PTC is one of our premier partners in the Product Lifecycle Management space.  We have some great customer case studies together, and Microsoft itself uses PTC solutions in some areas of product design.  PTC recently participated in the Sharepoint Conference annoucements around Sharepoint 2010 as they are making a big bet on the concept of "Social Product Development”.  The concept is that traditional PLM systems are primarily in place for governance and rigor once an idea has made it far enough to enter the formal NPI process at a company.  But there are a lot of ideas floating around before that happens, and with the advent of social media, it’s anticipated that many of those collaborative interactions will happen outside of traditional PLM systems. 

Specifically:

High-performing development teams need a way to have a “team” presence to foster morale, improve productivity, and share successes with other teams.

“Communities of practice” exist in which engineers or developers from different disciplines may share best practices, and social media is one of the best ways to do this.

Product developers need to have a two-way conversation with customers way in advance of putting a design proposal on paper.  It’s well recognized that social media is one of the best ways to interact with customers in a non-marketing, low-cost way to solicit feedback on what they want.

Check out PTC’s Social Product Development blog for some of this great thinking and a demo, and check out Owen Allen’s blog for his commentary on how this relates to Sharepoint 2010.