Customizing PLM Installation

Deployment of Aras Innovator based PLM system (or any PLM system) can be challenging, because the functionality needed for the business processes of a particular company may not be available when the system is installed out-of-box. But because Aras Innovator is a highly customizable platform, it is possible to fine-tune its functionality to make the system cover 100% of company processes. Customizing the system to fully address specific needs is a challenge that most companies face during deployment of an Aras Innovator-based PLM system.

aras
Customer: Aras

Client
Aras is the leading provider of enterprise open source Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software solutions. Freedom from licensing eliminates up-front expenses and per user costs while superior technology makes Aras the most advanced enterprise PLM solution suite available. Customers include Motorola, Freudenberg, GE, Hitachi, Lockheed Martin, Rolls-Royce, Textron and TEVA Pharmaceuticals. Aras is privately held with global headquarters in Andover, MA.

Business Challenge
Deployment of Aras Innovator based PLM system (or any PLM system) can be challenging, because the functionality needed for the business processes of a particular company may not be available when the system is installed out-of-box. But because Aras Innovator is a highly customizable platform, it is possible to fine-tune its functionality to make the system cover 100% of company processes. Customizing the system to fully address specific needs is a challenge that most companies face during deployment of an Aras Innovator-based PLM system.

Solution
Aras provides implementation services for its enterprise customers. As part of implementation, a customer company receives installation of the Aras Innovator based PLM system that is pre-configured to fully cover all its processes out-of-box. Customization of the PLM system includes adjustment of the data model, setup of default administrative preferences, and customization of defaults, as well as implementation of new user interface elements.

Design Challenges
Key technical and operation challenges include:

  • Installation
    Large enterprises may have thousands of PLM system users . For this reason it is crucial that all required and customized components of the system are installed server-side, as opposed to client-side.
  • Security
    Product designs and other data that reside in the PLM system are highly confidential. Any customization of security-related functionality should be implemented so as to adhere to the security model and architecture of Aras Innovator in a way that will satisfy the most demanding regulatory environments.
  • Upgrades
    New versions of Aras Innovator platform contain important functionality improvements as well as bug fixes. Customized components of the system may also need to be upgraded as a company’s business evolves. Therefore, custom solutions must be implemented so as not to increase the complexity of
    future Aras innovator migrations. In addition, customized components must also be designed to allow for future upgrades that extend functionality.

Implementation
Customization of an Aras Innovator based PLM system begins with discussions with the customer to understand which customer business processes are not currently addressed, and what functionality is missing. After this information is collected by an Aras customer specialist, it is processed by an Aras product definition specialist who prepares project specifications for implementation of the software solution. The project is then handed over to AMC Bridge for solution implementation.
AMC Bridge has been involved in many Aras customer implementation projects. In every case, work on development of the solution began with a detailed review by AMC Bridge software engineers of project specifications, and clarification of requirements with the product definition specialist who developed the requirements.
aras screen2

Once details on software functionality were clarified, AMC Bridge split the work into development tasks and estimated the effort required for solution implementation. The result was a development schedule that was reviewed and approved by an Aras project manager.
After project development began, an AMC Bridge quality assurance engineer assigned to the project developed a set of test plans for the solution, which were approved by the Aras project manager.
In order to keep everyone up-to-date on develop progress and quality assurance, weekly conference calls were set up with the full team. This provided an excellent platform for resolving integration issues in a timely manner.

Project development was accomplished in iterations, providing deliverables of the developed functionality on a regular basis. This made it possible for the quality assurance engineer to test each iteration, for product definition specialists to ensure that the functionality was properly implemented, and for user interactions to be continuously evaluated and improved.
Since solutions were developed to address the needs of each specific company customer, a key development step was testing of the solution with real customer data.
In all cases solutions were delivered to the customer only after customer expertise and product definition specialists confirmed that the solution met requirements, and that all identified software issues had been resolved.

AMC Bridge Performance
Quality of work delivered by AMC Bridge has exceeded client expectations:

  • AMC Bridge provided quality results based on project specifications.
  • AMC Bridge proved resourceful at filling in gaps and providing experience-based solutions.
  • During stabilization of the solutions AMC Bridge proved to be quick and responsive, with short turnaround time.
  • Development of the projects was completed well within the schedules and budgets.
Jan 10, 2013
PLM
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