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Centric Software awarded PLM patent
Jan '10
The United States Patent Office has awarded Full Patent text, titled "Managing and Unifying Structured Representations of Product Information" to Centric Software. The patent recognizes a unique business method codified in the Centric product lifecycle and sourcing platform.

One of the key challenges in collaborative product development is the synchronization of groups that contribute to different aspects or "perspectives" of the product throughout the lifecycle. Traditionally PLM vendors have provided a single perspective, the product structure, or bill of materials. This does not work well when each group has a very different definition or perspective of the product. For example a product development group may define the product much differently than a sourcing group.

The Centric patent provides a unique way to allow the many functional groups that work on a product during its lifecycle to proceed independently through the steps, tasks, decisions and events they must accomplish, confident that as the various product definition evolves, "intelligence" within the system will synchronize the groups and notify them if the decisions of another group will affect them or their plans.

The value of Centric's new patented business method capability is that products are delivered more quickly and more efficiently in a multi-group setting, with fewer errors, and at lower costs and desired level of re-use.

"Many industries require different departments to collaborate simultaneously in developing and introducing new products and product lines. Traditional PLM has served well the needs of product development teams but struggled to integrate the other essential departments," explained Chris Groves, CEO at Centric. "With this breakthrough, Centric established an innovative method to orchestrate change across multiple departments and across multiple definitions of the same product. This provides a synchronization of processes that all need to be executed and synchronized in the development of a product."

Ravi Rangan, chief technology officer at Centric added: "The patent recognizes that this business method provides an information structure uniquely capable of uniformly and automatically scaling to manage the multiple, coexisting and concurrently operated dimensions or perspectives of a product that must be coordinated intelligently to manage it through its development, launch and lifecycle. By awarding this patent, the Patent Office, which is especially strict in issuing business method patents, recognized the unique value that this new capability delivers to Centric customers."

Centric Software Inc

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