Cover Story: 10 Best CEOs to watch 2018

ciobulletin ptc james heppelmann president ceo

“We stand at the frontier of a new age of innovation, where the industrial revolution is colliding head-on with the digital revolution,” James Heppelmann, President and CEO of PTC

Small beginnings often lead to great things. At the turn of the previous century, we had no clue how revolutionary computers were going to be. In fact, we can hardly imagine how our lives would be without the support of computers to run today’s advanced programs. But even before computers hit the mainstream, PTC Inc. had kick-started a dynamic revolution in computer softwares and services. Established in 1985 and headquartered just outside of Boston, Massachusetts, PTC has designed, developed and contributed immensely to our computer-operated world.

At the head of this multinational company is James (Jim) E. Heppelmann, the president and CEO of PTC. Mr. Heppelmann was appointed as the CEO of the company in 2010 and he achieved this position with his own dedication and immense hard work. james heppelmann cover 2018He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with an emphasis on computer-aided design from the University of Minnesota. Once with his degree in hand and his education complete, Mr. Heppelmann started his journey to become one of the most successful CEOs.

Mr. Heppelmann’s career graph began to rise when put his inquisitive mind at Metaphase Technology where he contributed to the company’s growth as the Chief Technology Officer. Prior to holding his CEO position, Mr. Heppelmann started his voyage with PTC in 1998, when computer services were gaining momentum. Back then, PTC acquired Windchill Technology, a company that Mr. Heppelmann co-founded based out of Minnesota. While at Windchill Technology, Mr. Heppelmann put his innovativeness again as the Chief Technology Officer.

PTC: The New Frontier of Innovation

PTC, since its foundation in 1985, has been empowering its customers by leading them to stay one step ahead. Be it of competition, technological growth, etc. PTC has led its customers ahead by its unique combination of field-proven technology and its driving strategic vision. With more than three decades of contribution, PTC’s technology is the helping hand for many companies worldwide. It contributes to tap into the potential value that’s being developed at the melting point of the digital world and the seamless blend into our physical world. The company achieves this through the 3D printing technology, augmented reality, IoT, Industry 4.0, and digital twin.

“With PTC, global manufacturers and an ecosystem of partners and developers can capitalize on this promise of physical digital convergence today and drive the future of innovation,” explains Mr. Heppelmann. In fact, PTC was so ahead of its times, that back in 1988, it developed parametric, associative feature-based, solid computer-aided design modeling software. This even included an Internet-based product for product lifecycle management in 1998.

Leading PTC to the forefront

Yes, PTC has been a driving force in understanding the digital form with its decades of experience. After joining hands with PTC, Mr. Heppelmann was appointed as the Chief Technology Officer, for his previous experiences and his success stories. As the CTO, he was responsible was driving PTC’s product marketing, product management, product vision & strategy, and also the product development. Under his able guidance, the company witnessed immense growth over the years.

After nearly ten years, Mr. Heppelmann was next appointed as PTC’s President and Chief Operating Officer from 2001 to 2009. In this position, he pushed the company to wider explorations. He was responsible for managing the business units of operation of the company including R&D, marketing, sales, and services. “We turn possibility into reality,” he explains. “Our leading industrial innovation platform and solutions help companies quickly capitalize on the promise of technology today.”

As the President and CEO of the company since 2010, Mr. Heppelmann takes the lead of driving PTC’s global business strategy and operations. With nearly a decade of his strong leadership, PTC has witnessed a congregation of the industrial innovation platform. And not to forget the solutions that are field-proven and services that empower companies to operate, manufacture, design, develop and also provide service for a better, smart and connected world. Mr. Heppelmann also serves as a member of PTC’s Board of Directors.

PTC: Driving Technology with Innovation

The innovative technology from PTC comes with its decades-long experience in understanding the entire digital environment. Today, there are over $1 billion investments that are striving to bring back the information into the physical world. “We have a unique, big picture view of how this technology can advance your business today,” Mr. Heppelmann says.

