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Arena Shepherds Products Into the Realm of the ‘Internet of Things’

The “Internet of Things” (IoT) phenomenon offers endless possibilities that have companies across industries rushing to get their “next big thing” to market fast enough to take advantage of this burgeoning market.

Because disruptive change happens in the blink of an eye, many IoT companies rely on Arena’s suite of product lifecycle management (PLM) and supply chain solutions to corral change and shift directions quickly to galvanize their market leader position.

Arena’ strategic alliance with EMA and their data management solution for Cadence OrCAD enables IoT companies — especially their engineering teams — to get to the prototyping phase faster, reduce scrap, and streamline supply chain management. When these are aggregated and addressed holistically, they materially collapse time to market.

We recently spoke with Manny Marcano, president and CEO of EMA, to discuss the many benefits this integration has for companies eager to exploit the potential riches that reside in the magical realm of the “Internet of Things.”

Arena: In the fast moving IoT space, engineering teams need to be rock-solid in their delivery schedules. You can’t get a preorder when the product doesn’t ship until a year later. What are your thoughts?

EMA: Many companies on Kickstarter had aggressive schedules that they couldn’t meet, due to the fact that they didn’t have access to all the data they needed when they were building those original product delivery estimates.

Companies in the IoT space are actually rolling out PLM at the same time they’re building products and taking orders. So they’re not waiting for the product to be done before figuring out how to get it into PLM. They’re doing that in parallel now.

Arena: In the IoT space, disruptive change is happening at the speed of light. As such, companies can’t afford to take six months putting together a PLM system in an integrated environment, right?

EMA: Right. A lot of these companies are charging as fast as they can to grab a piece of the IoT market. And a lot of times they’re starting with a back of the napkin design and a quick prototype to get some VC funding, and then they’re off to the races. So if you have a design solution that can be implemented swiftly, without a lot of overhead to get a consumer electronics stamp, FCC approval and all the other things they have to do quickly — that’s a big value to them. A lot of these companies are growing very quickly and are looking for a “one-size fits all,” off-the-shelf, plug-and-play environment. Because Arena and EMA are working together, we’re able to address that need on the electrical side and the PLM side, and we can get them up and running in a matter of hours, in some cases.

Arena: Many IoT startups have people wearing many different hats, with a single person acting as the operations, document control, or even engineering manager. How has this integration helped meet the unique needs of these different personas, who ironically at inception may just be a single person?

EMA: You’re exactly right. Three of those responsibilities would have historically been managed by three different people but are now being managed by only one. Being able to put more data at their fingertips swiftly in a user-friendly interface is critical for these up-and-coming companies—think two people serving as operations, document control, engineering, mechanical design, IT. I think the more we can facilitate the off-the-shelf, plug-and-play environment, the better we address those needs.

Arena: The Arena OrCAD integration really helps reduce scheduling slips that can cause damage to your bottom line and time to market, correct?

EMA: As engineers collect components, operations would be adding those components into Arena PLM. They then can figure out lead time for each component, which impacts time to market. So if an engineer selects a component that has a two-month lead time, operations may say, here’s an alternative part, which has a one week lead time. This example drops straight to the bottom-line of time savings on their critical path which has a direct correlation with collapsing time to market.

To discover more about how Arena can help get your IoT product to market faster, feel free to contact us today.