On March 23 Aras hosted Peter Bilello, president and CEO of CIMdata for a highly anticipated webinar focused on how SaaS PLM offerings are developed and built, and why the demand for SaaS products is growing rapidly. Mark Reisig, Aras vice president of product marketing also provided input based on his own experiences working on PLM initiatives with some of the largest companies in the world.  

Peter and Mark spent time discussing the Aras Enterprise SaaS solution and how it fits into the company’s long-term cloud strategy. They examined the value of Aras DevOps as part of the solution and the reasons Aras included it in the product subscription. The webinar was very informative for PLM professionals interested in learning more about cloud environments and working in a SaaS model.

Peter reflected on the Aras Enterprise SaaS solution and said that if you're an industrial company considering a configurable enterprise SaaS solution to stay competitive over time, he doesn’t know of any reason why you wouldn't check out Aras Enterprise SaaS as a solution.

A replay of the webinar can be found here.

Hot topics and takeaways:

  • Will Aras include all of the solutions in the current version of Aras Innovator in the SaaS version?
    • (Mark Reisig, Aras) Yes, all of the applications, platform services, and components are available now in Aras Enterprise SaaS.
  • Do you think most PLM solutions are prepared to handle this right now?
    • (Peter Bilello, CIMdata) Each solution provider’s approach and current state of readiness need to be evaluated. Some are further along than others, some have even been fully native on the cloud from their inception. One of the interesting points with the early cloud-first PLM solution providers is that they had limited configurability, which can be a good thing for some companies. Limited configurability usually means fast deployment and fast time to value, assuming the solution capabilities can meet business requirements. Unfortunately, many companies have complex products and business processes that require extensive configuration, and perhaps even customization. The new generation of SaaS solutions from the traditional providers is interesting because they are rebuilding their products to leverage containerization to improve scalability and using different variants of tenancy to allow customers to configure more extensively and upgrade on their own schedule. A big risk for providers new to offering a SaaS solution is upgrades. Included upgrades are an expectation of a SaaS customer. Being responsible for the production operation of a PLM solution and upgrading it is a huge change in responsibility. One of the advantages Aras has is that upgrades have been included in the on-premise version for many years, so including this in the SaaS offering should not be a worry for customers. Aras really understands that.
  • Will Aras continue to support on-premise deployments long-term?
    • (Mark Reisig, Aras) The advantage for Aras Enterprise SaaS and the standard version on-premise is that we maintain 100% parity and an open architecture. This greatly simplifies both hybrid deployments and migrations, so the answer is yes.
  • What is the long-term viability of on-premise solutions?
    • (Peter Bilello, CIMdata) For some companies, it's going to have to stay around for a long time. Maybe it's a legacy solution or a sizable solution and their solution provider does not allow them to just upgrade to a SaaS-based solution.
    • Even for some of your customers, I would expect them to keep it. They are just comfortable with it and have invested in their data center. I think [the migration to SaaS and cloud] will speed up, especially since the full capabilities are there. Upgradability, greater scalability, and the same significant configurability are all provided. There are probably not a lot of reasons, except that they have already invested in their data center and other things they just want to get the money out of. 
    • Most of our (CIMdata’s) industrial clients want to get rid of the capital expense of data centers and other things related to the complexity there, and they also want that upgradability, elasticity, and other things that the cloud can provide if architected correctly. 
    • On one hand, I think on-premise will be around for a while. But I also believe with a solution like Aras Enterprise SaaS, the movement toward the Aras SaaS solution will speed up because you can support it in a more focused manner, and it provides the added benefit of lowering support costs.

For more information on PLM SaaS adoption and CIMdata’s analysis of Aras Enterprise SaaS, read the latest CIMdata commentary, “Fully Configurable SaaS on the Cloud”.