Siemens Xcelerator Portfolio Graduates to Software-as-a-Service

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By James Prestwood | 1Q 2022 | IN-6480

Siemens Xcelerator product portfolio has been launched as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model (XaaS), building on key developments and acquisitions in foundational cloud technologies. This allows customers to utilize solutions across their organization, improving collaboration at all points of the value chain.

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Xcelerator's Evolution into XaaS


Siemen launched its Xcelerator software portfolio in 2019 to provide a faster route to market for digital transformation projects. The portfolio of solutions contains a range of products and services, such as Teamcenter for PLM, Polarion for ALM, and Mendix for low-code app development to make it faster and easier to build, integrate, and extend new, digitally-enabled capabilities. Lighthouse customers include Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Daimler Truck, and Airbus. These companies use Xcelerator to drive innovation more efficiently by improving transparency throughout the product lifecycle.

In late 2021 Siemens launched Xcelerator-as-a-service (XaaS), an evolution in the deliverance of the Xcelerator portfolio built on the developments and acquisitions of key cloud-native foundation technologies, to bring the range of benefits that come with SaaS to industrial customers. This allows Siemens’ solutions to be more easily leveraged across client organizations, with greater personalization and the ability for multiple stakeholders to carry out compute-intensive tasks collaboratively in real-time, regardless of size or industry.

Critical Building Blocks


XaaS allows businesses to increase in scale and adapt more nimbly to changing market conditions, with the ability to add capacity where needed by allowing a company to utilize a given solution of the portfolio, to meet particular requirements, at a specific time. For example, the Opcenter RD&L solution in the portfolio can be deployed to aid in the rapid development of new products during strong market growth periods. XaaS allows access of solutions such as this to be quickly available through the cloud, avoiding investment into costly IT infrastructure alongside providing a portfolio covering all elements of the production process, from design, with their NX and Solid Edge platform, to process automation through Rulestream.

Siemens in-house developments, alongside acquisitions, have provided the framework for this service. Siemens Mendix application platform forms the basis, with the provision of an all-in-one low-code application development software. Through this, Mindsphere adds an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) service solution which connects assets and transfers data to the cloud to provide business insights. Finally, the combination of Supplyframes, which is a critical component of Siemens digital marketplace strategy, gives market intelligence, with its Design-to-Source Intelligence ecosystem, which supports decision making around customer design cycles and market engagement. Collectively, this forms a comprehensive innovation platform provided as a continuous service that addresses and delivers solutions for all aspects of the value chain from conceptual design to end market sales.

Rapid Delivery Across the Value Chain


The release of Siemens XaaS continues the organization’s trend towards creating a more adaptable and agile business model regarding their product creation and delivery. The initial announcement of the product came with a name change of the delivering company, to Siemens Digital Industry Software; a transition made to reflect the company’s transforming ecosystem of solutions. It comes in line with their Vision 2020+ plan, which targets the expansion of digitization in businesses and IoT integration services, with sentiments that the future of the industry is found within cloud-based services. Siemens look to place themselves squarely at the center of such industry development. This is not the first SaaS delivered by the company, with Teamcenter X, a product lifecycle management tool, serving as a trailblazer and now being integrated into XaaS.

SaaS provides an attractive framework for digitalization. It allows for flexibility and increases in scale, alongside the capacity to be more adaptable to market conditions, an ability that is becoming ever more essential in today’s uncertain global markets. Cloud-based SaaS also removes the need to host private infrastructure and employ excessive in-house IT expertise and allows everyone to stay up to date using the same and latest version of software. Low-code application development capabilities, like those brought by Mendix, are important to unlocking the speed and accessibility of SaaS because they allow a broader user base to engage with business-critical applications, namely the OT staff who are actually using them. Furthermore, solutions that leverage a common shared data source improve collaboration.

XaaS covers use cases in design, production, and delivery process, making collaboration on shared data possible at a scale previously unknown to industrial and manufacturing end users. Industries with complex design and production processes are likely to benefit most from SaaS, as the requirement for effective collaboration across the production chain is far more pressing, since, in discrete manufacturing, many different suppliers manufacture different parts for a single product. In process industries, the challenge is that downstream issues cannot be undone or disassembled. SaaS helps companies get ahead of these issues by keeping people on the same page at different stages of production. The launch of XaaS signals a bold yet essential direction of travel for both Siemens and the broader manufacturing landscape in bringing the scope and scale of digital transformation to a broader user base.



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