PTC demonstrates collaborative platform

Parametric Technology, a small product development company, on Wednesday demonstrated a new collaborative software platform based around Groove Networks' peer-to-peer based technology.

The demonstration, held at an event in Boston for financial and market analysts, showed how product engineers can work collaboratively with colleagues, partners, suppliers, and customers on a number of different projects including brainstorming, collaborative authoring, and product design reviews.

"This ability to collaborate and communicate with customers and suppliers in real time can be an indispensable tool in developing products for manufacturing. It allows us to meet the demands of customer because we are involved earlier in the design process," said Aaron Spicer, a mold design engineer at Tech Tool and Molded Plastics, in Meadville, Pennsylvania.

Today's demonstration was in concert with a larger initiative to bring the product development process to more prominence in manufacturing. Company officials are trying to challenge the traditional manufacturing beliefs that only a single-minded focus on product development can provide long-term success for the entire manufacturing sector, they said.

The partnership agreement with Groove to significantly enhance design collaboration will help accomplish that mission, company officials believe.

As part of its next release, PTC will deliver improved collaboration functions with the company's Pro/Engineer and Windchill ProductView applications by embedding the Groove Networks platform into its products.

By doing so, its designers will be able to not just collaborate in real time but observe each other's work and share control of sessions, send invitations to selected users, access a conference session, use chat mail, and share directories.