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PTC's Acquisition Of ServiceMax Reinforces The Growing Demand For Solutions That Manage Assets Across Their Life Cycle

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PTC's Acquisition Of ServiceMax Reinforces The Growing Demand For Solutions That Manage Assets Across Their Life Cycle

On November 17th 2022, PTC entered into agreement to acquire ServiceMax from private equity firm Silver Lake in a deal worth $1.46 billion. This followed two previous acquisitions in 2022: RE’FLEKT, an augmented reality remote assistance solution provider, and Intland Software, an Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) solution provider. While PTC has undertaken more than 30 acquisitions in its nearly 40-year history, it has ramped up purchases in recent years, spending close to $3 billion since 2019, $1.75 billion of which was in 2022 alone. What has prompted this spike?

One reason is that PTC is tapping into a wider trend toward platform consolidation in the industrial technology market. In our report on the top industrial tech trends of 2023, we highlighted the increased move towards solutions that cover the entire asset life cycle. The PTC/ServiceMax offering is more product-centric, but likewise reveals an intention to develop solutions that help manage products throughout their life cycle. Jim Heppelmann, CEO and President of PTC, echoed this sentiment, noting that the combination of PTC’s product lifecycle management (PLM) and ServiceMax’s enterprise asset management (EAM) and field service management (FSM) capabilities allowed users a “comprehensive view of […] products at each stage of the lifecycle”.

From another perspective, this is a simple case of competitive positioning. PTC’s PLM product is well-positioned; its FSM capabilities are less developed. Previously, PTC approached the FSM software market through a combination of augmented reality solutions – the Vuforia suite – and its inventory and parts management solution – Servigistics. By combining ServiceMax’s FSM software capabilities with its own suite of offerings, PTC can now offer a more comprehensive solution. Through this acquisition, PTC can rival competitors such as SAP through its breadth of offering.

Other market activity in 2022 – namely IFS’s acquisition of EAM competitor Ultimo and ServiceNow’s launch of its EAM software product – brought FSM and parallel solutions closer. Will we see PTC acquire a cloud or mobile EAM software provider to compete with larger EAM software vendors? Only time will tell.

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Hugo Fuller

Industry Analyst

Hugo is an industry analyst in the Verdantix Operational Excellence practice. His research agenda explores the technologies within the extended reality and connected worker market, alongside enterprise asset management software. In advisory, his work includes go-to-market, growth strategy and long-term research partnerships.