Autodesk is to acquire Upchain, a provider of cloud-based product lifecycle management (PLM) and product data management (PDM).

Autodesk to acquire Upchain for SaaS PLM

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Autodesk is to acquire Upchain, a provider of instant-on, cloud-based product lifecycle management (PLM) and product data management (PDM) solutions.

The acquisition positions Autodesk as being able to deliver more value for engineers, manufacturers, suppliers and stakeholders by increasing collaboration across ‘a decentralised product value chain, regardless of CAD system’.

Upchain isn’t a well known outfit, but the skinny is that it has created a cloud platform that it says ‘eliminates the boundaries of traditional PLM and PDM technologies, helping manufacturers manage complexity across teams by putting data at the center of the product development process’.

Autodesk will maintain Upchain’s open approach to data, supporting integration not only with solutions like Inventor, AutoCAD and Fusion 360, but also with other CAD systems commonly used in the manufacturing industry.

The transaction is expected to close during Autodesk’s second quarter of fiscal year 2022, ending 31 July 2021.

“Resilience and collaboration have never been more critical for manufacturers as they confront the increasing complexity of developing new products. We’re committed to addressing those needs by offering the most robust end-to-end design and manufacturing platform in the cloud,” said Autodesk CEO Andrew Anagnost.

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Anagnost continued: “The convergence of data and processes is transforming the industry. By integrating Upchain with our existing offerings, Autodesk customers will be able to easily move data without barriers and will be empowered to unlock and harness valuable insights that can translate to fresh ideas and business success.”

“The acquisition of Upchain is a big step toward meeting our customers where they are, removing the barriers to collaboration and bridging the gap between data management and process management technologies,” added Scott Reese, executive VP Product Development and Manufacturing Solutions at Autodesk.

“Disruption has become a constant in the world of manufacturing. Being equipped with instant access to data across the product value chain gives companies the ability to remain agile and bring compelling products to market quickly and efficiently.”


A Few thoughts:

This one came out of the blue, but its interesting that Autodesk is having another crack at cloud-based PLM.

The company has a curious history with the idea of managing more than a company’s engineering data and moving into the full lifecycle management world.

Over the years it has acquired a number of PDM/PLM outfits and technologies, from Compass to Inforbix for search; to whatever eventually became its PLM 360 initiative (I honestly can’t remember the name of the start-up).

The company spent big on PLM 360’s launch then seemed to roll everything under the Fusion 360 Manage umbrella. Let’s see what it gets up to with this new acquisition.


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