PTC (software company)

PTC Inc. is a computer software and services company founded in 1985 and headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. The global technology company has over 6,000 employees in 30 countries, 1,150 technology partners and over $1bn in revenue. The company began initially developing parametric, associative feature-based, solid computer-aided design (CAD) modeling software in 1988, including an Internet-based product for product lifecycle management (PLM) in 1998. PTC products and services now include Internet of things (IoT) and augmented reality (AR) among others.

PTC Inc.
Parametric Technology Corporation
Traded as
IndustryCAD/CAM/CAE/ PLM Software/ ALM/ SLM/ IOT
FoundedMay 1985 (1985-05)
HeadquartersBoston, Massachusetts, United States
Key people
Robert P. Schechter (Chairman)
James E. Heppelmann (President & CEO)
ProductsPTC Creo, PTC Windchill, PTC Mathcad, PTC Integrity, PTC Servigistics, PTC Arbortext, ThingWorx
Revenue US$1.164 billion (2017)[1]
US$40.9 million (2017)[1]
US$6.24 million (2017)[1]
Total assets US$2.36 billion (2017)[1]
Total equity US$885.4 million (2017)[1]
Number of employees
6,041 (2017)[1]


The Russian immigrant and mathematician Dr. Samuel Geisberg worked at software-design providers Applicon and Computervision (acquired by PTC in 1998) prior to forming Parametric Technology Corporation in May 1985. In 1988, the company unveiled its first Unix-based commercial product called Pro/ENGINEER and soon-after landed John Deere as its first customer. Pro/ENGINEER was the first parametric, feature-based solids modeling CAD software. Pro/ENGINEER could recognize a change in a single variable of a design and adjust the rest of the model accordingly.

Parametric's revenue grew quickly from $3m in 1988 to $45m in 1991. The company officially went public in 1989 under the stock ticker PMTC. Parametric continued to gain industry recognition in 1992 with IndustryWeek naming Pro/ENGINEER ‘Technology of the Year’ and the company landing its largest customer to-date, Caterpillar. It made the Fortune 500 in 1995 and exceeded $800m in revenue in 1997. The company made a few acquisitions in the 1990s including CDRS and 3DPaint products from Evans & Sutherland, Rasna Corp., Reflex and DivisionGroup.

In 1998, Parametric acquired the company (Computervision) its founder (Dr. Geisberg) had previously worked for. The company consequently acquired Computervision subsidiaries including Windchill Technology, a Minnesota-based startup co-founded by current PTC CEO, James Heppelmann. Later that year, Parametric shipped Windchill, an internet-based solution for Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). PTC announced in 1999 it had 25,000 customers across aerospace, retail/footwear/apparel, automotive, industrial equipment, consumer products, electronics, and high-tech industries.

In the 2000s, Parametric developed lifecycle management software for products, assets, applications, processes and services through acquiring several companies including Polyplan Technologies, Arbortext, Aptavis Technologies Corp. (Retail PLM), NetRegulus, Synapsis Technology, Relex Software and Planet Metrics. It also made a few CAD-related acquisitions including Cadtrain, NC Graphics, Mathsoft (developers of Mathcad), ITEDO Software GmbH and CoCreate.

On October 1, 2010, James Heppelmann assumed the role of President and Chief Executive Officer of Parametric. The company renamed its initial CAD product Pro/ENGINEER to PTC Creo. The company officially changed its legal name ‘Parametric Technology Corporation’ to PTC Inc and its NASDAQ ticker to ‘PTC’ from ‘PMTC’ in 2013. PTC continued to acquire CAD and PLM-related companies including MKS Software, 4CS Software Solutions, Servigistics, Enigma, NetIDEAS, Atego and Plugin76. In December 2013, the company made its preliminary Internet of Things acquisition with the $112m takeover ThingWorx. PTC continued to acquire IoT companies with the acquisition of IoT connectivity management provider Axeda Corporation for $170m in August 2014, IoT predictive analytics company Coldlight for $105m in May 2015 and industrial connectivity provider Kepware for $100m in January 2016. The company made its initial outside investment into the Augmented Reality space with the acquisition of Vuforia from Qualcomm in November 2015 and then acquired Waypoint Labs in April 2018.

Rockwell Automation made a $1bn equity investment in PTC acquiring 8.4% ownership stake in PTC on June 11, 2018. PTC also announced major strategic partnerships with ANSYS and Microsoft in 2018.


