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EDS, Microsoft Collaborate on Product Lifecycle Management

EDS and Microsoft — with a little backseat-driving input from General Motors and Ford — have developed what they describe as a new standard in Internet-based collaboration for manufacturers of complex, engineered products.

Taking aim at the automotive, aerospace and high-technology manufacturing industries, EDS today announced E-vis 4.0, which the application service and managed hosting provider hopes will become a new standard in Web-based collaboration, conferencing and visualization. E-vis 4.0 is designed to allow a community of users, including both technical and non-technical participants in product development as well as supply-chain partners, to collaborate in real time.

The newest version of EDS' product lifecylce management (PLM) software, E-vis 4.0 was developed in conjunction with Microsoft on the .NET platform and can integrate with XML Web services based on industry standards.

"Manufacturing enterprises need an integrated, secure and scalable platform for collaboration throughout the product lifecycle," said Sanjay Parthasarathy, president of the Platform Strategy Group at Microsoft. "The Microsoft .NET Platform, in conjunction with advanced collaboration, conferencing, and visualization solutions from EDS, connects the 3D-design and manufacturing communities in a whole new way."

E-vis 4.0 provides collaborative access to all standard engineering tools — from CAD and product data management (PDM) to Microsoft's business productivity software.

"The availability of E-vis 4.0 on the .NET platform revamps traditional thinking on how manufacturers can engage globally distributed supply chains as partners," said Tony Affuso, president, EDS PLM Solutions. "E-vis 4.0 users will realize benefits in improved responsiveness to customer needs, innovation and time-to-market."

EDS credits Ford Motor Company and General Motors with helping to define the roles of visualization technologies required for the automotive industry, with particular emphasis on addressing the needs of supply chain collaboration.

E-vis 4.0 builds on the capability to share and visualize data based on the manufacturing industry standard JT format, which is used by companies such as Ford, General Motors, Daimler/Chrysler, Renault, Hyundai, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, General Electric and Siemens.

"E-vis 4.0 signals a major advancement in product lifecycle management that will allow us to migrate from a batch computing model to a real-time, asynchronous communication environment that extends across the enterprise and into our supply base," said Kirk Gutmann, global product development information officer for General Motors Information Systems and Services.

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