I'm not sure if this is the right place to put this question, but the "Water Cooler" forum looked empty so i figured it would never be seen. I'm wondering if PTC has any plans to introduce a cost-effective PLM for smaller engineering companies.
Currently there are options like Windchill, Teamcenter and Enovia, but all are prohibitively expensive to maintain for your average engineering company. All seem to be targeting enterprise customers (1000+ people touching CAD/prints, engineers/designers/drafters/procurement) and losing out on business from a large market that doesn't necessarily need all the bells and whistles. A PLM built into Creo as an addon with basic functions (part creation/revision, checkin/checkout, engineering change routing/notification) at a reasonable price is something I'd like to see happen in the near future.
Since PTC already eliminate a product like that, the -other- Intralink, not the Windchill Intralink, I would not expect to see any cheaper solution.
It's been a while but I think there are companies that were doing PLM hosting and would manage the data for you, saving the large outlay. For example: https://www.tristar.com/products/ptc-windchill/ptc-plm-ondemand/
We have 5 designers and use Windchill PDMLink to capture designs/drawings and other project related documents. Windchill may be an overkill but it does work for a small company.
There are some very low-cost solutions on the market that may fit your business model. The draw back to third party products is the lag time for them to release a new version to support the latest CAD release. You also need to worry about the support you will get if you have issues, not to mention their staying active in the market.
PTC tried a lower-level of Windchill with MS Sharepoint, but changes in the Sharepoint arcitecture made it to complex for PTC to do an efffective upgrade combined with low sales.
Windchill PDM Essentials may be your best solution. It is suppossed to be a ready to deploy solution for CAD management and not require the customization of PDMLink or IntraLink. Hopefully PDM Essentials has an easier upgrade process than PDMlink!
PTC did this around 2008-2009 with ProductPoint (IIRC), which was based off the SharePoint architecture. The intention was just as you stated, CAD data management and basic PLM for small engineering teams that didn't want all the overhead of Windchill.
It was pushed hard for a solid year, and then dropped. I have no idea what the business rationale was behind that.
We used Windchill ProductPoint from 2009-2013. I think they promised features like large solutions for a smaller price. In the end effort to maintain two versions was to high...
But our PDMLink setup wasn't really costlier than PP setup.
Access Licenses are expensive. We have some customizations, mostly because of internal company requirements, but for smaller teams. (small... we have 15 seats... so Engineering is small too)