ALM-PLM integration challenges and opportunities

ALM-PLM integration domains. Source: Polarion and Siemens PLM

Siemens PLM’s agreement to acquire Polarion, a prominent provider of ALM (application lifecycle management) technology, will give the PLM vendor one of the last major pieces needed to complete what CEO Chuck Grindstaff calls its “systems-driven product development environment.” Over the past decade-plus, embedded software has become a major component of automobiles, consumer goods, medical devices, commercial aircraft, defense systems and countless other manufactured products, responsible for more and more of their performance, differentiation and customer appeal. ALM enables manufacturers to continuously integrate, verify and validate this growing software content.

With the increasingly central role of software in manufactured goods, the demarcation between product development and software development has become blurred. However, the digital toolsets that support product design and development have struggled to keep pace. PLM and ALM tools evolved independently, with each addressing different issues, work processes and engineering cultures. PLM focused on mechanical and electrical components, while ALM focused on software. Continue reading