  • 1985 - Company founded by Samuel Geisberg, formerly from Prime Computer, Computervision, and Applicon.[2]
  • 1988 - Steve Walske named CEO.[3] Company shipped Pro/ENGINEER and was considered first to market with parametric modeling design software.[4] This positions PTC as a leader in the CAD industry until the mid-1990s when a new generation of low-cost competitors arrive in the market.[5]
  • 1989 - Initial public offering.[6]
  • 1992 - Caterpillar Inc. becomes PTC's largest customer.[5]
  • 1996 - PTC acquires Reflex project modeling and management software technology[7] sold the following year to the Beck Group.
  • 1998 - Company ships Windchill and is considered first to market with internet-based solutions for Product Lifecycle Management (PLM).[5] PTC acquires Computervision Corp.[8]
  • 1999 - PTC announces it has 25,000 customers. Major industries include aerospace, retail/footwear/apparel, automotive, industrial equipment, consumer products, electronics, and high tech.[9]
  • 1999 - Acquired Division Group (Division Ltd, Bristol Uk, Division Inc) Virtual reality - dVision Head Mounted Display & Software[10][11][12][13]
  • 2002 - The company releases Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire.[14] This is the first CAD system to support web-based services.[5]
  • 2004 - Acquired OHIO Design Automation. ECAD domain knowledge purchase resulting in what is currently Creo View ECAD.
  • 2005 - Acquired Arbortext for technical publishing technology.[15] Acquired Aptavis for retail, footwear and apparel technology.[16]
  • 2006 - Acquired Mathsoft for its engineering calculation software.[17] Acquired ITEDO for its 3D technical illustration software.[18]
  • 2007 - Acquired CoCreate for its direct modeling technology.[19]
  • 2008 - Acquired Synapsis for its performance analytics technology to improve environmental performance of products.[20]
  • 2009 - Acquired Relex Software for its reliability engineering software.[21]
  • 2010 - James E. Heppelmann announced as CEO effective October 1, 2010.[22] Company renames Pro/ENGINEER to PTC Creo and promises the market product design software that is scalable, open, and easy-to-use.[23]
  • 2011 - Acquired 4CS for its warranty, service, support and service parts technology.[24] Acquired MKS for its application lifecycle management technology for all software development processes.[25]
  • 2012 - Acquired Servigistics for its suite of service lifecycle management software.[26]
  • 2013 - Acquired NetIDEAS hosting vendor for more technology deployment options.[27] Acquired Enigma for its ability to deliver technical content to aftermarket service environments.[28] Acquired Internet of Things platform developer ThingWorx for their software applications that connect and track network-enabled products.[29]
  • 2013 - Acquired ThingWorx, the Exton, Pennsylvania-based creators of an award-winning platform for building and running applications for the Internet of Things (IoT).
  • 2013 - The company changed its legal name from Parametric Technology Corporation to PTC Inc.[30]
  • 2013 - The company changed its NASDAQ ticker symbol to "PTC" from "PMTC".[31]
  • 2014 - Acquired Axeda Corporation[32]
  • 2014 - Acquired ATEGO Software, a leader in MBSE (model-based systems engineering) tool used in aerospace, transportation, and automotive industries (such as Alstom Transport and Rolls-Royce Defence)[33]
  • 2015 - Acquired the Vuforia business from Qualcomm Connected Experiences, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated. The Vuforia platform is an augmented reality (AR) technology platform.
  • 2015 - Acquired Kepware Technologies, a software development company that provides communications connectivity to industrial automation environments.
  • 2018 - Acquired Waypoint Labs,[34] a startup out of MIT / Harvard that allows frontline experts to capture and transfer knowledge using augmented reality
  • 2018 - Acquired Frustum, an advanced generative design software company which takes advantage of artificial intelligence.[35]
  • 2019 - Signed Agreement to Acquire Onshape. Onshape - creators of the first Software as a Service (SaaS) product development platform that unites robust computer aided design (CAD) with powerful data management and collaboration tools.[36]

Products & Services

PTC has five product segments under two divisions: IoT Group and Solutions Group. The IoT Group consists of its Internet of Things and Augmented Reality business units and the Solutions Group includes CAD, PLM, and SLM.

Internet of Things

PTC's offerings for the Internet of Things include many of its previously acquired technologies including its Industrial Internet of Things Platform, ThingWorx. ThingWorx is based on ThingWorx Foundation, an application enablement platform used as a design and runtime engine for IoT applications. It also includes ThingWorx Analytics, Thingworx Industrial Connectivity, and Vuforia studio.[37]

ThingWorx Industrial Connectivity includes library of over 150 device drivers and industrial protocols to connect industrial machinery to the ThingWorx platform. ThingWorx Analytics is the IoT data analysis engine for real-time pattern and anomaly detection, automated predictive analysis and contextualized recommendations. The PTC Marketplace allows customers to bolt-on PTC and/or third-party applications from PTC partners to their IoT deployments.

Over 800 partners and 550,000 developers in PTC's Global Partner Ecosystem use ThingWorx.

