Accelerating Product Lifecycle Management

Agile says new apps extend PLM to engineering organizations, speed development cycles

San Jose, CA  August 6, 2002  Agile Software today took the wraps off two new enterprise application: an engineering suite designed to extend product lifecycle management to the engineering organization and a program management application suite intended to help global enterprises manage their design, development and manufacturing programs.

Agile asserted that in today's highly competitive product development environment, the engineering organization needs to effectively manage the design processes to ensure that products are delivered on time and meet cost targets. As product profit cycles shrink, the design and development processes must be managed effectively and tightly integrated with downstream processes, which is critical to product profitability.

The provider said its Engineering Suite provides tight program management, real-time design collaboration among internal design teams and with external customers and suppliers, effective release-to-manufacturing transitions, and the ability to interact with rich product data directly from within native engineering applications.

With the addition of the engineering suite to Agile's enterprise application platform, the solution provider said enterprises now should able to fully address every facet of product lifecycle management  by business processes within and across enterprises, by product lifecycle stage and by organization  with a single comprehensive platform.

Meanwhile, Agile today also launched Program Execution, an enterprise program management application suite and a part of the Agile8 enterprise application platform.

Agile said Program Execution enables global enterprises to manage their design, development and manufacturing programs. The suite is intended to allow companies to rapidly launch products, improve the costs and quality of existing products and manage extended supply chains.

Technology consultancy AMR Research has reported that as product profit cycles shrink, companies that do not effectively manage their new product introduction (NPI) process can be up to 56 percent later to market, while research firm PRTM has said that such firms have up to 26 percent lower product profit margins than companies with well-managed programs. Agile believes that companies can use Program Execution to update deliverables, track resources, relate issues and action items and associate engineering changes to schedules, thus more tightly managing their product programs to specific time, profit and quality targets.

The provider said Program Execution addresses critical needs from basic task and deliverable management to complex resource management. Agile has also embedded program templates specifically tailored for the electronics, medical device, automotive and semiconductor industries. The integration of program status and product information enables management in various market segments to identify, analyze and mitigate risks associated with new product development programs, product cost initiatives and product quality improvement programs, according to Agile.

"Managing all product lifecycle management projects and linking them to the organization's business processes is a hectic balancing act," said Colleen Walford, director of engineering data management at Agile customer Iomega. "Program Execution provides one environment in which to manage key program information including tasks, deliverables, issues, discussion threads and product data. This Agile offering is a highly relevant solution for global enterprises that are looking for best practices program execution."