Sep 6, 2011

PTC Expands Solution Portfolio for Service Organizations with Acquisition of Warranty and Service Lifecycle Management Vendor 4CS

Supports PTC's Vision for Solutions that Span Product and Service Lifecycles.

NEEDHAM, Mass - PTC, The Product Development Company®, today announced it has acquired 4CS Solutions, Inc., a developer of warranty management and service lifecycle management software. The acquisition broadens PTC’s portfolio of solutions for product support and service organizations, and supports PTC’s vision for solutions that span both product and service lifecycles. 4CS was privately-held and terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) often lose valuable insight into product performance and service effectiveness once their products have been sold. As a result, they fail to capture value throughout the entire service lifecycle where a majority of product-related profits can be realized. To address this challenge, 4CS has developed an approach to warranty and service lifecycle management that leverages a product-centric data model to capture service history and product updates in the form of an “as-maintained” bill of material (BOM). Bringing this important data back into the enterprise enables continuous product and service improvement.

“OEMs are increasingly recognizing the revenue and profit opportunity in managing effective service operations,” wrote Joe Barkai, practice director, Product Lifecycle Strategies, IDC Manufacturing Insights. “Moreover, they realize the broad value of maintaining an insight into the operation of the equipment they sell throughout its useful life. By collecting and sharing warranty data and other product support history across the enterprise, an OEM can close the loop between service and engineering. This not only increases service profitability, but also leads to better products and higher total customer satisfaction.”

4CS’s technology complements PTC’s existing service information solutions which empower an OEM’s product-support ecosystem with intuitive, configuration-specific service procedures, 3D parts lists, and interactive training materials. It also complements PTC’s quality lifecycle management solutions which manage every aspect of product quality, reliability, and safety to ensure products meet the requirements set for them. The combination will enable greater visibility into product knowledge across the product and service lifecycles.

“Capturing intelligence about actual post-sale product performance and service effectiveness – ultimately delivering that information back to product development – can deliver true long-term competitive advantages for OEMs,” said Jim Heppelmann, president and CEO, PTC. “With this acquisition, PTC is separating itself from other PLM vendors in its ability to support manufacturers across the entire product lifecycle.”

Once integrated, 4CS and PTC solutions will enable companies to:

Develop and provide guidelines and service policy coverage before service is performed to comply with plans and procedures.
Automate warranty and service processes to capture complete service history and update as-maintained BOMs automatically.
Analyze product and service performance by leveraging data captured for reliability and maintainability analysis.

The acquisition is expected to be neutral to PTC’s GAAP and non-GAAP financial results in fiscal 2011 and 2012.