Lessons Learned for Digital Transformation Success

Lessons Learned for Digital Transformation Success

Every company is different. But we’re all facing rapidly changing markets demanding new ways of doing business, further accelerated by multiple, concurrent global upheavals. Success is assured, we are told, if only we choose the “right” platform for Digital Transformation. But what are the factors that actually make one technology enable Digital Transformation better than another?

Aras knows a thing or two about Digital Transformation, as we have been undergoing our own—in order to better enable yours. From our old cadence of software releases to a new, 6-week update cycle, we’ve been streamlining and accelerating the ways we get new features and applications into your hands.

This blog will examine these recent changes as a whole, together with what they have to do with your Digital Transformation, starting with Aras Innovator Version 12 and working our way forward to the latest release: Version 12 Service Pack (SP) 9. Or, to see a live, end-to-end demonstration of all these features, check out our webinar: Take Hold of Digital Transformation with Aras Innovator 12.


Adopt to Adapt

The hardest part of a big, important organizational change like Digital Transformation may not be the technology—it may be the people. Companies can implement a great new business process, roll it out on the shiniest new technology, but if they don’t have user buy-in—if teams don’t see the immediate value in the new system and adopt it with the speed and enthusiasm necessary—it will be dead in the water.  So, what makes a new technology more adoptable, to help make your teams more adaptable? The answer may just be in plain sight: how user-friendly is it?

I’ve written about software for my whole, 20-year career. So, what do the buttons and workflows in the software products I write about daily have to do with a big, heady topic like Digital Transformation? A coworker put it this way the other day—so succinctly, but with such great wisdom—when he said,

“PLM is one of the most powerful software tools that exists for managing complex products. But that doesn’t mean everything inside it has to be hard to do. We make the easy stuff easy.”

‘Making the easy stuff easy’ definitely drives adoption rates. All the little touches users love help them to see how the tool makes their jobs easier: no matter how complex those jobs may be. We’ve been at work on updates to Aras Innovator to keep “making the easy stuff easy” in order to help your teams adopt – and adapt – faster. These updates include …

  • Personalization, to create an environment that works just the way you want it to, every time you log in;

  • Efficiency, to accelerate common workflows and help you find and use the data you need, faster; and

  • Flexibility, to successfully manage a number of parallel or interrelated tasks at the same time.


Don’t Lose Sight of the Vision

The shiniest new features on a Digital Transformation platform don’t amount to much if they don’t fit the vision your company is striving to achieve. This latest release of Aras Innovator offers three new applications, and scores of new features and updates, to fit an expanding vision that matches the growing complexity of products and systems on the market today—and tomorrow. These include:

  • Systems Architecture: By managing complex, systems of systems designs using the well-known R, F, L, P (requirements, functional, logical, and physical elements) framework employed by systems engineering, the new Systems Architecture application in Aras Innovator authors and manages connections between critical parts of the Systems model and its connections both upstream (to requirements) and downstream (to parts). This unique approach makes the complete, end-to-end system model easy to view, navigate, interrogate, and change as other product changes across the lifecycle demand; and, it streamlines and accelerates the development of highly complex, software-dependent, and technologically advanced products.

  • Simulation Management: This new application manages simulation artifacts – inputs, instructions, and results – in the Digital Thread of product information, contributing to the democratization and pervasiveness of simulation across teams. When more teams can access simulation data, learn from the results, and re-run simulations when necessary, simulation can be used throughout more of the product’s lifecycle. This supports modern product development processes like early design space exploration, multidisciplinary and multifidelity simulation studies, digital verification and validation, generative design, and simulating operational conditions in the field to improve the value and scope of Digital Twins.

  • Digital Twin Core: Speaking of Digital Twins, a new application to manage digital definitions of physical assets in the field, also known as Digital Twins—including their complete, complex, and ever-changing Bills of Materials—is also available in Aras Innovator SP9. Construct Digital Twin representations from released engineering parts. Keep a record of serviced or upgraded parts as products evolve and change in the field. And, connect all this information from the field back to engineering with access to the complete Digital Thread of information on that Digital Twin, all the way back through Manufacturing, Quality, Supply Chain, Systems Architecture, Simulation, Requirements Engineering, and more—enhancing traceability, accuracy, insight, and context to help teams across the complete, end-to-end lifecycle better understand and improve products.


Improve Core Competencies

Perhaps the first rule of organizational change? Don't break what works. This is another obstacle companies commonly face when addressing Digital Transformation. Teams must beware of grabbing hold of the next technology trend yet “letting go” of their core competencies. New, exciting processes can actually pose a risk to the “bread and butter” of a company. Alternately, the technology may not be a good fit with existing processes, systems, and needs—like security, collaboration, and interoperability. The right Digital Transformation technology should never abandon or neglect what is working: rather, it should continue improving on it, thereby giving teams the time, resources, and energy to spend on newer, more forward-looking initiatives.

So, let’s look at how core PLM is also expanding and improving with new features and functions in Aras Innovator Version 12 SP9:

  • Dynamic Product Navigation: One role of PLM is to manage CAD data; but it also does so much more. To unify PLM data with the ease and efficiency of consuming highly visual CAD designs, the latest version of Aras Innovator offers Dynamic Product Navigation: a platform service available across every application—including the ones you author yourself. With DPN, you can view PLM data in context with an intuitive, easy-to-navigate and interrogate CAD viewable.
  • Increased Security: Check out new features in security, including
  • Improvements to Tech Docs Framework to save existing Technical Documents as templates

  • And much, much more, including:
    • Effectivity management in the Product Engineering application
    • Structure resolution across Part-BOM relationships and DPN viewables
    • Updated RoHS compliance for Component Engineering
    • Support for the latest-generation of SOLIDWORKS PDM
    • Improved performance for Search and Large Assemblies

To see a complete demonstration and discussion of all these features, and more, check out our webinar: Take Hold of Digital Transformation with Aras Innovator 12.


Test Drive Your Digital Transformation

Embark on a Digital Transformation journey sight unseen? Not with Aras. Aras Innovator Version 12 SP9 is the latest open release version: download it and try it out right here. Like so many of our subscribers, try it out first to see how it fits your teams, your technologies, and your processes. Our roadmap is always open and available to you on the Web to view and explore the latest features, so don’t hesitate to download SP9 today and take it for a spin. On this Digital Transformation journey, you may just find that getting there is half the fun.

Sean Coleman