Sopheon goes for automated product development

Sopheon has introduced an automated version of its Stage-Gate new-product development system .

Sopheon has introduced an automated version of its Stage-Gate new-product development system currently used by an estimated 70 percent of North American technology-driven companies.

Sopheon unveiled the new system – which has the working name Accolade – at the 24th annual conference of the Product Development & Management Association (PDMA) on October 11-15 in New Orleans.

The system was designed in conjunction with Drs. Robert Cooper and Scott Edgett, authorities on new product management whose work is the basis for the renowned Stage-Gate system of the Ontario-based Product Development Institute, Inc. (PDI).

Sopheon also announced that Pennzoil-Quaker State Company has agreed, pending formal internal approval, to beta test and implement the new system.

A number of corporate sites are expected to participate in the test activity preceding full commercial introduction of the offering. Sopheon said market release is targeted for early 2001. Accolade converts the proven Stage-Gate system from paper to computer, and speeds the process through rapid transfer of critical knowledge.

Its combination of software applications, expert services and specialised content provides a framework for new-product development processes from inception to launch. The solution is preloaded with product development best-practices content created by Drs. Cooper and Edgett, and also gives users access to Sopheon’s technical and industry experts and its portal,

For companies without an established product development process, Accolade will offer a turnkey solution. For those that have a process, Sopheon’s new system can help improve the path from concept to market.

The pressures of new-product development are illustrated by studies showing that only 60 percent of the new products launched in North America today are successful.

Unsuccessful products and products that never make it to market absorb more than half the total resources companies spend on developing and launching new products. At the same time, the importance of new-product development is recognised across all industries. Senior executives at 90 percent of companies surveyed recently by Industry Week said that new-product development will be the key driving force of business success in the years ahead.

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