As IoT, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and digital twins become more ubiquitous, the cloud has become the computing platform of choice. But with so much riding on speed and performance, choosing the right cloud platform can be the difference between project success and project failure.

If your project is relatively simple—like hosting your accounting or HR systems—almost any mainstream cloud provider will do. But if you have a unique, complex, or cutting-edge project, you need to be certain the cloud provider you choose has the chops for the project.

When designing for IoT, you need to be sure that your cloud provider has the tools and features you need to handle your project.

Many people turn to IBM or AWS as their top choice, and they are both good. But we think you can do better. If you’re looking to optimize performance and improve efficiency in a manufacturing environment there’s another option – The PTC ThingWorx IoT platform. Here’s how we compare PTC ThingWorx vs AWS for a manufacturing or IoT project.


ThingWorx vs AWS

IoT Commitment: Advantage ThingWorx

PTC, the creator of ThingWorx, has been a mainstay in the manufacturing industry for more than 30 years. Well known for CAD, PLM, and 3D product design, PTC was an early entrant in understanding the value and benefits of IoT. They purpose-built ThingWorx to operate in an industrial environment and to support the needs of product designers and engineers.

ThingWorx was designed specifically for industrial manufacturing environments.

AWS, a part of Amazon, has been around since 2006. Admittedly, Amazon knows a thing or two about computing and retail, but they don’t know manufacturing and product design. When AWS talks IoT, they talk in generalities, or they mention consumer goods like refrigerators or cars. They don’t cite hard examples of industrial customers using IoT to run their critical operations.

If your project is relatively lightweight, AWS is perfectly fine. But if you are in a product-centric industry, where product design and manufacturing are important, ThingWorx will better suit your needs.

Built-in Analytics: Advantage ThingWorx

Both AWS and ThingWorx have built-in analytics. AWS metrics include business analytics as well as big data and IT-centric solutions. However, when they talk about business metrics, they claim parity with a traditional BI solution and discuss HR, marketing, financial and sales metrics. No mention of new product introduction, project management, or MVP. No OEE, or productivity, efficiency, or utilization. No SPC or predictive maintenance. All of which are critical metrics in Industry.

ThingWorx goes right to the heart of industry by providing step-by-step tutorials on projects like predictive analytics, monitoring device performance and creating alerts, and operationalizing an analytics model. Practical insight is designed to help with practical issues.

Security: It’s a Draw

Security is one of the most critical topics in computing today. No question, AWS has great security. But so does ThingWorx.

Developer Tools: Advantage ThingWorx

ThingWorx has developer tools for data model design, IoT apps and connections, and REST APIs—things that are critical to product‑centric companies. Each has been specifically designed to make the product design and manufacturing process more efficient.

ThingWorx has been specifically designed to increase efficiency in the design and manufacturing processes.

AWS has a plethora of tools, all of them designed for developers across a wide range of industries. If you have time to learn how to achieve your objectives with a general tool, they are great. If you’d prefer to hit the ground running with tools designed for your environment, ThingWorx is a better choice.

VR and AR Expertise: Tie Score

AWS and ThingWorx both have expertise in these critical areas. While AWS may be slightly more consumer-focused than ThingWorx, they certainly have equivalent expertise.

Support and Education: Advantage ThingWorx

Both companies have ample resources devoted to support and education for users, but as noted above, ThingWorx has a greater focus on the specific needs of industrial designers and operations teams than AWS. It may be easier to find the information you need in ThingWorx online training than in AWS’ training, simply because of this focus.

Industry Expertise: Advantage ThingWorx

There is no question that ThingWorx has a stronger focus on industrial and product-centered companies, while AWS is not focused on any specific industry. If you need to move quickly with an IoT or VR project in a product-centered company, then ThingWorx will help you get there faster.

ThingWorx vs AWS: Working Together

So, in the battle of ThingWorx vs AWS, who wins? The customer does because the good news is that you don’t have to make a choice. You can select ThingWorx for its industry expertise and AWS for your cloud platform. The two products can be complementary.

But if the budget only allows for one or the other, and you are in the manufacturing, industrial, and product-centered industries, then ThingWorx may provide more value for your investment.

We admit we have a bias toward ThingWorx (we have been selling PTC products for a long time), but we’ve tried to be fair and honest in this analysis, putting the needs of our customers first. If you’d like to learn more about the capabilities of ThingWorx or how it can excel your IoT design capabilities, contact us.