PTC to Acquire Arena Solutions

By on December 25th, 2020 in Corporate

Tags: , , , , ,

PTC to Acquire Arena Solutions
PTC acquires Arena [Source:]

PTC has taken another step into the software-as-a-service (SaaS) world with the acquisition of Arena Solutions, a provider of cloud-based product lifecycle management (PLM) and quality management system (QMS) platforms.

The price tag: $715 million, cash. PTC expects the acquisition to be complete by early next year, pending all the usual conditions.

This story is breaking, so we don’t have all the answers yet. But we sure do have a lot of questions.


PTC has an answer to this one: “The Arena Solutions acquisition will further PTC’s strategy to be the leader in the rapidly-growing market for SaaS-based product development software, enabling the company to deliver a complete CAD and PLM SaaS solution.”

The first part of that solution refers to Onshape, a cloud CAD platform that PTC purchased in October 2019 for $470 million. It was a surprising move, especially considering that Onshape was struggling to capture paying users. But Onshape offered PTC two things it needed: one, a mid-market CAD solution, and two, a foothold in the SaaS world. PTC CEO Jim Heppelmann is using that foothold to climb straight to the cloud.

“This acquisition is the logical next step in PTC’s strategy to be the industrial SaaS leader,” said Heppelmann. “A big first step was the acquisition of Onshape, the SaaS leader in CAD, and collaborative design capabilities. Arena will enable us to round out the solution with full PLM capabilities and deliver the only complete CAD + PLM SaaS solution in the industry.”

The pandemic also played a role in the decision, according to Heppelmann.

“The effects of COVID-19 have dramatically accelerated this inevitable shift, with PTC customer surveys indicating a 25% increase in readiness for SaaS PLM since the pandemic started. We expect the acquisition of Arena will significantly extend our leadership position as we continue to redefine the future of our industry,” he said.

What About Windchill?

Jim Heppelmann joined PTC in 1998 when it acquired his own PLM startup, Windchill Technology. Today, Windchill is PTC’s flagship PLM solution. But Windchill is already available as a SaaS product, and a valuable one. The U.S. Navy just spent $100 million on a five-year deal to use PTC’s SaaS Windchill platform to digitalize NAVSEA, the Naval Sea Systems Command.

So it’s safe to say Windchill isn’t going anywhere soon. But what will be its relationship with Arena PLM?

What About Atlas?

After the Onshape acquisition, PTC took its core cloud architecture and branded it Atlas. Atlas was to serve as the foundation of all of PTC’s SaaS applications going forward. Will Arena’s PLM platform be grafted on to the Atlas foundation? Will Atlas incorporate Arena’s existing cloud architecture? Or does PTC have a different plan altogether?


By provides a variety of news and services to the engineering discipline worldwide and publishes a popular online blog focusing on the art of making in the industrial world.

Leave a comment