The Future Is Not Something We Enter. The Future is Something We Create.

Event Brief: PTC LiveWorx 2023

Axendia’s Sr. Industry Analyst, Sandra K. Rodriguez, was invited to attend and cover PTC’s LiveWorx 2023 at the Boston Convention and Exhibit Center.  The event drew seven thousand in-person and virtual attendees from 15 – 18 May, 2023.  This was PTC’s first in-person LiveWorx event since the pandemic.

This event brief covers major additions to the PTC product portfolio over the past four years and user case studies featuring Alcon, Roche and Sysmex.  We also discuss Cybellum’s presentation on new medical device cybersecurity requirements and share insights from PTC partners on the show floor.  

Conference Keynote

Jim Heppelmann, Chief Executive Officer at PTC opened the event with “The future is not something we enter. The future is something we create.”  According to Heppelmann, the goals for digital transformation in 2019 were simpler: get to market faster with lower costs and higher quality.  Today, drivers are more complex.  Companies are focused on reshoring to build resilient supply chains.  Sustainable product design and manufacturing are also top of mind along with reducing regulatory compliance risks.  “Capture this moment and transform how you do business,” suggested Heppelmann. 

Image Courtesy of PTC

PTC made significant investments totaling $3 billion over the past four years with its acquisitions of Arena Solutions, Intland Software, Onshape and ServiceMax.  More on these solutions is below:

  • Arena streamlines product development and delivers innovative products fast in the cloud. The solution is a cloud-native product lifecycle management (PLM) and quality management system (QMS). 
  • Intland Software’s Codebeamer is an Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) platform for modern product and software development.
  • Onshape is a cloud native product development platform delivering a more agile and collaborative experience with CAD, simulation, built-in PDM and connected PLM. 
  • ServiceMax maximizes the lifecycle and value of critical assets and machines.

Combined, these solutions enable the model-based digital thread.

Image Courtesy of PTC

David Katzman, Divisional Vice President and Velocity Group General Manager at PTC joined Heppelmann on the main stage to review how Onshape and Arena are supporting innovation across product and design processes.  “Since both solutions are cloud native, users can collaborate in real-time because everyone is working on the same set of data,” said Katzman.

Neil Barua, formerly the CEO of ServiceMax and now president of the service lifecycle management business at PTC, also joined Heppelmann on stage. “We know what great looks like. With ServiceMax and Windchill on one platform, we can link service and IoT data back to PLM.  The result is an asset centric model with an asset centric vision…We can now offer a digital product system of record with Windchill – a digital asset system of record with ServiceMax  – and a digital customer system of record through Salesforce,” explained Barua.

The keynote concluded with a look at PTC’s Atlas strategy – a single, common platform powering PTC’s SaaS future. “Atlas drives real-time collaboration across business functions with cloud-based applications of PTC technology that enables teams to be more agile, innovate together, and scale faster,” said Heppelmann.

Image Courtesy of PTC

Alcon Case Study: Helping Patients See Brilliantly

Phillip Greene, IT Director at Alcon’s Vision Suite began his presentation with, “Alcon is becoming a new services company, in the new digital world.”   Greene leads a team charged with connecting Alcon’s enterprise to its surgical customers and patients globally in the pursuit of helping everyone “See Brilliantly”.  The team supports field associates that maintain Alcon instruments and the professionals who train the surgeons that use them.  

“With IoT, we’re capturing untold amounts of data from instruments or software.  For example, we are able to connect cataract diagnosis data and transport it to the operating room.  We’re also aggregating data for predictive maintenance on some instruments and sending the data back to R&D for better spare parts management,” said Greene.  Alcon is in a connected ecosystem and that path was set by the digital revolution of IoT.  “Today, IoT is a commodity. PTC helps us provide those services so we don’t have to invent them…so that instead, we can focus on improving patient outcomes,” concluded Greene.

Developing a Connected Business Strategy for Life Sciences

Rene Zoelfl, Global Industry Advisor – Life Sciences at PTC, moderated a panel discussion featuring Stefan Schindler, Digital Operations Manager Site Basel at F. Hoffman-La Roche AG and Steve Postma, Enterprise Architect and Innovation Leader at Sysmex.

“Predictive maintenance and understanding product usage for design improvements are a few use cases enabled by connectivity.  But there are many more use cases!” exclaimed Zoelfl before asking Postma and Schindler to share how their respective organizations approached IoT and what the value of a connected enterprise is to each company.

Postma and his team were tasked by the CEO to develop a connected business strategy.  “The first thing we did was look at use cases.  We developed operational efficiency use cases, as well as features the customer could get value from,” said Postma.  His team defined metrics for IoT as percent of products that could be connected, were connected.  “Every company has a different critical mass, but once you achieve it, you accelerate the connections,” said Postma.  It took Sysmex seven years to get eighty percent of its products connected but today that number is over ninety percent.  Remote services have also been determined to be more cost effective.

In conclusion, Zoelfl asked Postma if he would have done anything differently knowing what he knows today.  “First, there’s a process to the IoT journey and we found you don’t want to go too fast (or too slow either) but get started. Focus on operational capabilities and make it real, make it feel real… make sure the customer feels the interaction.  Secondly, IoT will change your business model. Field engineers and IT are separate disciplines.  Our operations team never asked for IoT data, therefore the IT team had to help the business team understand the business value of the data. Keep in mind not everyone knows the value of pulling versus pushing the data. Lastly, learn how to get through your customer’s security organization,” cautioned Postma.  Today, he leads the Sysmex Enterprise Architecture and Innovation Teams. 

Schindler explained the site organization had to first invest in an ‘IoT enabler infrastructure’ to support the use cases his organization developed.  “We knew we had to avoid island solutions to support the five use cases we had, plus the many others on the list. At the end of the day, we are producing data…ingesting, refining, contextualizing data and providing it to the end customer.” 

Roche site Basel took a vendor agnostic approach to its connected business strategy but did take usability, scalability, and technical sustainability into consideration. “In the past, we had to ask for sensors, cabling, connectivity, etc. This used to take lots of time and cost lots of money. Now with IoT networks (LoRaWAN & BLE) and IoT platform available for the site, the most critical part on our part, becomes the product availability from the vendor.  Ninety percent of the traditional rate for one use case has been saved. We expect savings to increase over time due to the ease of onboarding new use cases and the impact of our data to core value streams,” said Schindler.

Looking to develop a connected business strategy?  Schindler echoed Postma’s sentiment and recommends you deliver value to your internal and external customers quickly, continuously, and consistently. 

PTC and Cybellum Hop on the Omnibus

David Wolf, PLM Life Science Sales Specialist at PTC and Sean Barry, Business Development Representative at Cybellum co-presented in a session titled, “No Time to Comply: New FDA Product Security Requirements.” This presentation had medical device industry attendees (myself included) at the edges of our seats.

On December 29, 2022, the U.S. Congress signed a $1.7 trillion omnibus appropriations bill into law.  The omnibus bill authorizes the FDA to establish cybersecurity requirements for manufacturers of internet-connected medical devices. 

In a September 12, 2022 Private Industry Notification, the FBI stated that as of January 2022, a research report conducted by a cybersecurity firm found 53% of connected medical devices and other internet of things (IoT) devices in hospitals had known critical vulnerabilities. Approximately one third of healthcare IoT devices have an identified critical risk potentially implicating technical operation and functions of medical devices. Medical devices serve important healthcare functions and can store sensitive patient data and have become increasingly targeted by cyber hackers.  FDA has released non-binding guidance on the cybersecurity of medical devices since 2014 but this legislation formally gives FDA the authority to ensure medical brought to market meet certain cybersecurity standards.

“With the advent of IoT, yesterday’s challenging regulatory environment has become even more complex.  As you can see within the Smart Connected Products layer, MedTech manufacturers must now balance Regulations & Standards with Cybersecurity challenges from a connected ecosystem of data.  The number of connected IoT devices is expected to double from 2023 to 2030.  If you’re not a software company today, you certainly will be tomorrow,” said Wolf.

Image Courtesy of PTC

“Jim Heppelmann said ‘software ate the BOM’ during his keynote address. I’d say software is a ticking time bomb,” warned Barry, while pointing out that product security is patient safety.  Barry went on to warn that submissions to the FDA will not be reviewed/accepted starting October 1, 2023 if they do not include a SBOM.

In partnership with PTC, Cybellum is helping medical device manufacturers achieve secure software lifecycle management.


In Xtropolis, the LiveWorx 2023 exhibition hall, attendees were given the opportunity to discover the ways in which the world’s leading companies are using PTC technologies to boost efficiency, productivity, collaboration, and their bottom line. The expo hall featured 70+ hands-on customer demos and offered attendees time to learn about the capabilities of PTC partners and LiveWorx 2023 sponsors. 

I ran into Jason Alberti, Head of Growth Marketing at Kalypso, a Rockwell Automation business and Pinnacle Sponsor of LiveWorx 2023. Prior to being acquired by Rockwell, Kalypso built a strong relationship with PTC by working with clients in the medical device, retail, high tech and industrial manufacturing industries.

“Historically, LiveWorx has been one of the top events for Kalypso every year. We share so many medical device clients with PTC and those companies send their decision-makers to learn about, and influence, PTC’s technology roadmap. This year was a great opportunity to reconnect with familiar faces and showcase the results we’re generating for companies in all the industries PTC serves, at our booth and in 10 conference presentations.”

In Brief

With PTC’s acquisitions of Arena Solutions, Intland Software, Onshape, and ServiceMax, new and existing customers can embrace strategies to design, manufacture, and service products in ways that are most valuable to their businesses. 

LiveWorx 2023 messaging and content focused on the transformative power of SaaS and how it can be applied across the full product lifecycle; and, making the world more sustainable by designing, manufacturing and servicing products in new ways.  

The medical device industry was the least represented at the event, but the presentations and sessions offered by PTC to its life science customers were well attended.  The content was timely, relevant and it aligned well with the business, regulatory and technology trends Axendia sees in the market.

We will continue to monitor PTC and its partner ecosystem and provide updates as they become available.

Contact to schedule an Analyst Inquiry on this topic.

The opinions and analysis expressed in this post reflect the judgment of Axendia at the time of publication and are subject to change without notice. Information contained in this post is current as of publication date. Information cited is not warranted by Axendia but has been obtained through a valid research methodology. This post is not intended to endorse any company or product and should not be attributed as such.

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