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30 Apr 2007

Cadalyst Event Report: UGS Connection Americas 2007

Tilo Brandis, president of Electronics Assembly Systems, a subdivision of Siemens AG Automation & Drives (A&D) Group, may have found the most succinct way to explain why his firm is paying nearly US$3.5 billion to buy UGS.

Earlier this year, when the deal became news, Managing Automation pondered, "What does a giant engineering and automation company like Siemens AG want with UGS, a design and product lifecycle software vendor? ("Dangerous Intersection," February 9, 2007).

The answer is quite simple. Brandis' bosses in Germany are thinking like the hockey legend Wayne Gretzky. In the words of the Great One on the ice, they plan to "skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been." In other words, the merger is an anticipatory move, calculated to converge with the industry's trajectory. They're betting that what the two companies can jointly bring to the market is what manufacturers will eventually demand.

At any rate, that's what Brandis told the estimated 2,200 that had gathered in Long Beach, California, last week for UGS Connection Americas 2007 Users Conference. The event, organized by the independent UGS user community PLM World, was formerly known as the PLM World Conference.

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