Arena Beefs up Integration Capabilities, Security in Latest PLM Release

Adds out-of-the-box integration with ERP, CAD, EDA apps; IP-based access control to help protect intellectual property

Adds out-of-the-box integration with ERP, CAD, EDA apps; IP-based access control to help protect intellectual property

Foster City, CA  June 8, 2006  On-demand product lifecycle management specialist Arena Solutions has released the latest version of its flagship PLM offering, adding features intended to simplify integration, improve security and beef up the end user experience.

Integration Update

With the Spring 06 release, Arena said that it has added a new integration layer into its PLM application that enables simplified integration with today's most common enterprise resource planning (ERP), computer aided design (CAD) and electronic design automation (EDA) applications, including products from Oracle, Microsoft, Expandable, QAD, Cadence, Mentor Graphics, and SolidWorks.

Through this new integration layer, manufacturers now have the option of using managed data synchronizations or off-the-shelf adaptor solutions to integrate PLM product data with other enterprise applications. Managed data synchronizations, which include semi-automated workflows, allow customers who are just getting started with PLM or who make less frequent updates to their integration processes, to have a cost-effective and "out of the box" solution for integrating their PLM data with other applications, Arena said.

The integration layer also features a dashboard that allows users to monitor and more easily manage which other applications are integrated with Arena PLM, the solution provider said. In addition, the integration dashboard enables customers to publish specific subsets of PLM data to other enterprise systems. "Now, through the dashboard, customers can have real-time visibility into what other applications are integrated with Arena PLM and greater control of their product record data," Arena said.

Ken Amann, director of research for PLM analyst firm CIMdata, said that by incorporating an application integration layer directly within its PLM solution and including a dashboard for managing integration connections, Arena has provided their customers a significantly improved mechanism for product information to be communicated and synchronized with other enterprise applications.

"As global outsourcing becomes more important to companies of all sizes, providing consistent access to all the information that affect product development becomes even more difficult to pull together and leverage for business decisions," Amann said. "In order to make this information more useful, product-related information from various, distributed enterprise systems needs to be integrated into a cohesive, managed 'single version of the truth' quickly and accurately."

Enhanced Security

Arena said that the new version of the solution provides improved "enterprise-class" security through IP-based access control. Manufacturers can now restrict access to the Arena PLM solution based on log-in and IP address range.

By adding a layer of security based on originating location, Arena said the new version provides for stronger security measures as well as more customized permissions, and it also allows security- and intellectual property-conscious customers to control access to their IP on a very specific "point of entry" basis.

End User Experience

With Spring 06, Arena PLM now provides manufacturers with real-time, personalized usage information into application usage, feature utilization and support activity so they can maximize their PLM experience, according to Arena. In addition, through a custom, self-service portal, manufacturers can now get real-time status updates on user support issues.

The portal is fully integrated with Fast Feedback, a real-time support system that provides users with immediate technical assistance in the context of exactly where they are in the application. These features can help manufacturers get more productivity out of the solution, and help end users bring products to market faster, the solution provider said.

These latest updates follow on the heels of Arena's recent announcement that all its Arena PLM products are backed by a guaranteed service level agreement (SLA). Arena said its customers can expect to receive a minimum planned uptime and availability of 99.5 percent on its service or they will receive a credit against their subscription.

Since inception of the service in 2001, Arena said its PLM solution has had more than 99.96 percent uptime  through 45 major releases of the product and hundreds of minor upgrades. The Arena PLM SLA is effective immediately and free of charge for all Arena PLM customers.

In addition, Arena Solutions now provides its customers with real-time access to network availability, uptime, and historical system performance through its public website

Additional Articles of Interest

 Looking to outsource your supply chain? For five success factors for your outsourcing project Read "Rising to the Challenge of the Outsourced Supply Chain," cover story in the October/November 2005 issue of Supply and Demand Chain Executive.

 Stryker Instruments achieved success in inventory optimization by taking a no-frills approach and relying on collaborative supplier relations. Read more in "Keeping Supply Chain Transformation Simple," the Best Practices case study in the April/May 2006 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.