NextLabs partners closely with Siemens to help protect Teamcenter PLM data across the extended enterprise. In the age of Industry 4.0, manufacturing has changed — intellectual property is shared with third party manufacturing partners. NextLabs Enterprise Digital Rights Management solution for Siemens Teamcenter provides the protection organizations need to ensure their intellectual property is secure. Guy Bursell, Siemens Teamcenter Product Manager, has shared this article that gives an in-depth look at the challenges and risks companies must consider across their entire engineering and manufacturing ecosystems.

Data Protection

Data Protection.pngMy previous post, The Need for Rights Management in PLM Today, in this series focusing on Enterprise Digital Rights Management (EDRM) in Teamcenter highlighted the high cost and causes identified in the theft or loss of intellectual property (IP) being experienced by companies and the key characteristics of how NextLabs’ EDRM for Teamcenter can help protect sensitive data.

Companies face the real challenges of needing to protect their sensitive information while still being able to share data and collaborate with their extended enterprise.   Once shared there are often few safeguards which can protect sensitive data while companies still need to adhere to customer, contractual and regulatory obligations.  The challenges companies face are exacerbated by the explosion of data access end points and the competitive need for broad-based collaboration.

Addressing Challenges and Risks in the Extended Enterprise

The following use cases characterize the risks and challenges faced by companies that can be addressed by NextLabs’ EDRM for Teamcenter solution which enables secure collaboration in a diverse extended enterprise ecosystem which can comprise suppliers, partners, contractors, foreign employees and joint ventures.

Global Engineering Collaboration

Teamcenter enables streamlined collaboration and global processes across divisions and geographies, but it can be challenging to control data for need-to-know projects, new product introduction (NPI) and global regulatory export requirements in a diverse extended enterprise ecosystem when sharing data globally. Companies must achieve a delicate balance between sharing and securing data.GEC.png

Field Service

Field Service representatives need access to technical product manuals and service instructions on laptops and mobile devices. The after-market service business has become a critical business many manufacturing companies and the risk of IP theft by insiders and competitors is a direct threat to the service revenue.

Field Service.png

Supply Chain Collaboration

Product data needs to be shared with suppliers so that they may design, manufacture and test components. Suppliers may additionally need to modify your information to fit into their processes and share your information with their partners and/or suppliers. Loss or theft of IP is common, while timely and accurate access to the correct product data is critical to control cost and project timelines.


Partner Collaboration

Multiple companies often collaborate on product development within partnerships or joint ventures. It is not uncommon for competitors to become partners. Both companies must share and jointly develop intellectual property (IP) while protecting the IP of their engineering partners. Protection of IP is a contractual obligation for all parties, but companies lack adequate controls to enforce these.



The NextLabs’ EDRM for Teamcenter solution can support the need to collaborate and share data securely in an extended enterprise ecosystem while also supporting compliance with industry and regulatory requirements below, to name a few:

  • International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)
  • Export Administration Regulations (EAR)
  • EIFEC EC1001 Standards (EU Export Compliance)
  • Financial Regulations, including SOX
  • Healthcare Regulations, including HIPPA
  • Personally Identifiable Information (PII),
  • DFARS – Control of Unclassified Information (CUI)
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) EU Framework

This is the second in a series of posts that explores the importance and application of EDRM for Teamcenter. In the next post, we will outline some of the technical considerations and how EDRM aligns with and compliments other security technologies employed by companies to protect their sensitive data.

About the Author

Guy Bursell.jpgEnterprise Digital Rights Management (EDRM) is a key focus for Guy Bursell, a Teamcenter Product Manager who works on the Teamcenter platform. NextLabs Inc. is a foundation partner with Siemens PLM Software and provides their EDRM technologies to enable the extension of protection of critical customer Intellectual Property with Teamcenter when sharing data.


Guy’s original version of this article can be found on the Siemens’ Community Blog.