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PTC’s Acquisition of Atego: The Importance of Systems Engineering
Reid Paquin, Aberdeen Group
JUN 23, 2014 01:10 AM
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Yesterday I was one of a few Aberdeen Analysts that attended PTC Live 2014. As Kevin Prouty highlighted yesterday, there was a huge focus on the Internet of Things (IoT). In fact, IoT was injected into almost every presentation and break out session; not surprising given the recent acquisition of ThingWorx, PTC’s new IoT and M2M platform. However, there was another acquisition that was announced in Jim Heppelmann’s keynote address that deserves more fanfare – PTC’s acquisition of the systems engineering company Atego.

Atego is a model based systems engineering solution that aims to increase collaboration among distributed design teams and provide earlier validation of these complex systems. In my most recent report on systems engineering, I found that Best-in-Class companies are 122% more likely than competitors to have a strategy to improve their ability to predict system behavior prior to testing. Early validation is crucial in today’s design world where constantly changing customer needs and time-to-market goals are driving the business.

For the Internet of Things to work, you need smart, connected products talking to one another. However, these smart, connected products or “Things” add complexity and are a real challenge for most companies to design and manufacture. In fact, Aberdeen has found that product complexity almost doubled in the past four years, with 51% reporting that increasing complexity is a challenge in 2014. This means it is not only the top system engineering challenge in 2014, but it is also significantly more difficult today than ever before, growing from just 27% of respondents in 2009.

Sure the Internet of Things has the potential to change how companies think about product development, manufacturing, and service. But there is a reason why systems engineering had the same amount of questions as IoT during the executive Q&A at the end of day one – you can’t lose sight on what makes the IoT possible: effective systems engineering.

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