Augmented Reality

PTC's Augmented Reality offerings include the Vuforia Engine, An AR Platform with over 425,000 developers and 50,000 AR applications. Vuforia Studio is the AR authoring application and Vuforia Chalk enables a user to draw virtual images overlaid on physical systems. PTC also acquired Waypoint technology which captures digital workflows through AR annotation tools.

PTC Creo

The PTC Creo suite includes product design and engineering software solutions. Creo runs on Microsoft Windows and provides apps for 3D CAD parametric feature solid modeling, 3D direct modeling, 2D orthographic views, Finite Element Analysis and simulation, schematic design, technical illustrations, and viewing and visualization. Creo integrates with PTC's other product development solutions including Windchill, Mathcad, and Arbortext. Mathcad is used to solve, analyze, and share engineering calculations.


Windchill PLM includes a portfolio of different PLM capabilities to create a 'single source of truth' for all product-related information such as CAD models, documents, technical illustrations, embedded software and calculations. Windchill products include Windchill ProjectLink, Windchill PDMLink, Windchill CAPA, Windchill Service Parts, Windchill SociaLink, Windchill Utilities, FlexPLM for retail, Integrity Lifecycle Manager, Integrity Modeler, Integrity Process Director and integrations for IoT (ThingWorx Navigate) and CAD (Creo View). Windchill has over 1.5m users.


The Servigistics product integrates service planning, delivery and analysis to optimize service outcomes by providing a single view of service. Servigistics Arbortext enables manufacturers to create, illustrate, manage and publish technical and service parts information.

The PTC CAD product provides a set of Computer Aided Design capabilities. PTC CAD is a suite of 2D and 3D product design software used to create, analyze and view product designs. PTC Creo software was released in June 2011 to replace and supersede PTC's products formerly known as Pro/ENGINEER, CoCreate, and ProductView.[38] Other products include:

  • CREO parametric - formerly Pro/ENGINEER
  • CREO simulate - formerly Pro/MECHANICA
  • CREO direct - formerly CoCreate OneSpace Modeling
  • CREO options modeler
  • CREO illustrate schematics
  • CREO view
  • CREO illustrate

PTC Mathcad

Engineering calculation software that is used by engineers to solve, document and share the calculations used for product design.[39]

PTC Integrity

The PTC Integrity product provides a set of Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) and Systems Engineering capabilities and consists of the following products:[40]

  • PTC Integrity Asset Library
  • PTC Integrity Lifecycle Manager - formerly MKS Integrity
  • PTC Integrity Modeler - formerly Atego Modeler
  • PTC Integrity Process Check
  • PTC Integrity Process Consumer
  • PTC Integrity Process Director
  • PTC Integrity Process Perspective
  • PTC Integrity Requirements Connector
  • PTC AgileWorx

PTC Servigistics

Service lifecycle management SLM software that is used by manufacturers to understand how service planning, customer service, and analysis of returned product data can improve service value over a product's life.[41] PTC SLM productset includes:

  • Servigistics Inservice - formerly Enigma
  • Servigistics Arbortext - formerly Arbortext[42] without Servigistics
  • Servigistics Connected Field Services
  • Servigistics Predictive Service
  • Servigistics Remote Services
  • Servigistics Parts Pricing
  • Servigistics Arbortext Editor
  • Servigistics Arbortext IsoDraw
  • Servigistics Arbortext IsoView
  • Servigistics Service Network Management
  • Servigistics Service Parts Management


Kepware software, primarily KEPServerEX, is a connectivity platform for a diverse set of industrial automation endpoints. The software enables users to connect, manage, monitor, and control heterogeneous devices in the Industrial Internet of Things.

People, Culture and Brand

PTC President and CEO James (Jim) Hepplemann has contributed to three Harvard Business Review reports through collaboration with Harvard Business School's economist, researcher, author, advisor, speaker, and teacher Michael Porter. The first report, 'How Smart, Connected Products Are Transforming Competition' was released in November 2014, 'How Smart, Connected products are Transforming Companies' published in October 2015 and a 'A Manager's Guide to Augmented Reality was printed in December 2017.

PTC runs its annual industry event LiveWorx in Boston, Massachusetts with 2018 event having over 6,000 attendees from over 40 countries.

In September 2017, PTC announced its plans to move global headquarters from Needham, MA to 121 Seaport in Boston's Seaport District in January 2019. The facility will be in the Boston Waterfront Innovation District alongside other global companies including PWC and GE. PTC was named by Boston Globe as a top place to work for 2017 and 2018.

PTC is participating in a philanthropic project with Boston Children's Hospital, the number one pediatric hospital in the United States, to explore the use of augmented reality to help children with autism and related developmental disorders communicate and learn more effectively.

