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What comes next for PTC? CEO-elect Neil Barua looks to the future

Stuart Lauchlan Profile picture for user slauchlan November 2, 2023
Summary:
As the CEO transition continues, Neil Barua has some items on the 2024 agenda.

An image of Neil Barua
Neil Barua

As PTC prepares to welcome its new CEO in the early months of next year, the firm ended its full 2023 fiscal year with a profit of $245 million on revenue of $2.1 billion. But what can CEO-elect Neil Barua expect to pick up in the new year?

According to the man himself, he’s been immersing himself in the workings of PTC for the past few months, including getting involved in a major new win at Volkswagen Group. This involves PTC becoming a strategic supplier with the automotive, centered on the adoption of PTC’s Codebeamer Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) solution.

According to the official announcement yesterday, this will support the software development for the next generation of electric vehicles from the Volkswagen Group and its brands:

Codebeamer is expected to enable greater efficiencies in engineering practices for software requirements management, test management, and release management as part of new electric vehicle development.

The firms say that as the relationship progresses, PTC and Volkswagen Group expect to scale the use of Codebeamer across multiple engineering teams to support the software development process. Barua said: 

This significant expansion of PTC's footprint at Volkswagen underscores the value PTC brings to customers and our customers rely on us to support their product development needs at scale. Our teams understand the digital transformation needs of our customers, and we have the right strategy and product portfolio to help them achieve their goals. There's no other company that can help manufacturers drive closed-loop product life cycle management across engineering, manufacturing, quality and service.

He added: 

One of the themes that we're seeing is this is actually a tip of the spear and an enabler for getting into new logos, particularly in the automotive segment.

What we're seeing is that a displacement of other tools in the marketplace that now Codebeamer with its differentiated capabilities with also the element of the tieback to PLM within PTC is actually creating the momentum that we spoke about, that will continue to push on over the course of this year as well.

SaaS

Barua referenced his background in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) as CEO of ServiceMax, now part of PTC, when considering how customers think about PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) and CAD moving to the cloud: 

There is continued interest in our SaaS offering, and it is an important layer of the cake in terms of the sustainable growth drivers. We expect an S-shaped adoption curve…this is a decade+ long journey. We continue on this journey into '24. And in regards to feedback from customers, we're seeing opportunities by which the roadmap, the ability for Windchill+, Creo+ - for not only new logos by the way, but also conversions - continues to be interesting.

But it will take time to show up on the bottom line, he cautioned: 

The overall growth drivers of our ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue) has very little right now, and quite frankly into '24, to do with SaaS. That being said, we are making sure the SaaS opportunities we've already secured, the pipeline that we're working on, we're working hand in hand with those customers to ensure we're optimizing the conversion experience of those customers.

Again, this will be a multi-year, decade+ long journey across the base of our existing customers, plus those that are new, but is a key part of our focus. However, there are many other layers of the cake that are working extremely well right now that I'm going to help push the team even further to accelerate.

Those layers include the Windchill PLM offering, of course, of which Barua said: 

One of the drivers we've seen over many years right now is around Windchill's adoption within our customers. And what we've also seen is that expanding, not only within engineering, but…it’s now going to other groups that is tied [closely] to engineering, like supply chain, like quality as an example.

We're seeing this migration of Windchill becoming more of an enterprise-wide system of record That will take some time, but we are seeing the trends moving towards that, particularly as we think about model base and the digital thread that is pushing on this lever.

In the immediate future, there will be a ServiceMax-centered announcement to come. Barua explained: 

We are working on a release in December that ties ServiceMax closer to Servigistics, with a combined offering that we believe will have a nice reception in the marketplace, as well as in the same release, a tie of ServiceMax to IoT for preventative maintenance use cases between the two capabilities.

My take

If there is one takeaway from my comments today, it should be that I am singularly focused on leading PTC to execute to its full potential. As the company's next CEO, I strongly believe that we have the right strategy, organization and product portfolio to drive consistent customer and shareholder value in the years ahead.

Can’t say fairer than that! We look forward to seeing what comes next in 2024. 

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