upgrades: even customer-written add-ons are upgraded by Aras, to ensure that the entire system works with the latest release. No other PLM does this. US Army has been using it for 14 years now, and all their add-ons work today, no matter how old. [Here's looking at you, Dassault - Ed.]
All data is stored in one location, even models and ECOs [engineering change orders]. No upfront software license cost means everyone can access Ares as a full user.
Aras Innovator V11
New in V11 is visual collaboration, a standards-based view and markup service, with social discussions. It does not require native apps to access data files. It works with tablets.
Other PLM systems are focused on 3D primarily, and lock in customers with proprietary formats. Access is limited because extra fees are charged.
Oh, and here is screen grab of what the Aras Innovator software looks like:
The new "social media" element is seen on the right of the top dialog box. And here is a screen grab of the tablet version, called Flow. It looks to us like it is running on a Windows 8 tablet:
Q: What is the viewer you are using?
A: PDF is the universal file format used by Aras Innovator. It uses Mozilla.js viewer for standard PDFs. For 3D PDFs, they are using the HOOPS viewer from TechSoft3D. A third one is for direct image file viewing, just as TIFF and JPEG. Everything is HTML5, and so works in browsers without plug-ins.
[None of my questions were answered:
- Q: What happens to customer's data files, like CAD drawings. Are they kept in a proprietary database, or can the customer easily keep them, should they decide to discard Aras?
- Q: How much does Aras cost?
- Q: Is Flow for Android, iOS, or both?]