If you are undergoing a digital transformation—and who isn’t these days—you may be looking for an IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) platform to help collect and make sense of the vast volumes of data collected from all those connected devices. Because IIoT is relatively new, many platforms don’t have a long track record to prove their value, making it even harder to choose the right solution for your company. If you’re on the hunt for an IIoT platform, your choices may eventually come down to PTC’s ThingWorx vs MindSphere from Siemens. If that happens, here’s what you should be looking at and how we think the two solutions stack up.
An industrial IoT (IIoT) platform enables your digital transformation strategy.
IoT Platform Comparison Feature Breakdown
APIs, Integration, and Connectivity
The first step of digital transformation, Industry 4.0, or whatever you choose to call it, is to connect devices and things. Therefore, the ability to easily connect devices should be your first selection criteria. MindSphere consists of a series of sub-modules that allows developers to model environments as well as set up and manage security. Each of the sub-modules has a similar user interface, which may be new but looks like it came from the client-server era. MindSphere connects to devices using hardware—a MindConnect PLC—or a proprietary software agent. It leverages services from multiple cloud providers and partners to complete its offering.
ThingWorx inherently supports connected products and operations while providing easy integration to third-party apps and solutions that may already be in place. When it comes to ThingWorx vs MindSphere, the ThingWorx platform is lightyears ahead in terms of both strategy and feature set.
ThingWorx makes it easy to connect products directly through the platform or third-party integrations.
Data and Device Management
ThingWorx is ahead on device connectivity and management, but does it lead the ThingWorx vs MindSphere competition when it comes to data management? While both solutions gather and consolidate data, ThingWorx also includes powerful analytics capabilities. MindSphere documentation says “MindConnect Edge Analytics supports various analysis packages.” That statement is very vague, and it turns out the analytics you see in the demo may look nice but aren’t actually a fundamental part of the MindSphere solution.
ThingWorx includes powerful data analytics capabilities.
Both PTC and Siemens have long-standing history in the manufacturing industry, so it is impossible to select a winner in ThingWorx vs MindSphere when it comes to industry expertise.
Deployment Options and Scalability
Both packages are deployable in the cloud or on-premise, so whatever your deployment strategy these solutions can work within it.
Education, Training, and Support
MindSphere has online documentation and an education portal to help new users or developers learn to work with the solution. While there is a lot to work with, the documentation is, unfortunately, challenging to navigate and isn’t segmented into topics.
ThingWorx benefits from PTC’s well-organized educational offerings and includes a developer forum, so you can get answers to your questions from the thriving community.
ThingWorx includes access to PTC’s impressive education and resource library.
Platform and Offering
ThingWorx is a full-featured platform designed to support every aspect of a company’s digital transformation. MindSphere is more like an offering in that Siemens consolidated various third-party applications and gave them a product name. There is no prescriptive intelligence to the choice of third-party offerings. In fact, in the online education, the documentation asks students to “vote” for solutions they would like to see included. If you have the time, energy and expertise to build your own IIoT ecosystem, MindSphere might be a good choice. For most of us who need to get on with our other job duties, ThingWorx is a better choice.
ThingWorx was specifically developed to support every component of your digital transformation strategy.
Enable Digital Transformation the Easy Way
Industry 4.0, digital transformation, IIoT. It goes by many names and the supporting technology is moving and advancing rapidly. When it comes to ThingWorx vs MindSphere, ThingWorx is the clear leader. ThingWorx is ahead of the other platforms at this point, and PTC has the industry expertise, resources, and most of all, the vision to keep it that way.
But it’s not just us that thinks ThingWorx is an IIoT leader. Industry analysts also agree with our assessment. ThingWorx is rated as a leader by Gartner in their latest IoT Magic Quadrant, by Forrester in their latest IoT Wave, and by IDC in their latest IoT MarketScape. Tellingly, MindSphere is not included in any of these reports. You might not believe us, but you can’t argue with the most informed minds in the industry.
Of course, as PTC’s reseller, we may be slightly biased. That’s why we included third-party analysis to supplement our own. If you’d like to learn more about ThingWorx and how it can support your move to IIoT, contact us today. We’ll be happy to talk about your journey to IIoT.
Or, if you’re still deciding which IoT solution is right for you, check out our other IoT platform comparisons: