New Summer '08 Release Expands Core Arena PLM Functionality to Facilitate Better Designs, Decisions,

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Foster City, Calif., Jun 5 - Arena Solutions, the leading provider of on-demand product lifecycle management (PLM) software for manufacturers of all sizes, today announced the launch of its new Arena PLM Summer

New features added to Arena PLM's robust change management platform let companies close the loop in the change process from the earliest stages of design to the final phases of production. For example, the new Arena PLM EDA (Electronic Design Automation) Adapter pushes the latest approved component data directly back into the electronic design environment, so the right parts are designed in from the start. With this integration, design and engineering groups can access constantly updated component information (such as preferred parts, descriptions, parametric information, symbols, footprints, and datasheets) from within their design environment. The EDA integration solution includes all necessary configuration tools and works with Altium Designer, Mentor Graphics' DxDesigner and DxDataBook, and Cadence's OrCAD Capture CIS, among others.

"We've been testing the beta version of the EDA Adapter and can already see the integration between our EDA software and Arena PLM is a significant benefit. It helps our engineering and manufacturing teams stay in better sync. The tools are easy to use, accessible to everyone, and the integration is seamless," said Andy Aiello, chief operating officer, OpenPeak, Inc. "With the EDA Adapter, our electrical engineers can work with the big picture in mind, integrating approved data into our latest PCBA (Printed Circuit Board Assembly) designs from the start. It certainly stands to make our entire process easier and more efficient."

The Arena PLM Summer '08 release also features important new functionality for managing change implementation, enabling the entire manufacturing team—both in-house and outsourced—to document steps taken to roll out approved changes and report current product status. This capability eliminates guesswork throughout the product development process by closing the loop between intended and accomplished change, allowing complete visibility into the implementation process, and situating everything about any given change in one central, accessible location. This increased feedback boosts companies' confidence in their products, allowing them to know, without a doubt, that change happened the way it was intended.

"We are very enthusiastic about the Summer '08 release and the new improvements that have been added. Specifically, the change implementation functionality will give us access to important feedback, so we know exactly which steps have been taken toward accomplishing product changes and have a clear understanding about the status of our products in development," said Omar Ahsan, senior vice president of operations of Desktop Factory. "Major enhancements to Arena PLM, like those we previewed in the Summer '08 release, make it easier for us to deliver our 3D printers on time and on budget, and further blow away our competition. It is yet another reminder about how much we value this service and how critical it is to our business."

The Summer '08 release also includes features that give customers greater flexibility in how they view information and greater control over how they interact with suppliers. In addition, the application is full of visibility and productivity enhancements that support better decision-making earlier in the product development process. Some of these enhancements include:

  • The ability to mark files as private and keep them confidential from suppliers, which is the most requested feature by customers. This gives customers a finer degree of access control and greater confidence in their collaboration with suppliers.
  • Multiple custom BOM (bill of materials) views, which enhance customers' ability to customize Arena PLM according to the way they want to capture and organize information.
  • More list panels—pop-up windows that display information from other areas of the application—throughout Arena PLM, which make it easier for users to get the information they need without navigating away from a page in which they are currently engaged.

"The fact that we'll be able to mark files as private is extremely positive for us. It allows us to save a chunk of time by streamlining our current process," added Ahsan of Desktop Factory.

"One of the prevailing discussions we have with our customers is around change. They know that change happens. We know that change happens. Change is a reality when you're constantly innovating, working with distributed teams, and partnering with suppliers around the world. It can be extremely painful—and very expensive—without the right controls," said Craig Livingston, chief executive officer of Arena Solutions. "The enhancements in our Summer '08 release further establish Arena PLM as the epicenter of the product development process and the place where change is managed. These improvements enable customers to push product information upstream and downstream more efficiently and with more confidence and control than ever before."

On Sunday, June 15, 2008, the product's scheduled roll-out, 100 percent of Arena PLM users can access the innovations Arena has built into its Summer '08 release. Thanks to the on-demand delivery model (also called software-as-a-service, or SaaS), not one Arena PLM customer will need to worry about upgrade installations, expensive and risky migration projects, customizations, or IT infrastructure.

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JaeMi Pennington
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LEWIS Global Communications

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