Aras Corporation: Re-platforming for Innovation

Peter Schroer Founder & CEO
“I’ve spent the last 30 years in engineering and manufacturing, and there’s one thing I know for sure—new product development, manufacturing and supply chain processes have never moved faster or been more complex than they are right now. And that complexity is increasing while the rate of change accelerates every day,” notes Peter Schroer, Founder and CEO, Aras Corporation, a Microsoft global ISV partner that provides enterprise product lifecycle management software.

Design, manufacturing and support are 24/7/365 operations, which involve a global network of employees, suppliers and outsourcing partners. At the same time, competition is fierce and customers have become more sophisticated, demanding and impatient. The problem that most companies face with their current systems is that they can barely keep up with the demands they face today, let alone the ones that are just around the corner. “It’s not their fault. They’re doing the best they can with the systems they have, especially for product lifecycle management (PLM). Unfortunately, the PLM systems they have were never designed to handle these levels of complexity or rates of change,” says Schroer. enable global supply chain access, provide systems engineering functionality, make social and mobile a reality, and probably provide some form of cloud or hybrid cloud capabilities.

As Schroer wisely puts it, “The fact is that you can’t build tomorrow’s products on yesterday’s technology,” most of those PLM systems were built 15 or 20 years ago and the providers have been “developing” them through acquisition. The result is a mismatch of hardcoded legacy systems that were never designed to work together, having a hodgepodge of different technologies under the covers, which neither scale at the global level, nor take advantage of the latest Microsoft platform advancements, and can’t be upgraded without a multi-year project, ultimately costing a fortune to customize and maintain.

Thus, in order to be successful, IDC, the research and advisory firm says that companies need a flexible, scalable and resilient product innovation platform that can handle today’s complexity and adapt quickly to address tomorrow’s accelerating pace of change. “As global companies extend their PLM backbone through the organization and across the supply chain, performance at scale becomes critical for effective collaboration,” says Robert Parker, group Vice President at IDC.


If your current PLM/PDM cannot scale to manage today’s complexity or change fast enough to keep up with the demands of the business, then continuing with the status quo risks tomorrow’s competitiveness. The world is moving too fast


A Different Approach

It is believed that on an average, if companies develop products on more than three continents, indulge in designing systems that integrate electronics and software, and ensure that their supply chain is taking on greater design authority, then they have a definitive set of real-time challenges to face, which keeps getting bigger every day.

Moving forward, these companies need to control CAD design and ALM processes together, manage more complex bills of material, bring data together from numerous enterprise systems, securely
Instead of piecemeal PLM systems that rely on a myriad of different legacy technologies and only address part of the problem, businesses are in need of a single, modern PLM platform that has the flexibility to change;

• To manage the complexity that comes with designing the next generation of aircraft, electronics and life sciences technologies;
• Assure global regulatory compliance and protect critical intellectual property;
• Deliver performance when tens of thousands of suppliers are working in the system at the same time; and
• Guarantee upgrades regardless of the numerous customizations done to support business processes.

You Have Options

Quoting from a company’s perspective Schroer says, “By now companies would be probably thinking—but we’ve spent millions over the past decade on our current system. We can’t rip it out now even if it only gives us half of what we need.”

But this is exactly the point the CEO is trying to bring out in open—taking a different approach that doesn’t necessarily compel companies to start over from scratch as they now have plenty of options. By using today’s powerful, light weight technologies companies can:

Complement & Extend- Keep what works and federate to securely add new functionality without the rip and replace method that legacy vendors require.

Replatform Incrementally - Modernize specific divisions to retire the old legacy systems over-time on their schedule.

“If your current PLM/PDM cannot scale to manage today’s complexity or change fast enough to keep up with the demands of the business, then continuing with the status quo risks tomorrow’s competitiveness. The world is moving too fast,” notes Schroer.

Together with Microsoft, Aras is enabling processes to continually adapt and scale to make ‘Big Data’ accessible and understandable. “Our solutions are designed to be highly scalable and resilient so you can customize our full suite of solutions and we keep you current with guaranteed upgrades no matter how much you customize. You can take advantage of the latest Microsoft products to gain new capabilities, which helps you transform your global product development operations to drive innovation,” says Schroer.

The future is coming fast and there is a definite need for PLM platform that can support the needs of today and can handle the challenges that companies are implied to face tomorrow.

SCALABILITY SPOTLIGHT

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software has become increasingly important for enterprises that conduct global product development with suppliers worldwide and manufacture at multiple locations.

To address the new level of scalability required, Aras has introduced Aras Innovator 10 enabled on Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Enterprise Edition, to provide greater PLM platform scalability than ever for enterprises with a significant number of PLM users.

Aras Innovator 10 is based on an innovative web architecture, which scales up and scales out, and was designed specifically for large, distributed enterprise scenarios.

Independent benchmark testing conducted by Logic 20/20 validates that Aras Innovator 10 on SQL Server 2014 Enterprise Edition, scales to 1,000,000 named users with 250,000 concurrent users while maintaining excellent performance on standard server configurations.

Company
Aras

Headquarters
Andover, MA

Management
Peter Schroer Founder & CEO

Description
Microsoft global ISV partner that provides enterprise product lifecycle management software