It’s evident that technological advancements keep occurring at high-speed, enabling every sector of our economy to flourish and triumph with profits. “Our leading industrial innovation platform and our field-proven solutions and services, help companies design, manufacture, operate, and service things for a smart, connected world,” he adds. Be it large conglomerates, or SMBs, or even developers and partners, PTC is outreaching everywhere to develop entirely new tech-based business models.

An inspiring writer on the inside

Mr. Heppelmann is contributing immensely to the entire global community. He’s been a driver and an innovator. Yes, he’s a thought leader in the modern industrial revolution. But there are still a few things that you need to know about the dynamic personality: he’s a writer. He’s an author and has poured his views through various articles and books about various aspects of the Internet of Things.

Along with a Professor Michael E. Porter from Harvard, Mr. Heppelmann has co-authored three articles that are highly influential in nature. These articles are primarily about the Internet of Things and their transformational impact on modern business. His documented works also include the article titled “How Smart, Connected Products are Transforming Competition.” This was the cover story for the November 2014 Harvard Business Review.

The following year, he again contributed to Harvard Business Review for the October 2015 issue. The article was titled, “How Smart, Connected Products are Transforming Companies.” And more recently, Mr. Heppelmann brought out the third part of his collaboration with the Harvard Business Review that was published in November 2017. The article was called “A Manager's Guide to Augmented Reality.” This article is in fact, a collection of articles. It speaks about why every organization in the present situation requires an Augmented Reality (AR) strategy.

Apart from these articles with the Harvard Business Review, Mr. Heppelmann’s works have also been published and quoted in trade media platforms and various global business summits, including the Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal.

PTC in a box!

  • There are 6,000 employees at PTC spread across 30 countries
  • PTC has nearly 300,000 developers in its ecosystem worldwide
  • 1,050. That’s the number of service professionals at PTC
  • It’s technology and service partners has a high number of 1,150

His Wall of Fame

A man with such caliber has made sweeping headlines at every turning point of his career life. Here’s a brief list of Mr. Heppelmann’s various recognitions and achievements.

  • The Hewlett Packard Enterprise “7 IoT Leaders to Watch in 2017” recognized Mr. Heppelmann as one of the leaders
  • PostScapes awarded him the “IOT CEO of the Year” in 2017
  • He was awarded the “Technology CEO of the Year” by the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council
  • The Council also recognized his work and contribution in the Internet of Things and awarded the “CAD Society Leadership Award”

Among his various expertise, Mr. Heppelmann is also a dynamic speaker. He has been featured as a keynote presenter at various events including the NAM, the National Association of Manufacturers. He’s been a key speaker at events on topics like “How Smart, Connected Products Are Redefining Manufacturing.” Additionally, Mr. Heppelmann was a featured speaker on “the role of digitization in America's advanced industries” at the Brookings Institution.

His experience and expertise are manifold. Mr. Heppelmann is a part of SENSATA, a world leader in automotive and industrial sensors and controls, where he is a member of the board of directors. On a more recent note, he was elected to the MassTLC (Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council) Board of Trustees.

His mastery over the Internet of Things is highly valued. And so, the University of Minnesota College of Science & Engineering has Mr. Heppelmann on board as a member for its Dean’s advisory board. That’s not all. The innovative CEO is also part of the national FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) as an executive advisory board member. He has also been recognized as one of the “Top 100 CEO Leaders in STEM” by the STEMconnector organization.

“Twice before over the past 50 years, information technology radically reshaped competition and strategy; the Internet of Things, or IoT, is the third wave of IT-driven competition.”

“Our leading industrial innovation platform and our field-proven solutions and services, help companies design, manufacture, operate, and service things for a smart, connected world.”

“The opportunities in this new frontier of innovation are great, but so are the challenges. From where to start to how to get existing data out of silos and inaccessible systems, having the right partner on the journey is vital.”

“The best solutions will come from vendors that develop best-in-class partnerships. Our partners are leading the way in innovation, advising their own customers on how ThingWorx and other PTC technology can enable them to generate business value.”