PTC, a company better known for its product development (CAD), product data management (PLM) and service management software for manufacturing firms is now getting hot and heavy with the industrial internet. On Wednesday it said it had agreed to purchase Axeda, a company that has been providing cloud services and expertise to big name brands as they try to add connectivity to their product, for $170 million in cash. The deal is expected to add $25 million to $30 million of revenue in the company’s fiscal 2015 beginning October 2014. The deal should close by Sept. 30 of this year.
Late last year, PTC purchased ThingWorx which also offered back-end cloud services and expertise. Essentially, while there are plenty of hot new startups attacking this space such as Ayla Networks, PTC is going after companies that have been around for much longer. For example, Axeda was founded in 2000, while ThingWorx has been around since 2009.
Both are more expert in the older M2M world that relied on cellular connectivity, and both quickly glommed onto the promise that ubiquitous cell phones and cheaper radio technologies could offer in terms of making connected devices more accessible to more devices and places. Now it’s clear that PTC sees an opportunity, and is diving in to secure what it thinks the future is for its manufacturing clients. In that it will compete with GE, Cisco and other large tech and industrial firms who also see a huge opportunity.