Business Needs
PTC helps manufacturers achieve competitive advantage in their products and services by meeting their objectives for globalization, time-to-market, and operational efficiency in product development. For more than two decades, the company has been a leader in creating and selling product development software. PTC customers—more than 27,000 businesses around the world—include some of the world’s largest aerospace, automotive, consumer, medical device, and high-tech manufacturing companies.
PTC recognizes that manufacturers today operate in complex environments where buyers demand innovation and customization, new products must be brought to market quickly, government regulations change, and teams are scattered in multiple locations. To be successful, companies need sophisticated software to track and manage their diverse initiatives and adapt to changing markets. 
Tracking and controlling business processes in such a complex environment means managing huge, ever-increasing amounts of information. Database management software supporting PTC solutions must therefore deliver world-class performance, reliability, and scalability to manage increases in data volumes and process complexity. In addition to complexity, manufacturers face continuing challenges in the current economy. Price competition can be fierce. Companies need to maximize the value of every dollar they invest to stay competitive. They need efficient operations and are continually driving costs out of their systems to stay profitable. To remain competitive in the product lifecycle management software market, PTC knew that it must offer attractively priced solutions that can reliably handle growing volumes of complex data.

With the PTC suite of solutions, manufacturers can achieve maximum value from their product strategies with software and services designed to optimize key business processes throughout the entire product lifecycle. A cornerstone of the PTC integral solution portfolio is Windchill, which tracks products from initial concept through production, sales, service, and product retirement. 
A key component of the PTC Windchill platform is the data repository. PTC initially designed Windchill to operate with an Oracle database. However, Microsoft SQL Server 2012 software has a lower total cost of ownership than Oracle, and it has the same vital performance and scalability characteristics as Oracle. As a result, PTC customers are increasingly demanding that the Windchill data repository be based on SQL Server 2012.
PTC first added support for SQL Server to Windchill in 2007. Now it plans to extend that support specifically for SQL Server 2012 in August 2012. Customers will have the option to deploy Windchill on either the Enterprise or Standard edition of SQL Server 2012, depending on their needs.
Mark Hodges, Divisional Vice President and Chief Customer Officer at PTC, says, “Approximately one-third of our customers now tell us that they’ll choose SQL Server for future versions of Windchill. This represents a significant shift in preference and includes some of the company’s largest customers globally.” PTC supports its customers’ migration to SQL Server 2012 because SQL Server has the performance and scalability that Windchill and its users need.

By adding support for SQL Server 2012, PTC can reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) of its Windchill solutions compared with Oracle. Microsoft licensing fees are lower, a consolidated IT environment reduces platform complexity and risk of application conflicts, and database deployment and administration are easier.

Lower Licensing Fees
Windchill customers can save more than 60 percent on licensing fees by choosing SQL Server 2012 over Oracle. “Customers tell us the primary reason that they select SQL Server rather than Oracle is that the total cost of ownership is lower, and the difference largely comes down to licensing costs,” Hodges says. Even with licensing changes for SQL Server 2012, it is still cheaper than the comparative Oracle solution.

Less Platform Complexity
PTC has twice won Microsoft partner-of-the-year honors, and its strategic partnership with Microsoft helps its customers reduce IT complexity and risk across the PTC platform. This involves more than Windchill integration with SQL Server. For example, PTC solutions such as its Creo product design offering and its Service Lifecycle Management offering integrate easily with Microsoft SharePoint Server.
Consolidating IT around two major vendors like PTC and Microsoft helps make customers’ IT environments simpler and easier to manage with less risk of application conflicts. “With PTC and Microsoft, our customers have the power of two of the largest and most strategic vendors working closely together to enable a joint solution that generates substantial business value.” Hodges says.

Easier Administration
SQL Server 2012 features like Policy-Based Management make it easier to administer multiple databases. SQL Server administrators spend less time on problem resolution and tuning than their Oracle counterparts. A SQL Server database is easier to administer than Oracle, which saves customers on IT costs. A single database administrator can manage more SQL Server databases than Oracle databases, and the required skill set is not as stringent as for Oracle.

Faster Deployment
SQL Server 2012 is easier to deploy than Oracle thanks to integrated tools like Configuration Manager. Deployment is faster, too. IT teams spend less time on installation, configuration, security, and integration tasks for SQL Server than for Oracle. This ease of deployment helps keep Windchill TCO low for PTC customers, whether they deploy Windchill themselves, bring in a third-party deployment partner, or rely on PTC deployment services.
Hodges says, “With SQL Server 2012, Windchill customers can reduce license costs, deploy faster, and simplify management and administration.”

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.