PTC, already an owner of the ThingWorx platform since 2013, acquired Axeda in 2014 to expand its IoT technologies portfolio. It brought Axeda's fascinating technology into the PTC ecosystem and allowed many customers leverage its capabilities.
However, at the same time one thing became apparent: PTC ended up with two products in similar market areas. While ThingWorx and Axeda are in their core very different, they do share a set of similar features and potential applications. While the future of ThingWorx looks bright, with hundreds of customers worldwide successfully applying it to solve their businesess' problems, what's coming for Axeda is not as clear.
Should Axeda customers prepare to replace their solution with ThingWorx?
Immediately, it seems this might be the best course of action, but first let's consider the key differences between both solutions, as it might provide valuable insight.
To quickest way to differentiate the two is to define ThingWorx as a flexible platform which allows organizations to rapidly prototype and develop solutions addressing particular needs, with additional extensions and entire apps created by either PTC or its partner ecosystem. Axeda, on the other hand, should be considered more of an out-of-the-box product, which does allow a high degree of customization and extensibility, but it is significantly more difficult, less dynamic and sometimes limited compared to ThingWorx.
There are key differences in select areas, such as the security model, which is much more robust in ThingWorx, and allows setting up access control even for particular objects and users. Axeda's capabilities, on the other hand, are not quite as advanced, allowing only for group-based access control. Integrations in ThingWorx are easy to build and often available via the Marketplace. Features such as localization and support of various database technologies also swing on ThingWorx's favour.
Where Axeda excels is the edge. Axeda Agents are very "capable" out of the box. However, work is being done even now to ensure as many Axeda Agents' features are available in ThingWorx as possible.
What may be a key differentiator is ThingWorx's opennes. As it is not an "OOTB product" like an office software suite by one Redmond giant, but rather the foundation for developing solutions (some of which are readily available to be applied immediately - for example Navigate), creating something tailored to a certain specific case (and thus much more likely to be effective) is significantly easier in ThingWorx. Its powerful tools, such as the Composer, paired with a significantly larger amount of talent available to work with the technology, make it a clear choice as the solution to build on for the future.
Remaining with Axeda may pose significant risks, especially related to cybersecurity and compatibility with future technologies, both hardware and software. Therefore it is suggested to consider transitioning to a future-proof solution which, at the same time, provides a significantly larger scope of possibilities for its adopters.
Even now PTC and Transition Technologies PSC are working side by side on ensuring that Axeda customers can transition to ThingWorx as seamlessly as possible.
More information is available here: https://ttpsc.com/en/blog/how-is-thingworx-different-from-axeda-and-should-you-consider-moving/