Support of STEM education

In 1999, PTC created a Global Academic Program designed to support educational initiatives in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills. The program aims to partner schools and universities with companies to assist students in developing real-world skills needed for careers in manufacturing, technology, and other STEM jobs. The program also has a direct recruitment program intended to place students in jobs with PTC's commercial customers.

PTC has also been a corporate sponsor of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) since 2008, providing participating students with access to PTC software for use in the FIRST Tech Challenge, FIRST Robotics Competition, FIRST Lego League, and FIRST World Championship. PTC sponsors the Formula Student UK program where engineering students develop small-scale formula cars. PTC provides several programs for educating academia with 3,000 hours of online content in the PTC University eLearning Libraries.

Awards and accolades

PTC has been recognized as a market leader in the Internet of Things by several industry analysts including recently Berg Insight, IoT ONE and Quadrant Knowledge Solutions. The company was listed as a Visionary in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Industrial IoT platforms, a leader in Forrester's Industrial IoT Platform Wave, the top platform in ABI Research's Smart Manufacturing Platform Competitive Assessment, leader in IoT Platforms and Industrial Big Data Analysis in the Experton Group's Industry 4.0/Internet of Things Vendor Benchmark 2017 report, a leader in IDC MarketScape: Worldwide IoT Platforms (Software Vendors) 2017 Vendor Assessment and the Industrial Internet of Things Company of the Year By IoT BreakThrough. PTC has also won several awards for PLM; it was named a Leader in The Forrester Wave: Product Lifecyle Manager for Discrete Manufacturers report, a leader in the Global IoT PLM Market by Frost and Sullivan, a leader in PLM collaboration software for aerospace and defense manufactures by CIM Data and a leader in Retail PLM Industry by IDC Marketspace. The company won an award from Compass Intelligence for top B2B Application: Augmented Reality in 2017.

PTC has been recognized as a market leader in the by several industry analysts and publications. Recent awards and accolades include:

  • PTC named PLM Product Leader for 2019 by Frost and Sullivan (July 2019)
  • PTC named a leader in Industrial IoT Software Platforms by Forrester Research (August 2018)
  • PTC ranked by ABI Research as the top smart manufacturing platform and received top scores in AR and overall innovation (July 2018)
  • PTC ThingWorx named the best Industrial IoT Platform of 2018 by Berg Insight (July 2018)
  • PTC ranked by IoT ONE as the unequivocal leader in its professional assessment (July 2018)
  • PTC ThingWorx is named as 2018 Technology Leader in the Global IoT Platform Market by Quadrant Knowledge Solutions (July 2018)
  • PTC named by IoT Analytics as leading IoT Platform vendors (June 2018)
  • PTC Named a Visionary in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Industrial IoT Platforms (May 2018)
  • PTC named leading IoT platform provider by Navigant Research (Dec 2017)
  • PTC Named a Leader in Product Lifecycle Management for Manufacturers by Forrester (November 2017)
  • PTC named Top Place to Work by Boston Globe (November 2017)
  • PTC ThingWorx recognized as the 2017 technology leader in the global IoT platform market by Quadrant Knowledge Solutions (August 2017)
  • PTC named a global leader in IoT Platforms by IDC Marketscape (July 2017)
  • PTC named the 2017 Compass Intelligence Awards for Industrial Internet of Things Company of the Year AND IoT Innovative Product of the Year Vendor for the Consumer Market for Vuforia Studio AR Solution (June 2017)
  • PTC Named IoT Leader by Experton Group (January 2017)
  • PTC Selected as Industrial Internet of Things Company of the Year by IoT Breakthrough (January 2017 & August 2016)
  • PTC Named a Leader in IoT Software Platforms by Forrester (November 2016)
  • PTC Named Internet of Things Enablement Company of the Year AND Leading Augmented Reality Vendor by Compass Intelligence Award (Sept 2016)
  • PTC identified as the Leading Provider of PLM in Aerospace and Defense by CIMdata (July 2016)
  • PTC Vuforia Named ‘Best Tool’ at 2016 Augmented World Expo Auggie Awards for Fourth Consecutive Year (July 2016)
  • PTC Named a Leader in Retail PLM Industry by IDC MarketScape (January 2016)
  • PTC Named IoT Innovation Vendor of the Year (2016) by Compass Intelligence (January 2016)

PTC's CEO, James Heppelmann, has received several awards including:

  • Jim Heppelmann named CXO of the year by IoT Global Awards 2018
  • Jim Heppelmann named as one of ten CEOs who are transforming business through technology by CEO Forum
  • Jim Heppelmann named as 100 CEO Leaders in STEM 2016 by STEMconnector (2016)
  • PTC CEO Jim Heppelmann Named CEO of the Year y MassTLC
  • Jim Heppelmann named CEO of the Year by Postscapes IoT Awards


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