PLM: Product lifecycle management

Optimizing product development to drive maximum business value

Product lifecycle management (PLM) enables an organization to manage all aspects of their product development process, from the initial idea through to retirement and disposal. Before the proliferation of smart products (i.e. those that derive their intelligence from embedded software), PLM focused on the mechanical aspects of product design, including bill of materials management and release to manufacturing. While PLM still includes this, the value of smart products is derived from the design of the product architecture—i.e. the multi-discipline systems, including software, that defines the manner in which a product delivers functionality to the end user. IBM’s solutions for product lifecycle management support this high value aspect of product development, including specific solutions for systems engineering and embedded software development.

IBM’s approach to managing complexity, bringing together multiple engineering disciplines and supporting more efficient and effective product development is called continuous engineering. Continuous engineering includes end-to-end solutions for product development—from planning the optimal product portfolio to maximizing profitability once the product is in service. Continuous engineering addresses the ever present need to never stop rethinking, redesigning, reintegrating, and re-innovating products and solutions.

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