PLM and MES Story Grows as Siemens Adds Camstar

Siemens acquires Camstar - MES continues to gain traction in PLM world

Siemens acquires Camstar – MES continues to gain traction in PLM world

In the middle of the product lifecycle is Make… I have said this for years. And increasingly it’s clear that the leaders in product lifecycle management (PLM) software believe that is an important component. Last week, Siemens PL group announced its intention to acquire Camstar Systems. Siemens already had MES in Simatic IT, originally from an acquisition in 2001 of ORSI Automatione of Italy. Apriso‘s acquisition by Dassault DELMIA was another recent example of this trend.

So what does it mean? Will MES now be a component part of PLM? Well, not really. Just as MES is not a component part of ERP. Its bigger than that. The jury is still out on whether MES will gain full respect as a peer of PLM, ERP and CRM. So far, over many years, it has not.

And yet, manufacturing is where the rubber meets the road – where products are realized. In addition to PLM, Siemens also has process control and automation offerings as do GE Intelligent Platforms and Rockwell Automation. These are other elements that help to realize products.

I should also say that Camstar is more than an MES company. Their other product line, OMNEO, is product data analytics and intelligence. This product line is a huge addition for Siemens PLM – notice that it’s specifically about product data, and from across the supply chain and all applications. OMNEO could become an umbrella under which many of the Siemens PL product offerings can be used together more effectively.

Camstar was ripe for the picking, and Siemens is integrating it into a strong software group in PL. Camstar’s MES leadership in medical devices and semiconductors does add to Siemens’ industry reach for MES.

The logic for this acquisition is clear on both sides. Now it’s a matter of execution, which both Camstar and Siemens PL have proven they can do.

On the first day of the announcement, the Camstar team was assured that they would be left largely intact. Camstar has proven processes for not only acquiring customers, but implementing successfully and growing loyal customers who roll out to multiple facilities. I believe most software companies can learn from Camstar about how to be successful in sales, marketing and customer relationships – as well as how to build a healthy corporate culture.

My experience of acquisitions is that they often don’t work well. Yet there are good signs in the early going. I should disclose here that I have worked with Siemens PL group in the past. And Camstar was my first client as an independent industry analyst when I joined Industry Directions in 1996. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Camstar and hope to do so under the Siemens ownership for many years to come.

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