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SAP and Siemens update their Digital Thread plans

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SAP and Siemens have offered an update on their plans to help customers break down silos so that product design teams, manufacturers, and service managers have the information they need to quickly create and manage customer-centric product and service offerings.

In July 2020, SAP and Siemens announced a strategic partnership to deliver a digital thread to bridge engineering, manufacturing, and business, linking up their PLM and ERP platforms, and after a year of collaboration, both have released details on how they expect the roadmap to plan out.

The integration of SAP S/4HANA and Siemens’ Teamcenter software will result in a new integrated solution, offering ‘unique differentiating capabilities’ that aim to help organisations accelerate time to market without the worry of integration – and a proposed reduction in the total cost of ownership.

The integration will be launched in three phases through to the end of 2022, with additional phases planned beyond that in order ‘to address new digital threads’.

October 2021 will see Phase I bound into action, with a focus on product engineering fundamentals – establishing a framework of core business scenarios on a shared domain model that will underpin end-to-end business processes. This should add enhanced traceability, federation, and linkages across the Siemens and SAP system boundaries.

Spring 2022 will see Phase II of SAP and Siemens’ plan, which aims to shorten time to market through further optimised integration between product engineering, supply chain, and manufacturing. The second phase also adds the foundation for advanced capabilities such as variant rules and schema, project and portfolio management, and integration to manufacturing.

Phase III will arrive in autumn 2022, with focus on ‘bi-directional traceability and closed loop collaboration’ between manufacturing engineering and production engineering – handy for use cases such as cross-system impact analysis, change initiation, and process execution.

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“This roadmap provides clear direction to our valued Siemens and SAP customers to help them manage increasingly complex and configurable products and meet the challenge of an ever-increasing rate of innovation,” said a joint statement from SAP and Siemens.

“Our collaboration will help our customers accelerate their digital transformation by more closely connecting our industry-leading solutions. This end-to-end solution aims to allow teams across the business network to efficiently work together to design and deliver innovative products productively, profitably, and sustainably.

“This collaboration affirms both companies’ commitment to working together to deliver innovations to meet the needs of our joint customers today and in the future. This combined integration solution will be developed and provided by SAP and Siemens, it will be made available to customers of both companies.”