Case Detail

Case Summary

PTC: Launching an Entirely New Product Platform

Case Number: 5-405-752, Year Published: 2007

HBS Number: KEL316

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Key Concepts

New product launch, new product launches in technology/enterprise markets, sales strategy, channel strategy, corporate entrepreneurship, organic growth, platform strategy


The case presents a $1+billion technology company seeking new growth through the introduction of a radically new product platform. During its first ten years, PTC Corporation grew faster than Microsoft did during the similar period of its evolution. By the late 1990s PTC was faced with intensified competition and saturation in its core markets. To maintain growth, the company introduced a completely new product platform. While PTC focused in developing and selling the product, it failed to recognize that this new product was so different from its traditional offerings that it required a new organizational structure, sales capabilities, support processes, and market strategy. The case traces the company’s evolution from development and launch of Windchill through the four-year period post-launch, during which its founding CEO was forced out and the company transformed. Ultimately, Windchill became a top seller for PTC, but not until after significant internal change. The PTC case illustrates what it means to build a new business within the context of an existing, successful firm. It can also be used to explore what it takes to accomplish a successful new product launch for a substantially new product platform. Sales and channel strategy also figures prominently in the case.

Number of Pages: 12

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Entrepreneurship, Management, Strategy, Technology

Teaching Note Available: Yes

Geographic: United States

Industry: Software Product Development and Engineering

Organization Name: PTC Corporation

Organization Size: Medium

Decision Maker Position: EVP, Sales and Marketing

Decision Maker Gender: Male

Year of Case: 1998