Is it true the PTC has discontinued Product Point? That would be a shame, as it seemed like a great PDM solution for small companies who use Pro/E/Wildfire/Creo, like mine. (If so, I guess I'm glad I didn't take the plunge into it last year, like I almost did!)
For now I guess I'll continue with Pro/Intralink 3.4 as best I can, but what happens when that is no longer possible?
I have been told that a small company trying to upgrade to Windchill 10 is not practicle - that it almost requires a full time CAD administrator. Is that true?
Any suggestions for a great PDM solution for small companies who use Proe/E/Wildfire/Creo?
While PTC did get a lot of positive feedback about Windchill ProductPoint, we were finding that many customers were looking for some capabilities that were only available in Windchill PDMLink. Plus, we were getting great user feedback on how much easier the Windchill 10.0 UI is to use. So it was decided to focus on one product, Windchill PDMLink, which offers any user a configurable user interface and as much product development capabilites as they want.
I should mention that PTC does realize that SMB customers have unique needs and will continue to develop features that are SMB-focused.
FYI - There are a number of small companies that use Windchill including Windchill 10.0. Hagler Systems was in some of the Windchill 10.0 and PlanetPTC 2011 videos and they have less then 100 people - http://www.ptc.com/view?im_dbkey=133125
Hope this helps.
How small is your company (in terms of Windchill users)?
You certainly CAN move to Windchill even in a small environment. At minimum, you can move to Pro/INTRALINK 9.x which can use the same licenses you already own for Pro/INTRALINK 3.4. (Well, different licenses per se, but no additional costs over your current maintenance).
Despite what you may hear, for a small installation, you can get by without a full time Windchill administrator. You do need someone who understands the tool along with a good, experienced IT/network person. Many companies try to "grow their own" admin. This can certainly be done but it takes training and time working on the system. If this sounds unreasonable, there are products like PLM On Demand where PTC manages your Windchill server for you for a fee.
Depending upon the amount of data you need to migrate and the size of your user base, your system and personnel requirements vary. Tell us more about your situation. That will help narrow down potential solutions.
For something that small, there may be great value in PDM On Demand. I'm not well versed in the costs associated with this approach but perhaps your PTC rep or VAR (reseller) could provide some guidance. This approach saves you the hardware costs, server maintenance, and admin duties. For a small installation, this might be the way to go.
If that's out of the question, I believe you could still manage a micro installation of Pro/INTRALINK 9.x without much trouble. Setting it up would be the hardest part I think. You may want to hire a consultant or Windchill specialist for this (and have them available on speed dial if problems arise). If only I had a few more years of experience I'd love to provide this kind of service... but I don't feel I have that level of expertise yet.
I can't imagine that a small company upgrading to Windchill... even Windchill 10.x requires a full time admin. If you can get it up and running yourself or with the assistance of an experienced consultant or VAR, you should be able to handle most of the admin duties yourself. You won't be able to do much customization... but it's better to try to stick close to the out of box configuration anyway.