July 26 by Gene Eun
Q&A with Jason Runnels, Director, CPQ Initiatives and Siemens Partnership Manager at Apttus
July 12, 2018, we announced our partnership with Siemens PLM, leading provider of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software. We chatted with Jason Runnels, Director, CPQ Initiatives, to dig a little deeper into the value this joint solution brings to Apttus.
What value does the Apttus partnership with Siemens PLM bring to the table?
The near-term value of the partnership is focused on augmenting our capabilities around Full Spectrum CPQ – especially for complex use cases in the manufacturing vertical. Manufacturers often face challenges orchestrating back-office engineering and manufacturing processes and data with front-end Quote-to-Cash systems like Apttus. This is especially challenging for Configure-to-Order and Engineer-to-Order businesses, like GE, ABB, and Ålö, for example.
What this partnership allows Apttus to do is extend our CPQ offering for manufacturers by integrating to Siemens PLM Software’s Teamcenter® portfolio, the world’s most widely used digital lifecycle management software. We’ll be leveraging back-office technologies, including Teamcenter Product Configurator, Rulestream™ software, and the JT™ data format for lightweight 3D visualization. In essence, we are creating a seamless, joint-solution to better serve the full breadth of manufacturing CPQ use cases.
The joint solution of Apttus CPQ and Siemens PLM addresses two major business challenges for enterprises in this industry:
Faster Quoting Times
Manufacturers often need the ability to deliver custom products as quickly, easily, and accurately, as standard products. The reality is that subject matter experts and engineering data – usually in a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system like Teamcenter – are required before a quote can even be generated, often because not all customer requirements are known up front. So, manufacturers may face a trade-off between quote speed vs. accuracy. For example, if you sell configured, or custom tractors, your quote content needs to be as close to a buildable order as possible, or you’ll impact profitability. If you wait to have everything designed and validated before you send out a custom quote, lead times increase, and your win rates will suffer. Leveraging Siemens’s PLM and 3D visualization technology in Apttus will allow sellers and customers to see what is quoted before it’s built and shipped. In this way, the joint solution will help manufacturers transform the way their complex products are sold by decreasing quoting times and increasing quote and order accuracy.
Manufacturers also face complexity because of the high variability of their product portfolios needed to support their customers’ requirements. This variability means it’s difficult for companies like GE, ABB, and Ålö to synchronize commercial logic in CPQ with technical product logic residing in PLM. Think of the different views of a product that you need if you’re selling and manufacturing a car. CPQ can generate the window sticker – the commercial details with the pricing and options – while PLM has the assembly instruction view – the product bill of materials details needed to ensure the right version of assemblies are used and work together. Manufacturers need to provide both sets of information without too much complexity. The integrated solution will allow this to happen.
Simply put, the integration between Apttus CPQ and Siemens Teamcenter enables manufacturers to do two things: 1) increase profitability and win rate by providing the right configuration and design to the customer at the point of proposal, and 2) quickly release new product models to Apttus to capture more market share.