MatrixOne Offers "PLM for Everybody"

New features in Matrix 10 tackle challenges of globalization, time-to-market and collaboration

Westford, MA — May 19, 2003 — MatrixOne rolled out the latest version of its flagship product lifecycle management (PLM) solution, adding new features designed to address such challenges as product data management, globalization, time-to-market and supplier collaboration.

The new iteration of the PLM solution, dubbed Matrix 10, addresses what MatrixOne said have been specific issues facing its clients, including product complexity and variants that are increasing exponentially, rapidly decreasing product lifecycles, overcapacity and price pressure, the need to manage change with global supply chains and the growing requirement to reuse existing components, designs, physical assets and knowledge.

In this environment, MatrixOne believes that PLM is the tool that can help companies optimize their business practices and leverage their value chain to capitalize on business opportunities, and the provider has worked with customers such as Procter & Gamble, General Electric, Honda and John Deere to develop the new features in version 10, which the provider said was two-and-a-half years in the making.

Matrix 10 is comprised of four primary components, including the Matrix PLM Platform, the solution's architectural backbone; Collaborative Applications, which comprises the solution's productivity applications; Lifecycle Applications, which holds the solution's PLM process applications; and PLM Modeling Studio, which includes system configuration tools.

Upgrades in the PLM Platform include compiled schemas designed to optimize performance for very large-scale databases, enhanced LDAP integration and advanced content replication to support large number of users distributed design centers. John Fleming, senior vice president of marketing for MatrixOne, said the solution could support greater than 24,000 concurrent users.

The platform provides a common integration framework across a range of authoring and design tools, including MCAD, ECAD and office productivity applications. The platform also includes XML communications capabilities to integrate with other enterprise systems.

The Collaborative Applications include new capabilities to help geographically dispersed teams to stay connected through access to real-time information and to work together on programs, projects and deliverables. Among the applications, the new version of Team Central provides improved capabilities for ad-hoc workgroups, including workspace templates, nested user-defined workflows and new meeting management capabilities.

The latest Program Central includes new capabilities to manage projects and Six Sigma programs, including business goal alignment, critical-to-quality management, enhanced risk and project assessment capabilities, project schedule base lining, cross-project task dependencies and bi-directional Microsoft Project integration. And Document Central provides new security models, visual clues to improve navigation of large libraries and improved context searching.

Fleming said that MatrixOne had worked with G.E. to develop new capabilities in the Collaborative Applications for globally dispersed development teams working on extensive project portfolios.

The Lifecycle Applications include interoperable applications for product planning, product development, product sourcing and manufacturing enablement. New in the lifecycle lineup is Product Central, a solution that allows users to define products, features and configuration options based on specific customer and market requirements.

The existing Engineering Central application now supports manufacturer-equivalent parts, responsible design organizations, bill-of-materials (BOM) editing capabilities and extended change management capabilities. And the new Specification Central, developed as a result of the best practices and industry expertise provided by Procter & Gamble, is designed to let companies standardize the specification creation processes associated with products, packaging, raw materials and components.

Sourcing Central offers improved pricing optimization with multi-period net present value calculations, dynamic unit price definition and request-for-quote line item roll-up analysis.

The updated Supplier Central application provides improved design collaboration capabilities between suppliers and part quality and design engineers, including improved engineering change request (ECR) submission and review processes. MatrixOne worked with John Deere on capabilities to involve suppliers much earlier in the design process, according to Fleming.

Finally, new capabilities in the PLM Modeling Studio include the ability to configure the user experience through its dynamic user interface modeling tools.

Summing up MatrixOne's roadmap for its product lifecycle management suite, Fleming said that the provider is pursuing a strategy of making available a set of tools that can involve in the product development lifecycle all the stakeholders rather than just the engineering and product planning functions. "We believe it's about PLM for everybody," Fleming concluded.

Matrix10 is available immediately. Product Central and Specification Central, the new applications being offered as part of Matrix10, will have limited availability by June and will be generally available in September.