Siemens PLM and IBM yesterday told analysts and media that they have been working together over the last 18 months to closely integrate IBM’s Websphere, DB2 and Rational into Teamcenter 8 to speed implementation and improve performance, security and ease of use. In a nutshell, Teamcenter 8 has been certified on the product development information framework (PDIF)and IBM SOA Connect and SOA Explore. According to IBM, Teamcenter 8 is the first engineering data management product to be tuned for Websphere and DB2 to this extent.

The companies said that they entered into this alliance to remove obstacles faced by every customer implementing Teamcenter and trying to integrate it into existing business systems — after all, why should the thousands of companies doing this bear the cost of custom integration when it could be done once (and done well, by the experts)?

Both companies stand to gain, by getting access to the other’s customers and by creating a single offering of product, services and support that may be as close to an out-of-the-box install as a complex PLM system can get. Customers may be the biggest winners: closer integration between Teamcenter and middleware will speed everyday interactions, offer
greater control, lower cost to install and reduce risk.

Many details are yet to come: cost of an integrated seat versus a "build your own" (although Siemens PLM did say that a Teamcenter 8 seat with embedded Websphere and DB2 would be comparable to a seat of Teamcenter 7), how much faster interactions would be as a result of the closer coupling, the typical duration of a "Blue Stack" install program and so
on. But Siemens PLM did clarify one important fact: Teamcenter 8 will be available in what is being called the "Blue Stack" (pre-configured with Websphere and DB2) as well as in a standard form (ready for integration into other middleware and databases).

It was refreshing to see companies do the work, ready the product and then announce. Too often, the hoopla surrounds the announcement and then it all quietly fades. Not this time.