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Arena Events Engine Streamlines Enterprise Integrations

Arena PLM IntegrationsEnterprise software integrations had a long history of being complex, requiring a lot of time and resources to implement. Companies wanted to integrate but were reluctant. Today, the need to integrate product lifecycle management (PLM), quality management system (QMS), enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), and other enterprise solutions is just as strong, yet the process is substantially simplified with event-driven integration architecture.

The result? An opportunity for companies to easily synchronize product and quality processes across disparate systems.

Events Engine 101

An events engine is a component of an event-driven integration architecture. More specifically, it is an application program interface (API) technology that simplifies integration between enterprise systems. Event engines can initiate a program in another system based on a specified event.

In this context, an “event” is a function that occurs in an application. Here is an example of an event that applies to most businesses, along with the activity that follows.

  • A new hire is added to the HR system
    • Add employee to a payroll system
    • Notify IT with the required computer and software
    • Add employee picture to the company directory
    • Register employee for training

Arena Events Engine

Arena Events Engine enables integrations based on events in Arena PLM and Arena QMS. In Arena, an event includes creation, editing, and status changes. For a product company, here is a common event-triggered integration.

  • A new product is released in Arena, triggering the following programs:
    • Upload the product datasheet to a website
    • Create the product in the ERP system
    • Send new manufacturing instructions to the manufacturing execution system (MES)
    • Send updated test plans to the quality assurance (QA) system
    • Post a celebratory message on chat apps for all employees to see

Arena Events Engine links a specific event in Arena to capabilities in upstream and downstream enterprise systems for faster, more reliable multisystem processes. We asked Roy Stafford, Principal Product Manager for Integration Products at Arena, to tell us more about Arena Events Engine capabilities.

Ann: What does Arena Events Engine capability mean to Arena customers?

Roy: Product companies use Arena plus other purpose-built systems for engineering, operations, customer management, quality, and field service. On top of those, companies use communication and collaboration systems like email, Slack, and Microsoft Teams. All these systems are involved with product and quality processes.

Arena Events Engine connects these systems in a simplified, logical way. By triggering integrations based on a defined event, programs in other systems can be initiated. The result is orchestrated activities among disparate systems. Without an events engine, integrations are limited to being run manually.

Ann: Can you give us some other examples of event-driven integrations?

Roy: Event-driven integrations are only limited by your imagination. If you look at how your various systems interact now, you’ll find many opportunities for improvement. Here are just a few ideas.

Make product quality issues visible to customer support
Create a CRM case when an Arena Quality Process is created, and then close it when the process is completed in Arena.

Tell customers when a new product or feature is released
Upload a datasheet to a website when the Item is released in Arena.

Notify product team of a fast-track change
Send a group chat message when an urgent Arena Change is completed.

Avoid reusing problematic parts
Notify computer-aided design (CAD) system when an Arena CAD Item is on a submitted Change.

Ann: We can see that the possibilities for integrations are endless. Thank you, Roy!

Getting Started

Enterprise Software IntegrationTo help drive the successful adoption of event-driven integrations across your organization, follow these steps:

1. Take inventory of current resources and architecture.

  • Does your company currently use some type of event-driven architecture?
  • What in-house expertise and/or IT resources do you currently have in place to support event-driven integrations?

2. Identify integrations that can be optimized.
Map where information or processes are shared with Arena.

  • Do you have processes in ERP, MES, CRM, or other systems that must run after an event in Arena?
  • Do you have existing programmed integrations that can be optimized as event-based integrations?

3. Develop a plan.
As with the adoption of many cloud-based solutions, you do not need to do everything at once. Address each information gap based on priority.

  • Work with business process owners to prioritize your integration needs
  • Work with your in-house expert or a systems integrator to create a plan to address each need

4. Contact Arena.

As a product company, you face many challenges. Chances are you have ERP, CRM, CAD, and MES—all systems that support your business processes. Accelerate your processes with reliable, timely product and quality information. The result is better products to market, faster. Arena is here to help.

To explore the Arena Events Engine in more detail, customers can consult with their Arena Coach.

Not an Arena customer? Request a demo to experience the Arena Events Engine.