PTC, headquartered in Needham, Mass., is among the world’s most successful software companies. The developer of Pro/ENGINEER®, the highly respected CAD/CAM system for mechanical design automation, and Windchill® software for collaborative product commerce, PTC provides indispensable tools for organizations that design and manufacture products in every industry. In the early 1990s, the company’s technology for parametric, associative, three-dimensional CAD modeling was cutting-edge and new to the field of computer-aided software. PTC faced a formidable challenge: explain to an entire market of product designers, who were committed to tools for 2-D and 3-D wireframe and surface modeling, how they could benefit from moving to Pro/ENGINEER feature-based CAD software.
PTC turned to Parker Group to help spread the word. Our mandate was to complement the company’s in-house marketing and public relations efforts by developing and placing strategic articles in high-profile business and trade publications. Two early stories we placed in Forbes (“Designing Success,” 11-25-91) and The Wall Street Journal (“Parametric Expects to Post Big Rise in First-Period Net,” 1-13-92) established PTC as a technology and market leader. We also applied for and secured an award from Industry Week, which named Pro/ENGINEER one of the top five technologies for 1993. Over the next several years, as PTC expanded its Pro/ENGINEER product line into a complete set of tools for mechanical design automation, we wrote and placed dozens of case studies, customer bylines, and interviews that explained how the company’s groundbreaking software was changing product development.
By the mid-nineties, we had helped PTC define its new technology and distinguish its software from existing products. Working closely with early adopters of Pro/ENGINEER, such as Honeywell and Texas Instruments, we developed stories that highlighted in real terms the gains they were achieving in engineering productivity. Our case studies described in detail how organizations used PTC software to automate the design-through-manufacturing path and cut time and cost out of product development. We regularly placed cover stories and major features for PTC in key magazines.
In the late nineties, PTC undertook another initiative that re-emphasized its role as a leader in design automation. The company launched Windchill, a new information technology platform that delivers access to electronic product data via a web browser. Windchill was developed to permit the geographically dispersed members of an extended manufacturing enterprise to collaborate across the entire product design life cycle.
PTC had again produced disruptive technology that challenged accepted thinking in product development. And again, Parker Group welcomed the charge to educate business and trade journalists about the promise of this new technology. We reached out to editors and industry analysts, wrote briefing memos and magazine bylines, arranged press interviews for Windchill spokespersons, and obtained numerous print and online article placements. Short months later, Windchill software was established as the first entrant in a new category of tools for collaborative product commerce, a powerful concept that engineering-intensive organizations are exploring to improve communication and streamline product development.