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CONTACT Open World 2017: PLM is more important than ever

"Energizing the digital engineering world". This was the motto under which CONTACT Software presented new products, innovations and strategies at Open World 2017. The aim: To make it easier to develop smart products and digital business models for the Internet of Things.

More than 250 visitors came together at the two-day user conference Open World 2017, including many overseas guests from China, India, Korea, Turkey and the USA. The dominant theme at the most important meeting of the CONTACT Community was the digital transformation. As Managing Director Karl Heinz Zachries stressed when opening the event, the challenge is to continue developing proven business models while simultaneously remaining open for new, groundbreaking business ideas. It will become increasingly important for enterprises that they move forward in an agile manner with the aid of bimodal strategies.

The key to digitalization
In Fulda, CONTACT presented its new Elements for IoT modules. These include integrated business apps from Continuum Analytics for the predictive maintenance of components and systems for example. This means that enterprises can capture real-time data from the actual product lifecycle and use it for customer-centric value-added services.

For CONTACT, PLM is the starting point for smart products and the corresponding digital business models. "PLM is more important than ever," stated Zachries. "We develop solutions that help people to work together more easily, develop even better products and enhance them with matching IoT services."

CONTACT is therefore making a major investment in new apps that make work easier, are fun to use and which can very easily be integrated in existing or changing IT environments. CONTACT's UX team presented CONTACT's new Elements Experience Design System. The aim: To make complex product data more accessible to users.

An interdisciplinary approach to developing smart systems
Networking is turning products into complex "systems of systems", and these products contain an increasing number of software-controlled functions. "We need an interdisciplinary systems engineering and a development platform that accepts the fact that software follows different rules,” says Head of Development Frank Patz-Brockmann. CONTACT is therefore integrating Git, the leading open-source software for application lifecycle management (ALM), in its Elements technology platform in cooperation with GitLab Inc. and is further expanding model-based systems engineering (MBSE) with CIM Database PLM.

Visitors to the user meeting were impressed by the high speed at which CONTACT launches its innovations. The engine behind this is the open Elements platform whose "Lego" principle permits the fast exploration and agile implementation of new functions. In combination with state-of-the-art open-source components, it provides powerful modules for product-related applications in the development process and in the industrial Internet of Things.

"Our Elements platform enables customers to pursue a bimodal IT strategy which, on the one hand, supports reliable business processes and, on the other, the agile implementation of new digital offerings," said Patz-Brockmann in his keynote on CONTACT's product strategy.

You will get a sense of what CONTACT Open World 2017 was like here.

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